Thursday, June 9, 2016

Perfectionism is Fear in High Heeled Shoes and a Mink Coat

I just have to laugh at this title for today's blog. I wish I had come up with it, but I didn't. Elizabeth Gilbert did. And as many of you know, she is one of m all time favorite writers and teachers of all things creative.

So, she has a Creativity Class on Udemy whereby you can pay a very affordable price to hear her speak on the creative process. I guess she is kind of like Julia Cameron, who wrote The Artist's Way.

I paid for the class and have been listening to her lectures for a few days now. And some I listen to multiple times. This particular lecture spoke to me greatly because I suffer from this personality trait. I have for a very long time and I realize now that this very thing has stopped me from publishing my work.

You, see I wrote a novel , several years ago now and I have been desperately trying to get through the editing process which I find to be grueling and tedious and not so much fun. I do find creating the characters and the book, much more tantalizing. I have allowed this editing process to stop me from publishing this book that I once held so dear to my heart. I still do ..but it's time now to let "my butterfly" go.

It's time to let it go out in the world and let people read it , even if I am afraid that it isn't "good enough" or that I am going to get criticized for being the worst writer ever or that my grammar is bad or something is horribly awful in this book that I slaved over six years to write through a lot of "life stuff" .

But, I have to remind myself - "it's my butterfly." It was created in my mind only and no one else's. It was created totally by me. And although, it might not be as perfect as the monarch butterfly looks as God has so perfectly created each of his creatures -it's still my creation that I loved and cared for and nurtured and gave all my energy to for all those years.

This is the very essence of what Elizabeth Gilbert teaches in this lecture - that perfectionism is just a classy word for fear and we must recognize that and not allow it to stop birthing our creative works.

For what if, what if, someone was truly moved by what you wrote, or what you photographed or sculpted or whittled out of wood? What if you somehow changed their life by your work? And what if, you never showed the world that "butterfly" and that person was never to see it and have their life forever changed?

You don't have to start off thinking - I am going to write the next Harry Potter or paint on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel - you just have to create your own "butterfly" , whatever that is and give yourself permission to let it go out into the world and let people think whatever they want. It doesn't matter - it's yours and only yours and you need to go on and create more of what is yours and share those gifts with the world.

So, be grateful for the fear, say thank you, I know you are there, but we will be moving on now. I wouldn't take off the high heels - because those are super fun to wear and come in so many colors and textures! But maybe just maybe! You could wear them AND paint and write with them on!

Love and Light,

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Dark Night of the Soul

The Dark Night of the Soul...when that person you love so much and who loves you just as much dies..

 it's as if this blanket or shadow overcomes your being and your inner world shuts down and you want so desperately to shut everyone out. The pain is more excruciating than you ever imagined it could be. You don't know how you will ever feel good again. Will my life always feel this way from this point forward? Will I feel happy at some point in the near future? Will I survive this? Will I feel what joy feels like ever again?

The short answer? The darkness lasts as long as you need to grieve.. but I pray you , please don't let that darkness overshadow you to the extent that you too feel like you need to take your own life because the pain is too much to bear.

As we look at the natural world, the night does turn into day, the moon gives way to the sun. And eventually the many Dark Nights of our Soul will turn into seconds and minutes of Lightness of our Hearts.

The death of my Mother has changed my world as I knew it. Only a few short months ago.  It just stopped me in my tracks and has felt like my whole life has been put on hold.

I felt stuck and still do to a certain degree. It's as if someone cemented my feet to the ground and took away my motivation and zest for life that I once had.

But as I write this I feel like maybe just maybe this wasn't a bad thing. Perhaps this was all part of a Universal plan to get me refocused on a pathway that is better than the one I was mapping out for myself.

I am not sure what that pathway looks like right now so I am taking one day at a time. It's all I can handle. And I stay close to my family. For it is in them, I feel her. And my soul doesn't feel so dark when I am near them.

My Mom would be proud that we have stuck together through this time - very little to no drama.. just tears and memories.. and holding hands, trying to deal with the grief.

It is in these times of the darkness that we see the light - the light of my great nephew Dylan's smile and his desire to keep trying to walk, the light of the laughter we share driving in a van on the way home from my Mom's, the light of the birds that sang on her property as we scattered her ashes under her favorite tree where her dog is buried, the light of the sun coming up, the light of long time friends sending you a smile.

To all those out there feeling the sadness and grief of the death of someone you dearly love - know that the Darkness does become light.. one step at a time, one day at a time and the time frame becomes different for all of us.

I remind myself everyday to look at the Light and to acknowledge the Darkness but I try not to let it linger too much as it draws me back into the abyss.. at first when my Mom died.that was the majority of my days.. the darkness of the abyss.. but now.. it shows itself in some portion of my day and doesn't last all day - thank God..

My love to all of you out there experiencing the Dark Night of the Soul - here is to the Light that shines within! Look for it - it's there!

Love and Light,

Saturday, June 4, 2016

I Hear the Birds Singing Today

I Hear the Birds Singing Today...

The birds that have decided to surround my house with companionship and love..

I Hear the Birds Singing Today...

The birds that my Mother loved so much...

I Hear the Birds Singing Today..

They are filled with joy..

I Hear the Birds Singing Today..

They warm my heart..

I Hear the Birds Singing Today..

My Mother's spirit in Flight..