My good friend Tamara commented on my last post with the phrase above. It's so appropriate in so many parts of my life, any time I'm tempted to take care of others first, especially my clients. It's so easy for me to get stuck in work mode where I get a chance to be capable and competent and needed. And before I know it, I'm way out of balance and tired and stressed and can hardly muster the energy for any of the creative work.
In fact, for all of us who find that creative time, whether it's painting or writing or collaging or acting or doodling or gardening or cooking, is a part of our health and well-being, doing that first makes us more friendly, happy, helpful, thoughtful because it makes us whole.
Putting on my own mask first means journaling every day, it means writing on Writing Fridays, it means putting glue to paper or working with color as many days as I possibly can. It means making sure I've several creative dates planned in my calendar for the weeks ahead. Seeing them in my calendar helps remind me of that purpose in my life. It means planning creative retreats every couple of months so that there is sustained time to immerse myself in whatever projects are currently underway. And as I've mentioned in some recent posts, for me, it also involves having projects that I announce to others and developing ways to be accountable to fulfil on those projects.