Tue, 17 December 2019
The Secret Weapon of #Creatrix Leaders: Community by Alexandra Jamieson
Martin Seligman, one of the founders of positive psychology, developed a five core element of psychological well-being and happiness. Seligman believes that these five elements can help people work towards a life of fulfillment, happiness, and meaning.
P – Positive Emotion
This element is, perhaps, the most obvious connection to happiness. Focusing on positive emotions is more than smiling: it is the ability to remain optimistic and view one’s past, present, and future from a constructive perspective.
E – Engagement
Activities that meet our need for engagement flood the body with positive neurotransmitters and hormones that elevate one’s sense of well-being. This engagement helps us remain present, as well as synthesize the activities where we find calm, focus, and joy.
M – Meaning
Having an answer as to “why are we on this earth?” is a key ingredient that can drive us towards fulfillment.
Religion and spirituality provide many people with meaning, as can working for a good company, raising children, volunteering for a greater cause, and expressing ourselves creatively.
Unfortunately, the media worships glamour and the pursuit of material wealth, impacting many people to feel like money is the gateway to happiness. While we do need money to pay for basic needs, once those basic needs are met and financial stress is not an issue, money is not what provides people with happiness.
A – Accomplishments
Having goals and ambition in life can help us to achieve things that can give us a sense of accomplishment. You should make realistic goals that can be met and just putting in the effort to achieving those goals can already give you a sense of satisfaction when you finally achieve those goals a sense of pride and fulfillment will be reached.
Having accomplishments in life is important to push ourselves to thrive and flourish.
R – Relationships
Relationships and social connections are crucial to meaningful lives.
Too often, the pursuit of happiness has this Western bias of “individuality” where each person steers their personal happiness ship to shore. This is not realistic. We are social animals who are hard-wired to bond and depend on other humans. Hence, the basic need for healthy relationships.
We thrive on connections that promote love, intimacy, and a strong emotional and physical interaction with other humans. Positive relationships with one’s parents, siblings, peers, coworkers, and friends is a key ingredient to overall joy. Strong relationships also provide support in difficult times that require resilience.
Basically, our pain centers become activated when we are at risk of isolation. From an evolutionary perspective, isolation is the worse thing we could do for survival.
These activation centers are like fire alarms in the body, discouraging people to continue feeling this pain, and ideally, reconnect socially with someone or a group. We need, neurologically, to know that we belong to a group; it helps us feel safe and valued, and has for millions of years.
This led me to think a lot about the kinds of communities we need to achieve our own goals and growth, including professionally and personally…
I read a lot and have seen hits on this Creative Community idea from many different successful artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs.
In her hilarious and illuminating book on thriving as a working actor, Jenna Fischer preaches “be a joiner!”
I couldn’t agree more...
In her first years struggling to get acting gigs in Hollywood, before she became famous as Pam on The Office, Jenna worked day jobs and tried to get auditions while her roommate took a different route:
He joined a theater company and volunteered for behind-the-scenes work in “the biz.”
While Jenna watched a lot of movies alone at home, her roommate was always busy, building community, learning how the business worked, making connections, and creating side projects with other actors.
After getting lonely and feeling isolated, Jenna realized she needed to join in, volunteered at a theater, and began making community and connections.
She credits her new friends and community with supporting her and keeping her going on the long, tough road to success.
In my own career, it is the friends and connections I’ve made through coaching programs, conferences, retreats, and classes that have given me the strength and inspiration to keep going during hard times when I didn’t believe in myself or when I was trying something new and risky.
“You think you’re alone and thought this up yourself, you know, and you’re not; you’re part of an interactive web of twentieth-century thought.
That is, to me, incredibly lovely because...it’s just less lonely.”
~ Laurie Anderson
On Trying To Be The Solo SuperWoman
Being a creative entrepreneur (AKA Creatrix Leader) can be a meaningful, healing, spiritual, and deeply satisfying way to make a living and a life. At its best, we do it in the company of others, with a balance of alone time.
There are a few instances of Creatrix leaders who do it all in solitude, create great work, and have the inner fortitude to manage the mental and emotional challenges…
...though, I don’t know any personally.
Out of all of the long-time, successful creative entrepreneurs I know, I see a common trait amongst us:
We continue to seek out community, get support, and ask for help. We set aside time to go away together and brainstorm strategies. We make space for creating our ideas into reality. We put money, time, and resources towards this work. We commit our full selves to the process, again, and again, and again.
Creative Leaders (AKA Creatrix Leaders, AKA Creative Entrepreneurs) DO require community:
My own community of support is made up of writers, coaches, artists, entrepreneurs, actors, filmmakers, and more.
I’ve just joined a small group of women who are my own mastermind group for 2020.
I cannot imagine where I’d be without the stimulating conversations, questions, challenges, and heartfelt support of these fellow creators and risk-takers.
Brilliant event facilitator Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering, credits her creative community with keeping her inspired, focused, and finding her authentic voice:
“We figure out not only who we are, but who we could be, through our gatherings...birds of a feather flock together, but we have a choice of who we want our birds to be.”
You don’t need to be a painter, novelist, or poet to have a creative community.
Women in my past mentorship groups have included:
… the list goes on and on.
These womxn realized that working with a coach and a small community would help them leap over their previous limiting beliefs.
Because when you get to know people, and let them know you, you can’t hide behind your excuses anymore.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
~ Helen Keller
Even when you have the skills, plan, and commit to showing up to the creative work every day, it can take time. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
The community you find in mentorship groups are there to lend support and feedback, listen to you, hold you when you’re feeling down, and cheer you on as you bust through limiting beliefs.
The womxn you meet will be so inspirational, they’ll help you get through the struggle and doubt. And, by the way, you’ll inspire them to get their their hard times, too!
And Yet, It Can Feel Scary To Join IN
There are perceived challenges to joining a group. We face additional fears:
The truth is “Human happiness lies in doing well what we are uniquely suited for,” The more you get to use your strengths to further causes you believe in, the better you will feel.
The best way I’ve found to handle these fears is to talk with people in a group, or apply to work with coaches who are creating a community like the Creatrix 2020 Mentorship, ask questions, feel into the possibilities, and leap toward the desires I’ve had for growth and connection.
On Balancing Our Introvert With Our Desire To Connect
In Priscilla Long’s Handbook for creators, Minding The Muse, she describes the stages of a creative’s work, which I think parallels a successful Creatrix’s path:
“Writing is a lonely job.
Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference.”
~ Stephen King
I’ve always found this path to be a dance between alone time, group-connection-time, and “going public” time. The first few times you do this dance, it feels weird and uncoordinated. That’s ok - you’ll get better!
In the end, creating your work, with your unique voice and vision, isn’t just about making money, (though my passion is that we Creatrix Womxn get paid well), in the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will be touched and served by your work, and enriching your own life as well.
Some questions to consider as you get ready to find your community:
Applications are now open for the Creatrix 2020 Mentorship group, which begins January 24th, 2020. Get the details and apply here: https://alexandrajamieson.com/creatrix/
Direct download: creative_community.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:18am EST