As an artist, is fear kicking your butt? Maybe you’re not an artist, BUT you struggle with worry, fear, and anxiety? As an artist, I’ve found that fear is the number one obstacle to creativity, innovation, growth, focus, and artistic success. This past Monday night at our monthly Grove Gathering, Roy Cochran, my friend and co-worker, shared with forty-five artists the importance of cultivating faith over fear. I know this struggle of faith over fear well. If you’ve read my free book, The Longing: Embracing the Deepest Truth of Who You Are, you know that I had a ten-year wrestling match with chronic pain, fear and anxiety. I’ve learned a few lessons over the years that just might help you cultivate faith over fear. Read on…
I recently met with an artist facing a creative challenge. She wanted to take creative risks with her painting and she shared a familiar story. It’s a story I hear from many artists who want to take their creative work to a next level, but wrestle with confusion about how to make that leap.
As we talked spoke, three themes began to emerge. They’re what I call “The 3 Buckets of Creative Cultivation.” Each bucket is a part of the creative process. Understanding how these buckets relate to one another makes all the difference from staying stuck to breaking through to new levels of creativity and productivity. Read on…
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If you’re an artist, you’re going to face inner creative battles and resistance. We’re talking headwind, hardship and heartache. It’s part of the territory of living out on the wide plains of the creative open range. If you’re not an artist, but you just want to lose five pounds. Or resolve a conflict with a family member or co-worker. Or you want to plan a dream vacation. Whatever goal, ideal, challenge, or creative endeavor you set your sights on pursuing, you can count on this: You are going to face resistance. And it ain’t gonna be purdy.
If resistance was an eighteen-wheeler, I’d have huge tire tracks running up and down my back. So, speaking from a personal wrapped-around-the-axle-creative perspective, I want to offer 3 steps for overcoming creative resistance. Read on…
Last January, I shared that one of my 2012 goals was to train and complete in the multisport world of triathlon. I’ve been a runner for years, but as you might have read in my earlier post, Learning to Swim, my swimming skills were less than adequate for triathlon competitions. After several years of being tired of going to the gym and the inspiration of my good friend, Scott Rigsby (the first below-the-knee double amputee to complete the Ironman World Championship in Kona) I decided I needed a new challenge to push me mentally, physically and spiritually. Whether or not you consider yourself an athlete, an artist, a follower of Christ, or someone who is just interested in living well, there are plenty of things triathlons can teach you about life. Read on…
Click here to watch a funny video of Joey’s son mocking his running shorts.
Note from Joey: If you missed my short story, The Monkey, The Banana, & The Bamboo Cage, you may want to read it first to see where our story began.
Once the monkey was plopped into the brown burlap sack by the owner of the banana plantation, he found himself in quite a conundrum. If you remember correctly, our little monkey wanted that banana in the small wooden box so bad that he grasped it tight and refused to let go. If he had had any monkey brains about him, he would have simply let go and freed himself from the cage that surrounded said banana. Now, imprisoned inside a scratchy burlap sack and all caddywompus upside-down, our monkey became quite angry. Infuriated was the word, though he could care less about word usage or proper English diction. He was an Indian monkey and not an English monkey. Not that any of this matters at this point. Read on…
Note from Joey: Welcome! Everyone who posts a comment in the next 48 hours for this story will receive a free copy of I Love You Unconditionally…On One Condition or The Longing: Embracing the Deepest Truth of Who You Are (ebook…you pick…enjoy!)
Once upon a time, there was a monkey, a banana and a bamboo cage. One afternoon after a long nap, the monkey was hungry and wanted something to eat. So he set off for a nearby banana plantation that he and his monkey troop would frequently raid. Walking along a dense jungle trail, the monkey suddenly eyed a banana. But this banana was in a sort of contraption that the monkey couldn’t quite name because monkeys have a very limited monkey vocabulary. Suffice to say, the banana was in a small bamboo box with long wooden slats. The box was fastened to a chain, which was tied to a nearby tree. Read on…
A couple weeks ago, I received the most remarkable prayer from a friend asking me to pray for him. When I read his words, I was blown away at his courage. Blown away at what a truly dangerous prayer he had just written. His words are so real, honest and authentic, I believe they capture the hearts of many people I know who desire real change in their lives and in their relationship with God. My friend wrote about the debilitating impact of paralysis, depression, fear, failure and regret. Yet, he also writes about the hope of change, finding true strength in God and living with confidence in the days ahead.
As a boy, I loved action-figures. GI Joe was my hero and if there was one guy I’d ever want in my foxhole, it was him. I had the GI Joe Navy S.E.A.L. Scuba set. The G.I. Joe Egyptian Explorer Jeep set complete with sarcophagus-mummy-winch holder. The G.I. Joe Jungle Python-Slashing set complete with authentic plastic machete. I was all things G.I. Joe. Boy, could I accessorize that man-doll: grenades, ammo, M-16, Howitzer, you name it.
What did I love about G.I. Joe? Popping muscles and cammo aside, G.I. was a man of action. He represented courage, initiative and risk-taking. Every quality one needs to be an action-oriented artist. Though G.I. Joe never practiced “The War of Art,” he has a lot to teach writers, actors, filmmakers, musicians, visual artists–every kind of artist imaginable–about the importance of being an action-oriented artist.
In my book, The Longing, I tell the story how chronic tendonitis in my wrists and the resulting depression kicked my butt. That’s right friends… K-I-C-K-E-D-MY-B-U-T-T!
If you’ve gone through difficult, dark periods in your life, you know how pain forces you to ask a number of difficult questions. Throw in a heavy fog of depression, like you’ve got a two-hundred pound Anaconda wrapped around your head, and that makes answering those questions even tougher.
[dc]I[/dc] would love to be as balanced as this tightrope walker (less the tights!). For me, the idea or myth of a balanced life is a bit elusive. I’m a mere mortal. I get knocked off-center all the time and like a tightrope walker trying to regain his balance, I wobble back and forth hoping there is a net below to catch me when I fall.
What knocks you off-center? Relationship conflicts? Illness? Stress at work? Financial struggles? Worry? Fear? Anxiety? Unmet expectations? Disappointment? Addictions?