I have been shakin’ it up like Tina on the stage of life this week. I had a private coaching session with Leslie on Friday after the fifth “Finding Your Authentic Voice” class to deal with some longstanding fears about putting my work out in the world.
Coaches ask perceptive questions and offer “assignments”; Leslie suggested several this week.
I’ve got a tiger by the tail again with the studio work and my days are filled with both joy and creative anxiety. Every day has been a studio day. I’m learning more about deep breathing and releasing to help clear the anxiety and also to help calm the joy and direct it into my work. The anxiety comes from all the stages of new work unfolding and the risks that engaging in creating bring (and always will, I now recognize, so I will keep gathering tools to navigate them)
One assignment for this week focuses on the idea of making space for my artistic self. Part of this represents an inner expansiveness of trust and self-acceptance that gives my artist self more permission and room to BE.
Each day I have made time to expand and breathe, and then expand a little more – I can take more breath in than I realize. When I release a deep breath, I empty out and then let a little bit more air out – deepening the release of breath. On each inhale and exhale, I repeat, “I am worthy.” Synchronicity again that we practiced this in restorative yoga this week, another new and essential addition to my artistic life that realigns my energy and releases tensions.
This is one new direction I’m exploring with my “pages” series, working with painted and gessoed and printed papers. It seems to be working – I will continue to make the little pages you see, then compose and mount them – I’d like them to feel like they are barely attached and fluttering. Lots to still figure out.
I received a beautiful card from Suki, an inspiring poet, writer and artist, with Tibetan prayer flags on it that echo my inspiration for the fluttering pages and other works I am developing based on the idea of “writing in air.”
Another assignment Leslie gave our group this week was to create a ceremony or ritual acknowledging our authentic voice. I chose to write and say a daily focusing/ blessing for my ceremony for the week (and am so proud to say I did it every day):
Welcome new day! I greet you with appreciation.
I bless and give thanks for my vibrant, active, healthy body.
I bless this home and its loving vibration.
I bless this beautiful world around me pulsing with life and hope and growth.
I bless my creative work and the soulful expression of my art.
I bless this day, trusting that it will bring stimulation, affection, nurture, interaction,play, joy, love and creative expression.
I know today and every day, the powerful creator that I am will find purpose and fulfillment, insight and clarity.
Everything in its perfect time.
Everything is unfolding.
It feels wonderful to say these words to begin the day.
Leslie suggested another assignment for me as well that I enjoyed doing, to take a brush and pan of water and make bold, gestural marks on my studio walls with abandon.
It felt freeing, expansive, dancelike. I carried this openness to figure drawing class (my second) in a fellow artist’s studio in my building and the focus and concentration on the shapes and form and movements of the body were deeply satisfying. This class meets twice a month. My drawings improved enormously over my first night. I am settling in and feeling comfortable and deeply appreciative of the human form. Drawing feels powerful, comfortable, connected. It doesn’t matter what I produce, it is intensively satisfying to observe and explore the marks that capture gesture and form.