The Artist Date: Open to Interpretation
If by artist’s date, we can take it to mean that this ‘artist’ went on a date – then mission accomplished: last night I took myself to the movies. I really wanted to see this film, and thought it might be in theatres for a limited time (a previous Cannes festival winner, I believe), and I didn’t want to miss it. Southside with You is about Michelle and Barack Obama’s first date, and I really enjoyed it. It was date night! And later, I did some more writing…which felt great.
I was thinking about this last night as I went for a bike ride on some secret trail in the woods behind my house, would this count as an artist date..? I came up with a definite yes! To me this whole structure is about the principles, not the rigid guidelines, it has to be adapted to our personal lives and enrichment. I love how week after week we have our own interpretation, thought process and action steps around the topics, yet we all follow the same philosophy and we all gain so much from our experiences and witnessing the others version of it too.
I had company from Friday to Sun night, and then yesterday, I met those same folks, plus another friend of ours from highschool and his wife and son, in Toronto. It has been a jam-packed few days, and given my entrepreneurial and workaholic lifestyle, the plunge into a lifestyle that includes kids and scheduled vacations has been an artist date in itself! I have not been at the helm at all for several days now, and it’s been great to pack along with how someone else does life.
I’ve had the opportunity to bend the artist date philosophy around this week too. It is definitely one of my fave practices, so I was excited to challenge myself to do an artist date per day as my version of this week’s topic. Of course I wasn’t able to do the “real” artist date – take myself out, alone, and do something to inspire my creativity, that’s my normal definition of the artist date – so I had to get creative before I even started! This time, I had to be able to put the goal of 1 artist date per day together inside the annual visit with some of my oldest friends. To be honest, I was kind of irritated to have these 2 things colliding. I have worked myself into a great spot with my writing – every day, and enjoyably – but the ease of that consistency is really fresh. It irked me to not be able to write much for the past few days, and esp on this beloved practice. And having my lifestyle include and amazing social life is really important, esp these particular people!
I was definitely feeling the irritation around an either/or situation. I was present with my friends OR I was present with the artist date. Not only did I get to take the opportunity to enrich my interpretation of the artist date, I got to expand what I am able to have in my life: friends AND writing. So, in the practical, any time I felt myself irritated with not being able to be writing, I immediately took a pause and acknowledged how the events and interactions of the weekend-plus were enriching my creativity, and thus my life.
Instead of going to and artist date, I kept the artist date with me in my pocket. All moments were made that much more delightful. Not because they changed in any way, but my position in them changed. I was present, and met instantly by my own joy. This is huge not just in the moment to moment landscape, but also my big picture. I have so much irritation in me, and it feels like it is external and not caused by me, but done to me. I feel really out of control in that regard. Because I teach how the subs-conscious creates our reality, I know that connecting irritation directly to finding a “joy” will re-write my future so to speak.
This round of artist dates has had me not only connect with the potential of every moment enriching my creativity, but it has also had me connect directly with who I really am – joy and positivity – rather than irritation and irritated. I love it when I get an opportunity to connect to ME actually, and consciously create the next moment with my natural optimism and happiness.
And if I could be even more selfish, I’m pretty sure I enjoyed my friends and their kids even more than ever.