Getting Into a Zen Flow State as an Artist

Getting Into a Zen Flow State as an Artist

How willing are you to not know how the thing is going to turn out?

Can you accept uncertainty, and embrace it? Embrace the full adventure?

I listen to a lot of great artists and teachers and business/thought leaders, and today I'm hearing Nancy Hillis talk about "poised uncertainty". And I really get the courage and steadfast heart it takes to stay there.

Last night I finished buffing the wax, sealing this dresser I painted. I'll show you the dresser itself another time, but I want to tell you a story about the making of it.

I watched a video by one of my art mentors, Dionne Woods of The Turquoise Iris, where she painted and distressed a cabinet. I watched it probably 43 times. I stopped it, got in close up, watched parts again and again, studying the order and methods that she used.

Partly I was watching her technique. I think partly I was listening for the repetition of the phrase, "Don't worry, y'all, you can't screw this up."

Then I turned off the video.

I put on some of my favorite studio music. Instrumentals with a driving beat. Late at night, so I knew no one would come in, stop by, call, text, or need anything from me.

I did it my way.

No thinking.
No comparing.
No judging.

I lived in poised uncertainty for hours, and covered the front, top, and sides of this big dresser with all the love I have inside me, in a glorious flow state.

I know that I could never have created this amazing bureau - I say amazing because it amazes me ~ it may or may not amaze you, and that's really none of my business - I could never have created it through intellectualizing it, or worrying about it, or trying to nail down exactly every step before it happened. I couldn't have planned it.

I had to feel it. In the moment it was happening. Without a net. It's as close to Zen as I get.

These are the ingredients I need to get me there ::

  • Willingness to let it take me on a wild adventure
  • Not try to be in control
  • Not "figure it out"
  • Breathing a lot
  • Know I will be un-interrupted
  • Get into that alpha wave state with certain wordless music supporting me
  • At night, alone
  • Having fun
  • Completely committing, diving in, signing up for the adventure, jumping into the current

What does it take for you to live in poised uncertainty in your life?

• running your business
• loving your family
• making your art
• enjoying your day off

I hope you're following your own heart and desires, aiming toward the light.


* The link above, to Dionne Woods of The Turquoise Iris, leads you to her mentorship group that I'm a part of, called Creative Connection. It is an affiliate link, so if you decide to join the group (I hope you do! It's amazing!) I will earn a very small commission. You will pay the same whether you sign up from my link here or a public link - but if you use my link, she will thank me with a small financial benefit.

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