January 24,2015
Self-Discipline

While it might seem counter to expressing ourselves freely, self-discipline is a critical aspect of creativity.

First, one must have the discipline to create a space in which to create – the studio for painting or dance, the potting shed, green house or garden for the gardener, the quiet office for the writer, the convenient kitchen for the chef. Each of us must have the commitment and self-discipline to create this space. We must have the discipline to acquire the supplies – the paints, the canvas, the printing ink, the flour, the fertilizer, the seeds – the seeds of our creative projects.

We need to discipline ourselves to do daily practice of our creative work. The athlete does not expect to win the tournament without a daily training regimen. How can we expect to paint the masterpiece or get into the premier juried show without practice? How can we write the best seller without daily writing? To practice our craft daily, we must set aside time every day and commit to working at it. We must create daily and that takes discipline.

It takes discipline to keep working when it gets difficult. When the painting isn’t working or the plot isn’t coming together we need to fight the urge to walk away and not finish it. We need to work through and solve all of the problems in our work of art.

Self-discipline is the resolve that keeps us motivated and keeps us going. It is that inner voice that takes us through the hard parts. It is the manager inside us that sets the priorities and oversees the project to completion. We need to listen to that voice.

© Dr. Carla Weaver 2015


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January 21,2015
Words

In his book, The Four Agreements, Ruiz talks about being impeccable with your word. What does that mean? Dictionary.com defines the word impeccable as “faultless, flawless and irreproachable.” It also describes its meaning as “not liable to” or “incapable of" sin. To me, it means being careful with what we say. It means knowing and understanding the power of the word and using it lovingly and responsibly. You see, once uttered, words cannot be taken back. Their sound falls upon the ears of another and they are forever heard.  They cannot be erased ever. They can be cruel or they can be kind and loving.

Sometimes we just talk without being responsible for our word. We call it honesty or debate or being a devil’s advocate or offering advice or we don’t label it at all and just talk without regard for its effect on others or on ourselves. Most of the time it works out. We don’t get ourselves into trouble. People say the wrong things all the time…..just words that come out without thought, or they didn’t mean what it sounded like and other people don’t hear it or catch it or get offended by it. It just works out.  But every so often, someone says something out loud that they should never have said and it can’t ever be taken back. It’s out there in the universe and it’s been heard. Even forgiveness can’t change it because the word has been spoken and changed everything. Words, like thoughts, are things and they have power.

Yesterday, I was given the gift of this lesson. Thankfully, it was not my words that were spoken without impeccability, because I would be filled with such regret if I spoke with cruelty and couldn’t take it back. But they were heard and it changed everything.

“Be impeccable with your word. (Ruiz, 1997)”

Reference:

Dictionary.com, retrieved on January 21, 2014 from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/impeccable?s=t

Ruiz, Don Miguel (1997). The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, Amber-Allen Publishing, San Rafael, CA.

© Dr. Carla Weaver 2015


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January 20,2015
Finding Our Own Way

I find that when others around me offer their opinions and advice without my asking for it, that it interferes with my creativity. I do not mean to blame others for my creative interruptions. Rather, I have learned that I must operate independently, no matter the opinions of others. I know that others offer their advice and opinions because they are trying to help. Either they see things in their own way and want me to do things according to their plan, or they think that I don’t see or know the best way to make a decision or accomplish something. But, even if I don’t know how to do something as well, if I have not asked for advice, it is best to allow me to learn by making mistakes and doing it my way. We must find our own way. Each of us is unique; each of us has our own unique path. So, whether we are deciding to buy a pair of shoes, or what color to paint the background on a painting, or how to end the novel we are writing, we can test our ideas on others by asking their opinions, but ultimately, we must decide which alternative suits our style. And, if unsolicited advice is offered, it is an interruption.

To create, one needs focus and intention, so when we are unfocused, too busy, distracted or unclear about what we want to create, we become blocked. Creativity occurs as a result of having a clear vision or goal, and when we cannot see that vision, we can’t get there. It’s like driving in a thick fog and when you can’t see the destination or the road signs, it’s impossible to get there.

There are infinite possibilities about what we can create and sometimes it’s hard to prioritize and decide what to create. We must get clear about what we want on our own despite the interruptions and advice from others.

© Dr. Carla Weaver 2015


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