Human beings are very resilient. We can adjust to our environment. It’s been shown through history. It takes time but no matter what happens there is a resiliency that human beings have. I adjusted to the current environment quickly by contacting my clients directly. I started hosting virtual showings of my gallery. Instead of having employees at the gallery serving clients, I created direct relationships with them.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christie Smith.
At a young age, Christie Smith was drawn to athletics. After attending Methodist College for Golf and being a part of three National Championships she enjoyed a 25-year career as an LPGA Golf Professional; then about seven years ago she discovered the power of art. Christie now uses her newfound love of creating art to foster human connection and inspire inner expression.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I took an indirect path to get here but as a kid, I was always creative. Creativity has always been incorporated into my life. My golf career allowed me to be creative yet disciplined. My dream has always been to be creative in some capacity. The path I took to becoming an artist helped me because I learned how to have structure first. This allows me to be a successful artist because I feel like I have trained my whole life to be both an artist and a business owner.
Eventually, the desire to be an artist became more than the desire to be a golf pro. I am very thankful because my career in golf led me to become an artist at the right time in my life. I appreciate becoming an artist older in my life because I feel like I am better prepared for it. In golf, if I am going to compete I can’t just focus on hitting the ball, I have to proactive structure and then get creative. This is a discipline I have carried with me into my art career.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer. The book deals with internal dialogue. It talks about how everyone has levels of internal dialogue. The key is that the book teaches you that have to learn to make friends with your internal dialogue. This is especially important in golf because of its solo sport. I had already learned to make friends with this voice but this book helped me learn to control it. We are very self-critical beings but this book helps you to quiet down that self-critic so you can be present at the moment.
It was helpful with sports and now with art. It’s very easy to be critical of your art or think it’s not good enough. Learning to quiet that internal critic is helpful. I create art and don’t judge it or myself. It’s helped me to minimize conflict when it comes to having to sell my art as well. This gives me the freedom to create more.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious about the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
1. Human beings are very resilient. We can adjust to our environment. It’s been shown through history. It takes time but no matter what happens there is a resiliency that human beings have. I adjusted to the current environment quickly by contacting my clients directly. I started hosting virtual showings of my gallery. Instead of having employees at the gallery serving clients, I created direct relationships with them.
2. There is still Beauty. Everyone has slowed down. They stopped to realize what is most important. Many people have searched out for art. They are spending more time in their homes and found the desire to make it more beautiful. It shifted from people coming to the gallery just wanting to look with no real intention to purchase to people searching me out to commission pieces. I have created deeper more meaningful relationships with clients. Everyone right now wants to feel like they are not alone and art is connecting us.
3. Long Term Connections. Eventually, things will go back to normal but these relationships will always stay. One thing is that this time created an opportunity to connect on a more personal level. More seeds were able to be planted. I planted a lot of seeds of connection and now they are blooming.
4. Artists Collaborations. More artists are looking to collaborate. Before this was not as common. Now many are looking to connect with others. It has created this atmosphere of collaboration. I am currently in talks with three different artists for three separate collaborative projects.
5. Creativity is Thriving. People have in whole become more creative about everything they are doing. It’s brought people to a place of being present. It has also brought boredom. This boredom has bread creativity.
From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain it?
- Focus on things you can control. Anxiety often occurs when we are thinking about the past or the future. Often it is things we can’t control. If we instead focus on the things we can control then we won’t feel so anxious.
- Remember you can’t control everything. Accepting this allows you to work on the things you can control.
- Surrender when things are out of your control. Once you realize that you can’t control everything the next step is to let go of the things you can’t change. This will give you more energy to focus on those things that you can control.
- Incorporate play in your life. Play is a universal language. Playing a card game, throwing a ball, etc. Play brings you to the present. It connects you with the mind and body. It relaxes you. Again remember that worry and fear are because you are thinking about the past or future. When you engage in something like play your body relaxes because it stays in the present.
- Nature. Everything has energy. Our phones, screens, etc. can give us negative energy. Nature calms the mind and body. When you are in nature it stimulates something innately good inside of you.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
As mentioned above, incorporating play and going in nature are great ways to calm anxiety.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” -Einstein
Imagination allows space for the possibility of new outcomes. Imagination is something that gives us room and potential. It gives us dreams and space to think about different solutions.
I have applied this quote when I am faced with a problem or challenge. If I just accept the answer or status quo then I don’t get anywhere. If I filter it through knowledge then I get what’s already known. If I filter it through imagination then I get a creative solution. My biggest successes have come when I have gotten creative.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Love Out Loud! I think that with everything that is going on we are all focused on fear and anxieties. Loving out loud raises your vibration. You are opening up your heart. You are not fearful about the world or what that means. You are living in the present. You are not holding back.
When you are living out loud you are smiling inside and out. Smiles are a very powerful thing. When you smile, someone smiles back at you. Body language affects your body in unique ways. On my golf ball, I always draw a smiley face with a tongue sticking out. If I had a bad shot and I see it then I go “ahh no big deal”.
I am fearless. This has brought me joy and happiness. With most things in life, I approach it with courage. I think to myself “I am just going to take my shot.” It has to lead me to a lot of positive growth and success.
What is the best way for our readers to follow you online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!