by Cathie Barash —
Many of us paint, write, dance or draw because it is our particular innate expression of who we are, and it comes from deep inside us. We are naturally drawn to certain creative outlets for expressing our individuality. There is an excitement in the process and experience of seeing our unique creations come to life.
However, when we are too focused on receiving approval, we can lose sight of the simple pleasures in our chosen activities. We are more inclined to concern ourselves with how something will be received by others, rather than enjoying the process of creating or experiencing something important to us.
For example, if we love to dance but spend our time worrying about whether or not the people watching us will like our every dance step, we miss out on the fun and spontaneity of it all. It is more fun to dance as if no one is watching. This allows us the freedom to live in the moment, release our inhibitions and experience more spontaneity.
Similarly, if we love to write but become too concerned about our punctuation or feeling our words are not adequately written, we may not put our beautiful thoughts out in the world or enjoy the process of the writing experience. When we take the focus off of our reviews, our creativity can expand, flow and grow. Ironically, when we let go of trying to be perfect or pleasing others, we often create more wonderful works of art that others enjoy more anyway.
Appreciating the moments and processes of our experiences, hobbies or creations is a huge benefit to our own well-being and that of others. When we step outside our comfort zone and express ourselves fully, we elevate our lives to a whole new level, and our joy and enthusiasm spread inspiration to the world around us.
Sometimes it is not always clear what our unique aptitudes and interests are or what would make us happy. Therefore, spending the time to determine this is a very valuable exercise and can be started by asking a few questions, such as:
- If I could do anything I wanted and there were no financial concerns, obligations or other constraints, what would I do?
- What am I most pleased and proud of having accomplished?
- What is meaningful to me today?
- What are my top five strengths?
- What activities, crafts or hobbies fill me up and allow me to lose all track of time?
When we know what we want, who we are and where we want to go in life, we will not be so easily sidetracked or thrown off course by the opinions or inclinations of others. We will trust that we deserve to be happy and are free to follow our own path, by taking actions that align with our desires and feed our souls.
Cathie Barash is a relationship author and coach. Her book, The Right Relationship Starts With You, will guide you into creating the ultimate connection with yourself and others. firstname.lastname@example.org, 602-803-0709 or www.helpwithyourlife.wordpress.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 4, August/September 2013.