Here's a quick follow-up on my last post about finding your creative team and cultivating it in all ways— intellectually, emotionally, and creatively. As you know, here at LifeArt Studio, we're especially interested in the habits, attitudes, and practices that cultivate and support creative living. They keep burnout and overwhelm at bay, and allow us to remain dedicated to our creative work. In a recent email to her subscribers, a mentor of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, expresses another angle on the creative team idea when she talks about "growth friends." She says, "The idea is that growth friends act to keep you growing, stretching, and learning as you stumble along on the path of life – they keep you accountable to your highest values. They make you laugh and feel more like yourself when you’re with them. Growth friends are very precious."
Here at LifeArt Studio, we don't believe in "stumbling along the path of life," and we also know that research shows that "growth friends" are more than "precious." They can actually make you healthier and happier. One of the best ways to get the feel-good hormones (serotonin and ocytocin) racing through your veins is to spend quality time with people who help you learn and grow, people who support you as you push into new ideas and new versions of yourself.
My clients and I talk about this a lot, how easy it is to be lulled into patterns of convenience or circumstance in all areas of our lives, but especially with the people who inhabit our lives. Sometimes, we need to break out of those patterns and become proactive in cultivating friends and circumstances that inspire us, motivate us, help us serve our deepest creative ambitions.
So look around you at your patterns and circumstances. What small adjustments can you make to ratchet up the growth factor in your life. It's not a matter of getting rid of friends—we don't want to do that. It's more about shifting the focus of how you engage with friends, and being intentional about how you spend your valuable time on this planet.
Eckhart Tolle says that "whatever we think we're not getting from the world, we are withholding from the world." So remember, you are responsible for the experiences you have in life. Frustrated because you don't have enough growth friends? Then start showing up as a growth friend to those around you.
And when you do this, you'll begin to see a difference in your creative life, too. Need help? Stop by the Studio for a tune-up. We love to talk growth!