Interview: Founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching - Jill Badonsky
My curiosity for how creatives, artists, coaches and other business owners do what they do is growing bigger. I think it has something to do with my own love of the creating process but also due to the fact that I have, over the last few years, developed a daily creative practice.
It’s always interesting WHY people do what they do, but to me it’s equally interesting HOW they do what they do. What does the everyday look like for someone who creates for a living? It is easy for them to create or is it as difficult to do the work they love as it is for me, and most other creatives I know? Do they ever get disheartened? Do they ever doubt themselves and what they are doing? These are the sort of things I’d love to know.
One of the most creative people I know is my Kaizen-Muse creativity coaching mentor and founder, Jill Badonky. In Jill’s own words, she “speaks creativity”, which makes totally sense once you know her.
I have scripted most of the interview below but definitely watch the video because you’ll see for yourself how lovely Jill is.
Overwhelm is normal in the creative process
Being coached by a life coach made Jill create kaizen-muse creativity coaching.
Why motivation is not the way to do creative work.
How Jill know all the creative blocks and how she overcome them
What made you create Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching?
I was reading books on projective drawing and brought that into my psychotherapy and was fascinated by how we project our personality, our needs and our conflict into our art. Then I got to see how creativity heals kids and adulescence. How when they’re not able to express themselves verbally, they’re able to express themselves through art. And how art gave them a sense of control and a place that they could go to when everything else was falling apart.
I burned out in the coporate world and so I taught “The Artist Way” for a while. Then I did workshops and people started asking me if I would coach them. That’s when I had an “out-of-body” experience and thought “This is what I want to be.”
I decided to write my first book about the muses and ran into my own block. I looked for help from a Life Coach, which only made my creative block worse because of the linear approach of this particular coach. This made me wonder how many other people are getting blocked by conventional coaching.
I wrote my first book about the muses, which is part of the kaizen-muse creativity coaching curriculum. The muses are just voices in our head that help us be creative. We have voices that don’t help us be creative. “I’m not good enough, I’m too old” and other voices. The muses plug into those by saying pay attention to what you’re doing right, have fun with it and be courageous.
The muses speak to THOSE voices and the more you’re able to bring them into your life, the more creative you’ll be. We all have these blockages, fears, expectations, and a soon as we figure out how to get out of those, we’re able to apply our creativity to our lives, our art, our writing, our relationships, our wellness. We’ll live our lives creatively.
How do you avoid getting overwhelmed by all you do?
If I’m not careful I do get overwhelmed and I think it’s normal in the creative process, but I figured out little antidotes for all of these things.
I think one of the reasons we get overwhelmed, and it’s kind of an epidemic these days because there is so much we can do, is that we expect too much. When we think we have to do this and do that, we’re in this irrational place, thinking we can do it. We can do alot but we can’t do it all at once.
Like we can’t take 5 breaths at the same time. This goes back to the kaizen part of kaizen-muse, get ridiculously small.
This is something else I’ve learned, we figure out these tools and we quickly forget because our habits sneak back in. I have to constantly go “how can I break this down?”. This fools the brain that thinks we have to do it all.
I also have to make lists of what I’ve already done. This is important for people who are overwhelmed. I look at what I’ve already done on my project so far. This creates a foundation to push off from which is easier than having to push off from “what do I still need to do?"“.
Do you have a specific creative block that pops up again and again?
I have them all! I’m also a raving perfectionist (I shared that I’m a raving perfectionist in recovery), the feeling of not being good enough, comparison, the fear and the control, and I really have to remind myself to lower my expectations. I’m expecting too much of myself.
The distraction thing is really big. This is also my latest area of research. People are so addicted to social media and Netflix and all these escape mechanisms and they are eroding the creative process because they are interrupting all the time that we need for daydreaming and for allowing our concentration to go deep. When we keep checking Facebook when we’re writing, we interrupt the cognition that’s responsible for our creativity.
So, creating a habit and creating a structure so people hold a space for each other in order to stay focused. Those are big ones for me.
Do you see common creative blocks from your clients?
Fear! We can’t tolerate our own ineptness at the beginning at a process. The feelings of “I’m not enough and other people think I’m crazy”. We put too high expectations and pressure on ourselves and that leads to procrastination. That’s the big one.So we’d rather put it off.
People say they don’t have time, but we do. Especially if you break it down into small steps and ask a small question: what will be my next small step, or how can I make this easier on myself? The time thing can become a crutch. It’s easier to say I don’t have time than when I show up it’s hard, and I’m worried I’m not perfect.
Fear is a really normal part of the creative process but if you just keep going, you can make something anyway.
How do you stay motivated?
That’s an interesting question because I don’t feel I need motivation. It’s an compulsion to create. I’m at the age where I could relax a little bit more but I can’t even imagine what that would look like. I love doing this. I think it’s important for people to focus on what you love instead of what motivates you.
What do you love about how the words come together on the page, or the way the colors blend?When you focus on what you love about it, it draws you to it. Which is better than trying to motivate yourself to try and do it.
Daydreaming about the process draws me to it. It feels like this is what I’m supposed to do, there’s nothing I’d rather do. A lot of people do something because they think they should do it.
Last Q: What’s in the pipeline?
I’m writing on my 4th. book about getting people back to daydreaming, back to going inside for inspiration. A cross between mindfulness and creativity. I talk about Ûberbliss, it’s a journey of comeing to the present moment.