Permission and a Promise

It seems simple enough: Create a safe space for creating. Just don’t let anyone see what you’ve written or drawn, right?

Well, actually, it’s not quite that. It’s a little trickier. It’s almost this: Don’t let YOU see what you’ve made.

How do you do that?

Well, you see, the toughest critic and biggest obstacle to happy creating is not out there. It’s not the public, or your mom, or your art teacher, or the music industry. The toughest critic and biggest obstacle is you.

But you knew that, right? Or at least suspected as much?

So, to return to the question of how to make a safe space in which to create: It comes down to two things. Permission and a promise.

For your creative self (or creative elf, if you prefer), permission to be dumb, stupid, unfinished, clunky, jerky, halting, ugly, a waste of time, bad, derivative, a copy, unoriginal, amateurish, a flop, stupid, cheesey, corny, gaudy, not real art, painful, happy, foolish, fun, unrehearsed, unrepeatable, utterly shining and achingly incomplete – WHATEVER!

For you, a promise to your creativity: To be welcoming, accepting, tolerant, generous, unconditional, curious, faithful, loyal, relentless, persistent, loving, impartial, committed, gentle, safe, understanding, empathic, compassionate, genuine and honest.

And a mutual pledge: Each and every day, I will show up for you in the appointed place at the appointed time and build our relationship.

This is how you begin to repair, heal and recover your creative spirit.

Until next time, please leave a comment if you want to have a happier relationship with your creativity.

With love,


© 2017 Phyllis Capanna. All Rights Reserved.

I would love to help you Reclaim Your Creative Soul in my pilot program starting March 26th! Please click here to fill out the application that starts the process.

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9 thoughts on “Permission and a Promise

  1. Hello creative business-minded elf! Those paragraphs about 4 paragraphs from the end which start with, “For your creative self…” and “For you…” spoke to my condition as the Quakers say. I mulled them over for a long time. I kept coming back to relationships. I have many selves with the usual family squabbles and joys. Your words could be applied in a very limited manner to my creative self but they just won’t stay put. Above all this is what I want from my spouse and what I hope I offer to my spouse — creatively. Just so. These words simmer like a pot of soup – bubbling, steaming, colorful, aromatic, textures and shapes. Altogether familiar and altogether new. Spiced with memories and creative surprises – a little of this and a little of that. Always mystery. As I take this creation in, the sight, the smells, the feel, the textures, the tastes, it evokes something in me that I knew was there, something that I knew was there and didn’t want to acknowledge and that which I was unaware of which arose to my surprise. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this one, Phyllis. I’m watching the unfolding of your creativity offerings with interest and joy. I would almost participate in your first six week offering, except that I’m traveling a lot, and more importantly, getting ready for a show in June and know I must do my best to leave time in my days for those preparations. Which aren’t so much about painting, but framing and presentation. Yikes! One step at a time… It looks like you’re in a wonderful flow… Love, jerielle

    Sent from my iPad so please excuse spelling and grammatical errors. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is much to be written …the stuff in my head is overwhelming. I know this yet I am stuck in a rut of my own making. Always it says not enough time….ha! Who am I fooling? Only my self, I admit that and think it’s too late now, why bother? etc.


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