On Thursday, here in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving. In this blog post I want to focus on the gift of gratitude.
I understand that the path of being an artist can be, and often is, very difficult. Burn out is real. Making a living is difficult and requires a lot of juggling. Disappointment can be part of the journey. All of this is true, and are issues I talk about in other blog posts, and in my classes.
But today I am going to encourage you to stop, take out a piece of paper, and grab a pen. Ready? Now write down numbers from 1-25 along the side of the paper. Beside each number write down something you are grateful for.
This could take five minutes, or three days. The list could include profound items, or an acknowledgement of your favorite hot beverage.
Now, look at your list through your artist’s lens. How many things on the list reflect your artistic life? I’m hoping at least half of them. If not, can you revisit the list with that intention? Can you add collaborators, or projects, or pieces of work you’ve done or experienced, or skills? This list is for you, and no one is going to judge it, so go for it. What about being an artist makes you grateful?
It may be helpful to make a specific list of your artist gratitude items. Consider writing them on an index card and carrying them with you to remind you when things get tough.
Here’s what I’m grateful for.
I’m grateful that you answered the call to be an artist, and contribute your creative energy to the world. That energy is so needed.
I’m grateful that you are reading this blog post!
I’m grateful that I’ve had the gift of working with so many artists, and learning from them.
Take some reflection time for yourself this week.
Yours in gratitude,
PS, here's a YouTube video on the same subject.