Should I practice yoga or should I catch up on my sleep? Should I spend the afternoon drawing in my studio or should I clean my apartment? Should I cook a healthy dinner or order take-out, spending that saved time checking emails? Depending on my choice, I’ll end up more energized, organized, physically gratified, or creatively fulfilled.
Given the essential nature of all of these activities in my life, how do I prioritize? Most of the creative people I know bump up against this question on a daily basis, because we are almost never not working. We are in constant motion, the world around us is in a state of constant motion, and the only fixed thing, ironically, is movement.
So we need to begin the answer with the assumption that in a dynamically moving environment, things won’t slow down and it is simply a matter of figuring out where to step in so that you collaborate with time to move forward with it. When this happens, we call it being in the flow, whether it happens while running, dancing, writing, singing, drawing, cooking, and so on.
So first ask yourself: What is essential to my well-being?
On the most basic level this should include adequate sleep, good food, and exercise in whatever form inspires you. Your physical well-being should be cared for in order for you to address anything else.
And then ask: What offers me security and stability?
Without the basic needs of home and income tended to, all movement becomes frenetic, desperate, more about surviving than about living.
And finally ask yourself: What gives you pleasure?
Find the daily things that make your life into art instead of a cycle of obligation and routine. This depends more upon your perspective than upon the actual events of your day. If you are fortunate enough to love what you do OR to be able to bring love to what you do, the sweetness of life waits inside the smallest action, gesture, or event of your day. Step into your daily life by infusing it with your best intention and your most skillful artistry.