Friday, May 31, 2013

A Bump in the Road

Hi all!  My name is Leslie Mark and I am thrilled to be part of this community. Like many of you, I am a Surface Pattern Designer and license my work for use on consumer products.  I have provided some links at the end if you are interested in learning more about my work and me.  But today, I wanted to share a little encouragement for those of us who struggle on occasion to reignite our creative mojo. 

Have you ever hit an artistic bump in the road?  Have you felt that your creativity has taken a hiatus, your self-confidence is bleeding out and your focus has morphed into a swirling mass of confusion?  I think most of us can relate to these periods of faltering inspiration, the real question is, “how do I move through this slump?”

My first step in this and most situations is usually acceptance.  These tough times come and these tough times go.  It is so tempting to fall into the belief that the blockage is here to stay.   We need to remember that “this too shall pass”. Take a break from the panic, quiet your mind and remember an occasion when you have felt this discomfort before.  Walk all the way through.  Did you come out on the other side?  Of course you did and probably having gained a little piece of wisdom to move forward with.

When we are worried an impatient our self-esteem suffers.  That confident, self-assured go-getter starts hearing voices like, “I don’t have what it takes”, “everyone one else is better”, “my dreams are unrealistic”.   Talk to those voices out loud!  Tell them the truth.  "I am the same creative, persistent, courageous artist who created so many beautiful designs."  It is all still within you.  Sometimes, we just need a little break and a lot of trust in our gift and the process which sometimes moves quickly and sometimes moves slowly.

Now, go get some inspiration.  When you are too empty to create something new, go on a few eye candy collecting excursions.  Get out of the house.  Visit the nearest museum of art or public garden. Search through the sand, pebbles and driftwood on the beach. Take a moment to really notice the wildflowers in a meadow or forest.  Admire with intention the colors which surround you. Breathe in the rich scent of the season.  Remember what makes your soul sing and go do it, even if you don’t want to.  You’ll be better off for having made the effort.

I read this quote from A Return to Love by MarianneWilliamson a few years back.  This sentiment always helps to set me back on my path when I get bumped off course by all of the distractions of life.  I hope it will bring you some peace and direction as well.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.”

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