One of the most common things I hear from people who are at the beginning of their creative journey is: “I don’t have time to do my creative work.” Creating time is a common obstacle on the creative journey, and it can be a block that keeps your inner artist sitting on the back-burner for years.
I struggled with creating time too~ especially when my daughter was very young, so I empathize with the dilemma it presents. However, I have learned along the way that shifting the way we perceive ourselves in relation to time is a massive game-changer and a sign of spiritual growth and empowerment.
Here’s the truth of the matter: We all have the same number of hours in every day. The issue around time has to do with choices. Usually when we say we don’t have time, it really means that we are choosing to fill our time with things we feel obligated to do and putting things we love to do on the bottom of the list. I call this Cinderella Syndrome, and it’s very common especially when it comes to doing things creative because as a culture, we tend to put creativity in the “extra-curricular” category.
Just like Cinderella we can spend years running around trying to finish our chores so we can go to the ball (or get out the art supplies). However, there is never an end to the list of chores. There is always something that someone needs or that we feel we “should” do that takes priority over doing our art.
Cinderella’s step-mother is never going to give her permission to go to the ball. When Cinderella finishes one set of chores, she just gives her a new list. It’s never-ending, and as long as she tolerates this system and gives her power to someone outside of herself, she’s doomed.
Everything changes for this fairy tale heroine when she goes inward, stops trying to appease the critical, harsh step-mother and connects with the nurturing and loving “mother” within herself. Basically, she not only has to stay focused and clear about what she really wants to do (go to the ball) she also has to give herself permission. When she does… magic starts to happen.
Over the years I have seen many of my clients trying to be really good and get everything done so they could finally do the soul-feeding artwork they were hungry for. I also started hearing again and again: “I just don’t have time.”
I have spoken with so many women (mostly) who feel a deep and tender wound around the disconnection to their creativity. I have witnessed tears and grief expressed around this because it feels like such a loss. There can be a lot of heartache around feeling stifled and unable to express. It’s not a small thing to lose your creative outlets. It hurts.
When we wait for someone or something outside of ourselves to give us permission to do what we love, we are giving away our power… and we end up waiting forever for the things we authentically desire. It is never true that we don’t have time ~ the truth is we are spending our time on other things and there will always be other things that “they” say are more important than your art.
The only one who can reclaim the inner artist is you, and one place to start is by honestly looking at the way you spend your time and consciously choosing to designate some of it to your creative work. What heavy and obligatory actions need to be weeded out of your life? Where are you spending time doing things that numb you out instead of truly feeding your soul? Can you designate some time on your calendar at least once a week and make it sacred and non-negotiable? Can you carve out an actual space (even a card table will do) where you can leave out the art supplies so it’s easy to jump right in and get back into your creative flow?
Nurturing the inner artist requires us to uphold the promises to ourselves just as much as the ones we make to everyone else in our lives. Creativity is an expansive energy… it wants to grow. Giving yourself the time to create opens the door for that energy to flow.
It takes courage to step out of obligation and start living authentically empowered lives ~ choosing time for your creativity is a bold and brave action. It aligns you with your soul and opens the door for the magic of your fairy godmother to start surfacing. It’s not about luck or being good enough ~ it’s about claiming what you truly desire and choosing to support it. Just like Cinderella, you can go to the ball anytime you want ~ but you have to choose it.
(my daughter made this card for me several years ago, but I keep it on the altar in my studio to remind myself to “go to the ball”. : )