Saturday, April 14, 2012
Finding My Way As an Artist
I am finally finished with "The Artist's Way". It took me longer than the 12 weeks to complete it and I was barely able to actually do too many artist's dates alone and I skipped the morning pages more often than I did them by the end of the process. But, despite these shortcomings, I do feel like I gave as much of myself to the process as I possibly could, under the circumstances (my circumstances being that I'm a full time unschooling mom of three young children). Instead of beating myself up for not doing it perfectly, I told myself that over time I'd get those artist's dates in and that I'd just keep doing morning pages whenever the notion struck me. They aren't happening often but they are happening.
I'm seeing positive changes since I implemented "The Artist's Way" into my days. I've made break throughs, I've stepped up and DONE something a few times, and I've made peace with some areas of my life that I'd continued to hold over my own head for years. And I'm doing nice little things for myself like buying relatively expensive yerba mate and treating myself to some, in my Dwight Schrute mug.
I'm blogging... without fear. Sure, I've never really stopped blogging before but I've always gone through dry spells. And those bothered me. I'd be all convinced that there were no more blog posts left inside of me and that I was done with that time in my life and who was I kidding, no one was reading anyway. But I've always come back around with a long list of blogging topics and the desire and motivation to write about them. This time I didn't panic. I had a few weeks where I didn't blog and didn't really want to. I knew, however, that in a few days or weeks time, I'd be back to blogging again and that I was simply focusing my efforts on other things (and that's true, I was spending time watching television and experimenting with foods and planning my garden and making new friends and being out and about a lot and directing a play and, ironically, finishing up "The Artist's Way"). I have always come back around to blogging and this time I had enough sense and faith to realize that a break is just that... a break. No panicking. No criticism. No pressure. Just going with the flow.
I'm also contributing at ChristianUnschooling.com. I had become a contributor for a blog a while ago but when I emailed my "boss" for some feedback and she said that she no longer worked for the website and that maybe I should contact so and so, I politely removed the badge from my sidebar. I've never heard from them again. But contributing to this Christian Unschooling blog is an entirely different story. These women are my sisters, some of my greatest support and some of my closest friends. We have a group on facebook where we talk about the site. We are in communication with one another. So, it's not like my first experience. And it's entirely what I have been needing. It's a contribution that I feel is worthwhile and about which I also feel very proud. Funny, a few weeks after I'd been asked to contribute I had to go back and read my morning pages that I'd been writing for "The Artist's Way". When I read that I'd written that I'd like to join a writer's group, I just grinned. I didn't even remember writing that. And I'm sure I had something else in mind... like a group of women sitting around a table at a coffee shop, pad and pencil in hand, nervously sharing something they had written. But this works too. This is the perfect actually. Funny how God knew what I needed and just handed it to me when the time was right.
That's another thing... I'm just following God's lead. Instead of pressuring myself to write a book or a play, I'm waiting for God to show me where I need to go next. Like he did a few weeks ago. I had decided that I wanted to pursue comedy. I didn't exactly know where to start or what to do. But I knew that I wanted to make people laugh. I sorta sat on that idea for a while... started studying comedy, reading about it... then I saw an ad on craigslist for a comedy show that was coming to Nashville called That Time of the Month. Immediately I submitted my "funny story" and hoped that I'd be accepted. After much correspondence and many edits, I had been accepted and would be reading my story at the premiere Nashville show.
And so on April 1, I read my story to a completely sold out audience following three other amazing women and their hilarious stories. Friends, old and new, came to see me, which I really appreciated. And it was fun. So much fun. I got a lot of great feedback and I felt satisfied. One man even asked me what my next venue was going to be. I do not have one. Not saying that I'm not open to doing more of this type of thing if the time arises. And I sure do plan on working on stand up as time goes on. But if I don't get around to it, I feel like I did something. I didn't just sit around and say that I want to do comedy. I got up and I did the comedy. And I feel good about that.
This week I dragged myself off the sofa and went to listen to a man talk about writing for television. I didn't want to go but I knew that I had to. And I didn't regret it.
Last night, I had planned to attend a sewing class and it had been on my calendar for months. But I didn't really want to go. I was tired and I had some stuff that I needed to get done for the play that I'm directing. So I stayed at home. And I don't regret that either.
And so oh yeah, I'm directing a play. I am loving it. LOVING it. I am so excited and humbled to be able to do this that I can't even describe how I feel accurately. I just know that I like directing way more than I remember liking it. Maybe because I like kids and I have kids now. But I never dreamed that directing would make me so happy. I hope to keep doing it. Just like I hope to take to the stage again in the near future.
Another thing that I'm doing is moving in the direction of becoming a La Leche League leader. This is something that I've kinda always thought, in the back of my mind, that I'd shoot for one day. But for many years, it was just not feasible what with birthing babies and having nervous break downs and thinking that I needed to start entire non profit organizations and all. But now, I feel like the universe is telling me that this is the time, the space in my life, to move forward with helping other mothers with nursing, nutrition, birth, and parenting. All things that I'll be doing one day if I finally get around to doing the whole "midwife's assistant" thing, but on a smaller scale, with a lot less time commitment and pressure. It's ideal for this space in my life. Until now, however, I saw no opportunity to step forward and be a LLL leader because there were no meetings in our town any longer. But it seems that my amazing new friend Melinda has come to town and started organizing a meeting... literally six minutes from my house. And she has one assistant leader but could use another. How much more obvious can it get? So, I attended a meeting this week and it was lovely. She had a great turn out and she does an amazing job. If I ever have to substitute for her, I'll have big shoes to fill. What a hard act to follow. It will be an honor to be trained by her. There are quite a few steps in the process of becoming certified. So, I'm thinking that I can have my part done easily by the end of the year. This should give me plenty of time to complete all of the steps without losing my mind. I have to get my hands on a copy of the new book and then I have to attend four meetings. Those are my first steps. It's really exciting to think that I'll be given the opportunity to help mothers nurture their babies in the most natural way possible. What a treat!
I feel like I've made huge progress towards living authentically as an artist. The best thing that has happened to me through out all of this is letting go of expectations. I am exactly where the universe wants me to be and when opportunities arise that I'm supposed to pursue, God will let me know as long as I'm listening for His voice. Takes a whole lot of pressure off of me!
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