10 Daily Tools to Survive and Thrive
Creators! Welcome back to our series on self-care.
The first three daily tools in Part 1 are about starting your day strong — with a sense of happiness, positivity and accomplishment:
Make Your Bed
Listen to Affirmations
Our next three tools are about writing and (don’t panic!) spirituality.
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron changed my life — jump-starting my healthy sense of spirituality. The book refers to how “God” plays an invaluable role in my creativity. But, the word/name/label of “God” can be polarizing. Cameron talks about not letting preconceived notions or semantics block my creative destiny. “God” can be used as short-hand for “Goddess, Mind, Universe, Nature, Source, or Higher Power”. The point isn’t what I name it, it’s that I USE it. Once I learned that, I incorporated daily prayer in order to connect with my “Higher Power”.
Which brings us to tool #4:
Just like “God”, the word “Pray” can bring up all types of feels. But for me these terms have nothing to do with religion, joining a church, donating to a collection basket, or a bearded white man. They’re my spiritual connection to unlocking my creative destiny.
Here’s what my daily prayer looks like:
I start with The Serenity Prayer:
Higher Power, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
(for me, these are the three most profound and important sentences ever written or spoken)
Then express thankfulness:
Thank you for being a beautiful law of nature.
Meaning: The Law of Nature, the Universe. Another way I explain this: there is inarguably something at play that is more powerful than us. If I try to stop the sun from rising and setting, if I go into the ocean and try to stop the waves, I’ll lose every time. The Law of Nature is undefeated.
Thank you for channeling your love through Maggie.
Meaning: My cat Maggie — a relationship of unconditional love. She’s been a catalyst for me growing into a better, more patient, more understanding, more compassionate person. She won’t be here forever, but that patience, understanding and compassion will be.
Thank you Robin and Kobe for watching over me.
Meaning: Robin Williams and Kobe Bryant. Two of my inspirations, two masters of their craft, two flawed men. But I ask them to help me stay away from the things it was difficult for them to stay away from. Robin instills warmth, joy and a sense of play. While Kobe instills discipline, focus and work ethic.
This piece from Wanderlust can give you some more insights and strategies for jump-starting your prayer practice.
5) Gratitude Lists
I heard of this daily tool when I was at one of my lowest points — no job, no money, no debt-relief, no self-esteem, no self-confidence, no sense of purpose. If this was my life, what could I possibly have to be grateful for?!
Even though my life was a mess, expressing gratitude was crucial in manifesting MORE.
Oprah praises of the gratitude list for a reason — it works! The more you focus on what you already have, the more you realize just HOW MUCH you have. Ever experience writer’s block? A lack of passion? Self-doubt around your creative pursuits? I started avoiding these things when I leaned into a mental state of abundance, and gratitude is the surest path to remembering just how abundant my life is.
Here’s my gratitude list for today:
My trusting/trustworthy partner
My loving aunt
My cat (she’s all over my IG: @GetMeJasonKyle)
Food in my fridge
Good health, with the ability to walk and talk on my own
Having a job and earning a steady paycheck
The experience of having lived in/traveled to 50+ countries
EVEN STEVENS on Disney+ (don’t judge - that show is HILARIOUS)
YOU (and you reading this blog post)
Feel free to get as specific and granular as you’d like with what you’re grateful for. Point 5 in this article offers a bunch of great topics to think about.
Here’s what used to come to mind when I heard the word “journaling”:
Waste of time
What’s that, like, a diary? Gross! (and then continue my day steeped in my toxic masculinity)
After lots of tears in a counseling session, my therapist urged me to write down my thoughts and feelings. I was desperate, so why not try it. (without telling anyone. Because - gross!)
After day 1 of writing “this is stupid, I don’t know why I’m doing this."
After day 4 of writing “this is so dumb, I’m pissed about this”
After day 7 of writing “I hate this, I have nothing to say”...
I started to realize, “hm. Maybe I DO have something to say”. And I started writing about WHY I thought this was stupid, WHY I felt angry about it, WHY I felt like I hated this, WHY I don’t have an awesome purple diary for my journaling.
The key to this was not judging myself or my writing. This wasn’t a creative project. This wasn’t getting published. I started to look at it as an invaluable tool to HELP ME with my creative projects. I withheld from going back and re-writing what I wrote the previous days. Because it wasn’t about perfecting or revising what I was writing, it was about getting what I was thinking and feeling in the moment out of my head and onto the page.
David Sedaris — who’s journaled every day since 1977, which molded his breakout hit “Santaland Diaries” — agrees, that you don’t need to go back and read your previous day’s journaling. Just bring your thoughts, feelings and ideas to the surface, which will build your skills as a writer.
Journaling also rewards a ton of health benefits. I journal every day for at least 10 minutes, starting with my gratitude list. I let my mind go and just put pen to paper. Plus, writing the old school way gives my eyes a much needed break from the computer screen.
I love you all. And want you to follow your creative passions and help other Creators do the same.
Now that’s something to pray and be grateful for.
Keep an eye out for the third and final part of this series where I’ll round out my 10 Daily Tools for Self-Care for Creators.
For some extra self-care, listen to and repeat these positive affirmations for Creators.