Believe, Bloom, and Balance: Cultivating Your Creative Potential
I’ve been thinking a lot about balance recently and how to attain it. As a creative person I find myself vacillating wildly between working with extreme focus or wandering aimlessly from one idea to the next. Although the past few months have been quite productive, I have felt a little like a chicken running around with its head cut off. Actually that’s not even an accurate description. A mutant, crazy eyed fowl jumping from one frying pan to another sounds more like it! But I’ve discovered an approach that is working for me and maybe it will help you too! I must believe and bloom to be able to achieve balance. This may sound like nonsense, but I love alliteration and I do have a point!
Before we get down to the nitty gritty please print out your free Believe, Bloom, and Balance Worksheet. This will enable you to complete each exercise in real time.
Never Miss Another Blog Post!
I’m doing what I always do when I’m feeling out of sorts. I read blogs, listen to podcasts, and go inward. But if I’m honest I also do a smidge of complaining, mostly to my poor husband. Thank goodness his hearing isn’t always the best! But last month I read an interview that Black Sheep Wools did with Lucy from Attic 24 and I was struck with something she wrote. When asked “What direction do you see crochet going in the next 5 to 10 years?” She replied with an answer that has had me thinking ever since.
“Do you know what, I would be so, so happy if my own personal direction didn’t change too much in the next decade as I’m enjoying myself so much right now. I love the balance of my creative life, getting to crochet, design and write at a pace which suits me. I am very much a “go with the flow” type of person and don’t tend to plan much or have any great ambitions for the future. I love the luxury of living in the moment wherever possible, enjoying each day as it comes.”Lucy – Attic 24
Y’all! Seriously! I could not love this answer any more! #goals! This is an answer from a woman who seems to know who she is and where she is going in her crochet business and life. Lucy has been blogging for over a decade and I’m sure that her objectives have evolved over time, but her response has a solidness about it. It’s not wishy washy. It is clear and I couldn’t love it any more.
Based on that one little quote, that only contains four sentences, I have created a worksheet to help bring focus and clarity to our creative lives. It will help us not only stay on track, but keep our intentions clear and our sight focused.
First, we must Believe to help identify our purpose. You could substitute the word “dream” if that makes more sense
Don’t abandon me now! This is where it starts to get good! I recently listened to an episode of the Goal Digger podcast with Jenna Kutcher and I literally had to pause it every few minutes just to digest her amazing information. The title was How Being Decisive Leads to Success. I am terrible at making decisions so I randomly clicked on the episode because the title caught my attention.
Jenna urged her listeners to imagine their perfect day. She encouraged us to dive headfirst into the minutea. Imagine what you’re wearing, where you are , and how you’re spending your time.
How do you want to feel each day? What do you plan to accomplish? What is the vision you have for your life? The more specific you can be here, the better off you’ll be. Close your eyes and visualize the perfect day, week, or month and think of the things it includes and what it definitely doesn’t include. How do you want to feel each day? What do you want to accomplish? What would be the end result for you of a successful, fulfilled day? I love to think about this often because how we spend our days is ultimately how we spend our lives.Jenna Kutcher
Next, sit down and do this exercise on your worksheet. What does your perfect week look like? What are you spending your time doing? What are you wearing? Who are you with? How do you feel?
This is a powerful activity and will ultimately help you find the direction that will bring you the satisfaction and contentment in your creativity endeavors.
Have you ever found yourself spending hours upon hours doing things that ultimately do not bring happiness? Have you ever wondered, how in the world did I get myself into this? Have you ever vowed that you would never commit to something only to find yourself saying yes to it again and again? I can totally relate and have vowed to do something about it.
After completing the Believe exercise you are already to Bloom! Bloom is where we are going to put our dreams into reality. In the left column you are going to write out what activities you are going to say yes to. To use the phrase coined by Marie Kondo, we are going to ask ourselves if it sparks joy?
In the right column you are going to write what you know deep down in your heart is not right for you. This is the part that isn’t quite as easy. It’s hard to say no, especially when there are expectations from other people. It’s hard to let people down. It’s hard to live in fear that somehow we are going to miss out. But you will never live out your Believe dream if you don’t say no to something.
You also may be interested in my blog post Do it Scared: Explore Your Creativity!
Finally, balance is the sweet spot and it’s the one I struggle with the most. It’s not just an objective but a state of mind/being I want to reside in. For me balance would mean keeping my personal and business intentions clear and concise. No more feeling guilty for working on my crochet business too much or for not working on it enough. Balance means finding that luxurious flow of family, creativity, and work.
In the Balance section of your worksheet we are going to put the Believe and Bloom segments to work. Here you are going to write out your personal Mission Statement right there on your worksheet. You are going to take the dream from your perfect day and combine it with your yes statements to create your individual proclamation.
This is the critical piece of the puzzle. Your mission statement will ultimately become your North Star. It is what will guide you when temptations knock at the door, showing you the way when the right decision doesn’t seem clear.
This has been an extremely useful exercise for myself and my hope is that you find value in it for yourself! Please leave a comment or suggestion you have for finding balance in your creative business and life! I would love to hear from you!
How inspiring and the worksheet is lovely. I definitely struggle with this. Sometimes I feel like I have so much to share and sometimes I feel like I should just throw my laptop out the window!
Haha! I can so relate!! This three step approach has helped me so so much! I’m making decisions before I need to make them and that is easing my mind so so much!
The timing of this word could not have come at a better time for me. This is amazing. Why do we hold on to what brings us so much stress! My word for the day, NO! Why do we take on so much and not say no?
I’m going to start by doing the list!
Thanks so much:)
I’m so so glad you liked it Angela! It’s been something I’ve been wrestling with for months and finally have some clarity about it! 😘😘😘
Elise! I’m so glad that you’ve found a system that helps to bring you the happiness that you need in your efforts to create a life you love and that you are in turn sharing it with others. This is a hard topic for me to express my feelings in one comment because it’s so important and personal to me. I hope I can adequately and appropriately express my thoughts in words. (Having an in person conversation would be preferred. 🙂) For me I’ve found that yes, “balance” in achieving your dreams (I call it “juggling”) can only begin to have meaning when careful thought is put into what items you’ll put your focus into each day and when and what priorities can be released, reduced, or allowed to remain dormant for a time. It’s ok, even right, to push for big scary beliefs/dreams at the “cost” of other things (even good things carefully plucked out) because our biggest dreams should be allowed room to grow, bloom, and come to fruition! That said, may I also add another note? There are times in life when we find things that we’d love to remove but really, honestly can’t. Or perhaps we find obstacles that seem insurmountable. At these times it’s worth it (even necessary) to make the effort to learn to incorporate these things into making our dreams happen (as oppose to giving up on them) and at the same time allow for personal grace because the juggling/balancing act is real work too! You’re amazing and inspiring, Elise! May you continue to make your dreams a reality as you simultaneously lift and build others. Bless you for your work and your efforts. You’re doing great things! 💖
I totally get where you’re coming from, Jen! Yes, I should have added that this really only applies to things that we have control over. There are so many things in life that we have absolutely no control over and we must carry on in the best way possible. When my kids were young I could not pursue my own dreams at all. With four little ones, and one being special needs, was more than a full time job. Because we chose as a family for me to be at home meant my husband had to work more other husbands I know. He was away more than he was home. Plus I homeschooled them all from kindergarten to graduation. There was just no way I could focus on the desires of my heart. It was just easier for me during those years to focus solely on them rather than trying to do anything more. I so admire those of you with young kids at home or who work full time for reaching for those creative goals! Seriously! Thanks so much for your support and I’m so thankful to have found you as a friend!!
I love this, I wonder if this group of us aren’t all reaching the same point of, hey the novelty of this is kind of wearing off, and it’s becoming work, fun work and exciting work, but work that must fit into this life that already has lots of responsibility. Balance is such a key word for me! Thank you for this!
I completely agree, Jenn! It is definitely work and as opportunities come our way we have to begin to discern which ones fit in with our mission and our lives!
Such a great idea and way to be intentional!
Thank you so much! 😊
Too many people are malcontents and everything is perceived to be of more value to us if we make money from it. More people would be happy if they allowed themselves just to ‘be’ and enjoy the crafting for its own sake. I am tired of all the relentless pushing of paid patterns. Everyone is now a designer although all they came with is yet another stripey blanket using a stitch dictionary. We can all do that, but we don’t because we are encouraged to hand our money over at a cost to our own creativity. When did we all get so lazy and hand over the joys and rewards of crafting to others? We are now taught to doubt things like our own colour choices and follow others like sheeple.
Everyone is bristling with their own self importance. Everyone has now become a yarn dyer, pattern writer and so on. Mostly without the real skills to do so. Why do we need crafting celebrities? It just encourages everyone to focus on this aspect and to want this empty goal for themselves, Much of the hand dyed yarn is rather ugly and ridiculously expensive. Most of us can’t afford it and don’t want it yet the snob elitists try to make us feel bad. Doesn’t wash with me as I find commercial yarn prettier and more reliable. We forget that many in a position to craft are from privileged groups and yet we are all are encouraged to want want want and spend spend spend. Elitism, privilege and snobbery are rife in the community (which you are only part of if you join in all the spending and have a face to fit – its very cliquey).
Crafting is its own reward or should be. Yet everything is now monetised. We are even made guilty for watching YouTube without paying for it on Patreon. Yet many, even most craft YouTubers now have something to sell, and people buy after watching the seller market themselves to us on their YouTube channel. No one asks people to set up a channel and they are rewarded already by sales, being given things, opportunities etc. I feel Patreon is such a disingenuous backwards step and so excluding and hierarchical. I think it will end up biting people. As a concept it can only work for relatively few.
I can’t be supporting all the people on Patreon – even if I wanted to I would need to choose. The more people use it, the less individual support people will get. People are giving their time and energy to closed off spaces instead of the majority who potentially are far bigger money spenders. This means that hardly anyone would will any money, it’s also so divisive. I have my favourites and I buy the merchandise if and when.
People have got greedy though. I used to buy lots of patterns and didn’t think about it and spent quite a bit Now I have a measured approach as patterns are now a lot more, and don’t buy nearly so much and only in a thoughtful way (do I need it, can I afford it?). Pattern writing is v time consuming and hard work but you will sell many more and get much more well known if they are affordable which in turn leads to more work opportunities and recognition in the field. The numbers sold will be far more and will reward the creator more for the labour and time costs. Price too high and you will sell far less and not recoup the costs involved. Besides many of these patterns that cost as much as a book are not very good. My experience says you very often don’t get what you pay for. Strangely the more professional a person is, the better patterns might be priced. Crafting has just become a commercial arena just like all other areas. Very materialistic. Sad. Money shouts loudest it seems. It also creates stress for people trying to keep up.
Noticed your comment to Cherry Heart and saw your lovely designs. Now those I might well pay for, depending on the price.
Crafting is and should remain a hobby for most people, then it wouldn’t become a stresser instead of desecrating our calm and happy time and space. Am sad that it is so. Going with the flow is much underrated. I was asked if I sold the handmade item I gifted someone recently. No, as it is too much stress for me to do so. The nice comments I received though made my day. It is enough.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience. Most of what I make are not my original designs but are patterns I paid for. There are so many talented people out there that for now I don’t feel the need to design. I also like to crochet and knit to relax and designing is the exact opposite for me. I do have two patterns that I have published but they are free here on the blog for anyone who would like them!