Tag Archives: bravery

Heeding the Call to Create

For many people the idea of creating something on a regular basis is full of barriers.  “I’m not creative enough” or “I don’t have time”  are two of the main excuses we use.  I used both of them for many years and yet I kept feeling called to be creative. When I was still teaching I had opportunities to be creative with the children I taught, but I never gave  myself permission to go beyond art projects suitable for a class of 4-5 years olds.  While I kept journals for many years it wasn’t something I was willing to share with anyone. I didn’t feel like I was creative enough for anyone to want to read what I wrote.

The more I reach out to people, the more I realize that I wasn’t the only one with those blocks. I see people on Instagram who are just beginning to dare to share their work and I know they feel vulnerable. What if someone is critical? What if no one “likes” it? I read others’ blogs who are just starting out and I recognize that feeling of wanting to apologize before I even hit send. What if no one reads it or what if it’s boring or what if there are spelling or grammar errors and it seems


stupid?

The first time I went into Blick art supplies I was completely intimidated. I felt like a fraud! Only real artists were allowed to shop there! But everyone was nice and I even stuck around for a demonstration and bought some watercolor pencils. The first time I published a blog post I was terrified! It took all my courage to hit the “send” button.

But sometimes I hear from someone that my words made a difference for them. That in combination with someone else’s words or an image or an idea that had been floating around they became inspired to make a change in their life. And it’s bringing them joy.  That reading my book with their child was fun and they stayed up past their bedtime to finish it. Or I might hear back from a friend that a picture I shared on Instagram reminded them to feel gratitude for the little things.  And that’s all it takes to make me realize that my fear is just fear. That sharing our creative ideas is good not just for the person creating but also for those that receive it.

Most of the time when I paint something  (on canvas, with acrylics!) I don’t share it, but invariably when I do people are kind. There is a community of people who create for the joy of it. Some of them are making a living at it and  others dream of making a living at it. But the real reason we’re creating is because it lights us up.  We create because we love it. And because we are called to.

If you’re feeling called to create, what’s stopping you? Is it fear? Are you creating but not feeling “good enough” to share? If you have blocks and want help getting over them I’d love to talk with you about it. And if you’ve gotten over your fears and are sharing your gifts I’d love to celebrate with you!

My next post will be about the second excuse; “I don’t have time.”

Until then, Happy Creating!


 

 

Brave does not equal Fearless

This summer I’ve had the opportunity to speak to a couple of groups of students about my book, The Secret Labyrinth.  The main character of the book, Halley Armstrong, is brave.  At one of the schools we talked about what it means to be brave and some of the brave things that each of the students had done. Some of the stories were pretty scary, from holding a (large) snake, to jumping off a roof into a pile of leaves (ouch), to speaking in front of your classmates (gulp). When we started discussing synonyms for brave a few of the students suggested fearless. 

I disagreed and here’s why. Being brave doesn’t mean that you aren’t afraid. It means that you ARE afraid and you choose to do it anyway.  If you’re fearless you don’t have to brave. If it doesn’t bother you to hold a big snake then you don’t have to be brave to do it. If you’re calm when you think about speaking in front of a room full of people, you do it and enjoy it, no bravery required. It’s the things that frighten us that require bravery.

My friend and fellow life coach, Sarah Curnoles, is running a 40 day challenge to help people face their fears. I haven’t fully participated but I have taken on some of her challenges and it’s been eye opening to notice how many things in my life require bravery. Some of the things don’t scare me at all and may be things I already do, like going somewhere alone. Others are really scary, like #11 Fail On Purpose or #17 Lie on the Floor of a Mall for 60 seconds (what?!)

I’m curious to learn about what you’re afraid of. Sometimes our biggest dreams are what scare us the most. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, all of those fears can prevent us from doing what we really want to do.

If you’re letting your fears stop you, maybe I can help. I’m not saying I can make the fear go away, but by using some of the tools I’ve learned I can help you find your own inner bravery.

Be BRAVE, not fearless. Your dreams will thank you!