Thursday, September 17, 2015

Release Your Inner Child

by Linda

It's safe to say that I am not a huge fan of Facebook. It can be a place of high drama and I tend to avoid that when possible. The feed moves fast and too much is read into how many and who "likes" or "comments" on your post and now Facebook is considering a "dislike" option. oy. That's really gonna fuel the fire.

I prefer to browse the groups I belong to and scan the newsfeed to see what's happening with friends and family and not every 5 minutes but maybe once a day. Facebook also creates a sense of urgency that you need to be looking at it all the time. I got bigger fish to fry.

But, that being said, I came across an interesting item that was "shared" by someone in my feed and it has created a lot of brain activity over here. For the life of me I cannot now locate it to give the person who shared it or the article any props. Mybad?

So please indulge me as I "post" some of my recent brain activity with regards to the "lost" facebook "share".

The article has to do with why we allow what others say about us and/or our work to affect us to the point that we no longer want to put our work out there and what we can do about it.

Why do we measure ourselves against what others do? Only by doing that and allowing harsh critisms and judgements from others to invade our own thoughts do we feel less than we are and less capable than we are. We allow those feelings to paralyze us into fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear that everyone is better, fear of failure. We stop creating. We stop playing. We stop having fun. We stop doing things that make us happy.

How did we get there? When we were born we were perfect human beings. We began to grow and as children we spent everyday in persuit of what made us happy. Nothing but that and an occasional cookie.

We played. We sang. We danced. We colored. We pretended. And the next day we did it again. Our only thoughts were what can I do that makes me happy? What can I do that is fun? Everything we did had a sense of joy about it. You can see the joy that kids exude as they run and play and skip and sing and create.

When we created a work of art, we were happy to share it. Hang it up so everyone could see it. Give it to someone that we loved. We never thought someone else's stick family and yellow ball sun was better than ours and no one ever told us that there was any other picture that was better and if they did we might look at the "better" one and then we would shrug our shoulders and go play. Make ourself happy, have some fun.

What happened? We started getting told to sit down. We started getting told to stop singing. Your picture is just OK. People would tell us that we need to stop pretending all the time and "live in the real world" (whatever that means!) So we fell in line. We started to act like everyone else. We didn't want to make people "unfriend" us. Our playful child became hidden deeper and deeper inside. We couldn't let her out very often without someone complaining. So we kept her hidden.

And then someone strapped us in a roller coaster and pressed the "GO!" button.

And now we wake up and think about meetings and deadlines and schedules and appointments and classes and homework and housework and what's for dinner and who's gonna feed the dog. We don't have time to make ourself happy anymore, we don't have time to play. We don't think about what makes us happy because we are thinking about how to make everyone else happy and how to make everyone else "like" us. And how to make everyone "like" our work.

Being creative allows our inner child to come out. As creatives, the effort we put into our art-drawing, painting, taking pictures, comes from a place of happiness, a place of joy.

Raise your hand if after hours of planning, creating, setting-up and editing a picture, after trying to get it just right, after feeling joy and happiness in the whole creative process, you look at your work and say "well, that's a piece of crap, I think I will share this one"

anyone?   anyone?

Because after our creative process, our playing, our joy, we are happy and want to share that happiness. Just like we did when we were children.

We need to embrace our inner child. It's easier said than done, and it's easier for some than others but I promise that if you would do that, just think about what makes you happy and just doing it because it makes you happy, it would make everything a lot better. Even the bad things that we all deal with in life could seem not quite so bad if we also have fun in our lives. 

Fun.  F-U-N. Finding Underused Needs (like playtime)

And if we take time to play, it might make the work we need to do seem just a little easier.

Play. P-L-A-Y.  Put Love Around You

(yes, I sometimes dance very close to Gary Busey-dom, but why not?)

Give it a try!

So what are you going to do today that makes you happy?

Dance? Sing? Draw? Paint? Take a picture?

Share it with us! We love to see your pictures!



Carol said...

Wonderful advice and I am a big believer! Its soo rewarding.Love this post and love the picture of you and yournlittle one. I can see you still have the spirit!! Right on!

Dotti said...

Oh, you and Sofia are having so much fun! It's beautiful. Linda, you have written a very important post here today. This is something we all need to take to heart and then do something about it and make time for fun, get back to enjoying our creativite process. You can bet I'll be thinking about this post all day long and I'll be back to read it again and again.

Cathy H. said...

I needed this post today. At this time in my life when troubles seem to greet every day, I need to stop and seek joy and happiness. Maybe I should add that to the top of my TO-DO list! I took a day this week and went to a local part, took some pictures, ate lunch and then spent a good while swinging on the swings. My inner child came bursting out as I swung so high and I literally laughed out loud! It only takes a moment of joy to change the whole day.

Linda said...

Thank you Cathy! I'm so glad it resonated with you! It's not easy to focus on ourselves but we need to, your day of play in the park sounds just wonderful! I hope you keep playing!

terriporter said...

Well, it took me a little bit to stop laughing at your Gary Busey reference! I think he may have killed a few brain cells! But if you don't watch DWTS, you probably have no idea what we're talking about! But your post really hits home with me too. I suppose it's just human to want others to like what we do, to think it is good, but I don't think that brings happiness. If the entire Facebook or Instagram community commented that this was the best photo they've ever seen, would that make us happy? Not in the same way as doing what we love and doing it because we love it. Even if we never shared it, it would still make us happy. But there is so much comparison going on that we need to do one of two things -- stop sharing or stop comparing ourselves and realize that we are doing what we're doing because we love it and it makes us happy and for no other reason. Wonderful post, Linda!

Nancy said...

Just what I needed to hear today; play more and think less. It's so easy to get hung up on what others think and say about your work that it looses originality and just becomes a copy. Thank you for confirming what our inner child alway knew.

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