Good morning and happy Monday.
Isn’t Mercury in retrograde? I can already feel it, how about you?
Last week I found out I didn’t win the Blue Moon label contest. I made it all the way to the top 10 thanks to all of your support! Thanks for taking the time to vote for me. It meant a lot to feel your love. I thought I had a decent shot. So, I did feel hopeful for those few months during the process.
I must say that the waiting and not-knowing was absolutely better than the finality of knowing the winner. Because there was this hope bobbing on the horizon…you know, like…wow, I could pay off so much debt with $20,000 or maybe I could fix our termite-infested back door or wouldn’t it be so nice to put a bigger window in the studio?
And you know I’m a dreamer. And I help people to listen to their dreams. So, I was hopeful. And then when I found out I didn’t win, I let that knowledge sink in for a day and then it sunk way, way in and I became like a magnet of woe. And all of the sudden, every shortcoming, failure, or dashed hope came zooming into focus and my sh*t sandwich went from, “damn, I didn’t win the Blue Moon contest,” to “I am an abject failure. Everything I touch sucks…although my fabric sells really well and my book is going well…I’m no good. How will I support my family? I can’t do anything well enough. I keep trying and trying but it isn’t adding up. Look at the mess I’ve made. I’m supposed to be a creativity enabler but really I just need to go get a job at Chipotle.”
You know, lovely thoughts full of self-love and support. NOT!
And I really could no longer see my light, my truth, or my gifts. Or what I’m grateful for. And gratitude is the very thing that always keep me out of trouble in my mind.
I’m guessing you know what I mean. I think it is human nature to globalize and catastrophize. We know better. But we sink anyway even if for a short time. And then we’re off to the next hope bobbing on the horizon…but wait, it isn’t on the horizon. It’s right here. Right now. In this moment.
My dear friend, talented artist, and UAB art professor, Doug Baulos, posted something on my Instagram feed this week. He said that he told his students, “the bad news about being an artist is that you are jumping off a cliff every day. The good news is that you don’t really believe in the ground.” And that is the absolute truth.
But sometimes the ground crystallizes around us and we feel the landing. And it hurts.
So, I spent last week drawing and painting outside and in public spaces like an art school girl with smudges of charcoal on my forehead. I drew and painted on my hikes in the desert–in the museum–and even at Whole Foods. Anywhere but here. I just needed to get out of here. Out of my discomfort. And so that was, in a way, self-care.
And it helped me stay out of my yuck and in the moment. Sometimes we just need to give time a chance to do its thing–to soften the edges.
My husband gave me the best advice: he said, “Don’t eat the whole entire sh*t sandwich all at once. Just take little bites and then move on. You’re so talented. Stay with that.” And he’s right. We all need to remember to just take little bites of whatever sh*t sandwich is happening in our life. And to stay in the moment and out of the head. Stay with the heart.
And then last night I saw the most profound, tear-jerking viral video about a homeless poet in Brazil named Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho. PLEASE watch it. And he said this: “Damned is the man who abandons himself.” And those six words righted my ship, filled its sails back up with Divine breath, and now I’m back to being comfortable in my skin, failures and all. I’m going to spend today cleaning the studio and not eating any sh*t sandwich. Because I won’t abandon myself. And I’d never teach my children anything other than that.
Thank you, deeply, for all of your support.
This week, I’m teaching a free pop-up painting class! Join me at West Elm at the Scottsdale Quarter on Thursday, September 24th, 6:30-8:30 for a lesson in learning how to paint what you see. I’ll supply the materials. The best part is that we get to make the still life out of fab West Elm merchandise. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, don’t forget to register for my upcoming Creativity Retreat HERE. I’m extending the early bird pricing.