Put the mask on yourself first
Anyone who has ever been on an airplane knows that during the safety talk before the flight takes off, you are told to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping anyone near you. At first thought, it seems a bit selfish, but how can you help anyone else if you yourself cannot breath?
This is where I have found myself, in the creative sense. I have a deep desire to help others unlock their creativity and to teach art to those who thought they could never be artists, but I have been choking and gasping for breath creatively in the last year. I have allowed myself to become bogged down and stuck in a pit after a sudden job loss and difficult job search, not getting into graduate school, moving states and overall life and financial strain; my painting has suffered more in the last year than during any year of my life.
I am on a mission to nourish myself. I need to put the mask on myself first, to breath and think and create clearly again. How could I expect to teach or share with anyone else if I find myself so stuck and so desperately in need of an oxygen mask for my artist soul?
Today I ran a 15K race. It was an incredibly hilly course here in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. I had to breath very deeply and calmly to keep my legs in their forward uphill motion. I was tired after a long work week and probably a bit sleep deprived. But I kept going. I need to start that in my art life again. I need to just dig deep, breath deep, calm down and simply make my stuff. I will try to be gracious with myself and keep my breath calm.
Tonight, I will work on a scarf that I started a while ago and finish it...
... sometimes small wins are important for feeding ourselves and encouraging ourselves.
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