Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

An Affirming Environment

For improving your behavior, a supportive environment isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity.
— Michael Highstead, CEO of Habit Busters, Ltd.

In her recent (free!) newsletter, Elizabeth Genco Purvis, the “Marketing Goddess” wrote, “One of my mentors said something recently that really shook me up. He said, ‘Your environment is stronger than habit.’ When you think about the pull your habits can have over you, it’s pretty shocking.

“Here’s the hidden truth in that statement: the only way to create lasting change is by changing your environment. We’ve all had the experience of making a change only to slide back into past patterns (i.e., habits). The only way around this is to change your environment.”

This is something worth thinking about. Yesterday, in sharing what Julia was saying about carving out time and space for your artistic aspirations, it struck me how, as blocked creatives, we are already too expert at accepting those little shreds, crumbs and leftovers, after everyone else’s needs have been met. We are already making do.

I think it is high time we changed that mindset. If we are talking about thriving instead of surviving, doesn’t it make sense to do better than “carve out?”

So I am proposing that this weekend, if you haven’t already done so, stake out an expansive (not necessarily expensive), luxurious space for yourself and your creative explorations. If you already have one, it’s time to enhance it a bit – find some ways to make it pop; to say – this is where the new me is coming to life!

Cost and size are not what we’re concentrating on here. This can be done for very little money; a new coat of paint on the walls works miracles. Try rearranging the furniture. Add some light, music, fresh flowers, a scented candle. This is your sacred space for creative magic – your pampering, personal temple to the meet with the Muses!

And be willing to discard things that do not reinforce your new, brilliantly creative future. As Elizabeth writes, “Creating an environment that supports lasting change will absolutely involve letting go of something. You’ll know what it is. Be good to yourself and let go of it quickly, without thinking.

“Get support if you need to. Any sadness you feel (or worry about how someone else will feel) will quickly be replaced by feelings of joy, expansiveness, and the expectation of something great. It’s on the way!”

When we talk about making a supportive space, that may eventually mean that we will need to consider our emotional environment, and the people in our lives. But just for now, let’s only look at our physical space. Where are you giving your Artist Self room to come out and play?

Does this space really reinforce your new welcoming expectations towards abundance? Does it reflect that you are ready to be taken seriously as a painter/dancer/writer/musician/filmmaker? Think of an artist in your field that you admire. What might their space look like? What would they think of yours? What do the work spaces of successful people in your niche look like?

A field trip to various studios and work spaces might be an inspiring artist date. But this is not only about research. It’s time to take action, even if only small steps.

See if there is any way to at least begin to make a studio or space that, whenever you enter, shouts hello to your tactile inner creator. To your artist self, it should feel like instant recognition, a warm welcome home.

Make it a physical affirmation: This is where I belong. This is where I am hatching my wildest dreams. This is where I am going to do great work.

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  • August 8, 2009, 9:18 am Madeline

    Beth this is an awesome post! About 6 months ago I finally just GAVE INTO needing a messy,creative space where I can LEAVE OUT all my paper craft projects, so I can just walk up to my table any time and make some art.. without putting it all away and pulling it out all the time–

    I like a sort of "neat" home so having a big MESSY AREA was difficult to give in to–and you can see the mess from my kitchen..at first it was a bit disconcerting.

    But over this past 6 months I have walked in there in stolen moments and been able to pick up paints and brushes and papers and artsy tidbits and make GOAL BOOK PAGES, poems, crafts ,etc..

    So I SAY: JUST MAKE A CREATIVE SPACE–do it– your spirit will be so grateful and you'll find MUCH MORE TIME to nurture your artistic self..

    it can be a corner of your bedroom, an unused guest room ,ANYWHERE..just do it ! My husband built me a tall craft table at just the right height from old wood– and I painted it PURPLE.. doesn't have to be costly!

    HAVE FUN!

  • August 8, 2009, 12:56 pm Thalia

    (I have been away for a couple of weeks, in case anyone's wondering why I haven't commented lately.)

    I am currently in the process of transforming a guest bedroom into my own studio room. And I mean really transforming, magically and completely. To the point of taking the wallpaper off widdershins and throwing salt in the water I am washing things down with. It is a big job and it's progressing slowly; but it is moving a lot of other things as well, I think.

    Though the room is still mostly empty (I haven't gotten as far as painting it yet) and so there aren't any art supplies, &c., in there yet, just being in that room feels good. Funny, if I go in there and get quiet I can feel the whole thing slowly turning counterclockwise. There is a powerful magic in there.

    I have begun to organize (in my head) what I want in there and where, and what sort of supplies I will need for storage &c. It occurs to me I have not had that sort of mindset since before I moved back in with my mom, I guess you'd call it a decorating mindset, a mindset that claims a space as my own. Funny, I am realizing that if I don't feel 'at home' in a space, then I won't decorate, won't clean, that kind of thing. Because it's not mine. Cleaning=ownership in my mind.

    I still have boxes of my stuff packed away in the attic from when I moved back. Stuff that was redundant, like dishtowels or whatever. But it means that I am not using mine. It all contributes to feeling like I don't live here, am unwelcome. My mother gets kind of weird, kind of territorial, I guess, though it's not conscious on her part (I don't think). I have in the past brought out some of my dishes to use; she will put them away because they are 'too nice'. That sort of thing. Seeing it, I suppose, is good.

    Neither of us are very good at sharing, I suppose, though the house is large enough. I'm very introverted and private, and she's a territorial (and unaware) narcissist.

    Any advice on claiming space? Or on ways to cleanse the room upstairs, my studio room? (I mean as in spellwork, that kind of thing.)

  • August 8, 2009, 6:54 pm Star

    I just love my "studio", sacred space room! I never had a separate space (not my bedroom) in which to create. I used to feel the urge to get away from my small living space because of noise, betrayal, unhealthy environment, etc. Now that I am in a home that I love and have a studio room that I love being in, my entire life has turned around. I rarely feel depression symptoms, I hardly ever want to go away from home, I miss my sacred room when I am gone and yearn to get back to my art the whole time I am away! This is a new and exciting feeling for me.

    Thanks to all who have described their studio making efforts. It is nice to hear each others' stories.

    I am so glad that I began to create and furnish my studio several months months ago and have been supplying it ever since. I have a photo of it on my blog. I write my morning pages there, I sit and think there, I meditate there, I read my tarot there, I do my art, healing work, beads and sewing there. I have my mini photo studio set up in another room, due to space considerations, but may find a way to add that to the studio, too. I have moved the furniture twice already as my art work evolves and my storage needs change.

    In one of those magical coincidences, I found a perfect natural wood table for my 'work bench' at a used furniture store and it is just right for me. Very high quality wood, hand made table that might be too narrow for a dining table, but fit my space perfectly and is just the right height and depth for my work! I have been using miscellaneous small shelving that I already had in the house and will eventually need to get some larger more consistent units, but for now, things are working for me.

    I have the computer in another room, and like it better this way. No machine noise, no distractions. I must consciously choose to go to the computer. If it was in the studio, I would be tempted to not leave uninterrupted time/space to do my art.

    Although I have a boombox in my studio for CD's, I rarely have music playing or any sound at all. I like the silence! I also like talking to myself out loud. It seems that reflecting my ideas verbally, helps me to focus and refine my work.

    I agree with what has been said already…DO IT – make a creative space and use it! My spirit is able to soar in my studio!

    Star*

  • August 10, 2009, 7:08 pm Thalia

    Yeah, no, I'm not planning on putting the computer in my studio room when I get it done.

    Until then, though, I find that I am at the moment prone to postponing my creativity. Like, well, I'll be able to do that when my studio room is done. And it's progressing quite slowly. It's taking a lot of energy, magically I guess, to move the thing along. Not surprising I guess when I thin of all the things making that studio is bound up with.

    But I was up there yesterday peeling wallpaper and washing the walls down; I only have a little more of the last wall to go and then I can start painting things. I still have to get a couple more large pieces of furniture out of there and to do that requires clearing out a nearby closet, which in turn requires the help of my brother, which is a pain, but if I pester him he'll help.

    When I lived alone once upon a time, and I mean truly alone in that I rented a little cottage in the middle of Boston (I know! It was a miraculous find!) and had no upstairs or downstairs neighbors or any of that, I found that eventually I had an altar in each room. Everywhere became mine, every room had an altar to the sacred. Here I have one, in my bedroom. I forget to be a Witch here. And if I forget something long enough it doesn't exist.