The theme of practicing has emerged this summer. In a recent class, one participant mentioned the word PRACTICE, and the energy shift in the room was palpable. People leaned forward, wanting to share their strategies, their stories, their victories, their battles with self-sabotage, their ways of coping.
Because, as artists, learning to practice our craft is essential, fraught with trial, and abounding with internal and external judgment.
The practice room, our writing desk, the painting studio – wherever you do your creative work can feel like a battleground.
So what's the deal with the parts language? I remember when I first started seeing my therapist I said to her, "I'm open to trying IFS (Internal Family Systems), but do we have to talk about Parts all the time?" Even the instructor of my recent Level 1 IFS training would often say that when she was first introduced to the model, she would say, "yeah, yeah, yeah, it all sounds good, but do we really have to talk about parts?"
It's pretty normal to have some concerns about this way of talking. Here are some reasons I think it's worth trying.
Oh, my Critic is fierce about the title of this post - Lacking Confidence? Turn Your Critic from Foe into a Friend. It sounds kinda gimmicky, no? But at the same time, I really and truly believe it, as I have lived it and see it happening for others. And so I hear my Critic and acknowledge it's concerns, and then make a choice based upon many factors - time, pragmatism, done is better than perfect, and yes, the Critic's concerns.
And to appease my Critic, I want you to know that this is not a gimmick. But it also is not necessarily quick and easy. Identifying that voice within you that criticizes, understanding why it does so, and developing true compassion for this part of you - it all takes effort. Like building a relationship with a friend. We don't get friends by simply willing it to happen. It takes repeated contact, repeated efforts, honest communication, etc. Same thing with the Critic within us.
You get the job and you show up to work, excited, optimistic. Then you start to hear the gossiping, the complaining, the imperfections around you, the threats of job cuts or lowered pay, or unreasonable requests on your time. You meet bitter colleagues, unpleasant directors, belt-tightening administrators, or even abusive people in power positions.
Or you work for people who do not hold the same values as you and are perhaps racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, ableist, ageist.
After my last blog post, Another F*@&ing Growth Opportunity, a friend asked to see my ratios for chocolate, peanut butter, and butter. I made a video so you can see for yourself.
You may be wondering, 'what the heck does this have to do with being a performer or a creative person?'
Identifying two opposing sides, or parts, in my head led to listening to what each part wanted. Listening and seeing how each part actually wants to help is a major shift and can radically interrupt and stop the spinning arguments in one's head. It's quite amazing.