Creativity Check-In: Start With Self


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Dear Creatives,

I have been out of commission. And it’s all because I was working too hard. Have you ever done that or been there? To the place where you’re owning your hustle, loving the interactions with your families, and making stuff happen? Let’s also add: maybe forgetting to listen to your body, refill your water or your belly?

*raises hand* I am guilty.

I have been out of commission this past week. My days are full of visits to my chiropractor, resting from my trips to the chiropractor, and thinking of all of the things I am going to do when I can be truly mobile again. I might even be guilty of using my iPad when not supervised so I can send e-mails while keeping my knees up and neck still. Nothing like the human experience to remind us of how much we depend on our bodies/voices/minds….

So I have to ask. Have you ever been here? Have you ever hit “mute” on your body, mind, voice, or spirit? Has your body ever given up and put you in bed? Or your voice gone silent, demanding rest? We all experience the physical “stop” mechanism our bodies send us differently, but no matter what they look like, we all have them.

What do you do when that little voice inside says, “STOP!”? So often, we are busy caring for others that we don’t hear that voice, subconsciously hitting “mute” so that we can put out all of the fires springing up around us. But being faced with that little voice pleading “stop” doesn’t necessarily mean what we think it does. It doesn’t always mean “burn out”, “inadequate”, or “weak.” More often than not, it means that we have a unique opportunity to pause and look inwards, starting with ourselves. And, honestly – being at that crossroads doesn’t need to be scary. Just like so many of the other creative aspects of our lives, self care can be redefined to fit your exact needs. Maybe you need rest. Or food. Or spiritual nourishment. But the only way you can find it, is if you take your very first step into the self care world. And let me be clear: by seeking self care, you are in no way “weak” or “less of a therapist”. In fact, you are entering into a very special agreement with yourself that allows you to become a more true, more powerful, and more fulfilled version of yourself. Not to mention you’re gonna’ be much healthier! 🙂 I like that part a lot.

Now we must ask, “what do I do to care for myself?” This is a rare instance when I will admit to loving Pinterest for my professional life. Pinterest is like a super store for self care (or for most things, really…). You can type in “self care” and see the hundreds of pins that offer you that very first step. Now, speaking from personal experience I do not recommend doing that. Those hundreds of pins can feel super intimidating, and some of them may not even be truly appropriate for your needs. So start with something you like, like “self care coloring” or “relaxation for self care.” You name it, and Pinterest most likely has something that fits your keyword search.

But sometimes, Pinterest isn’t our thing, or doesn’t help. Knowing that Pinterest doesn’t work for you is an amazing actualization. Thankfully, some of our rockstar colleagues are leading the way, creating opportunities for us to care for ourselves in many different ways so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we need to reassess! I am so thankful for them, and would like to share them with you, too!

Harmony Resource, by Ami Kunimara

Full Circle Music Therapy Community, spearheaded by Amanda Burchfiel

SoundScaping Source, by Rachelle Norman

Music Therapy Ed, by Kat Fulton

And (I can’t not mention it…) The Music Therapy Marketplace!

There are even some Facebook groups designed for self care! AMAZING! My personal fave: Self Care Community for MTs and CART: A Music Therapy Marketplace Community!

Are you a window shopper? If you are, we’ve created a pin board of self care goodies just for you! Come on by and take a look! Sometimes looking around helps me get an idea of what I think I need, and what kinds of commitments I can make to myself.

Are you already a self care rock star? If you are, I commend you for finding your self care methods! Please let us know how you love to care for yourself in a comment below. 🙂 We love ideas, especially ones that help MTs care for themselves, their creativity, and the MT community!

*cheers* to self care! 🙂

Yours in creativity,

Steward, The Music Therapy Marketplace