Saturday, January 31, 2009

LET GO--two little words that celebrate the art of living in the present moment.

Today's "Word of the Day" is big enough to include two words and they are: let go.

I've been trying to figure out how to write this post for quite awhile now. Nearly 2 weeks ago, I backed out of the business partnership. This past Monday it was made official. And, as of today, I have also moved out of that big, beautiful studio space that I only recently moved into.

There is a part of me that wants to scream, WTF(?!?!) into the bright blue sky. There is a part of me that wants to explain everything. But it's not worth it. Nor would it be respectful, since all of this involves another person.

At first, there was a part of me that felt like the Universe had just played some kind of sick joke on me. I have dreamed of a space like this for as long as I can remember. For two months, I put my heart and soul into getting the space ready and into all the plans that it included. Then I enjoyed it for barely 2 weeks. There is a part of me that is incredibly mad at myself for investing so much time, planning, labor, and dreams into something that was never meant to be.

There is another part of me that feels grateful that the Universe saved me from getting deeper into something that could have become much messier down the road.

There was a part of me that thought I needed that space in order to grow. There is another part of me that realizes that, because of that space and the experiences attached to it, I have already grown. Having a big, fancy, "proper" studio space does not make me more of an artist. It does not guarantee success. It does not make me a better person.

There is a part of me that feels stupid and embarrassed for getting into this situation in the first place. There is another part of me that is grateful for what this experience is teaching me.

Lesson #1:
Always listen to your gut. Oh, how cliche! But it's funny how your gut always knows...usually waaaay before you're willing to admit it to yourself.
Lesson #2: I am capable of much more than I was giving myself credit for. I hate to admit that there was a part of me that went into partnership because I lacked enough self-confidence to believe that I could be successful on my own.
Lesson #3: Negativity, holding grudges, playing the victim, and moving through life with a chip on your shoulder will get you no where. I would prefer to move forward with an attitude of open-heartedness, joy, and love. That is, after all, what the core of my work as an artist is all about. You know the saying: "Energy flows where attention goes"? Well, I want my energy to go in positive directions. That means only one thing: that I must allow myself to let go, let go, let go, let go.... this has become my chant.

I couldn't agree with Olivia more when she writes, "it is really exciting for me to read about and see women courageous enough to make so-called "mistakes" and then just keep right on going. Let's face it, lots of people share their successes, which are indeed inspiring. But to share your mistakes and then to work to turn them into something that does fit in a beautiful way---that's even more inspiring to me." I can't thank Olivia enough for those words. I read them at just the right time.

A few nights ago, I went downstairs to paint, but was instead drawn to the journal I got in celebration of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. There was a photo of my studio laying on my workbench. Impulsively, I glued it to the page. Then I wrote the words: "Goodbye beautiful Studio. You were never mine. Be well." This made me sad. I knew that no matter how many years might pass, if I opened up the journal to that page, I would probably feel a sharp pang of loss. The journal is still relatively new and I hated to put something in it that would make me feel so bad. And so I kept adding. I added an image of a road, a window, wildly blooming flowers, a butterfly, and words that speak to this journey.

By the time I was done, I felt transformed. Oh, the healing power of art. It will never cease to amaze me. Flipping through the pages of a magazine I saw the words "Leap of Faith." It was for an article about sky diving. The words felt good. I mean really good. They felt like the next chapter of my life and so I pasted it at the top of the next page.

This is the place where I begin again.

I admit, I even love the mess that surrounds it.

One of the best things to come out of an otherwise shitty situation is that is has given me an opportunity to reassess and get clear about my goals. This is an opportunity to stop and listen to the whispers of my heart. I'm learning that there's something to be said for the unexpected gifts that flexibility can bring.

What it boils down to is this: I made a mistake. I made a very big mistake--one that I am tempted to regret. And yet, I don't want to regret this.

Today I am letting go of what wasn't working. I am letting go of a vision that wants to take a different path. I am letting go in order to let something better in.

Even though I only worked in that studio space for a couple weeks, I enjoyed it beyond measure. It made me want to dance and sing. It showed me that anything is possible. My friendship and brief partnership was a nudge that helped me to learn how to dream bigger. I have a feeling that the space and the dreams that it held will always hold a profoundly important place in my heart.

But today is the next stage of the journey. Today I am starting over. Today I am grateful for what was because it is leading me to what is next. Upon waking this morning, my life looked like this:

To let go is to celebrate the deep art of living in the present.
The benefits of working from home are countless. Despite losses, despite messiness--I am grateful for all of it.

These letters are part of an ongoing project:
"WORD OF THE DAY :: living life one word at a time."
Today's words are LET GO. Be here now.
See more letters and words at my Patch of Sky Etsy shop, here.



Michelle said...

WOW. I'm speechless. Not only to learn of your situation with the studio, but how well you've moved on from it... you've accepted that it wasn't meant to be, and have left yourself open to where you're really meant to be, and what your true purpose is. It takes a gracious spirit to do this. I'm humbled and impressed. I'm certain you will find your path, keep moving forward!

Anonymous said...

Regret gave you a taste, an idea, an inspiration of what can be, maybe you didn't change your mind, maybe the universe changed it's mind...because it saw something bigger and better for you and knew that if you stayed there even one day longer than the two weeks it would not have been able to drag you away from I would venture to guess that your path just changed because something even bigger and better is on its exciting for you...gotta love change...what seems scary or disappointing always leads us to something wonderful and bigger than we long as we lay back and breath....and go with it, don't fight will end up in a place where you will laugh when you think that you thought this studio was what you really wanted!!!
Good on you for your honesty.
Good on your for sharing with others your honest journey.
Good on you!

Olivia said...


I am so sorry for your loss. However, I am indeed inspired by your courage in sharing this, and in continuing on. THIS is the work, and the part that we all need to learn---how to continue on when faced with loss, obstacles, blocks, setbacks, etc. We all can pretty much cope with stunning success swiftly achieved, but carrying on with our heads held high through the valleys is the challenge, and the part that helps us decide if we are really artists/writers or not. Do we really love the work enough to make it through those hard emotions and uncomfortable times? They are different for each of us, but we all have them, I think.

I think of Kristine and how she faces all kinds of crap and I gain so much from the gritty reality of it. She continues on. I remember that this is what I need to do.

And you do continue on too...I can't imagine how hard it is. But I am proud of you and proud with you, Jessie. You inspire me.



PS The picture of you with your dogs is precious.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that things didn't work out, but I'm deeply inspired by your courage to press forward. As they say when one door closes another (better) one opens.

Connie said...

Thank you Jessoe, for sharing each ounce of your journey with us.

I've climbed almost every mountain here in Phoenix, Arizona...and I will tell you--that its never a straight path to the top...and there have been a few mountains where I get almost to my destination when I realize that I just can't make it any further...maybe its fear that makes me stop, or I realize that I'm just not ready physically...sometimes its just the damn weather I see coming from my NEW PERSPECTIVE on things.

But, I will admit, that there have been a few times that I had my mind too focused on reaching the top...that I ignored all the signs around me and within me not to go further. Those have been the moments that I most regret--because I've hurt myself terribly--and put myself in dangerous situations.

I admire that you saw the signs, you listened to your heart--even though your mind was focused on the end result--and you did what was right for you---that beautiful soul that fuels everything of yours that has led you to this very moment.

I love you Jessoe.

Peace & Love.

laundrygirl said...

I'm sitting hear wiping away tears. I don't know if my emotion stems from receiving this news at the end of such a hard exhausting day but I know this - I know that you have been on my mind so heavily the past few days. I almost called you yesterday ( and then I thought 'she's probably busy at the studio'). We have SO much to catch up on and I can't express how much I have missed talking to you! I admire your courage and that fact that you have acted on your intuition. And YES, YES, I shook my head in agreement you said "Having a big, fancy, "proper" studio space does not make me more of an artist."
You are great and brave and talented and courageous and the list goes on and on...
I'll call you soon.

laundrygirl said...

P.S. Please forgive all of my typos. I am exhausted.
I meant to say "here" instead of "hear"
and I know I left some words out of sentences

Jenaveve said...

Hi there, I just stumbled upon your blog and the planets must be in alignment or some such thing because these two little words have been on my mind lately also. And they are without doubt one of the hardest lessons we will come across (many times) in our short lives.

As I read through your post I was mostly drawn to the positive aspects that you took from the '2 weeks'. I feel that the timeframe should have less importance in order to let go of such a massive event; kudos to you for mourning the experience and knowing when it's time to move onwards. It's what you get out of everything, regardless if the experience lasts 2 weeks, 2 days or 2 hours. I say, better you had an opportunity than not at all.

Very uplifting and honest post - I'm looking forward to reading more about your creative journey. I hope you stay strong with your perspective!

megg said...

Oh Jessie!

I don't know what to say. I know how much you loved this space and how much work and effort and expectation you put into it. Wouldn't it be nice to just peek ahead a little to understand why things happen to us?

BUT saying all of that - GOOD FOR YOU for listening to your heart and soul. GOOD FOR YOU for not staying until you were damaged even more, and GOOD FOR YOU for getting back up and painting again - for keeping perspective and knowing that you are still an amazing artist - YOU ARE!! Maybe this is just because you are about to UNFURL even more and you'll need the space to do it - ;)

I believe in you and your dreams and I LOVE YOU and I am so proud of and inspired by you. Thank you for being in this world!!!

donna said...

Not too surprising, moving into the year of the Ox. I had an interesting job nibble that suddenly vanished in flames, right on January 26. The Ox moves on, slowly and stubbornly. It will be a year of big changes for us all. Best to take them in stride and trudge on!

donna said...

And Connie, I grew up in Phoenix and had never climbed Camelback Mountain until this last year, just after my 50th birthday. I got almost to the top, realized I couldn't make it since I was starting to black out, and had to stop. Of course, I had just had surgery the week before, so it was understandable! I felt really good that I had done that, especially so soon after the surgery.

Sometimes we really can surprise ourselves, and sometimes, getting almost to the goal and realizing you're not going to get there, you can still enjoy the view.

Melba said...

you are very wise and resilient Jessie.
Maggie loves the picture!

kj said...

jessie, you are incredible. this is an incredible post. you have just this minute given me a huge gift. that you have not tripped over blame or shame says so much about who you are.

and for what it's worth (okay, so i'm petty), the breakdown wasn't your fault. not one bit. so there, i said it because you had the grace not to.

ps guess who's coming to mpls in march? hint: kj

Samosas for One said...

Amazing and awesome entry Jessie. What a way to take something and choose a positive perspective on it. It is a wonderful lesson for the readers of your blog. And that photo is priceless!

bella said...

I hope that each day brings more understanding and peace to you in your new place.
Now~ hello doggie butt. LOL. I am loving this picture of you !!

Olive's mommy said...

Hi Jess - I'm sorry to hear that things didn't work out with the studio. You have an awesome attitude and perspective on life that will guide you to the right space for you... I still have the photos of you with Brown Bear (Lauren) and they make me smile every time I look at them. Hope to see you sometime!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I read your site from time to time, and you really inspire me! I'm also taking a leap and trying my hand at a new career direction. Your words really resonate with me, especially about trusting your gut. Thanks for writing about your experiences (and love your journal).