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  • Writer's pictureNicole

Top 5 Things I'm Prioritizing Daily

One of the keys to a sustainable and growing art practice is personal development. I've read and heard about creatives going to extreme measures to cleanse their minds and souls so they may be a pure conduit for their muses. I never really understood that deeply. though, until these last few weeks.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts highlighting my piece, Elspeth, I've been taking score of different things in my life and determining whether they continue to serve me. Examples include the music I listen to and the information I consume. As I do, I've seen changes within myself--my mindset, my energy, and my emotional state. This in turn has manifested itself onto the canvas when I paint. I'm drawn to more soulful images and content. I've been concentrated more on sending positive messages through my work. More imporantly, though, is that all of it has felt so natural. It truly has been a wonder seeing these changes literally make themselves real on canvas.

So what exactly have I been prioritizing daily to the point that I feel as though it's making me a better artist? Here are the top 5:

1) Meditation: I've been a meditator off and on since 2009, but lately I find myself going into overdrive, meditating in the morning and evening before bed. I find myself more centered and honestly, I've been working through a lot of difficult emotions and self-talk through this practice.

2) Journalling: I've been trying to write more and more, realizing that I need multiple outlets to express myself. Sometimes what is easy for me to get down in words is not easy for me to paint on canvas and vice versa. In order to get it all out, I've been expanding the mediums with which I express myself. Additionally, I've been diving a little deeper by giving myself prompts each day. I found a number of them on Pinterest. Some of the questions are really jarring for me--like how do I want to feel on a daily basis or how do I want to get rid of anxiety. I think they are particularly jarring because I've never asked myself those questions in that way before.

3) Listening to binaural beats or uplifting music: I've found a lot of hip-hop and rap that are law of attraction based or contain lots of affirmations. It's a great twist to a popular genre and one that keeps me up beat while tapping to the beat. Listening to binaural music is great for when I need to concentrate or tone it down a bit. This has made a real impact on my day-to-day life--more than I had imagined it would.

4) Less caffeine: I know, I know, but hear me out. The reason why you might feel like you are going to cling to the ceiling any minute might be because you are overdoing it on the coffee, chocolate, energy drinks and whatever else you got going on. As somone who is sensitive to caffeine anyway, I've reduced my intake of caffeine to 1-2 small pieces of chocolate per day. I drink Swiss water decaf coffee (99.9% caffeine free) to give me that coffee flavor without the anxiety tremors. I feel much more grounded and much sharper than I had before. And there are no energy rollercoasters throughout my day.

5) Consistently asking me "how do I want to...": I wasn't kidding when I said those journal prompts really jarred me. I realized how much I've been operating on autopilot and old notions and beliefs that others fed me and I never questioned. It's really set me on a path of rediscovering who I am right now and what I am wanting. I've been surprised to see that I need a lot of course correction. This has allowed me a lot of space internally and has allowed me to make my self-talk a bit more positive.

There you have it! All of these things combined have been granting me changes in my life and I'm excited to see how they continue to manifest in my creative process.

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