How to Use the Power of 1% to Activate Your Inner Artist

Every journey starts with a single step...

10/4/20233 min read

How I used the power of 1% to connect with my inner artist

One day, I realized I had stopped painting. Shame and disappointment flooded my mind and body; I felt an incredible sense of overwhelm, and a debilitating sense of unworthiness came over me.

I was not living the life I had intended - making art, writing, and living the life of an artist.

Motherhood and living in a foreign country had other plans for me. There is no different experience like motherhood. It teaches what it means to nurture, cultivate, and raise a conscious child. As profound as this was for me, I knew deep inside I was neglecting myself.

Moreover, while raising my child, working, and learning a new language, I had forgotten all that meant to me as an artist.

It had been years since I had picked up a paintbrush. The astounding thing is that I did not even remember I stopped painting and writing.

Then, I told myself I'd start tomorrow when I had more time, which turned into another year of regrets.

My sense of self was eroding, and I was becoming someone I did not want to be. I knew I had to do something.

When you make up your mind to do something, the Universe listens.

A friend mentioned a book called Atomic Habits, and the idea of doing the 1% for productivity and mindfulness fascinated me. It is about creating small habits that have lasting effects.

I wanted to paint again but knew I had to ease into it. It was like raising an infant. I had to do it gently, lovingly, and with utmost care.

I began a habit of just doing 1% in my daily life around the house, then cleaning my closet and reorganizing my kitchen. After getting my feet wet, I was ready.

I went to the art supply store and bought eight small canvases. It was manageable, even though I knew I would eventually work on giant canvases.

With this act, I deposited 1% into my spiritual bank account.

The art supplies with the oil paints, brushes, charcoal, and sandpaper in a tomb on the bottom of my drawers were subsequently to be exhumed. It was so uncomfortable. I felt the resistance and my inner critic, what is the use; you will never be famous anyway. You are too old. You're not a good mother if you neglect your art child.

Another deposit of 1%.

Gently, I reminded myself. Just start and have fun. Do it for you. Play and see what happens. I brought the art supplies into the light and onto the table beside the canvases.

I ordered a set of artist spatulas on Amazon. They arrived the next day.

That was the only thing I did that day. That was my 1%. I did it.

I let it sit there for a few days. Just doing that made me proud of myself. The inner critic had something to say. Oh, you think you are going to do something with that?

Now, the inner critic was loud and just plain rude. You are kidding me. Who do you think you are?

I heard it and answered, No, I am not kidding you.

A few days later, something in my body came alive. The colors made me smile, but I did not start painting immediately.

It sat there for a week, and by some magnetic pull, I put eight canvases on my kitchen counter, took out the small spatulas, opened all the lids off the paints, closed my eyes, and said a prayer, Universe, let whatever wants to come through me.

A wave of gratitude came over me, and I was entranced for two hours, listening to the Universe, moving my brush in a hypnotic dance on the canvases.

Let yourself go, let yourself play, I said to myself. There is nothing to prove. The right people will see your authenticity, effort, joy, and willingness to play with the Universe.

Now, months later, when I look at my paintings on the wall- I am in awe of my talent and the beautiful and serene interpretations of the river Elbe that flows in front of my apartment. The sunlight, the dawn of mornings, the sleepiness of the evenings, the blue skies, clouds, and the shimmer of trees that dance on the river's surface are all on my canvases.