November 2008

This week, we’re talking about Creative Goddess Fears. Yesterday, we shined a little soul light on “But I’m not an artist! I can’t even draw a stick figure!” Today’s post in our series focusses on that one I think we all face – as humans, artists, creative beings & sensitive souls: Outside Approval. More specifically, what if someone thinks my art/writing/singing/dancing/creative expression/heart sharing sucks?

But first – here’s the human side of living a soulful life.

Storytime about my sacred morning…

It’s 6am. I’m trying to retrain my body to wake earlier, so I can sit writing in the sweet peace of dawnlight. While my aim feels filled with grace, the actual reality of retraining my body is not so graceful. I woke up at 5.30, showered, and padded out to my little Medicine Wheel circle I have made in my backyard. I grounded, putting my bare hands and feet on the earth. My brain has been rather chatty & buzzed lately, so it’s been much more difficult to ground than usual. I’ve been getting about 60% there to restoring my grounded balance, but haven’t been taking the time to finish the job. {I’m learning so much by reading these words! All my patterns are coming up!}

Anyway, I didn’t take the time, and consequently, when I stood up to stretch, I lost all balance, and face-planted back into the earth. If there was ever a sign, that was it. I lay there, cheek and forehead in the earth, unable to get up for a moment, thinking “well, I guess my mind really wanted to ground… universe gives what soul needs!” I felt as though angels had placed me there, face in ground. And how did I know for sure? When I finally sat up, I saw the indent of my forehead in the ground. And two inches to each side of my ears, there was dog poo. If I’d only fallen a couple of inches differently, things could have been a whole lot messier. There are so many blessings and lessons in every little stumble… blessings that I am fine, uninjured and dog-poo free. Lessons that – just maybe – it’s time for me to slow down a little, take the time to ground, and take the time for my brain to swing from high functioning to chillaxed.

A little love note from me to me: I’m listening, sweet body. I hear you.

And a little side note from my Chief Elf, man of the simple wisdom: You might be listening, but are you actually going to do anything about it? What time will you stop the doing?

Chief Elf is my chief hold-me-to-accountability love god.

And now about that fear…

Yeah, that one. The one that hurts. The one that can stop us in our tracks, and stop us from ever – ever creating. What if someone thinks my art/writing/singing/dancing/creative expression/heart sharing sucks?

Oh my darling. I hear you. I hear you. I hear you. It can be so easy to be paralysed with fear – unable to create *anything* because you are afraid that it might suck. Or that someone else thinks it sucks. It’s something I’ve struggled with and have found my peace and way with, even though I still have approval-relapses.

I think the most important thing about this fear is it’s about wanting someone else to approve of our work, and of us. Maybe because we haven’t given that approval to ourselves. Maybe because we have, but want even more. Maybe because we want someone else to tell us that we’re beautiful, and of value, just like our work. Our creative work can be just like our own little soul’s baby – one that we want to be loved.

But – anytime we want someone else’s approval & love, it doesn’t work. It might feel like it works when they say the words we like and want them to say, but what if they don’t? What if they skip a beat and don’t read from the script we wrote in our heads for them like they should? Oh baby, it can hurt. Anytime we give our life over for someone else’s approval, we’re missing out on all the love & approval we can source for ourselves, from ourselves. The love & approval that’s sitting in our lost baggage carousel, waiting to be claimed.

The gift of releasing the need for other’s approval

When I first started dating my love, I’d show him my finished artworks, and wait. Holding it out for him to see, judge, shower me with praise. And his reply? “Mmmmmmmmm.” Always with the Mmmmmms! It would drive me nuts. “But do you LIKE IT?” I’d say, exasperated?

And in that monkish way of his, he always says “It doesn’t really matter.” In moments when I felt completely love-needy and love-fragile and love-searching, I’d lash out with emotion: “That means you don’t like it, doesn’t it! Why don’t you like anyyyything I do at all?”

{I’m a thousand percent not proud of this, but also honour that it was where I was at – and that I found the love & courage inside to grow from that space. It takes time. Healing always does.}

One afternoon, I went to visit Ellanita – the wise old healer woman who at the time ran womens circles. The same Ellanita I’m seeing this afternoon, as synchronicities might be. That particular day, in that beautiful Austrian accent of hers, she asked me how I was. And I replied emphatically “Good! I was a bit upset last night, because Chris wouldn’t say nice things about my art, but I feel really good this morning. I’ve told him that he should just say nice and supportive things all the time, and I’ll feel better about that. And he said okay, so that’s GOOD!” {I kid you not. This is what I said.}

I thought for a moment Ellanita would give me a standing ovation. You know – I’d stood up for my truth, and asked for what I wanted, and all of that. And I’d got what I wanted. I thought I deserved a standing ovation! Instead, she fixed her ocean blue eyes on me and said “Darling, why do you need him to say nice things about your art? Why do you NEED it?”
“Because it makes me feel good??” I stammered, in reply.

Giving away the teddy you could love.

And then Ellanita did something I think I might always remember, so deeply did its mark touch my spirit. She picked up a small orange teddy bear she had resting by her seat. And she said “Imagine this is your inner child. This beautiful, beautiful little child inside of you, so tender and vulnerable. So beautiful, you just want to nurse it all the time. If the baby starts crying, do you walk around in the street, holding baby out saying “My baby needs love! Please give it love! You need to give it love!” to every stranger who walks by you? Would you give away your inner child and ask someone else to nurture it, love it, tend to it, care for it?” She held out the teddy, outstretched, offering it to invisible passerbys.

The whole situation was so hilarious and profound, I began to laugh.
“No, you wouldn’t give away your baby, your inner child, your teddy. You would say to it “*I* love you. *I* will take care of you. *I* will hold you close. *I* will nurture you, and tend to you. I will love you.” And she brought the teddy back to her chest, and nursed it there, love streaming from her face, hands, heart.

I will be the one to love my art.

Whenever I ask anyone for their opinion now, I remember that story. I check in to see if, in asking for their opinion, I am really asking for their love and approval. Because if I am, I’m giving away the teddy that I could love. I’m giving away the opportunity to hold the hand of that beautiful, shining inner child within me, and the chance to say to her “I will be the one to love you.”

Our artwork is just like our inner child in so many ways. It is our creation that deserves our love, acceptance and approval. In doing so, we find the path of true love – love of our selves.

I’m so looking forward to sharing even more moments of radical self-love and self-art-love during the Creative Goddess e-Course & Circle. If you’re feeling fear, please know that you are not alone on the journey. So many women have these secret fears – but I feel that when secret fears are unveiled, they lose their power. In the shadows, they always look bigger than they are. In the light, when you can see and share about the fear for what it is, it feels so much more manageable. And in the light of a circle, with women gathered from all around the globe, miracles can happen, healings bloom, and fear takes a holiday. This I know to be true.

You are so loved, have a beautiful day dearheart,

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Gorgeous goddesses who sign up for my Creative Goddess e-course by Monday December 1 get an extra Creative Goddess surprise in the mail for Christmas. I so hope you can join us in this magical, inspiring and creative course & circle starting Jan 15. The perfect way to begin the New Year!

Creative Goddess Fears

by Leonie Dawson on November 25, 2008

Admission: I’ve got so much to blog about, I’ve been feeling a bit stressed. I’ve got so many new Soul Story Custom artworks & Summer Solstice ceremonies & Radiant Raw Food recipes I want to write about here. As my love says though “Make it simple. What’s the simplest truth here?”

So I sat for a little bit, and let the simple come. And here’s my simple. Here’s my stress-free. Here’s what works beautifully: Next week I’ll start sharing all those things. But this week – this week I want to talk about the Creative Goddess e-course I’m running. Or more specifically… the fears that might come up around it.

Wise Woman Fears

I thought about fears this week, because in a couple of days I’m visiting one of my old spiritual mentors – a wise healer woman in her sixties. And when I say “visiting” – I mean getting body, mind, spirit and heart worked over through massage and tarot reading. And as much as I’m looking forward to it and know it will be good for my soul and heart, there are a couple of fears coming up around it. Namely:
“Oh dear. What if this presses one of my buttons?”
and
“Should I really be spending this money on me?”
and, perhaps the most strongly:
“What if this brings up something I don’t want to face.”

And I stay awake for a couple of hours at night mulling this over, until I ask the Wise Woman in me to step up and answer the questions. And in her gentle, deep voice she says:
“If it presses one of your buttons, it is a blessing. It will be an opportunity to heal something which wants to be healed.”
and
“Yes my love. You deserve to spend your money on your body, mind, spirit and happiness.”
and
“You will have brought up what is perfect for you to face right now. Trust that you are loved. Trust that you are in the right space for this. Trust that you will be held.”

Facing fear & hearing our hearts

And so I got to thinking that maybe we all have different fears come up whenever we are fronted with something new, and unknown, and deep – no matter how beautiful we know they will be.

So this week I’ll be posting on a few different questions/fears that have come up for some people around the Creative Goddess e-course & circle. If the e-course doesn’t call to your spirit to do – that’s totally okay. But if it does, and you feel a bit stuck in the what-if of fear, that’s totally okay too. We can talk it out, and find the sweet and simple truth of it – the truth that feels good to be in. Sometimes just shining a torch of awareness and love onto a place that feels a bit afraid can do wonders. I don’t want anyone {especially me} missing out on something that could be beautiful because of their fear.

Let’s go fears hunting & shining!

Over the next few days we’ll talk about all the creative fears and questions that could pop their heads up – including:

“But I’m not an artist! I can’t even draw a stick person!”
“I’m already creating. What would I get out of this course?” and that old goodie:
“I don’t know if I’m good enough/if I’ll fit in/if I’ll belong”
and if you’re really not sure…
“I don’t know what this Goddess thing is all about! Will it work with my religion?” (Hint: the answer is yes!)

If you’ve got any more Creative Goddess questions or fears – silly or huge – leave a comment {anonymously if you like}, and we’ll get to work on them and shed some light on them.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll shine a little soul torch into the stick person drawing fears. Can’t wait!

Group hug it out,

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Start the New Year with six weeks of creativity, joy and inspiration by enrolling in my Creative Goddess e-course & circle. Signup by Dec 1 to receive a Creative Goddess surprise in the mail in time for Christmas!

A gorgeous goddess creating at one of my Day of Delight Retreats

This is post one of my Creative Goddess Fears series – shining a little light on the fears that keep us away from being our Creative Goddess selves. Today, we’ll be exploring the crevices and caves of that crazy little fear: But I’m not an artist. I can’t even draw!
Everytime I hear someone say this, I want to bundle them up in a big hug and mop up my tears with their sleeve. And with all my heart, I want to say:

Yes, you are an artist – you are an artist because you were BORN. When our spirit was created, we were made to create, explore & share too. It’s got nothing to do with drawing, or making something look how it looks in real life. Art is a way of coming home, or sharing our story and dreams in colour, in having moments when we know we can create beautiful things in our lives.  If you believe being an artist is any different, you’ve been told that by someone who is confused. An artist doesn’t look this way or that. An artist looks like *us*

Sometimes fears and beliefs can be really deeply set, and don’t respond much to words like this. It’s that part of the mind that says “This is GOOD! We should listen to this! We should forget all our fears!” And then the fear part of us quietly says “That’s all fine and good… but I still feel this way, and I don’t think it can change.”

In which case, it’s story time. Because stories can change our world.

Pull up a story time cushion…

I was at a party once. A hen’s party. In the corner was a little desk set up with a scrapbook and paints and pens, ready for all the hens to write a message and blessing for Chief Hen’s wedding. It was such a gorgeous idea, and I made a beeline there.

Sometime later, another woman arrived at the party. She was as shiny and cute and wide eyed as Bambi, and I marvelled at how impeccable she looked – perfect shiny shoes, unrumpled, smart clothes and shiny hair tied back in the piece de resistance – a perfect bow. She was very very neat, and very very pretty, and very very put together.

A hen ushered her to the create-a-blessing table, and she stood there, wide-eyed. “I’m not sure if I can do this! I don’t know how to!” she said to the hen. The hen, an earthy, warm and loving friend of mine, replied “You’ll be fine! Just get in there! There’s no right or wrong.” I smiled at her words, and wafted off to eat some more orange and poppyseed cake, and sup on the Brazilian punch we had made.

A couple of hours later, I spied the most gorgeous artwork on the table. An ethereal bride with dark, wild hair. Deep red lips. A mask across her eyes. It was utterly rivetting, and filled with energy. “Who made THIS?!” I exclaimed! Miss Bow swivelled around. “Oh no, please don’t look at that! I’m not an artist, I’m not like you! I made a mistake on it!”

“I LOoooooooovvvVVVVE IT!” I squealed. Miss Bow’s eyes got impossibly wide, and filled up with tears. “But I’m Not An Artist” she said again, quieter this time. “Nonsense!” I shrieked in my over-zealous state. “You’re AMAZING! You should keep doing this!”
“Do you think so? Do you really really think so?… But I can’t. When I was 14, I LOVED making art. It was my favourite thing in the whole wide world! But my Dad said I couldn’t anymore, that I had to get serious, and only study science and math at school. But I wanted to do art sooooo much. And I can’t anymore!”
“How old are you?” I asked. (I tend to ask blunt questions)
“34.”
“So you haven’t painted for 20 years, because of your Dad?”
“Has it been 20 years? I miss it so much! I really, really do. But I don’t think I can paint anymore. I can’t even draw a stick figure!”
“Painting isn’t about the stick figures. Why don’t you just buy some paints or pastels or ink and see what happens? Give yourself the freedom to do, be, try something new?”
Miss Bow’s face was beautiful. It was a mixture of tears and a little bit of sadness at the years she’d lost her creative self. And in it too, there was a little bit of hope, a little bit of possibility, and a whole lot of shining. Shining at the way art made her feel.

Sticking it to the Stick Figure tyranny

That was a few years ago.
And that was the reason I started running Creative Goddess Circles. Miss Bow was my Muse and my Inspiration. I realised if Miss Bow felt that way – like she’d lost something – her creativity – and wanted to retrieve it and claim it as her own again -  then there must be other beautiful souls in the world who felt the same way. Other beautiful souls who’d gotten so afraid of the Stick Figure Tyranny they forget that splashing down paint, cutting out paper, rubbing their fingers in pastels made them feel GOOD.

Tomorrow, we’ll shine our soul’s torchlight at another Creative Goddess Fear. But for today… be gentle with you, amazing soul. You are doing so, so very good.

Love & paintdrops,

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Start the New Year by remembering & embracing your Creative Goddess inside. EnJOY six weeks of creativity, magic and soulful inspiration by enrolling in my Creative Goddess e-course & circle. Signup by Dec 1 to receive an extra Creative Goddess surprise in the mail in time for Christmas!