Inspiration Comes from Within But Support Comes from Other Minds
An invitation to ‘play’ in my Queer Creatives Mastermind Program
A few weeks ago I wrote a post titled, Why the World Needs Queer Creativity Now More Than Ever. I started that post with a quote, which is worth repeating:
If you are on a mission to discover what you have to offer, and to bring it out into the world, every moment you spend distracted is a moment you aren’t following your art. It’s a moment you aren’t pursuing your true potential. — David Kadavy
Here’s what gets me excited
I want to inspire LGBTQ+ people to connect with their creative genius and their inner motivation to define their purpose so that they can use their difference to make a difference in the world. Now that sparks a light within me!
What’s the opposite of light? Well, the darkness of course, but in this context of doing inspired work that sparks a light within you, the opposite is boredom, the death of creativity and productivity. Boredom leads to a very unhappy, unfulfilled, unhealthy, and inauthentic life.
Boredom often results in procrastination, which is doing something meaningless to avoid taking action and facing your fears about why you are bored in the first place. These are the core questions in life that are all connected to self-actualization:
- What do I want to do?
- What do I need to do (otherwise I will not feel fulfilled)?
- What drives or motivates me?
- What makes me feel energized, passionate, excited, joyful, and ALIVE?
“Motivation is ‘target-dependent’. If you have no target, you won’t experience much in the way of motivation.” — Dax Moy
For queer people, boredom may show up as numbness that, while a result of procrastination, may be a tool of avoidance — the fear of the work required to live out as an authentically queer person. What is the energy you feel when you don’t stand up for what’s right when you don’t correct someone for their prejudice when you don’t participate in a movement to create evolutionary change when you don’t feel like you are seen for who you are? When you are not loved and appreciated for your creative genius?
Are You a Closet Queer Creative?
Before I speak to this question directly, play with me for a moment. Here’s what I want you to do:
- Slowly read aloud verse 9 from the Tao Te Ching, below.
- Pause and contemplate what the verse means to you.
- Now, read the verse again, slowly, and consider what each individual sentence means to you and how that relates to where you are in your life, right now.
- Finally, consider the concluding two lines. How might this ancient wisdom apply to your own life?
Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.
— Tao Te Ching. Translation, Stephen Mitchel
“Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.”
Are you taking in so much information that you are overwhelmed? The first line of verse 9 of the Tao is about balance, in this case, the balance of giving and receiving.
A single example: if all you do is read tweets and get angry, only to keep reading more tweets about LGBTQ injustice, racial prejudice, etc., and do nothing about it, you will have an abundance of anger — your bowl will overflow with frustration. At some point, you have to figuratively empty the bowl by doing something about the injustices you are witnessing. You need a creative outlet to express your anger in an impactful way that creates change.
“Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.”
Are you a personal development junkie? Do you need to take another course, read another book and so on? Is that perpetual search for improvement distracting you from what you are afraid to do, or rather from being who you already are?
In our current economy of overwhelm and infinite choice, it’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis, resulting in decision fatigue and an inability to “do your best work.” In other words, sharpen one skill and then go out and practice it.
“Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.”
Money is not the root of evil, but certainly, the love of money causes many people to act morally irresponsible. Money isn’t a real thing, it’s a construct of the mind, but also a significant part of how the world operates.
Put simply, money is the exchange for value provided. Money is also not security; as made evident by those with billions of dollars in personal wealth who are afraid of the government taking it away in taxes for social programs. Security is a human need that comes from a deep sense of belonging which offers peace of mind, safety, respect, inclusion, and support. As LGBTQ+ peoples, money itself will not solve our problems, but belonging, as who we uniquely are, will.
“Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.”
For LGBTQ+ people, caring about other people’s opinion of us might mean that we consciously or unconsciously modify our mannerisms, the sound of our voice, how we dress, what we say or don’t say. Essentially we oppress, limit, and restrict our truth to be safe, tolerated, ignored, or accepted. We excuse ourselves to “fit into” the square hole that the dominant social order expects us to be hammered into. The only problem is that we’re a fucking triangle!
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.”
Watch and observe all that you do: what you read, what you say, what you listen to, who you associate with, who are your gurus, how and where do you spend your time, what you think about, what you do for fun, and so on. Notice how you feel and react. Do not judge yourself or react to what others do. Observe and then decide if that action, habit, or choice is serving you and if it empowers you to be who you already are.
“We place unnecessary stress on ourselves to lose weight or to succeed in business or to write a best-selling novel. Instead, you can keep things simple and reduce stress by focusing on the daily process and sticking to your schedule, rather than worrying about the big, life-changing goals. When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.” — James Clear
If you only create something for yourself, does it exist?
We do a lot of necessary and essential tasks for ourselves like eating breakfast, having a shower, or exercising. But would you invest your time and energy into creating something that could make a difference in the world and not share it?
“What are your talents, strengths, and abilities? How do they support your true life purpose?
Happiness and joy come from creating life experiences that we share with others. Creating is part of our nature, but this natural human state is often stifled by the challenges of living in modern society (the need to earn income, social media, monotonous and drab architecture, suppression of the natural world, etc.).
What happens when we do things together?
While our creative expression is our own, we thrive as humans when we share our work, our lives and experiences with others who are supportive, encouraging, and accepting. These are all expressions of love which is the requisite human energy that sparks creativity.
Doing activities and co-creating with and for other people is what makes us better humans. We might need periods of solitude or quiet to bring forth an idea, but the outcome of our efforts requires feedback, sometimes collaboration, and enjoyment. Even the lonely author writing for hours on end in solitude every day is telling a story for other people to eventually enjoy.
When you know yourself, you can use your creative genius to manifest the changes you want to see in the world.
Some of us are working on projects bigger than ourselves.
This type of transformational work can be stressful, challenging, frightening, risky, and demanding of not only our time but our energy. The antidote to creative isolation is not working as a team, rather it is having regular support and encouragement from others; a mastermind in the largest sense of the word.
If you want to make an impact, if you want to use your creativity to make a difference in the world, you will benefit from support and interaction with others in a facilitated, structured environment — one that supports a shared mission of thoughtful completion.
The sole aim of my Queer Creatives Mastermind Program is to give you the support you require based on the questions you bring to the table to solve problems for which you need solutions — thus helping you to accelerate your progress by interacting with four other members in the group who are each pursuing their unique creative projects.
Letting go of the need to be made to feel worthy by someone else, knowing that you exist as you are and that is enough, you can embrace your purpose, you can embrace all of your gifts and strengths and put them to work by taking action in the now, not worrying about whether it’s not a right or wrong choice, or fretting about whether you’ll fail, because failure is only an indication that you’re looking in the wrong place and need to look over to the other side.
Failure is an indication that you took action, and failure is just a signpost that you’re doing, that you’re being creative. But it might not, as an action, match up with the vision you had for the outcome, and that’s great because you know you can always take another action so you can live out the best of who you are.”
The Queer Creatives Mastermind is a container for queer minds to support each other’s creative efforts.
To have influence we need to foster a humanity of belonging, one that allows all people to thrive. These are the conditions that allow for creativity and self-actualization. These are the conditions that make us the most compassionate, empathetic, and open-minded. These are the conditions of the Queer Creatives Mastermind; to use our uniqueness to make a difference in the world.
Queer Leadership is not about organizing people. Instead, it’s the principle of individuals leading from their difference and creative uniqueness, not to assimilate into the dominant culture, but to liberate and elevate those oppressed by the status quo.
Does the idea of a supportive, encouraging, and small group queer mastermind excite you?
If yes, then lets talk. There’s no landing page with a pitch, a time-limited offer, or a sign-up bonus. Instead, you can click here to learn more about how I coach and then complete the Mastermind application form to find out if you’re a fit for the program.