The Truth About Creatives

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Sometimes, I feel like I’m too much.
I didn’t come to that conclusion on my on though.
It stems from years of being told I’m “extra,” “scatterbrained” and “do the most.”
Having your personality, your passion, and your creativity attacked by various people in numerous spaces over the course of several years naturally causes you to retreat. If so many people who don’t know each other think the same thing about you, it has to be true, right? … WRONG.
I now realize those piercing labels were actually an attack of the enemy designed to persecute me before I could even begin my assignment. And after I began it, they became daggers designed to serve as opposition that injured me enough to stop.
BUT, despite the wounds I find myself often salving with ointments such as reminders of what God thinks about me, I have persisted.
…and here I am.
Broken like everyone else.
Yet embracing the multifacetedness of my personhood.
Knowing that my Savior wasn’t born to just be one thing…and neither was I.
Isaiah 9:6 — “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Talking to No One

In my latest video devotional “Talking to No One,” I address visionaries – people who often quit in the process of attracting an audience because they don’t have an audience. Pulling from my experiences as an entrepreneur and big thinker, I compassionately challenge those like me to stop being so hard on themselves. Check it out!

Distractions

When I think about distractions from a Biblical context, stories like Peter’s feeble attempt to walk on water (Matthew 14:22-33) and Martha’s dinner mishap come to mind (Luke 10:38-42). Both reveal the importance of staying focused on God and trusting that through your attention to Him, all else will be accomplished. If we closely examine both characters, we find that they each had a specific concern that stole their attention away from God. Peter was worried about his safety and Martha was preoccupied with pleasing Jesus by preparing Him the perfect meal. What are you concerned with?

A few mornings ago, I woke up intent on beginning my meditation, prayer, Bible study, and journaling routine only to find that I couldn’t easily stream my music because our WiFi was glitching.  Annoyed, I located our router and attempted to solve the issue myself. After unplugging the connectivity cable, pressing all the buttons, and initiating an internal reset at no avail, I got comfortable on the floor, cringing at the thought that I’d probably spend the next thirty minutes to an hour on the phone with Comcast. Thirty minutes to an hour that I could be spending doing homework, folding clothes, or meal prepping for dinner. See what happened there? – suddenly my plan to meditate had evaporated and I was knee-deep in a task, all the while thinking about everything else I had to do afterward. DISTRACTIONS. Luckily, my Spidey sense began to tingle and I quickly realized what the devil was trying to do – steal my morning so he could steal my day!

It’s a shame that we have to do this y’all, but we gotta’ be on guard! 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” That’s right, all throughout the day, he’s on creep mode in search of ways to catch you slippin’! But not to worry! – with a little vigilance and introspection, you’re capable of beating him at his own game. Below, I’ve come up with four questions you can ask yourself each time satan tries to grab your attention (which will happen in the form of something that distresses you) , to prevent yourself from becoming fully distracted.

  1. What’s bothering me? (in my case, the WiFi doesn’t work)
  2. What am I tempted to do because of it? (in my case, call Comcast)
  3. What would I be doing if I didn’t have to do this? (in my case, my morning routine of meditating, praying, reading the Bible, and journaling)
  4. Is what I would be doing something that the devil would be happy about me doing? Because he hates productivity and growth, the answer’s always NO!

Chances are, realizing you’re being manipulated by a pissant will make you change your tune and ignore the urge to become distracted r e a l  quick! If it doesn’t work the first time though, keep trying. Giving in to distraction can become a habit and habits take repeated effort to break.

Oh yeah, if you’re wondering what happened with our WiFi – I opted to do my routine before calling Comcast and by the time I got done, it had started working again on its own. See man

 

 

Bare Minimum Obedience

In my latest video, I cover a topic that holds many of us back from achieving our long term goals: obedience. Transparent about my plight as a creative, I reveal a question I began to ask myself that now serves as my secret weapon for whooping my fears about lacking resources, connections, and capacity into subjection. Check it out!

Like LeBron

I used to be loyal to a fault. But that was before I got sick of my life being full of people who drained me, places that didn’t cultivate me, and things that didn’t challenge me. Cutting the umbilical cords that kept me bound to spaces I’d be better off without was no easy feat though. People called me selfish and uncaring, assembled hate groups, and I heard the “but you call yourself a Christian” phrase so much it became more of a punchline to me than an insult. Nonetheless, I kept grasping at every knife, scissor, and razor blade in sight, determined to severe ties to any person, organization, or habit that honored me only when I ignored my needs.
During this time – with the world whispering in my ear and the devil taunting me in my head – my narrative was one of the most powerful tools I possessed. Now I work with clients who also find themselves pulled in multiple directions as they struggle to reconcile the expectations of their family and friends, the responsibilities assigned to them by home, work, and school, and the binge eating, self-mutilation, excessive spending, substance abuse, etc. they’ve developed as methods of coping with disappointing everyone around them all the while having no idea what their own inner voice sounds like.
Today’s devotional offers direction to people in transition – men and women still seeking other people’s permission to move forward, visionaries struggling to value (often invisible) promotion from God more than (tangible and societally pressuring) advancement from peers and supervisors, and overcomers slowly and secretly killing their futures in order to numb themselves from feeling the confusion, guilt, fear, and ironic zeal caused by adjustment.
Should you find yourself in this position (needing a little encouragement to trade your Cavs in for your Lakers), read on for three tips on how to navigate transition:
1) Refuse to play victim or bad guy. Try looking at your need to get “out of and away from” from the standpoint that you’ve outgrown the people, places, and things around you. This will make you feel less offended or guilty and change your narrative from being a story of defeatism to one of empowerment. “I was made to” and “I decided to” are a lot less liberating than “I had to.”
2) Redefine loyalty. When your loyalty is a liability, it’s no longer loyalty, it’s stupidity. Accept that you aren’t obligated to people just because they were once good to you, places because you once weren’t accepted anywhere else, or things just because they’ve become crutches you no longer know how to walk without. When you opt to remain loyal to unfruitfulness with hopes that it will one day reap harvest, you also commit to a life of infertility.
3) Demystify your decision making process. Stop justifying prolonging your stay with statements like “I prayed and will leave once God confirms that that’s what He wants” or I’ll go once the universe sends me a sign.” Waiting for direct revelation when you already know what to do is just passive disobedience.
Although this simplifies transitioning, it doesn’t make it any easier! For more help letting go and moving on, email me at dylesia@dylesiabarner.com