Hello out there. How was your summer?
I had a very creative summer in many ways – lots of family time and swimming lessons and camping trips and first steps and whoopie cushions and a superhero scavenger hunt.
So many things to inspire and instigate and invigorate my creative spirit. Nothing makes my heart swell with love and pride more than seeing my kids give free rein to their creative instincts. Beautiful!
And at the same time, exhausting. Because facilitating the growth and healthy development of small children involves a lot of thinking ahead, a lot of making mistakes, a lot of head-bonking, a lot of tantrum-decoding, a lot of blanket-fort-decomissioning, a lot of tears, a lot of night frights, a lot of messes.
I believe in messes. I believe in the creative anarchic spirit. And I believe parenting – all caregiving, really – is creative. It requires deep pools of creativity in order to do it at all. And because it is so all encompassing, so demanding, so FREAKING HARD — it also makes it difficult to focus on other creative projects.
Like, it’s hard to foster my son’s beautiful anarchic creative spirit while also embracing my own. It’s hard to embrace making messes when I’m the one cleaning them up. It’s hard to hold space for chaos when you’re also in charge of setting the boundaries.
So I am excited that we are in the fall and my kids are in someone else’s care for part of the day so I can make some time for my creative spirit to bounce off the walls. So I can write to you and turn my mind towards what the hell I do when I’m not wiping applesauce off the floor and chasing a one year old into the bathroom shouting NO HANDS IN THE TOILET!
My coaching tentacles are slowly coming back to life and here I am, curious about what’s going on in your world.
I find my mind returning to a topic that always carries such a charge – something that is a key part of the Creative Magic Workout, the one people are most resistant to, the one that seems like it’s got nothing to do with creativity – like it’s a separate universe – and which turns out to be intricately, inseparably intertwined with creative expression.
That topic is BRAGGING.
Bragging is a loaded word so allow me to use some other words to describe what it means to me:
- Telling your hero story
- Standing fully in your experience of the world
- Owning your experience — what you feel and believe and think
- Feeling pride in what you have done and what you will do, good or bad
- Speaking with confidence about your experience, about what you have done and will do
- Holding yourself with power, acknowledging your power instead of deflecting it, hiding it, pretending you don’t have it
- Claiming your space
- Claiming your time
- Claiming the attention of others
So scary, right?
There is a reason we spend a lot of time on this – because it’s HARD and because it’s KEY to your creative expression.
So my approach, as with anything creative – come to think of it, this is my approach to parenting too – is to make it as easy as possible.
How to make bragging easy?
One way is to find someone to emulate, to remind you of what kind of person you want to be, to spur you on, to cheer you on, to encourage you.
One of my champions is Dolly Parton and I’m so thrilled to see my very favorite song of hers, “Here I Am,” out in the world as a new duet with Sia. And it strikes me as a FANTASTIC bragging song. (One of my favorite ways to creatively work things out is to find a song that speaks to whatever is on my mind, and then sing / dance / jump around to it in my garage).
If you’d like to do that with me today, please join me in singing and dancing and hopping around and saying out loud, HERE I AM.