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,

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!