FREE! The Top 10 Lies You Tell Yourself About Creativity
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YOU are a creative, independent thinker with so many gifts in a variety of areas that it’s hard to pick a focus. You’ve tried different things over the years, maybe even enjoyed some measure of success. But you feel restless, unsatisfied, with the sense that you’re not getting to what matters most to you and a worry that time is running out.
Something new wants to come through you, something that’s been ‘back-burnered’ for too long. You want to step into a deeper courage, a deeper authenticity. You want to trust your inner voice but it’s scary.
• Maybe it’s starting a business.
• Maybe it’s quitting your job.
• Maybe it’s packing up your car and setting out for a cross-country adventure.
• Maybe it’s letting go of all the doing and allow for rest, for quiet, to discover a profound place of permission to be who you know yourself to be even as the HOW of it is not yet clear.
I Get It.
I work with strong, smart women who are ready for change and don't want to behave. They are done waiting for permission, perfect conditions, or guarantees before they go after their dreams.
The only problem is, they’re not sure where to start and worry it might be too late.
I help them reclaim their energy, their spark and their confidence as they get into consistent meaningful action, starting right where they are.
I loved making things as a kid—drawings, stories, photographs, ceramics, a mess.
In high school, I was all over the map. I did well in the classes I loved and bombed the classes I didn’t. My passions were science and the arts. I imagined myself on the African plain studying wild animals or starring in Broadway plays. I prided myself on being able to talk to anyone, was fearless with my teachers. As you can imagine, that sometimes got me into trouble.
My parents got divorced during my senior year and it really threw me. My older sister was away at college and my younger brother was only 6. My parents were suddenly thrown into their new lives and I felt lost and alone. But I didn’t want to admit that to myself. While all my friends went off to college, I insisted I was fine staying home until I could figure out what was next. That’s when I started to hide. I got waitress jobs and distracted myself with boyfriend drama and too much partying. Then an acting conservatory relocated to our town and I applied.
A New Direction
I got in. It was a small, selective group—only 15 or 20 of us. I was the youngest one. It was an amazing, intense, seven-day-a-week whirlwind of classes, rehearsals, working and bonding with this quirky band of creative people. At the end of the two year program, I was faced with a decision: now what?
Some of my classmates were moving to LA, some to NYC. Some of us talked about going west to start our own company in Seattle. It took me a year to make the move to NYC where I played the part of someone pursuing acting but mostly I hid behind waitressing and more relationship shenanigans.
When I met my first husband, I was reading What Color is Your Parachute at the bar, surrounded by my fellow restaurant workers who were really artists, writers, opera singers, therapists, actors, dancers. He and I stayed together for almost a decade, doing a series of jobs where mostly, I felt bored.
What was I thinking? I knew what color my parachute was; I just didn’t know how to use it. So for years, it lay in a heap on the ground.
I eventually went back to college, got my degree in science, landed a job as a research assistant at a prestigious hospital. I felt at home in some ways, among another quirky group of creative, smart, funny people of all ages, like acting school, like the restaurant.
I toyed with getting my PhD while my husband and I tried and tried to get pregnant. It didn’t work. I took other jobs, some horrendously tedious (newspaper delivery, cashier) some wonderful (free-lance writer, teacher, artisan cheese-maker). I performed in a small dance troupe. Each month I didn’t get pregnant, I tried to be okay with the idea of not having kids.
Though I never was.
Then my husband left me.
A Sudden Change
I was devastated, on my way to 35 with no children, no career, and no idea what to do next.
I lost 20 pounds in 5 minutes. I cobbled together another mish-mash of jobs: in research, in offices, in education, in restaurants, as a personal assistant. (The jobs I’ve had and didn’t love could fill a book.)
Fast forward: I met my second husband, fell in love and moved to California where I got a job at fabrication studio with a new bunch of eclectic, creative, funny, interesting, smart people and after a couple of rounds of IVF, finally got pregnant at 40.
Finally, A Baby!
At long last I was a mom, a job I adored! Except that the baby cried nonstop and never slept. At 4 he was diagnosed with Aspergers. I rolled up my sleeves to show up for him, for what he needed, cutting a path through the tall grass of early childhood development in the land of autism. I stayed home, I homeschooled. It was beautiful, confusing, rewarding, and intense.
Special needs parenting called upon some of my strongest skills: flexibility, intuition, energy, compassion, humor—but it wasn’t with a group of people. I felt isolated and alone. I learned a ton, about social-emotional development, sensory integration, executive functioning. When I had a break, I squeezed in projects, large and small. I re-landscaped the yard, tore up and re-bricked the walkway to our front door. I started writing consistently, hired a life coach, and published a book.
By the time he entered high school, my son was ready to transition to a small, independent school and that’s when I trained to become a coach and started channeling my inner scientist.
The Beauty of Experiments
I love using the word experiment because I believe we are all scientists at heart, happiest when we follow our curiosity. Experiments can’t fail because you always get information and information is gold.
I started creating experiments for myself--projects that had endings: 10 days of planking for 30 seconds each day; 30 days of 5 minutes of daily meditation; taking a selfie every day for a whole year; video-taping myself for 90 days in a row. I collected daily art in a series of bound journals for 365 days in a row.
A new story of who I am and what I’m here to do emerged and it had nothing to do with my circumstances, my 'talent', my age, or the 'product' and everything to do with creativity, an essential part of being a human person.
"Unused creativity is not benign."–Brené Brown
All Of It Counts
I see the common threads in my life: making things, learning things, and being among a group of interesting, quirky, smart, funny, creative people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s liberating to trust my instincts and to know that my purpose is to be present with what’s happening right now.
In truth, no matter who we are, it’s not our business to know what will happen. It’s out business to pay attention to the truth of each moment and move from there. I love this quote from Chögyam Trungpa: “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.”
The ground comes from within us. There is no parachute at all.
Today, I get to be a mom, make things, and help amazing, creative women make the changes they're longing to make.
Trust In Your Perfect Timing
I’m a late bloomer. It’s worth it. I’m here to trust my timing, use my gifts, listen to my heart, and follow my own path. And so are you.
If I was a flower, I might be a peony, so named from the word paean, the god of healing, a song of triumph. It’s a flower that requires support and its own army of ants to bloom—not always a pretty sight but that’s life. She takes you to places you might never have chosen and then you get to decide:
Are you going to pick Hero or Victim?
Wisdom or Woe?
Possibility or Impossibility?
I choose Hero, Wisdom, and Possibility. How about you?
"You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there's still going to be somebody that hates peaches." –Dita Von Teese