Monthly Archives: July 2015

Five ways friendship improves us as makers

Infinite - Wall Art - ShawnCarneyArt.com

Friendship is about connections. It’s about genuine, personal relationships that bring us closer to each other and ourselves. It’s about honestly forging bonds with those around us. The habits we foster in our friendships can improve the quality of our relationships and enhance our lives. Those same habits can be applied to our business as makers.

  1. Connecting with other people allows us to be part of something larger. We share experiences and emotions. Nothing is insurmountable. Everything is possible. This results in a boost of creativity and unleashes a flood of possibility.
  2. Friendship highlights our commonalities. We are all the same in many ways. This unifying thread runs through humanity and ties us all together. We can build our art using those threads in order to connect with our audience in transformative ways.
  3. Friendship requires honesty and integrity. We trust our friends. We should put as much trust into our art, which will ground it in sincerity and authenticity. People connect with us because of that trust and respond to it.
  4. Being a good friend means being a good listener. That skill can be applied to our business and art by allowing us to understand what our audience needs from us. Being a maker is about sharing and providing, which requires that we listen so we know what is needed.
  5. We treat our friends the way we want to be treated. This level of respect and compassion is just as important in our business. Give your audience the best of yourself. It’s an investment in yourself and in the world around you.
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Letting go and finding independence

Shawn Carney Art - Fate

Many of us live our lives passively because we are afraid of change. We accept what happens around us, making slight course corrections when really good or really bad things intersect with our paths, but generally just going with the flow. But we are constantly being pushed and pulled by the forces of change. That resistance to change creates a conflict with our basic human nature to take the course of least resistance and results in an inner turmoil, a feeling of being at odds with ourselves.

We think we are sheltering ourselves from pain by not taking risks. We attach to things that are familiar even if they are transitive (which everything is) or negative. We put up with situations and people that limit our ability to experience joy. We isolate ourselves or expose ourselves, but we often feel empty and alone. Interdependence and interconnectivity with those around us is crucial. We are social beings. We have reliance on others and others rely on us. Independence comes by letting go of the fear of change, accepting risk as a necessary means of growth, while providing value and worth to ourselves and not expecting anyone else to give it to us.

Risk alone doesn’t cause pain. Risk is a catalyst that can facilitate change. We picture the definition of success and failure in our head and then we feel joy or disappointment based on the outcome we perceive. We build the stage for the emotions we feel. We are the writers, directors, producers and actors of our own play and we have the power to let go of what isn’t working for us and create something new.

Let go of the things that are hindering your joy. Embrace and seek out those that support and encourage you. Practice mindfulness and positive thinking. Accept risk and change. Embrace your independence.