Self-Discipline equals freedom

Through personal experience it has become my belief that the creative process in all its many forms, is the answer to emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.  

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So how do we tap into the creative process so that we may benefit from and experience the fulfilment it can offer on a daily basis? 

 

For the first forty years of my life, although I considered myself to be a creative,  hindsight tells me that my wings were clipped, preventing me from enjoying the freedom to fully express myself.

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This blog is about how I achieved personal freedom  through self-discipline.

Self-discipline is often construed as boring and limiting.   Old definitions of discipline are about using punishment to control or correct disobedience,  however, I have found that it is just the opposite….it can equal freedom –  a sense of well being, and an ability to cope  on a day to day basis in our complex world.

 

The new buzz word, ‘mindfulness’ – as I see it,  is  just another word for self-discipline.        Being mindful allows us to learn new and positive habits which in turn help us to focus and bring consistency into our daily lives.

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Prior to a turning point at the age of forty, I was scattered – I lacked consistency and clear boundaries.         I had children to raise and like most people with young families a lot going on, but when it came to my painting, I lacked any real routine which caused me to feel unhappy and  frustrated.

When I made the decision to change this way of being, I began by learning new habits….one at a time.       I gave myself boundaries and routines which in turn began to bring a sense of balance to my life and work.    As each new habit was formed, my confidence and sense of wellbeing  grew.

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Thirty years on from having made that decision, I relish the rhythms, rituals and routines I have established.

It is important to say that nothing in life is ‘fixed’.      Depending on changing circumstances, sometimes we need to establish new habits and routines.    The key is that they work for us.

I plan to write more on this subject in my next blogs.

Tomorrow, I will be re-blogging one of David Roger’s posts, entitled ‘Writing Routines and Rituals’  which speaks so eloquently about this subject.

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A Bientôt

 

  

 

 

 

29 thoughts on “Self-Discipline equals freedom

  1. ShimonZ

    My dear Janet, I believe that this is the richest and most valuable of your blog posts that I have ever read. It gives the key to a creative life, as I understand it. I have heard many reason why people who loved art didn’t succeed. But this post tells one and all how to truly enjoy and succeed in the creative life. And the paintings… just wonderful!

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Shimon, Your comment means a great deal to me – thank you so much. Interestingly, I was going through my ‘teaching file’ yesterday preparing for a talk I will be giving in Bristol on the 18th of this month, and found one of your blogs which I printed out and have kept….it was entitled ‘Studying Art’ – May 24th 2013. You have been such a mentor to me during the past nearly eight years since we have been communicating, and so a compliment from you, is as we say in the UK…a compliment indeed:)
      Have a wonderful weekend, and give Nechame a big hug from me….Janet. xxx

      Reply
  2. Jet Eliot

    I find this post so solid and wonderful, Janet. I have discovered the very same thing. I find so much more joy these days in everything I do, by staying committed to groundedness, routine, self-respect, and activities (like my art) and people (special loved ones) that allow me an open heart and ease. Your watercolors here are so fluid and vibrant….

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Jet….thank you so much for your very lovely comment. It doesn’t surprise me at all that your life is lived this way – it shows in your writing and observational skills. I will be writing more about this subject, and how being grounded in self-discipline/mindfulness flows over into our relationships and life in general. As you say it brings joy to life.
      Have a wonderful weekend. Janet:)

      Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much. In this instance the lily bud slowly opening up into a vibrant bouquet….is symbolic of my own life as I opened and blossomed after having brought some order into it:)
      Have a wonderful weekend. Janet:)

      Reply
  3. Gill McGrath

    Hi Janet I seem to have been off the radar for weeks and hoping to find a bit of a routine with the blog again so it was lovely to come here and find this lovely post and its beautiful message. I drown so easily . Will hang on all the better for reading this! Thank you O:-) and lovexxxxx

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Gill – In today’s world, it is so easy to drown….which I why even more than ever I need daily rituals and routines. When I travel, and everything is changed, what I try to do is – begin my day with two rituals…one is to stretch and meditate, and the other is to write down with paper and pen everything in my head that I wake up with…….then I am prepared to thoroughly enjoy a day which is quite often out of sync with my normal habits.

      I hope you have a lovely weekend, and will look forward to seeing your photographs. Janet. xx

      Reply
  4. davidjrogersftw

    First, Janet ,what glorious paintings on this post, one after another.What a joy to look and look at them. Yes, engaging in creative work cures so many ills. D.H Lawrence wrote, “One cures one’s sickness in writing.” Reading this post of yours I’m reminded of composer Igor Stravinsky who said that while many composers find the rules of music confining, he found them not only not confining, but liberating, giving him a tremendous feeling of creative freedom and the same sense of well-being you experienced when you introduced more discipline into your art.. I want to thank you for reblogging my post on creative rituals and routines. What a pleasure to find so many of your friends visiting me today.

    I received your book “The Apple Exercise” today and studied it immediately. Thank you so much for it. Now I certainly can write my name–not very legibly–but I can write it, so now according to you I should be able to draw. In my younger days I had many painter friends who spent much of their time at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I would visit them and wander through that great museum among masterpieces that I loved. But as a boy I drew so horribly that I decided I had no talent and would never even try to draw, and never have. But now I’m actually going to lay out my watercolors and spread the pages of your book and will see what will happen. I might do that with my four year old grandsons who seem to have the talent I thought I never had. But maybe I’ll find I do have some.

    .

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good afternoon David. Thank you so much for this. I love what Igor Stravinsky had to say. I have a young friend, Arsha Kaviani who is a brilliant, world class pianist….and he feels the same way. At 25 years old, he practices for hours every day…..because it gives him the freedom to create….and the self confidence to perform in front of audiences worldwide.

      So glad The Apple Exercise arrived and very happy that you will get your watercolours out and play with your four year old grandson…absolutely perfect:) Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend. Janet.

      Reply
  5. olganm

    Thanks, Janet. Beautiful paintings and inspiring words. I’ve always found routine and making sure I adhere to some basics (in my case it’s the exercise routine, mindfulness…) keeps me “sane”. Chaos definitely doesn’t help in everyday life or in art. Be well!

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you, Olga…I am not in the last surprised that you adhere to your own routines…it shows in your writing and life in general. Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend. Janet. x

      Reply
  6. snowbird

    A marvellous post! I completely agree, we do need discipline and rituals to be creative and that does equal freedom. Just loved your work here. What a talent you have.xxx

    Reply
  7. Katherine

    Thank you for letting us know more about your life as an artist.,Janet.I find that writing poems with a form like a sonnet is very productive.I didn’t even try for a long time because I believed it would be very difficult.I have read that writing poetry in a structured form can be therapeutic but free verse is less so.That might explain why Sylvia Plath died after writing about very painful topics.She had moved into free form in her last six months.,I think we need to know that art/poetry etc can take us to places we might not wish to go to.And not al creative work helps a person with mental and/or emotional problems.,I don’t think poetry or art is worth more than life.Most of us might have sought help sooner than she did but Plath took great risks.
    Too great.She was also terribly ambitious,proud and self critical
    ,I am not pouring cold water over your post as you will know.For those who can manage it a structure and a rhythm is very good and so is checking what your intuition tells you. now and then,A beautiful post.:)xx

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Katherine and thank you for this comment. You are right, I think everyone has to find their own structure….and for some that might appear to be living in chaos…but it works for them. I loved the work of Sylvia Plath….and of course her early and very sad death was due to so many factors, not least of which was the oppressive time she was living in…..when women were (much more than today even) expected to be a certain way…..You and I both remember that well.
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and that your writing flows….Janet. xxx

      Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning and thank you for this lovely comment. I really appreciate. Off to give a workshop in London today and so back here over the weekend. Hope you have a good one…janet:)xx

      Reply

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