Hint: there’s a prize at the bottom of this post. I hope you’ll read to the bottom, rather than skipping the whole thing, but hey, it’s a free country. You’re on your own with that one.
Can I just say that I love Catherine Caine*?
If you haven’t been fortunate enough to encounter the Queen of Awesome Sauce yourself, I highly recommend a visit to her delightful site, Cash and Joy*. If you poke around a bit, you’ll find a sign up page, with an option to get a half hour consult with Catherine – gratis!
That’s exactly what I did today. I’d interviewed Catherine for the Thriving Artists Project some months back, and edited and posted the interview on the TAP site just this week. The great thing about editing interviews is that I get to remember the cool stuff I learned, and just how damn fun they were.
And Catherine’s was one of the most fun ever.
Since I already knew how smart and savvy and fun she is, it was a no-brainer to sign up for her gratis consulting. A half hour with someone I really enjoy, who will probably have some very insightful things to say about how to improve my marketing? I mean, come on!
The call with Catherine did not disappoint. After a year of what has often felt like flailing about, trying to get a clear bead on my direction (and which Catherine assured me didn’t look like that from the outside), I feel like the spiral I’ve been treading has finally narrowed enough to be able to see the core. But the Queen of Awesome Sauce honed it even further.
“What are your goals for your business?” she asked.
Three main prongs, I replied:
1. To make my art/creative things and share them with the world
2. To inspire, empower and help people directly with my services (coaching, consulting, mentoring, tutorials)
3. To create and sell “information products” that will also inspire, empower and help people
“And who are those people?” she asked.
Two general types, I replied:
1. People who’ve gotten disconnected from their creativity, who want to find/re-discover or deepen that connection. This includes artist types who’ve gotten blocked, as well as folks who feel like they’re not creative/artistic, but wish they were.
2. Creatives who want to share their gifts with the world, but are blocked around the business end of things. This includes artists and creatives who might be rockin’ their creativity, but are blocked around marketing themselves and earning real money.
“Hmmm…” she said. “It sounds like everything you’re doing really boils down to Creative Abundance.”
Is this woman good, or is she good? I spent five minutes trying to explain my purpose (that spiel would require one loooooong elevator ride), and she hones it down to two words.
Thriving – creative abundance – is more than just making money. But it’s also more than just creating your thing. It’s finding the intersection for you of tapping into your creative source, and sharing that flow with the world so the world can nourish you in return. It’s knowing who you are so deeply that you can vibrate at all times in total alignment with your true source.
It’s expressing your authentic creative self, and it’s allowing the world to receive it, and allowing your authentic creative self to receive right back.
I can feel myself getting pulled into a lengthy verbal investigation of exactly what creative abundance is, but I respect your time, dear reader, so let’s get back to the Skype call.
“Well,” Catherine went on, “you’ve clearly got a plan and are moving things forward. The one thing I would suggest is to make sure you talk about why you do what you do on a regular basis: the reason it’s important, the reason it matters.”
[Pause. Sound of eyelashes blinking. Twice.]
Heh. I started this blog to chart my journey to follow my evolving Blisses toward the life I really, really want, and somehow I’ve lost track of sharing why. It seems rather obvious coming from Catherine’s lips, but sometimes the most obvious things are the most overlooked.
So let’s start with this post.
Why do I want creative abundance for myself and others?
Because creative abundance is your right, your destiny. If you crave it, you can have it, and it’s important to me – it’s important for the world – that you do have it if you crave it.
Nobody, no thing, no idea or ideology or misguided notion should ever stop you from having total creative abundance!
But of course, we all get stopped. By people. By systems. By cultures. By ideas.
And if I were a superhero, I’d have the power to neutralize all of those stopping things. To unblock all blocks on creative abundance.
I’d have wings and armor and fiery swords to protect you from forces that seek to block you, and a magical ability to turn on taps and keep them on.
I’d also have a really cool costume (with a modicum of sex appeal, but not too much). Must ruminate on the details of that…
But I digress.
The point is, creative abundance is your birthright, and my purpose is to help you claim it. Period.
Which brings me to…
15 Minutes a Day Art Check-In!
Here’s a truth: since I committed to spending at least 15 minutes a day making art in the Creative Sandbox, my entire energy has shifted.
Where once I longed desperately to be prolific, now I simply am.
Where once I’d look at other people’s work and wish I were creating stuff too, stuff as cool as theirs, now I simply am.
Where once I felt disconnected from my creative source – and rather cranky and complainy about it too – now I’m living in flow.
All from 15 minutes a day.
Okay, I grant you sometimes – frequently – it goes over 15 minutes. But that’s not the point. I’ve also had days (or late-late nights) when putting in a full 15 minutes felt like pulling teeth. A couple of times I woke up realizing that the previous day’s 15 minutes never happened at all.
And I’ll freely admit that the creative process is not always smooth and flowy. Much of the time I wonder what the hell I’m doing. I doubt myself. I honestly believe that nothing worth showing will come from my time in the Creative Sandbox.
The beautiful thing is that as long as I continue to show up, eventually the pieces always fall into place.
More on the Check-In part
Now that I’m finally building the growing body of work I’ve craved for so many years, I finally felt ready to share my work with the world. And not just the new stuff.
For years I’ve had art hiding on my hard disk, where nobody could see it and appreciate it. “Get a shopping cart. Make a way for people to see and buy your stuff” has been on my to-do list since an ill-fated site hack over at Ketubahworks liquidated dozens of pages of my work over two years ago. I spent hours researching carts, and looked into a plethora of other ways to just get my work online.
I mean, I’ve built several websites all by myself – this ain’t rocket science!
Somehow, though, it took a reconnection with my own creative abundance – powered in large part by my 15 minutes-a-day commitment – to get past my own blocks here. And let me tell you, dear reader, that something shifts when you put your stuff out there.
I could wax on about what that shift is, what it feels like, and perhaps I will in another post sometime. But this one’s already gotten longer than I wanted, so instead of telling you about it, I’m issuing a challenge to you to find out for yourself.
Have you put your work out there? Have you shared your gifts with the world? Have you noticed a shift yourself?
If you’re not giving yourself daily creative time yet, I dare you to take the 15 Minutes-a-Day creative challenge. Try it. See what happens. It may surprise you.
And let me know! I’d love to see what you create! Post it to the Living A Creative Life Facebook page. Let’s inspire each other! Let’s create a mass movement toward creative abundance!
Which brings me to…
So here’s the actual Art Check-In part of this post. The art at the top is a work in progress. I want to add some words to it, but nothing I’ve come up with has felt entirely right. So…. I thought it would be fun to open it up to you for suggestions.
What does that piece say to you? What feelings does it evoke? If it were hanging on your wall, what words would you want it to say?
I don’t promise to use anything that’s suggested here – it’s my piece, after all – but if I do choose to use your words, I’ll send you a copy of the finished art. And I’ll give you a 30-minute Creative Abundance consulting session to boot. Just ’cause I can.
How’s that for creative abundance?
Leave your suggestions in the comments. And make sure include a real email address, so I can get in touch about getting you your prize!
And be sure to sign up for a session with the Queen of Awesome Sauce* while you’re at it. You can never get too much gratis coachsulting, after all.
*Note: I signed up for Catherine’s affiliate program, and the links to her site in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you click through them and end up buying something from her, like her super-cool DIY Magnificence, I’ll make a commission and will be eternally grateful. Of course, you can always find Catherine by looking her up on Google and I’ll never be the wiser. But I’m all about transparency so consider this your full disclosure notice.
I should also take this opportunity to tell you that if you’ve been wanting to put up your own WordPress website, but haven’t known where to start, Catherine has an amazing (FREE) tutorial called Website In A Weekend that will get you up and running right quick. For free. (And that’s not even an affiliate link either!)
Angi Orobko says
Here is my suggestion for your creative piece:
“Expand your creativity and rhyme beyond this moment in time.”
Thank you for suggesting Catherine Caine and her website, Cash and Joy…as I bounce around the internet trampoline of fun this weekend I will be sure to check her out. With joy and laughter, Angi
Melissa Dinwiddie says
Thanks for your idea, Angi! Have fun on Catherine’s site this weekend. 🙂
To me, that piece looks like…life is a constant process of gathering in and letting go.
But spirals bring me to that place. Perhaps that’s why I have a some many spiral symbols in my tattoos, eh?
Melissa Dinwiddie says
Ah, I like that Sandi! Life is definitely just that.
I love spirals too. And I look forward to seeing your tatoos sometime! 🙂
PS – you rock too!
To me it says balance. Probably because the spiral has the form of a nautilus shell and they always remind me of Fibonacci’s golden ratio.
Beautiful piece, by the way!
Melissa Dinwiddie says
Thanks Marie. Spirals make me think of nautilus shells and Fibonacci’s golden ratio too. I think that’s one reason I like them so much.
I love the fluidness and it’s calming elements, but at the same time how it has movement and raising energy. In Hawaii, it’s called Huna, the magic to move through ALOHA. It’s simple, yet profound, and that’s what makes it perfect.
Melissa Dinwiddie says
Thanks Puakea! So glad you found me, and I appreciate your taking the time to write a comment. Aloha! 🙂