Saturday, August 22, 2009

Welcome to my new studio...

Slowly, slowly things are coming together. The boxes in the studio are being unpacked one at a time. Progress is being made and, in the meantime, there is the half of the studio that is fairly functional. The glowing, magical, peace-filled half that I visit on a daily basis...even when I'm not making any art.

Today it dawned on me that I have been trying to continue working as though nothing has happened. Sure, I've slowed down about 10 notches, but I've still been trying to make it to meetings and keep up with email and basically stay on top of things. It was only Monday that I went to the doctor and was told I have Rocky Mountain spotted fever. I mean, what the hell is wrong with me that I can't just take several days off (days that I've really needed to take off) and truly relax, rest, and heal?

Actually, to my credit, I have been doing a lot of resting. Mostly because my body left me no other choice. Looking back on the week, I am seeing that I should have rested a lot more. Getting sick like this is just about the best thing that could have happened to me. I know that sounds weird, but I needed this. I was running myself into the ground--hard and fast--and becoming increasingly anxious and unhappy in the process.

Anyway, my life is in the process of changing. I am in the middle of a metamorphosis and, although it has been ugly, pathetic, and painful, it is exactly what I need.

Melly Hocking wrote a thought provoking post about change. She wrote about something that I've been thinking about a lot lately and that is limiting beliefs. We all have them. But only those of us daring, self-indulgent, growth-thriving maniacs strive to become aware of them. And then there are those of us who, once we're aware, can't help but torment ourselves further by attempting to overcome those beliefs.

It is maddening and inspiring all at once.

Anyway, I'm going to make myself nice and vulnerable by sharing some of my limiting beliefs with you here now. Airing out the dirty laundry, shall we say?

And so here are a few of the trolls that live inside my head:
  • "I'm fat and stupid and ugly." (oh, this one is practically a mantra! I know it's not really true and so I've been working hard on cutting this one out of my vocabulary. Funny how habitual some of the things we say to ourselves are!)

  • "You're never going to make more than $xx,000 a matter what you do." (I tell myself that there is something about me that puts that message out into the world. My hair? My mannerisms? My clothes? My body language or the way I carry myself? My attitude? My language? My shoes? My skin? What if, way down deep, I'm just nothing more than a half notch up from white trash? There is a part of me that believes that I will never be anything more than someone else's worker, a less-than, a half a step away from being a grocery store check out clerk, that I'm someone striving for more success than I'll ever get and that I look like a silly fool in the process of trying to get there.) Oooh! Ouch. That troll was honest! (Sometimes I think we just need to love our trolls. They're like children who lash out because they're in need of some positive attention once in awhile, you know?)

  • "I don't have a mind for numbers and this is always going to hold me back." (First of all, math might not be my strong suite, but I've always made up for my weaknesses with massive doses of determination! If I were to be honest with myself I would see that I've been LETTING it hold me back! This thought alone is very intricate and deeply woven--deserving of a blog post of its own if I could just unravel it well enough to make sense.)

  • You have to work in corporate America to make anything more than an average income. (uh-em! I would like to prove this wrong. One thing I DO NOT believe in is the Starving Artist Syndrome. That is something I have absolutely NO interest in playing the role of.)

  • I'm an artist and people don't take me seriously because of least, not on all levels like they do other professionals. (In all honesty, I see people treating me with as much respect as I treat myself with.)

  • I have to work hard to do well. I mean REALLY hard! I have to work even HARDER if I'm going to do something I love. (Wait a minute...who am I trying to prove this unfair work ethic to?)

Ummm....yeah. You get the point. I'm sure there is more where these come from. I know there are, but these are the first that came to mind. There are all sorts of sneaky limiting beliefs that hold us back all the time--in both big and small ways. Usually it's lots of small things that ADD UP--big time!

BUT when we stop to look at those limiting beliefs we begin to see what UTTER NONSENSE they really are.

Here's the deal...I really, truly, full-heartedly believe that every single one of us is capable of ANYTHING when we allow ourselves to shine. And it doesn't matter what our back story is. Every time we feel ourselves shine we are on the right path. Do you know the shine I'm talking about? That radiance that beams from the inside out--that's the shine I'm talking about.

Shine and follow it. Shine and follow it. Shine and follow it. Just think where we'd end up! And at lightening speed!

But we get scared. We tell ourselves lies. We second guess and then allow ourselves to become distracted. what are your little lies? I know you have them. Just think who we would be without them! Do you/I even realize how LIMITLESS we would be?!?! How limitless we ARE?!

Oh yeah...anyway, this was supposed to just be a post to introduce my new studio space. Just beyond the studio door is a trail to the vineyard. Despite my endless list of difficulties, I am fully of aware that I am one lucky dog. This life is not fancy. But it fits me well. I could not be in a more perfect spot to take the next step forward.

I have a feeling that is true for all of us.




Sharon said...

Oh... my... God.... have you been reading my thoughts??? Even though everyone I know has always told me how intelligent, how talented, how together I am... I, too, feel less than I should be. Trapped somehow in my own fantasy (nightmare) of 'what if I were thinner, smarter, richer,...'
Thanks for a very enlightening post! I'm going to come back and read it over and over!!!

Samosas for One said...

You are amazing woman-with-a-dog-named-anu. And I wish we lived in the same city so I could pop over tomorrow morning and make you chai and give you a hug and say thank you for opening yourself up and sharing your limiting beliefs.

Britta said...

You have to grow into the next level of success/prosperity....if you reach too far before you're ready (or before you believe it totally with all your being and it seems natural to you) won't work. It isn't a matter of convincing yourself to believe it, I think it happens get used to bigger numbers, bigger jobs, bigger clients, step by keep climbing don't jump from ground level to the top of the mountain...and that's probably the whole point...the process, the journey...the learning along the way. You can climb fast, that's true. It doesn't have to take a long time. But you do have to cover all the ground. Reach for what feels like the next level for you...after that, you'll reach higher again and again.

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

Heey ... in unpacking my studio I found a stack of cards I use for inspiration, and your post reminded me of this one: If you have to doubt something, doubt your limits. That's what I think:) I am glad to hear that you are on the mend, just take it easy.

Karen D said...

wishing you much happiness in your new studio.. Shine on!

Annie said...

I seem to have the same trolls you do! Figuring out they live in my head is the easy part, getting them to pack their bags and move, ah, that is the part I struggle with. Happiness in your new studio!

Stacey said...

So so so so SO! brave.
Thank you for sharing your trolls ("the committee" as I like to call them)

After meeting you on Saturday I know first hand how amazing you are - the talent part I could see in your work. The fact that you are courageous enough to share what you do with the rest of us; that's icing on the cake.

Jamie Ridler said...

I just love how your spirit starts wiping away those limiting beliefs right here in this post. Here's to clearing away those made-up stories and making room for new shiny ones.

daisies said...

we go and we go and we go and then our bodies say, stop and i never listen until i am flat on my back. i suppose when we think about how a caterpiller becomes a butterfly, it is messy and ugly and painful and that is beautiful really, real beauty. and those gremlins that we all have and i could give you a similar list that starts off exactly the same, they are trying to convince us that all that real fantastic beauty is not beautiful but it is and you are and yes i am too ;-) xoxox

i hope you are feeling better my dear and shining so brightly that gorgeous light of yours, i can feel it all the way over here. love you!! xoxox

Amber said...

Okay, so this post set me back. because I was just giving myself a little moment to catch up between boxes-- and this is a doozy post! And I get it. I soooo get it.
HOWEVER, lady, your first one! "stupid, fat, ugy" ??!! Honey, that took my breath away, and made me hurt. If I heard someone say that TO you, I would let lose a hailstorm of cusswords at them. (you know I'm really good at that). WHERE in the hell did you get this idea? Where did you hear this? Whose voice is that? As a mom of a daughter, it hurts me to think a woman would come to say those things to herself! And one that I think is so amazing and full of beautiful soul and light?! Holyfuck, friend. BANISH that shit! Banish it! It is BS.

Every time that voice starts to open it's bitch mouth-- you stop. And you say gently to yourself, "this dose not serve me."

I love you.


Jennifer said...

I've been keeping up with your postings for some time now (although not sure if I've de-lurked), and they are so very lovely and inspiring. However, this post really struck a chord with the Shine and Follow mantra of sorts. I love the way you worded that feeling of radiance from within. I've felt this for sometime, but haven't quite been able to articulate it. I'm actually soon to get a new tattoo (a blue heron) in flight over my left shoulder, and I would like to have the "shine and follow" line incorporated in that. if you don't mind me taking from those words that is. keep posting your loveliness and the making sense of the journey.


Jennifer said...

thank you very much for giving me permission to incorporate those words into my tattoo. I was greatly affected when I read this particular post because as I said before I hadn't quite been able to articulate it. I am making a trip to the Asheville, NC at the beginning of November, as it is there I had my other tattoos done, so I will certainly send you a picture. thank you again.

shine and follow, yes