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Four Steps Towards a Creative Dream
By Linda Dessau - 09/03/2006 - 09:33 PM EDT

Watch me. I'm making a cocoon. It looks like I'm hiding, I know, but a cocoon is no escape. It's an in between house where the change takes place. It's a big step since you can never return to caterpillar life. During the change, it will seem to you, or to anyone who might peek, that nothing is happening - but the butterfly is already becoming. It just takes time. - From "Hope for the Flowers" by Trina Paulus

You have a creative dream that’s waiting to be fulfilled. So, which step are you at?

Step 1 – Self-Discovery & Tuning In

You’re starting to get a glimpse of something “out there”, something “more”, or something “new”, and you’re longing for it. You’re awakening to new possibilities for yourself and your creativity.

As you get clearer about your creative dreams and what you want in your creative life, you'll be able to explore your big vision of what's possible.

You’ll notice a sense of excitement and rejuvenation as you allow yourself to speak your creative dreams and claim your identity as the talented and creative artist that you are!

Step 2 – Self-Growth & Feedback

You’re realizing the difference between who you are and who you’re becoming, and sometimes it feels like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back. This can be a painful, jarring realization and this is one of the reasons that I recommend you stay the course and double up on what you find motivating and inspiring.

Give yourself permission to seek out and receive the support you need to get through these “growing pains” without giving up.

When you start to gain awareness into the things that are blocking you from moving towards your creative dream, you get a clear picture of the pain that what you're doing now (as well as what you're NOT doing) is causing you. And it’s pain that generally motivates us to take action and change our lives.

The pain of recognizing that we could carry on the same way, unfulfilled, for the rest of our lives, must become greater than the anticipated pain of taking the action.

Again, seek out support to face that pain, truthfully assess where things are at, and decide which risks you’ll take first. You’ll notice a sense of momentum when you realize you’re serious about these changes and that with this support you’re going to follow through this time!

Step 3 – Self-Care & Practicing

You’re starting to practice new habits and new attitudes. Step three can be boring, especially if you’ve gotten used to the tumultuous appeal of chaos, drama and the constant chatter of an unforgiving inner critic. This is another reason to stay the course and ride the wave, instead of turning back to familiar (but unhealthy and unproductive) ways.

In step three you’re becoming more empowered as you take many action steps to challenge your long-standing habits, thoughts, attitudes and behaviour and then change them.

Find a source of support that can also be a source of accountability. Someone that will remember and ask you about what you said you'd do. Use checklists and other tracking tools to stay honest with yourself and with that other person.

You’ll notice an increased confidence and more and more positive thoughts replacing the negative ones.

Step 4 – Mastery & Authentic Self-Expression

Some of the things that were initially blocking you are a distant memory now – somewhere, along the way, new and healthier habits became second nature to you.

You’ve cleared the clutter of your unhealthy habits and you’re achieving your self-care goals through daily practice. You’re noticing a level of authentic self-expression that is showing up more and more in your creative work.

In this step you can aim to make that even more consistent and readily available to you, and address your specific creative challenges.

Continue to gaze at your big vision, acknowledge how far you’ve come, and be open to inspiration about your NEXT creative dream. What you’ll notice is an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment, joy and peace, and a connection to your fellow travelers, artists and non-artists alike.

What you’ll also start to feel is that familiar discomfort and longing for something “more”, because now you’re ready to play on a bigger playing field. You’re starting to get a glimpse of something “out there”, something “more”, or something “new”, and you’re longing for it. Something is stirring inside that cocoon – the butterfly is becoming.

Welcome, you've come full circle.

© Linda Dessau, 2006.

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