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Tag: art

Your Envy is a Call to Action

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

Don’t just sit there in that state of envy. And don’t push it away, smother it or put yourself down for feeling it. If you want what someone else has and it makes you feel bad, then maybe you need to take a closer look at what you really want in this life.

What dream have you been denying?

What gifts within yourself have you been ignoring?

Have you romanticised someone else’s life because you feel blocked in the creation of your own?

I used to envy artists. I felt I wanted the life of a successful artist because I loved the idea of standing at the easel in a well-lit room that looked out over a beautiful garden, creating lovely paintings, on my own, all day long. But you know, I’m not really an artist, I’m a writer.

bee on blossoms
I’m also a keen nature photographer.

So what’s the problem? Well it felt to me that it was easy for artists to be artists and that if I became a really skilled painter, then I could create that dream life. But you see, it’s much easier for me to write and the truth is, it’s not easy for anyone to live out their creative gifts to their full potential. Everyone struggles with their process as a maker of anything they feel inspired to create. Any creative pursuit requires hard work and often involves going through a whole heap of self-doubt, fear and self-loathing along the way. 

As Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her fabulous book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear; 

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise—you can make anything. So please calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.” 

The envy I felt was misplaced because I was envying a fantasy. The person who becomes a good painter does so through lots of practice, many failures and many frustrations and in reality, they’re probably not a whole lot happier with their lives than I am. If I want to become a great writer, I must keep working at it. And bam shazam! The envy dissolves and I feel free to be myself.

See how this works?

Who do you envy? Take a good look at what it is you believe they have. Now ask yourself three questions:

  1. Is what you’re imagining they have really true, and is it the whole story?
  2. Is that what you truly want?
  3. Is what they have in any way realistic or attainable for you, in your current reality?

Because on that last point, if you’re living a pretty regular life with a mortgage and kids and bills to pay then how productive is it to envy a famous celebrity? Let’s bring it closer to home. Who among your friends do you envy, and what specifically do they have that you want? Remember, have a good think about whether they really do have what you think they do. Sometimes the appearance of wealth is actually immense debt, great relationships aren’t such a fairy tale behind closed doors and self-confidence is a mask for debilitating anxiety.

Now I’m not suggesting that we want to poke holes in other people’s happiness or doubt their authenticity but do you see what I’m getting at? It’s easier to sigh and wish we had what someone else seems to have, than it is to take the real action required to go out and create our own great lives.

We must simply begin doing what we want to do and stop making excuses about why we can’t. Because believe me, when we get out of our own way with this stuff, the universe rushes in to help.

What do you want to create in order to step free of the envy trap?

One of my special powers is to help people uncover their gifts and to blast away the blocks to their self-confidence and their courage to pursue a more fulfilling existence. Contact me for your free 15 minute chat to discover if you’d like to work with me in a three session process. Click here

Unlock Your Creativity and Find Your Power

Posted in Live Your Passions

I’m not sure what’s happened to me these past few weeks but I think it may have started with getting a new camera for my birthday.  I love my new camera and the much funkier photos it can take compared to those from the compact digital model I’ve used for the past ten years.

I really love my new camera.

IMG_0090

Have I felt like writing a blog post?  No, not at all.  And this feels weird because I’ve written a post almost every week for four and a half years and then nothing. No inspiration?  Well, there were still ideas but they felt old, already covered, not exciting or worth writing.

Then a couple of weeks back I did a painting workshop…

My first ever painting.
My first ever painting.

And bOOm! Suddenly painting is my new passion and the camera’s been left sitting on the shelf.

I got it out today and gave it a pat though because I’m sure photography and painting will become great friends in my life before too long.

Now don’t go thinking this means my aim here is to become a professional artist or photographer, no, that’s not it.  I’m just loving exploring these crafts as mediums through which to experience my world (both inner and outer), and enjoying being immersed in the process of creation.

One of the amazing ways I connect with the women I coach in my individual sessions is to help them acknowledge their creative selves.

I’ve seen so many women instinctively respond with a shake of the head when I talk about creativity.  They tell me; “Me? No, I’m not very creative.”

And yet this is the sort of guidance I receive for so many of them…

Your unique creative energy is the source of your power to make your life better.

This is not about us all becoming professional artists, writers or healers (because healing is a creative art in my world too).

No, this is about each of us embracing the reality that when we are engaged in any creative activity and we open up to all the possibilities that moment of being ‘in the process’ can offer us, we tap into a wellspring of creativity around how we want our lives to feel and look in a more global sense.

I’m pretty sure a lot of my new creative confidence has sprung from the momentum I’ve created this year by running my weekly women’s dance class.  Spontaneous, free-flowing dance is wonderful for the body, mind and emotions.

Any type of creative expression opens our awareness to more of who we are and creates a deeper connection to what we are here to do, be and feel in our lives.

All you need to do is find a creative outlet that appeals to you.  Try something out, see if you like it.  I’ve been recommending those adult colouring-in books to clients for over a year now and suddenly they’re everywhere. Something like this is a great starting point….  You, a cup of tea, a clear table with plenty of light, a colouring page and some good quality coloured pencils. Voilá!  You’ll have made something pretty in no time at all.

Here’s some other ideas:

  • join a local choir
  • learn a musical instrument
  • start writing a daily journal
  • do a painting or drawing workshop
  • dance around your lounge room to loud music
  • take some private singing lessons
  • learn to sew,knit or crochet

Learning something new at any stage of life can be an uplifting and very enlightening experience.  You’ll learn a lot about yourself, how you feel in your creativity and chances are, if you’re learning in a group, you’ll find other like-minded souls to share the journey with.

Taking the first step can be as simple as asking the universe for guidance and then seeing what next pops into your awareness via an email, Facebook post, invitation from a friend or a notice board flyer. Say ‘yes’ and watch the magic happen.

For more help and some guidance on your unique gifts and talents, click here and contact me for a session booking.

Go on, Be Bold, Create!

Posted in Live Your Passions, and Self-Care and Self-Healing

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” — Maya Angelou

I love the simple truth of this quote.  Go on, read it again and then breathe in and breathe out.

Last week, after feeling the urge to do some art for quite a few days, I got out the soft (and very messy) pastels and kneeled down with my little girl on the rug at our big rustic coffee table and we did some pastel painting.Here's what we created in about 30 minutes of fun creative freedom

Here’s what we created in about 30 minutes of fun creative freedom.  I’m showing you what we did to demonstrate that the outcome of sitting down to create is less important than the process of doing it. Genius artists we are not.

We seem to have gotten to a place in our society where even small children, by the age of six or seven, have absorbed beliefs about what they are “good at” and what they are “bad at”. And as for us adults, well my guess is that for many of you the words; “draw me a picture”, “sing me a song”, or “get up and dance” are some of the most frightening phrases you could imagine hearing.

So, here’s a newsflash for us all:

Creative expression is not about being an expert! It’s not about getting it right, being the best, being a professional or making it your life’s work.

Creative expression is about being in your body, releasing tension, being completely yourself, allowing something unexpected to appear or happen, having fun and being absolutely, completely in the present moment.

There’s something else here too.  Know that spreading your wings and trying forms of creative expression that are out of your comfort zone can be very therapeutic.

I love expressing myself through the written word and this comes quite naturally for me.  However, I also love singing, dancing, photography, baking, drawing and the occasional painting session because I’ve noticed how all these different activities bring me pleasure and release in very different ways.

We can all play with creative expression and enjoy the benefits.

Make sure you have some basic tools close at hand like music, paper, crayons or coloured pencils.  Then just follow your daily creative urges and allow the process of being caught up in a moment of creation be far more important than the end result.

Be three years old again! Can you remember how that felt?