5 Self-Care Practices for Maximizing Your Creative Flow + FREE Training & PDF

 

I have been making these five self-care practices into more of a regular, daily practice as I see the benefits they have on my energy and creativity. While I can’t say I came up all of these myself (no, I didn’t invent meditation!), I’m sharing them because I hope you’ll consider trying them to boost your creative output and improve your life. I’m also sharing them as a way to hold myself accountable: I’m publicly committing to maintaining these habits—they’re that good!

 1. No Negative Self Talk

Did your parents have high expectations of you?  Are you a people pleaser? Are you judgmental of others, even silently?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, I am certain that you have a voice in your mind that harshly criticizes you. This voice is often the voice of critical parents or authority figures. Sometimes the voice is our own creation.

No matter how the voice began, its effects can be damaging to your life and disastrous to your creativity.

Train yourself to pick up on the voice of that negative inner critic. When you hear it saying something awful like, “I can’t believe you said that! That person must think you’re a horrible” STOP and gently take the microphone from the critic, and hand it over to your inner loving parent and cheerleader.

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 1.42.19 PM.png



Oh yes—take that mic as your own best cheerleader and loving parent. Reframe the negative messages as realistic, positive messages. Think about what you’d say to your best friend, child, or young relative if they blurted out what the inner critic had said. 

There are scientific reasons to avoid negative self-talk: psychologists have proven that we all have a confirmation bias.

This means that we subconsciously look for (and find) proof for our preconceived beliefs. So if you tell yourself that you aren’t a talented artist and you’re terrible at growing your audience and connecting with buyers, you will find evidence that confirms that belief. If you are actively fighting these negative messages (c’mon, inner cheerleader!), you will actively dispute these beliefs and find opportunities.

Be sure to download the list of positive affirmations at the end of this post—these are great examples of positive self-talk!

2. Gratitude


I’ve found that my life changes in powerful ways when I take inventory of all the ways I’ve been blessed. I know yours can, too. I hope you’ll try this. A few weeks ago, I allowed myself to feel deep gratitude to my group of collectors, and then I sent them a newsletter including a message of thanks from a collector, along with a photo of a framed painting he bought. I wrote, “I’m so grateful. Thank you guys!” 
 


Coming at life from a place of gratitude completely shifts everything. Try it!

3. Morning Mindshift

If you're like me, when you wake up in the morning, is your mind flooded with your list of “to do’s. You can have some plans to take care of yourself but ONLY when you reach the end of your to-do list—only to find that there is never time for it!

It’s time for a morning mindshift.

I don’t know what your morning entails. You may rise before dawn with kids to care for or roll out of bed mid-morning after a late shift. What I do know is this:

Your day is about more than your obligations, and your worth is about more than the tasks you accomplish.

In the training below, I talk about a subtle difference I made each morning to help me ease into work more gently. It really helps!
 

4. Meditation

Do you meditate? It’s been scientifically proven that meditation increases the amount of grey matter in the brain. There are so many benefits to meditation, so I have been very interested in becoming a regular meditator. When I was in Europe in December, I had a real breakthrough—I was able to see my thoughts float by like clouds, without judging them, and the feeling was amazing. I’m hooked!

5. Nighttime Ritual

What are your last thoughts of the day? Are they about what didn’t get done? About what needs to be done tomorrow? About the calamities that might happen in the future?

I am no stranger to bedtime anxiety. Becoming more mindful helped me become aware of what was leading to this state. Finally I grabbed a pad of paper one night and did a brain dump: I wrote down all of the things that were swirling in my mind, from the trivial to the heavy-duty. It really helped!
 

brain-dump.jpg


Since then, I have kept that pad next to the bed and continued this practice. It’s the most effective and healthy sleep aid I’ve ever found! The pad is also helpful for those amazing ideas I get in the middle of the night—in the morning, some of them seem hilarious or bizarre, but others are truly gems and I’m glad I captured them!

 

Optimum self-care is critical for optimum creative output. You can only neglect yourself for so long before there’s a breakdown. I hope you found some ideas here that you’ll implement into your routines and benefit from. Please share your own self-care practices in the comments!



Don’t forget to download my free positive affirmations and if you'd like more support around self-care, watch my free training!

 

 

Feeling better in 2018: RSVP for FREE live event!

Happy 2018,

 

Have you noticed the trend?


Each year on January 1, our social media feeds are filled with goals and resolutions to be better.

To live better.
To look better.
To do better.

But instead of making new resolutions for how I want to change or improve this year, I'm focusing on how I want to feel and how I can incorporate more softness, fullness, and nourishment into my daily life.

I'm not one for resolutions, but if I would choose one right now it would be to focus on daily self-care.

What is self-care?


Self-care is taking the time to identify what you need in order to be your best self and show up fully in your daily life, and then actually giving yourself those things.
You may have heard the expression "You can't pour from an empty cup".



When you're burnt out and overwhelmed, you essentially go into zombie mode. You're unable to think of creative solutions to problems that arise, or engage in activities you love because you are physically and mentally exhausted.

So this year, I'm taking steps to make sure that doesn't happen. And this Friday, I'm sharing a FREE live training on self-care practices you can steal to make 2018 your best year yet at 1:00pm EST.

If you can't make it live, don't worry! Click the link above and I'll send you the replay recording after we're done. Make sure to register now, as this totally FREE training will likely be offered as a paid product in the future!

I'll be back in your inbox tomorrow with more on creativity + self-care, specifically geared towards artists ;)

xo,
Amira

Using Meditation in My Creative Practice + Free Training & PDF!

"Prayer Rug No. 2" 48x36 inch canvas (2014) SOLD, Amira Rahim

"Prayer Rug No. 2" 48x36 inch canvas (2014) SOLD, Amira Rahim

It's that time of the year again: Autumn. Back to school. The days are getting shorter. The temperature cools. The leaves change. And our hearts change too. It's always been my favorite time of year, literally the mark of new beginnings.

One thing I've been aspiring to implement into my creative practice is meditation. It's not anything new. The concept of quiet reflection is in many religious traditions and theologies, and yet we seldom do it due to technology and our busy lifestyles.

I have to admit, I didn't start meditating out of any religious commitment. I see a lot of literature circulating on social media around meditation, but it's mostly for the physical and mental benefits, which I can surely use.

There are so many benefits to meditating, and this post is certainly not the expanse to explain them all. So, I just thought I'd share a little of my thoughts on how it's going for me.

Today, I decided to meditate for only the second time. I am using the Insight Timer app which I highly recommend. Sometimes I just set a timer and meditate to some relaxing sounds. Or, I will choose from one of their amazing guided meditations which have been really transformative for me.

Some immediate things that have happened to me when I meditate:

  1. I concentrate on my breathing. This is really important. I have recurring back pain and at my last chiropractor visit, I was instructed on how to breathe properly. Turns out, I'm not even breathing right! Meditation makes you more conscious of your breath, even if it's just for a few minutes.
  2. I realize exactly how much anxiety I'm feeling that day. Good or bad. I'm an anxious person. When I have a creative spark, I cannot rest until it's out, expressed. On my best days, I am a happy, loving artist flowing colors from my magic wands. Today, in meditation I realized just how much I wanted--no, needed--to paint today. Which leads me to my next point...
  3. I feel the colors that resonate with me the strongest when my eyes are closed. You know how it goes. You're in bed, trying to fall asleep, and then BAM! Hoards of painting possibilities seem to fly through your mind endlessly. I am been trying a mental practice of staying in bed, sleeping yes, but before sleeping, take a mental screenshot if you will of the paintings in my head. In the morning, I can usually remember what I loved the most. Meditation helps me know for sure exactly where I want to go.
  4. Today, I asked myself, my soul, my spirit, whatever you want to call it: "What do you need today? What do you want to feel? What do you want to love like, eat like, be like, today?" It's a strange concept at first, but really comforting. Just saying to myself, I'm going to fulfill you. You are fulfilled. You are fulfilled.
  5. You get this cool, hippie vibe of general chilled-outness that I love. I've always been a worry-wart, self-prophesed perfectionist. That was cool and all in college. But I've made leaps and bounds in my self-awareness since then. It feels great to be honest with myself, to relax, to say "You got this," "you're good." I don't have to prove anything to anyone. Taking 10 minutes to meditate each day is like giving life, society, people, the small voices in my head, whatever, a fat hand to the face. A pause. A complete stop, as I take a moment to...well, enjoy this moment.

Need more self-care today? Get access to my free training on self-care practices you can steal + a FREE PDF of Affirmations for Artists:

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 12.56.42 PM.png