002 The Good News About Your Inevitable Decline
Face your fears, it's not as bad as you think
7 things to draw on this week
It’s been a strange week. I’ve started to accept my new regime and timetable that enables me time to draw and write more. The guilt is still very much there but the fear has lifted.
Luckily there is plenty out there to remind me that I’m not alone in my quest to live a more creative, mindful life. Let’s get started…
1. Lynda Barry: The answer is in the picture
I adore this woman! Her style of art is completely different to mine but I’ve learnt so much from her wonderful writing, drawing and videos like the one above and this one. There’s so much to learn from her about the power and importance of drawing and creativity. Wonderful.
2. Seven Attitudes of Mindful Art Making
If you’re familiar with Jon Kabat Zinn and the MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) programme, you’ll be familiar with the 7 attitudes of mindfulness: non-judgement, patience, beginners mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance and letting go. It turns out these 7 mindful attitudes have a lot of similarities with the art-making process. In fact, I've come to see them as a foundation of being in life.
3. Solve For Happy
I finished the audiobook ‘Solve For Happy’ by Mo Gawdat this week. Practical, philosophical, scientific, spiritual and at times heart-breaking.
It’s brilliant. Read it.
Mo narrates the audio version of the book and has a wonderful, inviting voice - you feel like he’s your friend by the end of it! But I’m also keeping a paper version of the book as well because I know I’ll be going back to it again and again.
Please read it or listen, so you can make your happy list and we can compare notes.
4. Experimental Portraiture with Ink, Tea and Alcohol
One of my all-time favourite artists, Carne Griffiths has a course on Domestika which I indulged in and soaked up every minute of this week.
I met Carne at a gallery workshop one day and he’s as nice in real life as he comes across in the video. A quiet, unassuming artistic genius. This course is great for moving you into unexpected places with your creative process and materials.
5. The Good News About Your Inevitable Decline
If like me, you’re approaching and rapidly speeding over the hill of middle age, this latest episode of the Ten Percent Happier podcast is for you.
Host Dan Harris interviews Arthur Brooks who says that while certain abilities erode with age, others get stronger. He argues that with some foresight, planning, and good habits, you can make the second half of your life way better than the first. Music to my ears as I approach my 45th year on this planet.
6. The Flip Flop Challenge
In last week’s newsletter, I shared a suggestion about writing from the point of view of your fear. Fear is an example of our limiting beliefs and limiting beliefs are thoughts that inhibit us from actualising our full potential. (They often develop in childhood, early adulthood and even through dysfunctional relationships.)
Delving deeper this week, I’m inviting you to try the Flip Flop Challenge*.
First, write your limiting beliefs of why you can’t do something - your flops.
Then flip and write (even if it feels uncomfortable) why you can do something - counteracting your flops.
(* This is one of the exercises from Swap The Scroll. A side passion project and collection of creative mindfulness exercises I’m currently rather enjoying researching and building.)
7. And Finally…
On the subject of limiting beliefs and fear, here’s something you might like from the creative powerhouse that is Elizabeth Gilbert:
Fear is always triggered by creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It is, however, something to be dealt with.
Go deal with your fear and do what it is your heart is telling you, my friend.
If you enjoyed this and know someone who might appreciate it, consider sharing :)
Have a lovely weekend