One year ago I participated in my first group art exhibition. It was my first exhibition ever. I pushed myself for months whilst confronting and having a long standing past trauma condition treated properly for the first time. It was almost too much to deal with. I suffered many creative blocks which lasted for weeks at a time throughout 75% of 2013. I was highly sensitive and my boundaries were down so the words of other people - particularly people who don't know me well enough, felt harsh or teasing and hurtful.
Resistance and procrastination reigned and I inadvertently allowed those two things to win. I took my own power away and squished it up. I didn't write about this last year as it felt too raw, too real and I felt absolutely dismal. I kept my feelings on this limited to a select & trusted few. I could barely cope with the shame and disappointment in my own company, let alone plaster on a facade or wallow in how rubbish I felt in front of people.
The day before the close of the exhibition, I manifested the mother of all migraines. Clearly I had pushed myself too hard. The culmination of being in my head for too long - anticipating, stressing, worrying and fear of failure took over. It took 3 solid days for that migraine to pass and even longer for the numbness of failure to diminish. I was incredibly hard on myself and the only person that made me feel that way was ME. No one else. Our own expectations are the hardest to exceed and when we fall short, we fall hard. I will still stubbornly describe myself as not being a perfectionist, but clearly the way I was living in my head and beating myself up was perfectionist behaviour. The whole, if it's not just 'so', I have done badly, it sucks and I suck.
I had for sure, fallen out of love with myself. I wasn't working from the heart, I was working from a place of fear and I allowed it to consume me and my body responded with a migraine.
I stopped painting for several months and dedicated myself to crafting jewellery and writing. Two passions that haven't to this day, triggered perfectionist or failure inducing feelings. I really had lost my zest for painting. I did reclaim it this year and you will see that if you look back at my art posts from March/April. Thanks to an amazing teacher, all round cool dude & self-taught artist, Jesse Reno. That's a story to tell another time.
Back to the story!
A few days later I read about the Radical Self-Love Party by Earth Events where Rachel MacDonald, Gala Darling, Julie Parker and Melissa Ambrosini were going to share their stories and advice, followed by a dance party with Susana Frioni. That night was like a whole box of lit sparklers in the dark. I really needed a kickstart, some lessons in self-love and to dance my heart out. That night I opened up to following whatever felt right, even if it scared me and even though I worried too much about what was next. I asked Rachel to be my coach for a few sessions to help me with blog and business coaching.
Around the time of the Radical Self-Love Party, Rachel MacDonald and Tara Bliss released their first collaborative project, the e-books Spirited and Spirited Companion. What a freakin' goddess-send. Wholeheartedly. I dove straight in and unearthed the truth of my inner wisdom and actually started to believe that I could step out of that hole I was in, and RISE. I shared the love of Spirited with friends and mentioned it here on the blog a few times.
I wrote to Tara to tell her what I thought of Spirited and I was more than a bit chuffed that she used my words in her newsletter. This is what I wrote: You and Rachel have made something that came at a time when I almost lost faith in myself. Thank you. Thank you for this gift.
Like I said before I had fallen out of love with myself, and I was seeking tools that would help to awaken my soul, reclaim my power and faith.
This year has been very introspective in many ways, a lot of healing and self-healing, a lot of contemplation, doing the work and then piecing it all together.
A few months ago I wrote about creative fire and that's when things really came together. My mind raced with new ideas and a re-ignited love for total creative expression emerged. I danced my heart out big time at Susana's Love Sex Desire Embodied event in August and I haven't looked back (except to remember what a great time I had and how I felt). An opportunity came up to work with Susana in August and I figured this was no coincidence, I was finally aligning with what the Universe was offering to me. Instead of engaging avoidance and procrastination tactics, my gut feeling was it's time to do the work and really start to live a fully expressed life. I'm still working with Susana now and she is helping me awaken from the inside out. I finally started meditating too! Going within for answers from my subconscious, not just clearing the mind and not thinking. It can be quite an active process. I compliment my regular self Reiki practice with mindfulness and at least 2 half hour meditations a week plus the visualisation and going within when working with Susana. What a difference that has made!
This has been quite the long blog post, so thank you for reading. I felt that it was important to share all of this because it may guide you to face something you have been avoiding, it may inspire you to have faith in yourself and accept your beautifully wonderful imperfection, and embrace your creative spirit.
Back to the blog title - I felt like I had failed myself a year ago and almost traded in being an emerging artist to a hobbyist, but today I take that trial as a set of important lessons. Lessons in temperance, resilience, determination, persistence, self-love and creative expression. What does (perceived) failure feel like? It feels pretty good 12 months on. It feels like progress.
Hello, I'm Sharyn: Founder of of Gutsy Girl and Gutsy Girls Will Rule The World. I am the Creatrix of Sacred Circle Leadership Training and Gutsy Mantras.
Get to know me on my About page.
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