Earlier this week, I was on a private call with the women in The Dabblist Collective talking about our dreams and supporting each other in overcoming struggles in our creative lives.
One woman courageously shared that she was struggling with diving into her creative work.
“I keep putting it off because I just want to get an A+ from my inner critic” she said.
As soon as she admitted this vulnerable truth, many of the other women on the call virtually nodded their heads in agreement that this happens to them too (me included).
The inner critic is the uninvited, yet often present, party guest that likes to tell you nasty stories to prevent you from sharing your voice and artistry with the world.
It can say things like:
“This is stupid!”
“I’m doing this all wrong and messing it up! I should just quit now.”
“This is ugly. When people see it, they’re going to think I’m weird.”
“Why even bother creating this? I’m not special or lovable or talented.”
“I better make this look amazing, so people won’t know that I am imperfect.”
“This is silly. I am wasting my time and should be doing more productive things right now.”
This voice of your inner critic can be so loud that it can stop you before you even start.
But listening to this voice and stifling your authentic creative expression is no way to live your life, sister. You and I both know this to be true. The world needs more courageous women stepping up in the world and expressing themselves.
And, in order to do that, we must remember that the Inner Critic does not speak
One of the greatest gifts creative dabbling has given me is the ability to silence the voice of my inner critic.
When I’m dabbling in a creative project (simply being in the moment of creation and not attaching to the outcome) I experience pure presence. I’m not focusing on past stories, future tripping on made-up scenarios, or judging my process according to my inner critic.
I am simply being.
One creative dabble that I find really helps me sink into a space of present moment creation is drawing and coloring in mandalas.
I talk a bit about mandalas in this post but the basic idea is to draw a circular and symmetrical pattern to expand your mind and receive spiritual/intuitive messages.
Drawing and coloring in mandalas is less about the art of drawing and more about slowing down and opening up to your inner wisdom and creative flow. The repetition and pattern is soothing enough to the brain to calm down the critical voices in side and allows you to drop into the present moment.
And, it is from that place of creative presence, that you can strengthen your connection to your intuition and inner wise woman - sending and receiving messages and advice when you need it.
I once read that the creation of a mandala is the universe speaking to you through your creative intuitive voice. I love that so much, and feel like it can be applied to so many other creative dabbles.
The Easy Way to Draw a Mandala:
- Draw a small circle in the center of a page.
- Mark the four directions on the page to create a compass (North, South, East, and West)
- Start in the center and draw shapes or lines that fit into each piece of the pie (separated out by the lines to the four directions).
- Keep building outwards, adding circles, domes, squares, triangles, lines, waves, outlines, secret symbols, etc. You can’t break the rules here, so see what your creative intuition whispers to you.
- Once the mandala is drawn, grab colored pencils or pens and begin coloring in the shapes you’ve made. As you draw, listen to what comes up for you.
What about you?
Do you feel crippled by your inner critic? Have you found ways to quiet the critical voice through your creativity? I’d love to hear about it. Share in the comments below.
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