Updated: Jul 9
Artists have the insight and freedom to put a brush to a canvas or lay their hands on soft clay to create beautiful and inspiring pieces. Those raw materials are lying dormant without any form or purpose until the skills of the artist use them in a more meaningful way. The art they create can ignite passion or invite introspection. It can move someone to tears or move them into action. In just the same way, you have that ability to craft your life, use the dreams that may be lying dormant in you, to be the amazing masterpiece you want it to be.
Whether you’re going through a divorce or just looking to make changes in your life, you can recreate your current life into a beautiful masterpiece like an artist working on his own masterpiece.
Whether you choose to use bold brushstrokes and colors like a Post-Impressionist painter, such as Van Gogh. Or small, precise strokes that make a bigger picture fro afar, like an Impressionist, like Monet. Or even detailed and realistic art with light and shadows, like DaVinci’s Mona Lisa.
All of these are beautiful in their own way, in their own form. And the life you create is beautiful to you. Created in a way that is special and unique to you.
In truth, I can’t draw a stick figure, I am truly no artist. But once I was divorced, and single again, I could see a life I wanted to create that was just mine. It wasn’t fully clear at the beginning, but with each step, the mosaic of the life I wanted was coming into focus.
I found there were 7 ways to become the artist of my life to dream it, create it and perfect it as I went along.
1) First, I had to look at the previous work and see the flaws and imperfections. I had to acknowledge and accept it. Then I could white-wash the canvas to start over.
In my life I had to personally come to a place where I could look back, learn the lessons it was teaching me so I look forward with clarity. I had the absolute opportunity to white-wash my life and start fresh with a clean canvas as well.
It was time in my journey to take time for myself and heal. It was time to come to terms with the past and make peace with it. Taking those hurts and hang-ups into my new life wasn’t going to allow me to create the true freedom and life I wanted.
2) Next, it was time for me to develop new habits and skills as the artist of my life to create what I truly want. You can’t continue to do the same thing and expect different results – that’s called insanity. Now was the time to do things differently – replace unproductive habits, hone new skills, build resilience, and decide on proper boundaries.
Adopting new habits is a slow process. You can’t make ALL of the changes at once, they have to be incremental and slow to establish the change in life that you truly desire. This is the time to be the tortoise – slow and steady wins. The all-or-nothing thinking is a recipe for disaster and a likely setback in your forward progress.
3) Third, you have the opportunity to set new goals and accomplishments. The artist has a new piece he wants to create, new feelings he wants to invoke and new dimensions he wants to explore. And the same is true with your masterpiece life.
This is one of my favorite parts, and a step that is often overlooked. Yes, we will dream about a new home, a vacation or a number in a bank account. But do you visualize your creation in sound, scent and color?
Visualizing your masterpiece life, your goals and your accomplishments can be done using all 5 senses. Maybe you want a new home as part of your new life. What does your new home look like? How many bedrooms? What colors are on the walls? What’s the texture of the furniture? Can you smell the brownies baking for the kids? Are you entertaining friends and family? Can you taste the champagne from the toast on New Year’s Eve?
Visualizing specifics of your new future can help you fine-tune your goals and give you crystal-clear clarity on what you are creating.
4) Fourth, artists make time in their schedules to work on their masterpieces. They don’t leave it up to chance, they diligently work on their masterpieces. And with your life, it’s the same. You have to make time for your dreams and goals.
Single mom life is complicated, no question about it. But if you want it enough, you will carve out the time to make it happen. Sometimes you have to get a little creative and be resourceful. You have to say “no” to someone else to say “yes” to yourself! You have to be committed to yourself and your goals. You have to schedule it on the calendar. And you have to ask for help!
There is no magic potion that makes it happen for you. You have to schedule the time and do the work to create the life you want. Small progress forward is still progress. A little every day, that consistency, will get you where you want to go.
5) Fifth, every artist out there, from the most renowned to the most obscure, have doubted their work and progress. You, my dear, will doubt yours as well.
It’s only natural that you might “get in your head” or feel off-track or that it isn’t coming quickly enough. Know it’s coming and prepare for it. When you get to this place, get quiet and breathe.
This is when you return to your “why”. Why do I want a new house? Why do I want to lose weight? Why do I want a new career?
Make sure the answers are for YOU! Not someone else. You can’t live your masterpiece life for someone else, you have to create it and live it for yourself.
Now it’s time to refocus and restart. It’s time to look at those goals with fresh purpose and keep moving forward.
6) Next, artists live in communes of like-minded people. And you need to live with like-minded people as well.
Now is the time to surround yourself with positive, goal-oriented and Godly people so you can do life, living authentically, with people who will support you, mentor you, guide you and lift you up.
It’s the time to identify and leave behind those toxic people and relationships that make you doubt yourself and hold you back. It’s implementing boundaries for your own health and well-being. Keeping separate from those people who are envious, who don’t speak love, who don’t speak truth and limit your progress.
Those outside influences can hinder our progress, so being aware of who those people, even places, are that draw us back into previous habits or ways of thinking can bring us into a place where we are stagnant in our growth or even revert to old ways of thinking and being. To live this new life in a genuine way, you need to make those hard choices about who you want to be associated with.
7) Lastly, number seven. Artists can see the imperfections in their work and still move forward.
How many times do you get a hiccup on your forward movement and want to give up? Maybe you ate a piece of cake and want to throw in the towel on your diet. Maybe you do a little “retail therapy” and think you can never change your spending habits or save for a new house. Or maybe you snark off at your ex and think you’ll never have a positive co-parenting relationship.
These stumbling blocks happen. These little imperfections are a part of life. We will never get it right all of the time. We are a work in progress. You have to remember that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.
Give yourself grace in these moments of imperfection. Allow them to be a place of learning where you can reframe them just as they are, a bump in the road, and you get back on the path forward.
So, if you’re ready to start creating a life you love. A life of purpose and happiness. A life where you are in charge and make the decisions. A life that is truly your own, then live your life as an artist and create your greatest masterpiece.