Yana (Stяukche)

Unschooling the Artist Within Atelier

The You vs YOU Six Week Challenge, Week 1

September 10, 2020

I have been an art maker as far back as I can remember. Art has allowed me to explore and release emotions, and to heal and grow.

I thrive and am most inspired when creating freely, allowing and listening to whatever needs to come through.

My goal has always been to develop, nurture and trust in my own artistic rhythm and expression as well as to guide others in doing the same.

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The You vs YOU Six Week Challenge, Week 1

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” - Peter Hollins

This week’s writing prompt:

  • Write about what comes up for you when you read the above quote by Peter Hollins.
  • How have ‘discipline’ and ‘regret’ shown up in your life?
  • What are your barriers to discipline?
  • What lessons has regret taught you?

This week’s visual art prompt:

  • Bubble

Week 1 

Finding Clarity &  Goal Setting

A professor once shared this quote by Terence McKenna with me, “If you don’t have a plan, you become a part of somebody else’s plan.” Though at the time I felt pretty good about my personal achievements, this quote lit a fire in me to take a serious inventory of my life. I especially dug into the areas of my life that I was following someone else's plan.

I have been involved in personal development work for all of my life, it is my passion and side hustle. Over the years I have come into awareness of some major gaps in my self-knowledge. These gaps, I felt, were first handedly either slowing down or preventing progress in all areas of my life. 

I created the You vs YOU Six Week Challenge with the hope that it may serve me and many of you on your journeys. What I will share in the following weeks will be a shorter version of the full course. When you take the time each week to do the written and visual prompts, you will most certainly level up.Think of it as a six week retreat. Slow down, breathe deeply, delve into yourself, and most importantly apply what you have learned.  I Believe in YOU!

It starts and ends with YOU. No matter where life takes us, in the end, our experience comes down to how we choose to interpret life’s events as well as the stories we choose to tell ourselves about them. At the time Terence McKenna’s quote was shared with me I was in the beginning of my journey as a working artist. What I knew for sure was that I was going to prioritize my art making. This was easier said than done since I was also juggling a full time job, school schedule and raising my children. 

But, my characters and creatures have been waiting long enough for me to get my stuff together and now that they were back in my life I was determined to keep them here. For me it came down to this:

 “When I am on my deathbed, what would my regret be?”

My regret would be not ever bringing my characters and creatures to life. 

My regret would be not sharing them with the world.

I needed a plan!

If you are still struggling with even making time for your creative musings or have impostor syndrome I highly recommend you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Your Art Will Save Your Life by Beth Pickens.

And now onto making things happen. There is only one way to make things happen, YOU have to Get It Together!!! Remember, It starts and ends with you. I live and breathe this mantra,  “Start and the pressure will be off.”

Wonderfully enough there is a book titled, Get It Together, by Lauren Berger. There are many books and information on this topic, choose the ones that speak to you because those are the ones you are most likely to follow. Here are some highlights and guiding quotes from Berger’s book:

1. Love Yourself, “When you put too much pressure on yourself, apply a gentle reminder - love yourself. Remind yourself of how loved you are throughout this process, and you will be amazed at how much it can calm you down and center you during rough times.” 

2. Create Healthy Boundaries, “Healthy boundaries are needed with friends, family, at work, and even with your social media.” 

3. Cope with Failure - It’s Inevitable, “I’ve recognized that each day is a step in the process...Remember, keep failing until you get it right!” 

4. Of All the People That You Count on You Should Be Number One, “So, next time you try to break your own plans, think of yourself as a friend. Would you do this to a friend? The answer will likely be no.”

5. You Advocate for You, “If you don’t start every day by reminding yourself of your own goals and actually planning the time for you to work on achieving these goals, you’ll never get from where you are to where you want to be. Life is full of requests, questions, demands, phone calls, text messages, and more. If you don’t take control, stop the noise, and focus on yourself, who will?”

6. Determine Your Goals, “If I don’t know my goals - who would? Know your goals, memorize them, and shout them from the rooftops.”

7. Know your Priorities, “Understanding your priorities and other people’s priorities...will help you throughout your life.”

8. Know Your Needs, “What makes you happy/sad/mad/upset? How can I be the most productive at work? What can I do to self-motivate? How long do I need to sleep every night in order to feel ready for the next day?...”

9. Aim for Completion - No Half Tasks, “...Half completed tasks aren’t acceptable, and you have to hold yourself to that standard...Make the time to stop what you are doing, figure things out, and check things off your list.”

10. Embrace Boredom, “If we had some time to be bored in our lives, what would we do? What would we discover?...Being bored and embracing boredom can push us to find the right track for our lives. But to be bored, we must give ourselves a break.”

11. Always Self-Evaluate, “At the end of today - what must be done? What are my nonnegotiables? What will I be upset about come day’s end should I not accomplish it?”12. Preparation is Key, “If you are prepared, you will be ready and confident for (almost) anything life will throw your way.”

12. Celebrate the Good Stuff, “When you get too wrapped up in getting it together, you can get into a focused work zone where you don’t want to do anything except be productive. Take a break and go celebrate yourself - you deserve it!”

13. Stop Getting Ready to Get Ready, “...Just go...At some point, I need to stop preparing and just write the book, or else it will never get done...At some point, you have to shut up, put your head down, and just get the work done.”

14. Choose Methods over Moods, “...The importance of needing to ignore my own moods at times...Without fail, every time I chose my mood over my method, I would fall short of completing my goals and end up upset with myself.”

15. Use Your Time Wisely, “...Be intentional about your time and the way you spend it.”

16. Stop Blaming Others, “When you catch yourself playing the blame game (as we all do), take a deep breath and say to yourself, ‘This is my situation, and I’m going to do what I can to fix it.”

I highly recommend this book if you are serious about prioritizing yourself and your dreams. I Believe in YOU!

“You and only you must put in the work and think about who you are and who you want to be.” - Lauren Berger

Once you get it together it is time to start checking your projects off your dream list. A wonderful guide through that process is Steven Pressfield’s book, Do The Work. 

It Starts and Ends with YOU!!!

“If you don’t have a plan, you become a part of somebody else’s plan.” - Terence McKenna Click To Tweet

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