Alexis Donkin, Spiritual Teacher
A quick glance at the list of past interviews below and you can see the range of perspectives represented in this series. Alexis Donkin is the latest amazing woman to share her candid thoughts on the creative journey. She’s also the final interview for 2016!
The beautiful thing about this series is that it shows that no matter what stage of your career you’re in and no matter what industry you’re in we’re all connected. We all have the same doubts and fears. We all have similar desires to lead fulfilling lives.
What separates us is our unique circumstances but those small idiosyncrasies are there to identify us, not to isolate us.
Chances are someone out there has come across the same road blocks as you. So, the next time you hit a creative brick wall take a look at this series. I’m confident that one of the many voices I’ve shared this year will be exactly what you need to hear when you need to hear it.
1. Tell us your name, about your blog, biz, or creative pursuits!
I’m Alexis Donkin, and my purpose is to spread love and understanding. I help creatives build a love-centered lifestyle. Depending on where people are in their journeys, they can get started with my free Love the Unloveable Challenge, enroll in the Heart Unboxed e-course (which includes detailed steps for loving yourself and others), or invest in coaching.
My current favorite social feeds for spreading love are:
2. How would you define “Creativity”?
To me, creativity is thinking (or feeling) outside the box. A creative person is able to take two seemingly unrelated things and put them together to make something new and wonderful. It’s one of humanity’s great gifts!
3. What would you say to someone who thought you had to be an artist in order to be creative?
Well, creative is something you are – it’s not directly tied to a particular skill set. If you’re creative in the kitchen, you’ll be creative on the dance floor. If you’re creative on canvas, you’ll be creative in the boardroom. Really, a creative person is someone who problem-solves and is willing to engage in divergent thinking to do that.
4. What do you do to keep yourself in the creative mindset?
I get my inspiration from everything and everyone around me. All I need to do to get into a creative frame of mind is pause and be mindful of my present experience. Meditation helps to do this (and I like to do a lot of different kinds of meditation from dancing to traditional styles). Also, I will consult my intuition and feel into something. This practice leads to my best work.
5. How has creativity impacted your blog or business?
For a long time, I thought I was an “artist” but I recently discovered I’m actually a “teacher.” I enjoy thinking in creative ways – it’s something that comes easily to me, and so I struggled to find my specific place in the world.
I went down many paths and explored many things before I uncovered my purpose and fully embraced it. So while my creativity helps me do a LOT in my work, it also contributed to some of my distractions. That said, I’m glad I explored the things I did so I could have those experiences – they’ve enriched my life.
6. What inspires you to create and achieve your goals?
I have a vision for a world where everyone feels loved and is loving. Everything I do is to bring that closer to reality. My life choices and business are centered on this vision.
7. What does it look and feel like when you’re in creation mode?
It depends. Sometimes I close my eyes and have to think through things. Other times, I have an idea and get into such a creative frenzy I can’t stop working on it until it’s at least half completed. The best word to describe this is passion – it’s both exciting and painful. The work must be done – the art must be made. This was how I used to make almost everything. Now I tend to meditate before I write, paint, or speak.
8. What is your initial reaction when you realize you’re in a creative rut?
I think a lot of people experience this, but honestly, I don’t. If one thing isn’t working for me, I do something else. Being creative – writing, speaking, etc – is my job. If I was at a corporation and said, “Oh, I’m not inspired to work today” I’d get fired. When I was at art school, we had to paint or sculpt regularly. You needed to produce.
So if one thing isn’t working, you put it down and then pick up something else. Try a different medium. Try a different subject. Work on a different aspect of the business. Creativity doesn’t stop flowing – but maybe the inspiration for a specific project does in a certain moment.
So if I find I’m having difficulty with something, honestly, it’s because I’m hungry or tired or worried about something going on in my life. Taking a break from that project to work on something else (and address the root issues) is enough to keep me doing what I need to do.
9. If you take a self-esteem hit or if you become negative how do you combat that?
I used to rely on the affirmations of others to feel like I was good enough. Now, however, I know I am worthy. I know my message has value and so I don’t need outside affirmations to keep me going (I like them – but I don’t require them!).
If someone else experiences great success, I celebrate their success. I’m on my journey. They’re on theirs. We’re doing different things. We have different histories. I can’t compare myself to someone else because we’re two different people on completely different journeys. Knowing this, and living this, has made it easy for me to maintain peace and joy in my journey.
10. What tools or tips would you offer to other creatives (in general or specifically in your field) who find themselves uninspired?
If someone is uninspired, most likely, there’s something else going on. It probably has nothing to do with the work but rather has something to do with other things going on in the person’s life. Address those things, and you’ll transform your creative experience.
Also, practicing being creative with intention is important. It helps to establish a routine where you consistently create, no matter what’s going on. Sure, some things won’t work out, but that’s okay. It’s better to keep momentum rather than get out of the habit and struggle.
Lastly, it’s good to go out and live life. The more you expose yourself to things the less likely you’ll struggle with inspiration. Creative people need inputs. You need to see performances by others. You need to read books about science, business, art, and culture. And if you find yourself blocked even after all this, then it’s time to go to a professional – like a mastermind group or a coach.
11. Do you have a creative support system? Shout them out!
I have a couple of online communities that I really value. In particular, I value Link Your Life – a compassionate writing community run by Shawna Ainslie, and my own Intentional Writers group, which consists of writers using their words to make the world a better place. I find both groups incredibly inspiring and encouraging. Every time I interact with writers from both, my heart fills with joy!
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Do you relate to Alexis Donkin? What do you think of her perspective?