In today's post I share an email I just wrote to a dear friend this morning. I realized after I wrote this that it actually hits on a lot of the updates I've been meaning to share with my community of readers, people that follow my art work, and people who follow my coaching work. I had the thought, "hey! That was easy! Why don't I just post THAT [email] to my blog!"
And then came the, "Oh no, you can't do that! It's not nearly complete enough, good enough, what HAVE you, enough...."
But actually, I CAN do it. And the whole protest in my mind is so laughable because in the past I have AGONIZED over writing a blog because it felt so impersonal - and then I felt like the writing just felt off, not like me at all.
And what is MORE me than what I, earnestly, dash off to a trusted friend?
I definitely want more me and I want that for you, too, so let's experiment with that here....
Below I talk about needing to shift, once and for all, from a paradigm of overwhelm to just playing bigger and flowing with things. You can read a little bit below about my theory around one of the reasons I believe I experience overwhelm (I know this is a common thing for many people, and there is a particular flavor of it for highly creative people). And this post and experimentation with this type of posting is one of my anecdotes to that overwhelm.
Because I am so onto myself - one of the sources of my overwhelm is that I can feel such a powerful surge of ideas and inspiration, which is awesome, but for so much of my life I've tried to channel it through tiny straws. Tiny straws with names like, "this has to be professional," "I don't want to waste people's time, so I should make sure this is really sparkly and tight," "there is ONE RIGHT WAY of doing this," "you're not good enough yet," "protect your(ego)self" - or just that oldest, most tired straw of all, "PERFECTIONISM."
So anyway, let's get rid of the straws and all the other ways we filter ourselves in the name of being professional or having high standards. I am all for high quality work, but I also know that so much heart and soul is sacrificed on the altar of trying to preserve the ego's appearances of being all grown-up, professional, normal and everything. I have experienced it for myself and see a lot of other people waste precious time and energy trying to "get it right" or "be ready" or "be good enough." I've had enough of that.
So, here is the barely edited email I wrote to my friend and in it you'll see a bunch of updates on somethings I've been working on and thinking about lately!
It would be so wonderful to have a conversation over a glass of Rioja or tea (make mine a cappuccino :), but I will be grateful in the meantime for the wonders of modern technology!
Because I don't know how long I have to email... B [my husband] takes his students for a field trip to a soccer club and then goes to LSE in the afternoon to present a workshop - Blaise is currently "washing dishes" in the kitchen, and the boys are drawing pretty nicely.... I will hit the main points first!
One, are you feeling the ground beneath your feet yet? Any more opportunities for your own space, quiet settling time, and reflection?
Two, for the Blackberry Farm retreat date I am looking at November 10-12. Am strongly feeling the nurture, nourish theme. In spades. Would those dates possibly work for you?
Three, when my friend Mollie, the CEO of the National Resilience Institute was in town, I had a chance to get more caught up on all things NRI. Among other things, I wanted to share with you these two dates - The NRI Summit is in Chicago on Nov 2-3 and she said the Africa retreat in collaboration with Tererai Trent and her foundation is also happening. The dates are the end of Sept-beginning of Oct. Both events are going to be incredible! For the African trip they are using a travel company and also partnering with a women's business/professional network in Zimbabwe. There will be a a couple conference-type/learning days with community and business leaders/seeing the work that needs to be done/can be done, and there will also be adventure excursions - like waterfalls, safari, wonderful accommodations, and the opportunity to meet and network with leaders/kindred spirits in Zimbabwe and from within the group of retreat participants. I think it is going to be around $10K to go for the week - both of which are things that will make it a challenge for me to go (being during the school year when Brad is teaching), but I am setting the intention and not closing off unforeseen possibilities. I know you have your big Africa trip not long before this but I wanted to let keep you in the loop!
Fourth, Mollie also said she saw [ a friend] last week (she was at a university giving a talk) and that she said she's almost finished with her book [a book with a major publisher and I am featured in this book!] and will be sending my section back soon for any final edits.
Fifth, I signed up for a workshop myself in Nashville in mid-September with an artist whose work and process I admire and am very fascinated in ( Felicia Forte). A step in the direction of finding the right mentors and nourishing spaces and experiences.
Sixth, I sent a letter to Almine Rech and Ai Wei WeiI haven't yet been able to find actual email address/physical address for either of them (not surprisingly) so have had to do my best so far just sending it via social media contacts and crossing my fingers....but also still looking (and trying to not feel like a stalker) for an address that might increase the likelihood of actually connecting with them. These are just a couple of the many things I've been doing as a part of Susan's [Hyatt and Ellen Fondiler's] program - and I am equal parts excited about just reaching out, overcoming the "I'll never be ready" mental hurdle, and also working then on letting go of the outcome.
Seven, continue to work on concept journal for THE show and other art.
Eight, experiencing overwhelm - deciding that NOW is the time for me to shift into a new paradigm. Overwhelm is the old, and I think for me, the result of trying to squeeze myself into a very masculine, logical approach to things. I just need to let it rip. So, one thing I've done is start the Renascence FB group, of which you are my first member. I will explain more about that soon, but that was the first step to take - creating a space and community, even a virtual one, where this kind of paradigm can have room to be. A place for people who want to express the fullness of who they are, however that comes, moment by moment, and where people can put down the burdens of trying to appear or seem and can instead be, and grow and flower and flourish, as they were meant to. A garden, of sorts. I've got a ton more of thoughts on this, but am just going to get started without trying to have it fully formed....more sharpening the saw....
Nine, plan is to pull together soul revival at-home retreat book in portugal.
Ten, trying to stay in the mode of soaking up every last bit of our time in London - and not wasting my energy being sad that it's drawing to a close. Because I am also excited, though, to get the kids into a good structure and fun environment for them and to PAINT again!
Okay, sorry for the very long email! Believe it or not, that is a shorter update than all I have in mind! Gah!
Please do let me know how you are doing! Miss you!
And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. All events I mentioned here - The National Resilience Institute Summit in Chicago (which I emceed last year in Iowa!), the Zimbabwe adventure/retreat, and my Blackberry Farm retreat- are going to be AMAZING!!! If you'd like more information on these, just let me know. You can also sign up for my newsletter as I"ll be sharing more info on these soon.
As for the Renascence FB group - that is evolving (and it is free) but I am taking applications to join. I want it to be a very nurturing place - which is not to say that it won't be challenging in all the ways necessary to grow, though! Please contact me for more information if you are interested!
Thank you, as always, for reading and for your support!