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What Really Stops You From Making Time for Your Art (Part 1)

Oh, the dream of having enough time to do your art!! 

We all want it. 

Time is one of the most common reasons people give for not doing their creative work.

“I don’t have time.”

That’s why you’re not writing, painting, making your film, or designing the furniture line you dream of… why you’re not doing what your soul is desperately calling you to do. Right?

Meanwhile you’re beating yourself up because you know you ought to “make time” for it. After all, we’ve all heard that you can “make time” for what’s important to you.

That’s true–but only part of the truth.

You see, it goes much deeper. If it were just a matter of setting your priorities and making some logistical changes to your schedule, a lot more us would reach our goals and have the life we want.

The real question is, what stops you from “making the time”?

The most common reasons people give are

  1. Money–needing to take time to make it
  2. Competing responsibilities–family or job

Sometimes these are the things blocking you. But very often, you just think they are. 

Here’s how to know: In the past, when you have put aside some time to do your creative work, did you do it? Were you consistently able to get into it and do it? 

If yes, then competing responsibilities (like family, or making money) might truly be your reason. That’s something I will talk about in another post.

But, if you often put aside time to write (or paint or compose) and then found yourself procrastinating, resisting, or avoiding your creative work… then money or competing responsibilities are not the real issue.

Your thoughts, emotions, and state of being are the true issue.

When we’re doing our truest work, it’s easy to get scared because it matters SO MUCH. 

That fear triggers your “lizard brain”–the brain stem, which is responsible for primitive survival instincts, and has three basic reactions: fight, flight, or freeze. So you’ll resist your work, avoid it, or get stuck.

This is a normal reaction to creating something new. Our brains are hard-wired to seek the familiar, because that’s what we know how to survive.

When you stare the unknown in the face (and that’s what you do every time you create something–and even more so when the stakes are high because you CARE so deeply), the lizard brain gets activated.

Photo by Kerin Gedge on Unsplash

Does that mean that every effort to do your creative work, and every effort to “make time” for it,” is going to trigger your lizard brain–and lead you to resist, avoid, or get stuck?

Yes. 

Until you create enough internal “safety” to keep your lizard brain calm.

Then you’ll be able to find time–without your emotions or mind throwing up obstacles to sabotage your efforts.

In the Artist in Action program, my people discover how to expand their zone of safety so their lizard brains aren’t constantly triggering them to run away from their creative work–or to sabotage it after a success.

They learn how to recognize the tell-tale signs of the lizard brain’s discomfort–and calm their nervous systems while they keep taking action. 

They’re able to create, easily and fluidly. Regularly and with joy.

And day after day, they expand their ability to create with ease. They write more pages, more easily. Finish paintings, installations, songs, and choreographies. 

Interested? Email me.

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