Birthing Your Art: Becoming a Creativity Doula

“In Full Bloom” by Carrie Schmitt

This is a guest post by Carrie Schmitt.

After my first child was born, I was captivated by the process of giving birth. Shortly after, I became a certified labor doula to support other women through this daunting endeavor.

Today, I find that I am still practicing the positive birth affirmations and relaxation techniques as an artist to help me when I am stuck, feeling lost, or on the verge of giving up.

Creating and giving birth are not that different. The Spanish phrase for giving birth is “dar a luz,” which means to give light.

As an artist, you are giving light to something the world has never seen before — something that comes from within you.

Do you need a creativity doula? Here is what I’ve learned from the birth process that you can apply to your artistic life.

1. Surround yourself with people you trust and will support you to have the art life that you envision for yourself. Your physical and emotional space are important to the process of giving birth to your art.

2. Self-care is essential. You must be rested and take care of yourself to have the strength and energy to give birth to something. Honor yourself, believe in your ability as a creative being.

3. Let me repeat: You absolutely must believe in yourself.

4. Breathe. Take deep breaths and relax. Everything is going to be okay. (Massages help!)

5. Get moving. Moving helps move labor along and might just get your creative juices flowing, too. Do something you love—go for a walk, dance, garden, strike a yoga pose.

6. Practice positive affirmations. Some common phrases helpful during birth and creating art are:

I am totally uninhibited.
I free my mind of fear and negativity.
I can do this.
I am celebrating myself and my life.
I relax my mind and body.
I have courage, faith and patience.
I trust my instincts.
I inhale peace I exhale tension.
I am able to completely let go.

7. Accept discomfort. Labor is pain with a purpose. The same can happen in art. Discomfort means you are stretching and growing. Stretch outside your comfort zone because that is where the extraordinary happens.

8. Be patient. Nobody knows how long each labor will take or what path your journey will take. Some are longer and more difficult than others.

I leave you with the same words I say to a woman in labor: You are giving birth to something beautiful. It’s not always easy, but it’s yours. You created something new and gifted it to the world. What does that say about you? You are amazing.

What helps you through the creative process? Do you have positive affirmations or practices to share?

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Carrie Schmitt is an artist and writer who believes in the transformative power of kindness and gratitude. Her paintings, created in her mountain farmhouse in Washington, are known for their color play and vibrant energy. Sometimes she can’t sleep at night because she is so excited to paint the next day. You can check out her website, carrieschmittdesign.com and find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

4 thoughts on “Birthing Your Art: Becoming a Creativity Doula

  1. GREAT article and very helpful. I never thought of creating that way but it certainly has labor pains and I’m always quite pleased when I’ve accomplished what I intended. Thank so much for sharing this; it will be a good one for me to read again and again.

  2. Nicely written. I’ve had 3 children and, yes, I’ve long recognised the similarities in the creative process. What is new to me here is the way you write it out so clearly and encouragingly. Thank you, I’ll be doing something with this for my studio wall. Hope you’ve had a good Christmas and may 2013 be bountiful.

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