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.