Moving Past BIG (and little) Fears..

I’ve held a BIG dream to gather a community of women to support each other in exploring our inner landscape with creativity for so long… and now that I’m getting closer to realizing this dream, I’m feeling sick to my stomach.

So much fear and worry and excitement has been bubbling up, I can hardly bare it.

I’ve been finding myself getting lost in thoughts, worrying about details that don’t really matter, worrying about whether people will want to join me, worrying that others are already building communities, worrying that my dream will fail…

Noticing this pattern, I started searching everywhere for help or tools or something to guide me in moving past all this to get back to focusing on what really mattered – taking steps to get me closer to realizing this dream of mine.

I’ve been fumbling for months; muddling through the fear and searching for answers, while still trying to get closer to my dream. That is, until today…

After sending out an OH SO SCARY, vulnerable email to a select few women, it hit me… I knew all along how to move past my fear and realize my dream. I’ve done it before. I could do it again.

And the answer is so much more simple than I had realized.

(And of course, this answer came from within, and not from my endless search for help. Oh how easy it is to forget that we have everything we need within! Sometimes we just need a simple reminder of the truth we have within us. Which is why I share my stories with you, and why I want to gather women to share even more stories.)

Anyway, back to the truth of moving past fear…

I realized that the answer was simple: Stay in the moment and take one tiny step at a time.

Simple. Right?

But it’s not so easy to remember when we’re caught up in fear, lost in our mind’s thinking. But when we finally remember… oh how powerful it is!

It’s the same technique I used to get myself across the country for my first scary trip alone. And it’s the same technique I teach in my class Roots to help others get past their creative blocks – to simply get present and focus on the one tiny step in front of us.

I like to think of my mind as a computer that can only think about the past or the future (which often generates fear, or uncertainty, or guilt, etc). But when we get present in the here and now, that’s the realm of the heart and our intuition. That’s where we’ll find the courage to move forward.

When traveling across the country alone, I was only able to get past my fear by telling myself to just focus on that next step: “Okay, all I have to do is pack my bag.” Then, “Okay, all I need to do is set my alarm for 6am.” Then, “All I need to do is get in the car.” Next, “All I need to do is drive to the airport.” And so on.

Putting hyper focus on the one tiny step in front of you… there’s no room to think about what might happen next. There’s no room for the fear to step in.

And when you have that level of focus and forward movement, there’s no telling what dreams you’re capable of accomplishing!



What one step are you willing to take next?


P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about my upcoming community, send me an email! I’ll only be opening it to a small group of women to become the founding members as we grow the space. Will you be one of them?




Enough of the Nonsense… Let’s PLAY!

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~George Bernard Shaw

We look to others who seem free and full of life, playfulness and creativity, with a longing, hopeful heart. And yet we stand here, arms upon our hips, rigid and firm, struggling in pain to hold tight onto an identity that doesn’t quite fit.

Why?

If we so deeply feel the urge to let it all go, to dance in the rain, to feel the wind upon our face, to dip our fingers into the paint… why do we still stand here, pretending to value our nicely kept homes and hard work over our joy?

I know you can feel deep down how much you NEED creativity in your life. How much you NEED to just let loose and express yourself. Many of you have told me.

And yet, here we still sit. Letting our minds hold onto this rigidness and fear. And I say WE, because yes, I too feel this struggle day after day… even after years of honoring my creativity.

Our minds are funny that way… we can see the value in play and creativity, we feel the need to create; and yet our minds tell us we can’t. There’s too much risk, we’re not good enough, we have too much work to do.

We’re stuck between two worlds.

Society has shaped exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth; yet recent studies are showing us that play and rest are essential. Dr. Stuart Brown, a psychiatrist and clinical researcher, argues that play is not an option.

He writes, “The opposite of play is not work – the opposite of play is depression.”

There’s a part of us that knows this is true. Yet there’s another part of us who still wants to fit in to the norm, to prove our self-worth through societal standards. We are stuck in between, and don’t know which way to turn.

But should we stay here, refusing to choose? NO. Our refusal to choose joy for ourselves right now in this moment, is our refusal to help shift our society into a new way of living that matches our beliefs.

It’s time to act on our belief that we need rest, that we need play, that we need creativity, that we need JOY.

Not only for ourselves, but for our children, for our community, for our world. We have seen enough pain and suffering. We’ve been feeling the confusion and doubt and uncertainty all around us. And yeah, there’s a part of me who just wants to crumble beneath it all. And still, there’s another part of me who wants to rise up and embrace the beauty and wonder and joy in this world… because I know creativity and play are powerful healers.

It’s time to shake loose my friend! Wiggle those fingers. Wiggle those arms. Roll your shoulders. Start to sway from side to side. Let the wiggles roll through your entire being! It’s time to consciously choose joy, one moment at a time.

Let us not wait until the day that permission is handed to us on a silver platter. Let us choose it NOW and help spread the word.

ColorPlaydate

Your mind will fight against it. But what I’ve learned, is that the more I choose play and joy and creativity, the more I remember that letting go will not undo me. The more I remember that this is what fills me up. This is what allows me to be even more productive. Allows me to love more. LIVE MORE.

Our letting go will not undo us. Let us prove our minds wrong, one baby step at a time.

Are you ready to say YES!?


Here’s eight easy ways to start saying yes to play and creativity (and start proving to your mind that there’s nothing to fear!)

#1. Make it a habit to doodle on the foggy mirror with your finger after every shower.

#2. Spend some time with young children – kids are masters at play and creativity, let them lead the way!

#3. Challenge yourself to do a little doodle each day – I’m in love with the book Year of the Doodle by Dawn Sokol! I can’t always remember to do it everyday, but when I do I don’t beat myself up for forgetting and I play quickly without worrying about what it looks like.

#4. Head out for a walk or day trip without a plan. Keep an open, curious mind and see what you can discover!

#5. Start super small. For example, if you’re called towards art journaling or another creative act that feels huge and overwhelming, start by practicing showing up and committing to just one minute of play with paints or crayons.

#6. Keep a brain-dump journal, or start what Julie Cameron calls “morning pages” – simply free write anything that crosses your mind without judgement. Don’t over think it, just write and spill everything out onto the page.

#7. Play with movement throughout your day – skip, swing your arms, twirl around… Have you ever noticed how children move about so freely in their world!?

#8. Join a supportive class or community to create with, such as Creative Soul Roots where we’ll be learning how to deal with our doubting/judging mind and stretching our play muscles!


Just remember: Take baby steps. Be gentle with yourself. Practice showing up for play at least once a day, if even just for a minute. Why not THIS minute? I know you can do it!



Much love to you!!



P.S. Don’t forget to share this with your friends! Let’s unite. Let’s stand together. Let’s Play!!


Other Side of Fear

Remember, the only thing standing in the way of achieving all of your hopes, dreams, and goals is one little emotion.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ~George Addair

Get past your fear, and anything is possible!





Fear of Ruining Your Art

Oh No… I love how that looks.

I have found myself saying this quite often lately. Once a piece of art I’m working on starts to take shape, and I like how it’s looking… I freeze up and get scared.


What if I mess it up? What if I ruin this lovely piece?

I try to remind myself, is it really a lovely piece if it sits unfinished, hidden away on a shelf? Of course not.

What’s the point of having piles of unfinished pieces? Where’s the rush feeling of accomplishment? Of being proud? Where’s the excitement of “what’s going to happen next?” You rob yourself of all of these things when you give in to the fear of messing up your work.

Sure, it’s possible a piece can get “ruined” by making a wrong decision. But the beauty of “messing up” gives you the freedom to keep working on it, which opens you up to taking more chances you might not have otherwise taken. And in the end, most often than not you end up liking the piece even more than before the mistake.

The key is to just enjoy the process, and detach from the outcome.

Remember that one of the biggest reasons for art is to feel connected to yourself, to express yourself; not to crank out perfect pieces on a consistent basis. Where’s the fun in that?

And if in the end you do feel like you’ve “ruined” a piece, let it rest. Come back to it a few days later, and most times you will find that it really isn’t as bad as you may have thought. You may even turn out liking it!

Because in reality, it’s not that you messed it up, or that you ruined something; it’s only that it turned out different than what you had hoped for or imagined it to be.

Life can be pretty scary. Things can turn out differently than expected not only in art, but in other parts of our life as well. So, this one little pesky question will always keep popping up: “What if I make the wrong decision?” Well, you deal with it and move on. And more than likely what does come of it is way more interesting and fun than if you had just stayed put in fear.

But if you let it, that pesky question can paralyze you from achieving anything in life. So instead of hiding in fear when your mind asks you “What if I make the wrong decision”, try responding with: “What could I miss out on if I stop here and don’t move on?





The Many Faces of Fear

Fear is a funny thing…

Sometimes it’s loud, staring you right in the face, making your heart pump out of your chest; and other times it’s quiet, hiding behind excuses, making you feel miserable.

Most times you aren’t even aware of its existence.

But if left unattended, unconscious fears can cause self sabotage, stopping you from ever achieving your dreams and goals.

You already know, that in order to overcome your fears, you must face them. But before you can face them, you need to discover what they are and understand the different types of fears that can manifest inside of you. There are three types of fears to look out for:


External Fear

When you think of fear, thoughts of spiders, ghosts (a big one for me!), or other hauntingly things may come to mind. Or perhaps you’re scared of something like heights or water. These obvious fears, where the emotion is triggered by specific instances or encounters outside of you, are easy to recognize in your life. But other fears are not so easily targeted…


Internal Fear

Similar to external fears, an internal fear can be triggered by events happening around you. However, internal fears are not specific to one certain circumstance (like how your fear of spiders would only come up when you encounter a spider). An internal fear, like for example the fear of failure, can come up in many different situations such as when wanting to start your own business, try out a new craft, or when trying to lose weight.

In addition, these types of fear can also arise with internal thought of the circumstance as opposed to having it right in front of you. These fears are led by emotion, whereas external fears are more led by survival instincts. Some other examples of internal fears could be fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, fear of success (yes, this does happen!), or fear of being vulnerable.


Subconscious Fear

A subconscious fear is rooted deep down inside of you, and is usually attached to some sort of limiting belief about yourself or the world around you. For example, you may have a fear of public speaking because you believe that you aren’t good at expressing yourself. Or perhaps you keep putting off submitting your art to your favorite magazine because deep down you believe you aren’t good enough.

Because these fears coincide with beliefs, they are often very hard to recognize as fears. But by living with these beliefs and fears, you are limiting your life’s potential and they can also cause serious anxiety.


Now that we’ve shed some light on the different types of fears that may be plaguing you, let’s just go ahead and let it all out… right here, right now.

Bare all – What are your deepest fears?

Okay, fine. I’ll go first.

For me, it’s always been fear of failure. Failure in my business, failure as a mother, and failure in my relationships with my husband, friends, and family. And even though I’ve dug deeper and discovered the limiting belief behind it (more on that another day), I still struggle with procrastination and avoidance because of it. Just look at me… Here I am, 9:39pm Thursday night, trying to finish up this blog post. Nothing says fear and procrastination like waiting until the last minute to publish a blog post exposing your fears. Ha.

So, now it’s your turn. Leave a comment below… What are you afraid of?