Most working artists have adapted to living with financial instability.
It often accompanies our career paths like peanut butter pairs with jelly… a tasty, yet potentially all too familiar sandwich when money is tight, by the way.
The income ups-and-downs we experience are simply part of the “being an artist 101” class we signed up for… if there was one.
With many non-artist folks living with this reality now, perhaps for the first time, here are three things I’ve learned from a career built on a financial roller coaster, to help you through this transition.
- ACKNOWLEDGE THE DRAGONS YOU’VE SLAYED
Since we know that the only thing we can count on is change, which is inherently temporary no matter how permanent it may feel, how can you handle it with more evidence of the natural champion you are?
Looking at our past for inspiration is one way to not only acknowledge how far we’ve come in our personal growth and development, but to also remind us of how capable we are to rise to a current challenge, and walk through it with more grace and wisdom this time around.
Challenges can unquestionably make us stronger and wiser, and if we approach them with greater awareness, our growth is inevitably magnified. Our job is to appreciate every part of this exquisite journey for the true gift it is. As the poet Rumi reminds us, “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
When you reflect on champion moments in your life, is there anything you can bring forward and implement in your current challenge? This is your moment to “go for the shine” and to handle a new situation with ever more awareness and grace… and remember, baby steps count! You’ve risen from the ashes before. This time, you can do it with greater compassion for yourself and others, and see what magic unfolds.
- FIND COMMUNITY AND SUPPORT
Positive people who share our values can be invaluable. COVID has reminded many of us just how critical interactions – especially those quality ones – are to us as humans be-ing. One suggestion is to take into account the kind of interactions you’re having and “up level” them whenever possible.
Whether you’re making a conscious effort to include more uplifting individuals in your inner circle, or better yet, seeing how you can be that “uplifter” to the people in your life, there’s a lot to be said for finding the silver lining in situations.
Yes, there are times when our conversations will feel anything but positive, and let’s be honest, we may not feel like shifting them AT ALL. Sprinkling fairy dust just doesn’t call to us some days and that’s part of this adventure called, “Life.”
Though to make lasting, positive changes, we must fall forward and remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. No advance is too small. (And, yes, it’s OK to make this statement your new mantra for a while if it helps you get on a brighter positivity train. It’ll be our little secret.)
The most helpful exchanges I’ve experienced have been ones where we can glean the good in a situation, however seemingly slight, and build upon it with another willing soul until we’ve genuinely boosted our optimism.
Of course not everyone is going to eagerly cannonball into the positivity pool you’re building, but once you start increasing your radar for optimism, you’ll notice that it’s available in every situation, no matter how grim.
Time, money or energy are all available to us in some capacity, even if they ebb and flow in their individual amounts.
Giving of our time and energy can change our lives and those we interact with depending on how WE view a situation and act within it. Even giving to those we already serve, say as a parent or care-giver, can change if we witness this with a new perspective.
Make it your goal to share from a different emotional space when you give, and see what magic unfolds for all involved…. especially if your expectations take a seat on the sidelines.
Hold the door for someone, or let another merge before you on the highway. Smile at a stranger, even if they only see your eyes brighten above your mask. Thank the grocery store clerks for their continued commitment to keeping us fed through such an intense year.
These are just some of the ways that we can give without monetary value, though maintain priceless energetic exchanges. What’s more, these actions are scientifically proven to do three things; lift others spirits, as well as our own, and even those who witness the exchange. Now, that’s abundance!
In short, money comes and goes. We certainly know that. Let’s use this time to create the rich and robust lives we were meant to live, and that aren’t reliant on paper bills to make it so. It’s time, and you so got this.