The creative adult is the child that survived.

We all have that voice in our heads. Some people have a voice that tells them how wonderful they are, that all their artwork is divine and sellable and that they are lovable and hot. Their inner nurturer is working overtime. Those people are either incredibly lucky supermodels with a PhD in Molecular Biology or they are those delusional types you see warbling badly on American Idol…”but…my mom likes my singing…”

The inner nurturer needs to be kept in balance as much as the inner critic does at times!

Unfortunately, most of us have an overactive inner critic, and often it plays the same old tune over and over about how we’ll never be good enough, or that our writing/art/face is completely pointless. No prizes for guessing whence it came. We internalise what we saw as children and rightly or wrongly we play that pattern over and over ’til we die. Or until we get so sick of our own shite that we’ll do anything to make a change.

The self-sabotage, perfectionism, and procrastination, what Steven Pressfield calls resistance are all connected to the inner critic. Mine is working the night shift at the moment, giving me all kinds of weird dreams that could be described as fear-based head fuckery. Just stop inner critic, just stop. Note to self: The world is not going to end if I write another book. The world is not going to end if I write ten books.

I grew up to value work over all else. That’s how we put food on the table and the roof over our heads after all. And breaking that habit, that thing that keeps us safe can be a huge challenge. This has been my challenge this year.

Note to self: I’m okay.

Do as I say, not as I do…

When I was in high school I played the role of a divorced mother of two in a play. That character was a stretch considering I had never even met anyone who was divorced! This was her catchphrase. Do as I say, not as I do, and she’d (I’d) take a drag on her (fake) cigarette. She was a piece of work with a heart of gold and she wanted her kids to grow up to do and be more than she was. But of course, she acted out her own patterns and fucked up her kids good and proper!

The second best thing you can do to encourage your child to be creative is to provide a safe, healthy and happy environment for them. Knowing their needs are met will allow them to express themselves. They need to feel that self-expression is safe too, that they won’t be ridiculed for singing or making an artwork. And by far the BEST thing you can do is model a happy fulfilled life even if you’re not exactly doing what you thought you’d be doing with your life.

If you don’t have kids, or they’re grown, do this for yourself. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood, as the old saying goes. <3