"Don’t try to be better than you are, otherwise the devil gets angry. Don’t try to be worse, because God gets angry. Try to be what you are, that is acrobatics enough." -Carl Jung
I've had high ambitions for my writing and music, and still do. But I don't want to be "the best" or to fit some mold of what is marketable, etc. simply to be a "success." I've always tried to follow my muse and be the best version of myself I can be.
Someone close to me tried to take this away from me once, deriding me for my "striving" as I had been in pursuit of music. What this person didn't understand is that art making isn't about that. It's a spiritual practice. It's about transformation. And it's a journey that's helped me become a better person, to know myself more deeply through my art, to heal, connect with others, and at the best moments, help them heal, too.
But once I wanted to be the greatest at this perhaps to my own detriment. I got out of alignment, working around the clock, stressing about plans and details, and how to make it all work.
What I've learned is that while this striving to be great — this dedication to my art and growth — is necessary, it's best tempered with self-care and nurturing. Going at your natural pace. Watching for signs and symptoms of stress and breakdown.
We tend to want big things to happen in our life and art right now — like yesterday. And sometimes it’s not the right time. Or maybe life wants something slightly different for you. It’s a different phase. As subtle as the seasons changing, it helps to watch for the signs.
And in this process when you're wanting to see great, big changes happening, remember to celebrate your small wins. Remember you were a child once and even just a simple drawing you made that your mother then put on the fridge was enough to make you feel like a champion of art making. You can still feel this way today.
Find the joy in your art and life making and cheer on your small wins. Don’t beat yourself up. Be and celebrate the greatest version of yourself you are right now, and that, in itself, is enough.