What is rest if not returning to oneself and finding home?
I, like very many other small business owners, stared down the barrel of burnout in 2021. The dame of busyness seemed to break after collecting for the first year of the pandemic; all of the photo sessions, weddings, and markets flooded my days after the year of nearly no business that accompanied lockdown. I am mixing metaphors because of the sheer overwhelm I experienced! I started to lose the joy I’ve always found in creating and knew that I needed to recalibrate.
I started searching out rest, and more specifically creative rest, in order to reconnect with that joy and inspiration.
I started to map out my creative process to try to pinpoint what I needed and what would actually replenish me. This wasn’t as simple as I initially imagined that it would be and that is mainly because I was standing in my own way. My instinct to survive told me to “go, go, go!”, “produce!”, “you need the money!”, “you can’t stop now!”. I had to tackle this instinct and assure this protective part of myself (thank you therapy!) that it is actually creative rest that I deeply need in order to survive, in order to achieve my goals, in order to create the life I wanted.
I started to realize that at different stages in my life, this creative rest has looked vastly different; my needs have evolved and changed along with me and the first thing I needed to do was pinpoint my current needs, my current era, my current Archetype.
Enter the Creative Archetype Quiz.
My own current Creative Archetype is the Soloist. I spent a lot of time with myself during the pandemic and I actually liked it. WILD, I know! I started to notice that many of the things I was creating were inspired by my own healing journey and my current place in that journey, this current iteration and evolution of Christina that I have come to love so dearly.
I created the “Send Me Your Nudes” stained glass collection, which was really a reclaiming of my body as I continue to heal from childhood sexual abuse that had left my body feeling tainted. Creating the “Blossom” (a vulva-stained glass ornament) was particularly healing. In therapy, we used EMDR to tackle what my body was experiencing as I relived my abuse. As I allowed my body to truly process this old trauma, the pieces of art that came from it are ones that I will forever thank and hold close to my heart. And people LIKED them. They SOLD.
The Creative Archetypes are a reminder to return to what inspires us.
Our muses. These muses evolve and change along with us. In creating these Archetypes, I drew from my own experiences, identifying past muses and the ways in which those muses lead me to find rest and joy and energy, and healing.
I’ve identified with the Academic, diving into the deep end of a niche topic that consumed my life for a few weeks (or months). I know the peace of the Druid when I connect with and care for animals, which forces me to be present in my body. I love the mind of the Engineer, tinkering with systems until something works so very perfectly. My heart beats with the Humanitarian dreams of a better world. I’m in the theatre with the Fan on opening night marveling at a performance that enthralls me, if only for a few hours. I breathe deeply with the Spiritualist who reminds me of the big picture.
I am not just one thing, but right now I’m living in the era of the Soloist who has learned to love herself after years of beating herself into the submission of what the world expected of her.
How does knowing this archetype inform how I find creative rest? I talk more about this to my Creative Archetype email list, which you can join just by completing the quiz.
In January 2023 I will be launching Inspired, a four-month mastermind for the creatives facing blocks and burnout, to return to the life-giving, soul-changing power of our muses.
Inspired is for your if you:
> have lost the joy you used to experience in creating
> are bogged down by the administrative needs of your business
> want more time and energy to focus on your art
> are feeling like your creative well is running dry