It takes time and dedication to recover your artist self, and once she is back there are two vital steps to take to keep her happy, healthy, and inspired. Whether you are just beginning to reconnect with the creative goddess in you or are well on your way, I recommend adopting a self-care routine created specifically for her.
Self-care may bring to mind visions of people recovering from illness, vitamins, veggie smoothies, and exercise. And while a self-care routine for creative goddesses may include some of those things, its primary purpose is to nurture and support your creativity. The following are what I consider the two most important components of a self-care routine to nurture your creative goddess and keep inspiration flowing!
Self-Care Routine 1: Daily Creativity
First and foremost in a creative self-care routine is daily creative activity. Creativity keeps you connected to your innermost truth. It keeps your creative brain exercised and gives you a break from the list-making task-master in your head. Creative activity every day also keeps you balanced and present in the moment. Whether you are stringing beads, doodling, sewing, scrapbooking, or painting, being creative every day shows your creative goddess that you care about her health and well-being. And if you are like me and went YEARS without nurturing her, this is VITAL. It demonstrates that she is valued and loved. Goddesses want to be appreciated. Because, truly, they are amazing, right? And your creative goddess is going to need a lot of “making up to” if you neglected her for a long time.
Whatever creative activity you choose to do each day, make it something you can do without too much time and effort. If you get too complicated you may be sabotaging yourself. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:
1) Make 10 embroidery stitches on a piece of fabric
2) Make 10 brush strokes on a canvas
3) Make a Soul Scribble
4) Write a paragraph
5) Doodle for 5 minutes
6) Take a 5-minute walk with your phone and photograph anything that catches your eye
7) Take a road you have never been on before
9) Eat something you have never tried before
10) Do a somersault or two
Self-Care Routine 2: Retreat Day
As good as daily creativity is for keeping your creative self out of the closet, a weekly retreat day is vital in honoring your creative goddess. A weekly retreat will guarantee you the time to recharge your creative battery, to listen to your SELF, receive inspiration, and commune with your soul. And it also makes your goddess extremely pleased.
Now, as a recovered artist, you likely find this idea both enticing and, well, selfish. This is because, by definition, we recovered artists struggle with self-worth. That is exactly why we stopped being creative in the first place. So, when you think about an entire day EACH WEEK just for you, you will automatically start to reason it away as impossible. You will think of all the obligations you have, and the people you feel a responsibility to. How can you go off and leave them? You will want to bring one or all of them along. And even if you do manage to break away, you will think “I could just go run this little errand, it won’t take long.”
I urge you to resist! It is all a way to sabotage yourself, dishonor your creative goddess, and avoid doing something amazing for YOU!
Self-care routine: A story of resisting and self-sabotage
I only say all this because I know it from personal experience. Our tendency to sabotage ourselves is persistent. The other day when I took myself on a mini-retreat to the beach, right away I started to sabotage myself…thinking I should invite the entire family, considering stopping in and see my sister-in-law and niece, or how “quick” it would be to pick up that thing we need from the hardware store. All of these thoughts cropped up as resistance to taking myself, alone, to the beach. A place I love! And there was more resistance once I got there. I felt self-conscious…how did I appear, a middle-aged woman alone among so many couples and families? It took a while for me to break free of that voice and enjoy the sun playing on the water, the hermit crabs crawling over my toes, and ripples the waves had left behind on the sand. A huge cloud above me looked so close that I could reach up and touch it. And the baby humpback in the clouds invited me to remember I am surrounded by love and support. Ah! My goddess was finally happy!
Why we retreat alone
You probably don’t need to hear this …but I say it for me. When you go on a retreat and bring someone else along you defeat the purpose of the retreat. You will be concerned about them, are they having fun? Think about it for a moment. Picture yourself somewhere you love…say at a beach like I was. You have all the snacks you love, you have perfect weather, and you have an endless expanse of day just for you. You will stay as long as you want. You will go in the water when you feel like it. You will walk in a direction of your choosing. You will write in your journal, read your book, and never, ever think about anyone but you. This is your day to recharge YOUR creative goddess. Don’t give it away.
And if this all still sounds selfish? It is! Your creative goddess is entirely selfish, and she deserves this one thing entirely for her. So, commune with her. Dive into what you see, feel, experience, sense and BE NOURISHED!
30+ Ideas for self-care routine retreat days
Here are some ideas for retreat days to fill your creative cup and nurture your goddess. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a jumping off point for you to transform into what will nurture and nourish YOU.
Take a trip to an art store
Take an art class
Go to a paint bar
Take a road trip to a town you have never been to
Visit a quilt shop
Go to a coffee shop and sketch book
Take a hike
Have a picnic
Go to the beach
Visit a gallery or museum
Visit a botanical garden
Explore a park
Watch a movie by a director you love
Take a class in something new
Take an aerial yoga class
Take a yoga dance class
Go to an art festival
Go to a concert
Get your face painted
Go to a fair
Take a horseback riding lesson
Take a dance class
Do a ropes course
Go to a sound healing event
Get a massage
Get a manicure
Get your hair done
Walk in the mall and people watch
Sit in a park and people watch
Talk to a tree
Short & sweet self-care retreats
What if you don’t have the time or means to make a day retreat happen? What about your creative goddess? Should you neglect her? Absolutely not! There have been plenty of times when I did not have an entire day for my retreat, nor did I have the ability to go anywhere special. This is not an obstacle. You do not have to GO anywhere to have a retreat. In fact, retreat indicates a withdrawing, or drawing into oneself. And that can be done anywhere, any time. A successful retreat allows you time away from the hectic demands of life and puts your logical mind at rest. A retreat creates space for you to hear your intuition and allows for play and imagination. A retreat that accomplishes these things is all you need to honor your creative goddess.
So, no matter if you have a day for a beach trip, or an hour to sit in peace and quiet, I encourage you to add a weekly retreat to your self-care routine for creative inspiration.
One final note about your weekly retreat
Do not go into your retreat expecting fireworks. You might get them. But the magic of the retreat can be subtle. Sometimes you have big breakthroughs and other times you experience subtle shifts. Don’t stress it. You can rest assured that the retreat is working. Your goddess is being honored, refreshed, and replenished. A breakthrough is on the horizon.
Yours in brave creative living,
Creative Goddess Larissa
BONUS: Check out this video where I talk about the magic of a retreat day.
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