Dealing with Life’s Mini-Dramas with Creative Practice

When returned to Oaxaca Sunday from teaching in Puerto Vallarta and a short vacation in Mexico City/Cuernavaca, I came home to my own Internet mysteriously (accidentally, according to the cable company) disconnected.

And then my website went down. Which is where my online workshops are hosted.

It’s so weird how technology does these things…just at the moment something big is happening, like a new online workshop!

Yes, all of these tech snafu’s were timed perfectly to coincide with the first lesson of Creative + Practice that went out yesterday.

This post contains much of the message I humbly sent to all the participants (along with a quick work-around while our site gets resurrected).

You’ll also get to see one of this week’s course videos, called, Why Practice.

I’m sharing this here because I’m getting a lot of questions about the Creative + Practice class, and also because there are some great lessons here about what having a sturdy creative practice really do for you.

Hint: Creative practice will support you when the chips are down. Like they are for me, right now.

Working Analog = Sanctuary

One of the magical elements of doing Creative + Practice that I take deep enjoyment in and am eager for you to experience, is: it’s a totally analog process.

While the course can happen digitally (which I am so grateful for when it works, as we have people participating worldwide), the actual practice itself takes place just between you, the waiting blank page, and whatever you have to write or doodle with.

The moment I tend to the rest of my overflowing email box, I’m making a beeline to my own sketchbook, my favorite pen, and a fresh cup of tea.

Without creative practice? That’s when I would tend to self-destruct with too much emotional eating, mindless TV-watching, and/or head back to bed and put my head under the covers.

With creative practice, my response and outcomes are different. 

I know my sketchbook is waiting for me. I can do my crisis-management (without drama, without ripping a new one into whoever broke the website, without a big shame-attack at disappointing and inconveniencing my students) and look forward to getting back to something creative:

  • my writing for the day,
  • another publishing deadline,
  • some more hot tea,
  • some play on blank paper involving new luscious paints brought to me from Canada (thank you, Helen!) and the US (muchas gracias, Suzy!)
  • a little love note to you, who are reading my blog (thank YOU!)
  • a walk down the street for a green smoothie (I came home to my blender also broken)

Putting your creative work into the world? It can really suck sometimes

When technology fails, when plans get derailed, when the heart is struck sideways by a launch then ends up making people frustrated before they’ve even started…ouch…that is so painful.

And this is the stuff that a life of creative entrepreneurship is made of. Putting things out there from the heart…and having blips in the continuum (outside of one’s own control) effect the landing, the intention.

What Creative + Practice gives me, always, is a refuge from technology’s harsher edges, along with a way to deep dive through the fray, beneath life’s mini-dramas, and into the larger story that is happening.

The larger story within each of us that begs to be told in the pages of our sketchbooks, in the heart of our practice. The larger, deeper current that leads us to our heart’s desire. What really matters.

Bonus: Not lying in bed under the covers + with chocolate chip cookie dough + watching reruns of Keeping Up With The Kardashians = priceless.

Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that…except that when you know it’s destructive action, rather than constructive action. (I go into detail on constructive/destructive actions in The Creative Entrepreneur book).

Myths of Creativity

One of the myths of creativity is that we need to feel inspired or be in some kind of exaulted mood to work. Or we need ideal circumstances flowing around us, making everything comfortable.

Well…waiting around for everything to be “just right” so we can feel good enough to work means waiting around for an eternity. At least, that has been true in my experience.

When we have a sturdy creative practice, we can work regardless of mood, circumstance, annoyances, frustrations, technological complications, and all the other mini-dramas life presents.

By the way, the mini-dramas tend to show up, as if on cue, the minute we get close to what we really love. We deal with that paradox a great deal in all of the workshops I teach.

What creative practice does

Creative practice offers us a method for accessing the more vital story happening behind the mini-dramas of life that keep playing out. Everything that keeps us stuck is held in place by the mini-dramas.

Creative practice helps us loosen our grip on all of that, so we can better access our innate wisdom, and let the creative dreams that keeps tugging at us to emerge onto the page.

Having a regular creative practice is something that can support every area of your life. Whatever it is that you want to create next, creative practice can help you identify it, express it, work it and achieve it.

More specifically, the 8 week online workshop is designed to help us:

  • Utilize the power of positive habit change
  • Develop a daily creative practice in a gentle, yet effective and sustainable way
  • Build a solid foundation for a flourishing Creative Practice you can use for a lifetime
  • Challenge assumptions and old patterns of thought
  • Learn easy-to-use expressive arts tools without any previous art or writing experience
  • Discover the ease and joy that creative expression offers
  • Access the innate creativity and unique voice that is inside of you
  • Find many ways to practically use creative practice to make progress on your goals, dreams, and ideas
  • Use creative practice as a tool for healing, transformation, problem-solving and insight

Now, here’s the video, Why Practice, from Week 1 of Creative + Practice.

What ideas are you taking away from this article that you can use now? Share your insights in the comments, below.

Is there someone you know who would benefit from this message? I’d appreciate it if you would share this post. Thank you & Enjoy.


11 Responses to Dealing with Life’s Mini-Dramas with Creative Practice

  1. Mary Alice Long November 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Lisa, thank you for your post. I love how real you are in this post. Sharing what is happening right ‘now’ and your response to yet another bump in the road. a creative response. I believe, as you do, that moving ahead with playful, creative actions when things are ‘eeeeeesy’ and especially when times are challenging in both small and big ways is the only response that makes sense.

    and yes, I’m practicing. Playing with visual journaling–images, paint, crayons, stamps, dreams, visioning…playing with bringing a playful attitude into all parts of my life….playing with my organizer, driver, swinger, visionary…playing with what my dreams bring to me….playing with completing my memoir and finding my way into focus, clarity, wholeness, and meaning….practicing how to share my work and serve others by delivering my gifts to their door.

    Playfully, Mary Alice

    LOTS to learn and to be curious about.

  2. Donna November 29, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Just last night I thought about the times I feel happiest and most centered. Out in nature ,spooning my husband at night and when I’m creating. It’s so easy to fall into ‘sigh mode’..where you putze around the house feeling crappy..shoveing food in your face ,watching E! News,sighing and feeling off center. My daily yoga practice as well as a daily creative practice need to be front and center from now on. Thanks for reminding me of that. Doing what make makes us truely happy and whole is such a beautiful thing…an important thing.

  3. Cindy November 28, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    “the mini-dramas tend to show up, as if on cue, the minute we get close to what we really love” – sure enough. In the middle of this right now, so very good to be reminded that it’s utterly normal and predictable.Thanks. Now, back to the sketch book!

    • Lisa Sonora November 29, 2012 at 1:46 am #

      @Cindy: Yup. The mini-dramas can be seen as signs we’re on the right track, indeed.

  4. Laura November 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    I am so grateful for this work. You have created something that just feels like it is a part of me — not something I have to strive for or buy for. I also love that I am entering into these habits every day — a slow, steady and loving climb.

    • Lisa Sonora November 29, 2012 at 1:45 am #

      @Laura This is landing just how I intend…so glad to hear the resonance. I also learned so much about creative practice from mountain climbing (in real life) but didn’t want to scare anyone with that right off the bat. hee hee.

  5. claire November 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Lisa, love this post and loved the earlier email to course participants – so full of zen and acceptance that no one could help but smile and sympathize! I’m sorry for your frustrating return and not-as-anticipated start to the course at your end, but from this end the course couldn’t have started better -I just finished devouring your videos for week 1 and loved them! I was intending to watch just one, as it is after 2am here and past my bedtime and too late for me to be doing any type of creative practice, but they were addictive and so interesting and got both my brain and my creative juices flowing. I was challenged to think and reflect on the idea of practice, really love the idea of pairing (and am likely going to borrow that at some point in a different context as it is ingenious), and damn you (in a good way!), here I am now with my sketchbook out, and I’m buzzing with a new idea for completely revolutionizing how I think about the so-called problem I’ve always thought I had with my creative space. Since my favourite space for creating is also from my bed, but this doesn’t seem to fit with where I keep my creating stuff, I’ve had a dilemma which has often kept me from creating (ridiculous, I know). But now, watching your videos, including the “in bed” video, I had a flash of inspiration and now I have the answer. So day 1 of when I had always intended to start your course anyway (I had no intention of starting it yesterday, so no disappointment here!), and I am one super happy camper. Thanks a million, and I do hope your blender and sink start functioning again soon 🙂

    • Lisa Sonora November 29, 2012 at 1:43 am #

      @Claire – Oh, I so enjoy getting your notes! I’m so glad you’re already having flashes of inspiration, even in the middle of the night! And my videos being called addictive! Well…we’ll have to put that in a nice shiny testimonial, now won’t we? 🙂

  6. Kim November 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    It’s so weird how these messages bout what Creative + Practice can do for you come at a time when I’ve fallen away from it and really need to remember to go back. Thank you! And sorry for all the crazy you returned to (oddly, we went on a trip in September and came back to a house full of things not working right–what a strange coincidence). I hope everything is fixed and running smoothly quick as can be! And thank you again for the reminder to go back to my sketchbook!

    • Lisa Sonora November 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

      @Kim – ah, yes. I personally can use reminders at least weekly…to keep returning to practice. Even if I just practiced that day! There were other things in the apartment that feel apart. Like (even) the kitchen sink not draining. And a few other things I’ve already pushed to the forgetting place in my brain.

      • Kim November 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

        It’s good to have that forgetting place. Some things aren’t worth giving mental space to.

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