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Send Yourself a Love Letter and Seal It With a Kiss!

Practice a little kindness and self-care by treating yourself like a good friend.

Love yourself.

Does the concept feel weird? For some people, there’s so much to unpack. But to begin to progress toward your goal of Do-ing Your ARt!, you must love yourself first.

If you’re too hard on yourself for your lack of progress, foibles, and missteps, the first step in a positive direction is to treat yourself as you would a friend or a client.

Would you want to associate with someone who treated a friend like that? You wouldn’t focus on the negatives and constantly ruminate on their flaws. You wouldn’t be an excellent friend if you did that.

Consider the concept of the coach.

Contemplate seeking out a coach to train you to be better in whatever you hope to do.

Think of the coaches that you may have encountered in the past.

Like teachers, there are good ones and bad ones, but I believe that the best coaches — and those who achieve the highest success — focus on the here and now.

Here’s the scene: You’re in high school. You decide to try out for the junior varsity basketball team. Halfway through the season, you’re making progress, getting more shots, and learning to dribble and pass.

During one game, you fumble a lot. You trip and fall. You foul three different people on the opposite team. You miss five free throws. AND you accidentally head in the wrong direction and make a basket in the opposing team’s basket. And that’s just the first half.

During half-time, the coach gathers the players in the locker room.

You know you messed up.
You know you cost the team ten, maybe 20 points.
You know you’re coach is furious.
You can almost see the steam coming out of their ears and the firey rage in their eyes.

What’s the best course of action?

Will the coach berate you and belittle you with every minute detail that you did wrong?

What is the goal?

In the second half, the team’s immediate goal is to reverse the point deficit and ultimately come out on top. Even if by just one point. That’s all that matters. Just one little point makes the difference between a win and a loss.

We cannot change the past.
We cannot alter the future.
We can only act in the present. Right now. Today.

An upbeat, positive locker room talk can transform the team. And turnaround a losing game.

Imagine the basketball coach.

Remember the exercise about disassociation? This dualism is especially true when we berate ourselves for procrastinating, which leads to a lack of progress that may stem from having too much to do. But that’s a topic for another day.

Now I’m not saying that every coach loves every player. That seems preposterous.

But if your coach or teacher is a lifelong partner, the relationship benefits from a platonic courtship.

You can be your best cheerleader, coach, or mentor, but first, you need to forgive any and all past shortcomings.

Try this:

Write a love letter to you your private self from your coach self. Remind your private self of your biggest joy. The ONE thing that you are most proud of. It hasn’t happened yet, you say? Piffle. Getting out of bed this morning makes your private self proud because now the day’s potential has opened up. Now you can do something. Anything. The opposite of nothing.

Write that letter bragging about your biggest joy that your coach sees in your creativity and art.

Sign the letter — With love and gratitude,

Your coach

Carefully fold the page. Gently press the letter into an envelope. Seal the edge and tenderly kiss that point on the back. S.W.A.K. Sealed with a kiss. Turn the envelope over and address it to your private self. Place the envelope where you will see it throughout the day. Carry it with you. Place the letter in your wallet or your purse, next to your computer, or on the passenger seat of your car.

At the end of the day, carry that letter to your bedroom. Place the envelope on your nightstand or tuck it under your pillow.

If you don’t love yourself, who will? If you don’t love yourself first, how can you love others?

Your coaching self needs you to Do Your Art! Your coaching self relies on you. Your coaching self is training for this job.

Your coaching sell will have bad days, too. And that’s when you can practice a bit of reciprocal love and support.

For more tips and strategies to enhance and elevate your creativity, visit www.doyourart.org

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B. Morey Stockwell, PhD

B. Morey Stockwell, PhD

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I’m a writer who writes about writing… and other topics that bring me joy. Find tips and strategies to enhance your creativity at www.doyourart.org.