(creative) Wellness


Sustainable inspiration isn't possible when there is an aspect of depletion.

With my recent, personal introduction to Wellness Minneapolis and their team (thank you, forever, Deborah Saul photography), I have become a committed follower.  Jesse Haas, Nutritionist and Co-founder of Wellness Minneapolis as well as Dr. Sara Jean Barrett, Naturopathic Doctor and Advocate for holistic and functional medicine have posed and answered specific questions on instagram this month and I have been listening, learning and following along.  I was recently inspired to answer these questions from my own experiences as a daily creative and creative coach.

1. What are your coping mechanisms and what do you do instead?

I think it's important, first, to identify my top triggers that are potential catalysts for old coping mechanisms.  These triggers usually fall under the categories of over stimulation, personal expectations/judgement and fear of the future (this has all been especially heightened and loud over the last six months or so, hasn't it?). With deeply ingrained grooves of old habits and twenty years of daily intentions in establishing new behaviors, beliefs and responses, I can still be pushed to a prior coping mechanism on the turn of a dime.  It is shocking to me how quickly I can find myself here.  If I  have suffered a lack of sleep or rest, haven't taken the time to eat intentionally or, on a larger scale, if I am in the midst of a spiritual/emotional growth cycle, I am especially susceptible.  My default coping mechanism is a "get busy" mentality, a "get it together and figure it out now" approach. The irony in this is that when I am tired, not getting the proper nutrition or I have made a decision to take another step in the direction of furthering my internal growth, this is NOT the time to make decisions.  

More simply said, instead of speeding up, I need to completely slow down.  Instead of trying to fix, tighten or apply restraint, I remind myself to loosen and take one step at a time towards finding my emotional, physical and/or spiritual equilibrium.  This can begin to creep back easily with the creating of a thoughtful meal, curling myself up under my favorite blanket with pillows, taking a slow, meandering walk or writing a journal entry, reminding myself of my true intentions and (newer) beliefs regarding how I want to live.  Most importantly, I can practice trusting that the proper time will come when I will receive inspiration of how to move forward.  One thing I've learned, for sure, is that sustainable inspiration isn't possible when there is an aspect of depletion.

2. How do I manage stress?

Again, my tendency here is to speed up.  When I am stressed, I need to consciously slow down.  Another way I practice circumventing this is by taking myself on my own self guided treasure hunt.  Throughout my day, I notice textures or color combinations or something unexpected that simply brings me joy.  I make an effort to document these small surprises with my camera. These aren't photographic masterpieces, but are visual notes and reminders. By taking on a more curious (investigative) approach throughout my day, I am much more able to stay in the present moment.

3. What is one piece of advice that I give others that I find hard to follow myself?

This is such a great question!  Have you ever noticed how much credit we give others and are less likely to give ourselves? or when really taking the time to pull it apart, finding out we have completely,  different expectations of ourselves than we have of anyone else?  Well, this is certainly true for me!  It's laughable (luckily).  In  the past, it was a prison I had built where I was choosing to live.  And here is my answer to this question:  I am consistently telling others to show up for themselves and their work while simultaneously not concerning themselves with the outcome.  And I absolutely believe this wisdom.  Interestingly enough, I have years of previous experience in my life where this approach (eventually) always works! And, yet, I can still trick myself into believing (for a day or a few) that this wisdom doesn't apply to me, that it can't because my creativity is my entire source of income.  And, therefore, there needs to be more logic and planning.  The irony here, again, is I am able to look back on my creative career and see when I have acted on logic versus divine inspiration.  Guess which one has consistently paid off? Oh, I am so glad I have a sense of humor about this absurdity I seem to put myself through now and then.

4. What am I reading right now?

Well, first I think it's important to share that reading is one of the top five ways I love to spend my time.  And, I also spent decades of my life only reading non-fiction thinking of fiction as a luxury that I would eventually allow myself.  Sad story, isn't it? Well, no longer! For the past several years, I have primarily read fiction.  The latest book I read that I found absolutely brilliant was Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid.  Reid has an uncanny ability to paint an ongoing picture of continuous ways we are uncomfortable with personal reflection and discussions regarding race and "minor" racial conflict.

By taking on a more curious (investigative) approach throughout my day,
I am much more able to stay in the present moment.

Follow Wellness Minneapolis on instagram at @wellnessmpls


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