Being an artist is awesome. I know that I am incredibly and ridiculously lucky to have an outlet for my creative and emotional expression. There are days, however, where I fall into the common trap of focusing on what I don’t have as an artist. For example, I can go down a rabbit hole focusing on all the skills and materials I don’t have. I can also fall into the trap of comparing myself with other artists. It’s so easy to have this scarcity mindset where you self-sabotage yourself over insignificant things.
Human nature tends to do easy things over the hard things, of course. To combat this, I gave myself the journal prompt of what my invisible privileges are. This was challenging and really threw my mind in for a loop because, well, you’re trying to find invisible things. But that’s also what makes this journal exercise so great and powerful. Here is the list that I wrote in my journal and it has made such a huge impact. I now feel like the luckiest person alive that’s living with so much abundance.
- Not knowing what war is like
- Living without constant physical pain
- Feeling safe in your home
- Holding hands with your partner in public
- Walking home alone at night
- Having a bed
- Having emotionally mature parents
- Sleeping through the night
- Fresh water from the tap
- Being able to read
- Not having social anxiety
- Indoor plumbing
- Being able to complain about being bored during the pandemic
- Your health
- Being able to work from home
- Reliable electricity
After this journal entry, I actually was able to think of more invisible privileges. Since I teach Chinese calligraphy, I don’t realize how difficult the art is for left-handed people until someone that is left-handed asks me a question. The questions of how to even hold the brush as a left-handed person truly stumped me because I’m just so used to writing with my right hand.
I do want to note that not everything on the list applies to me. For example, I don’t have to worry about holding my partner’s hand in public. But for some of my loved ones, this isn’t a luxury that they have.
I hope this serves as a reminder of all the good that’s already in our lives. When we focus on what really matters, we realize that we have a lot to be thankful for.
Wherever you are reading this from, I hope you continue your day with a more grateful heart.