10 simple tricks to help you believe in yourself

Well, as you know I wrote that book, The Little Spark–30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity, and it is coming out in October (!). In my book I offer 30 “Sparks” to help you on your path to living a more creative, passionate life. One chapter addresses the self-doubts and fears we all have as we tackle a new craft, hobby or passion. People often ask me how I deal with self-doubt and so here is a little list to inspire you to kick your doubts and fears in the butt and start believing in YOU so you can follow your bliss: =&0=& Because guess what? No one really is. Except maybe the lucky few who know you well and who you allow in. If you live your life as if you are invisible, then you are free to behave however you want because you are under the (false) notion that no one cares. But people care. And they are curious. We are social creatures and so we are all constantly craning our necks to see each other. But just for a day or an hour here and there, liberate yourself from the perceived gaze so that you can just be you. Just be you in your state of false invisibility. The more you practice, the more you will realize that you have become very good at being you–no matter who is looking–then you can do it more often. When Allen Ginsburg set out to write his epic poem, Howl, he wrote it knowing that he would never show it to anyone. Look what happened. Acting as if no one is watching liberates the ego and allows us more freedom. =&1=&

Independence of the Spirit

I had a pause today–a moment of quiet reflection–staring out the window…and I had some thoughts. On this day of Independence here in the US, I’m thinking a lot about freedom. Actually, I’m thinking about whether or not money buys us freedom. And I am feeling that it does. Certainly, it does. I know. But, at what price? What do we lose in the pursuit? Of course we must work and work hard…but at what? 

I have said and I maintain that I have never bought into the “struggling artist” paradigm. (In fact, I feel that if I am struggling at anything then I am probably doing it wrong.) Yet when I compare myself to others, I very much feel the loser. On paper that is. In the realm of stuff. But not in the realm of the spirit and the soul. There I feel very rich indeed, and not even by comparison. I dare say, I feel free. There are many routes to that freedom. For me, this moment right here with the keyboard under my fingers is my goldmine. Or being with my kids as they turn cardboard boxes into homemade foosball games and other contraptions, or lost in making magic in studio, whether painting, or sewing, or just gathering sticks on a walk to turn into something later, as we did today.

My life is not leisurely, per se. There is no, or very little, sitting still. Not much leisure, rest, respite, travel, or even reading. Not much time for reveries by the open window. But my life is the reverie. I am usually making something, cleaning something, emailing someone back (usually too late) or trying desperately to teach my children to eat healthy snacks and not clobber each other. Yet, it is all the dream. I feel terribly, terribly lucky to occupy this exact very life. I love it, despite the toiling, the constantness. Because my life is a creative expression of the love that lives in my heart. 

What we toil at matters. Where we put our love, energy and time matters, and it should feel good, although that isn’t always possible. Where I put my love, is where my life will go. So, I choose to go in the direction of my dreams. Don’t get me wrong…I so hope there is a pot of gold involved at some point of this rainbow, but there ain’t no use fretting over that too much. So I just keep showing up at work and play. I witness the beauty around me everyday and bathe in gratitude for the treasures I find in my family and in the world. Happy Independence day. I hope you have some freedom inside of you to follow your bliss, your passion, your Little Spark of creativity. If you don’t, go find it. It is there. Watch this video narrated by Alan Watts for some inspiration:

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