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So this video started going around my facebook today, with about a dozen of my female friends sharing the link with comments like, and “Everyone needs to see this”, and “All girls should watch this,” and “This made me cry.” And I’m not trying to shame those girls! I definitely understand why they would do so. And I don’t want to be a killjoy. But as I clicked the link and started watching the video, I started to feel a slight sense of discomfort. I couldn’t put my finger on why that was, exactly, but it continued throughout the whole thing. After watching the video several more times, I have some thoughts…
5 Ways to Attain (Some) Inner Peace as a Creative
I think the creative path is marked by some turmoil, but I also don’t think it’s right to perpetuate the tortured artist stereotype. Here are some steps to calm the madness:
1. Embrace the Long Road
“If you’re new at this — and by “new at it,” I mean 15 years in, or even 20 — you’re just starting to get traction. Young musicians believe they should be able to throw a band together and be famous, and anything that’s in their way is unfair and evil. What are you, in your 20s, you picked up a guitar? Give it a minute.”
It reminded me of something my lecturer from university, Paul Heys told me: “You’ve got time!”
This advice is starting to make sense to me.
I do try to live with the understanding that I could die at any moment, that life is a gift and it could be gone tomorrow, BUT I think trusting you will have enough time to do whatever it is you need to do will give you (some) peace.
Also understanding that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” will help you to have peace with the pace of your growth.
2. Realize the Path is Murky Before it is Traveled
Here is a well known but nonetheless fantastic quote by the late Steve jobs:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.”
This job you’re at that you hate but can’t quit today? It might be teaching you something you need for something great one day within your creative passion.
This area you are pursuing right now that you’re not sure is right? When you get to the side it might be the skill you need to put you ahead of the pack in the right area.
3. Get a Life!
There is a Creative Mornings talk by David Newell, the mailman from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, that has some great thoughts about creativity and life. One that stuck out to me though was he continued to stress how important it was to not only find happiness at work but also in all the areas of your life.
You will have successes and failures in the creative world, but those failures can be softened by having a more well rounded life.
For me that looks like family, faith, friends and music. Whatever it is for you, don’t neglect all the other pieces of your life for the sake of your creativity.
4. Get to Know Yourself
Something I learned about myself is that for me, alone time is essential to a peaceful inner life. I need to take long walks and long baths (insert some emasculating self-deprecating jab here).
According to the myers-briggs psychological personality test I’m an ENFP. ENFP’s are said to need time alone to unpack their lives and make sure they are living according to their morals and values. This is 100% true for me, and now that I know it, it is a top priority everyday.
5. Accept and Cherish the Suffering! (Yeah Right, But at Least Let’s Try)
I hate to suffer more than anyone. When I see someone suffer I suffer. I suffer for them, I suffer seeing them suffer, reminding me that I too will suffer more in the future.
The truth about success, and creative success, is that it takes suffering. Accept that right now. If you want to get anywhere worth going, it will take the growing pains of suffering.
This old book has a lot of wisdom in it. One of the things it has a lot to say about is the ever so popular topic if suffering. One gem is that it says something along the lines of considering it joy when you suffer because you know the great results that come from suffering.
If you are at a hard stage in your creative path, hold tight and have peace that it will produce awesome things one day.
Thank you all sooo much for supporting this and engaging. If you enjoy this creative resource, and would like it to remain ad free, consider donating today. Every bit helps.
-Andy J. Miller
P.S. Do you have any inner peace tips for me? What should have been point 6?
This is my drink of choice at the moment. It all started with a great base rye whiskey but rome wasn’t built in a day and it took a hot second to get it perfect. But short story long this is my signature drink now. So please enjoy responsible.
you will need:
Small Batch Bulleit Rye American Whiskey
Regans’ Orange Bitters
Tovolo King Cube Ice Trays (4 inch squared)
Pink Himalayan salt grinding salt (ungrounded)
I hope you’re thirsty and feeling like / standing on the furniture / going insane / fuck your couch / Rick James! / because a simple libation like so is simply delicious.
Start by pouring 2 shots of Bullet Rye into a glass with one of gangster ass ice cubes. Followed by two hits of orange bitters. Then add the smallest pinch of grinding salt (ungrounded). This helps melt the ice and later mixes well with the drink. Stay thirsty my friends / type shit.
To add a garnish and a little bit of class simply cut a sliver of just the skin of a meyer lemon. Run it around the rim of the glass before plop’n it inside. swag.
If you want to enhance this magical cocktail in an EVEN more magical way. I suggest making it gangster. What makes it soooo G you ask? Well let me just say it’s not for everyone but if you have access to Alta California Euphoria Tincture then you’re trained to go shorty! Short story long it’s the ultimate JAG potion. You’re guarantee to be mashing it up. No Question.
Always serve with a smile.
After a couple sip you may or may not be eating the shit out of some snacks! Real talk!
Mr. Relish is back and classin’ it up.