Archive for March, 2010

She sat by the window in anticipation

She sat by the window in anticipation

I’ve been struggling with this post for almost a week now and have been wanting to write about fear… about how it disrupts our lives. I’ve thought of lots of reasons why I shouldn’t write it and at the same time, lots of reasons why I should. You could say that for every reason not to, I have an equally powerful reason for writing.

Fear is an amazingly powerful force. It can make us do things we never thought possible and at the same time, stop us from doing others. Think about it, how many times have you wanted to do something but were too afraid to stick your neck out and do it.

All because of fear…

A few years ago, I had an “aha” moment about fear. That moment came when I was listening to a lecture and the speaker told us what the acronym for fear was. All of a sudden a light bulb went off in my head and I had to ask them to repeat themselves. I heard it again tonight when I was in my Women’s intention group.

What is the acronym?

It is so true! 90% of the time, we have no evidence whatsoever that what we are imagining in our heads is real. We make stuff up. We worry about outcomes that have no basis in reality. And those made up outcomes stop us from doing things that in all likelihood would benefit us in some way or another. Where am I going with this?

Well, for me, fear shows up in many areas in my life, especially in my creative life. I’ve got paintings that have been sitting in the corner of my studio, unfinished for the last several years, all because I got stuck and was afraid that I was going to mess them up worse. Up until last week, I had mold making material in my studio and was afraid to use it because I was afraid I was going to wreck it…. then I was afraid that it was so old that it had dried out. I finally pulled it out last week, read the directions and realized, I’d been making a mountain out of a mole hill. I’ve made 6 or 8 molds since then and it was a breeze, some of the easiest stuff I’ve ever worked with in fact.

Now I know these are mundane compared to bigger issues. And my biggest issue is with showing my work to the rest of the world. Even though I create lots of things and shoot lots of pictures, I have held the belief that I am not creative… that no one will like my photography, paintings or anything else… that my work isn’t good enough. And by creating this blog I made sure that my work was going to be seen one way or another, I can’t hide here. I can’t have a blog about my creative journey and hide out from the world, it’s not possible. I have to show my work and share my journey. And that is scary.

You see, we all just make stuff up and in the process end up being a “fence sitter”. As my friend Erik says, “The most boring and useless people in the world are those who are too afraid to stand for something. These people play it ‘safe’ all the time. They’re afraid of taking any risks. They’re ‘fence-sitters’ because they sit on the fence and watch other people stand for something they believe in.”

Okay, I know to some degree, that sounds harsh and maybe it is. But, there is truth in there and sometimes truth is hard to hear. When was the last time you risked something? When was the last time you took a chance on doing something you’ve always wanted to do and were too afraid to try?

Well today, I’m taking a chance and I’m putting some of my paintings up with this post. And at the same time, I ask you to do something similar. Take a walk on the wild side and say “no” to your fear. Let it all hang out and prove to yourself once and for all that fear ain’t got nothin’ on you. Who knows, you just might like the new brave and courageous you.

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Saints Alive

Saints Alive

I have been doing a little experiment lately. I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t look at what I was photographing. What if I just “shot from the hip?” Literally. Well, I discovered that I like it AND it ain’t a bad way to shoot.

For the last couple days, I’ve literally been carrying my camera by my side, somewhere around my hip area, with my finger on the shutter and walking as I normally would. I haven’t bothered with framing or cared whether I was moving or not…. my camera was down so low that there was no way I could look through the screen or the viewfinder. I basically let my hand do the directing, moving in one direction or another, up or down, side to side… that was it.

I discovered that in low light conditions, moving wasn’t always the best idea. Sometimes I would stop and look at something while my camera hand was moving around and snapping away at something else. It’s like I gave my hand and camera free rein to do whatever they wanted, I let them have a mind of their on.

Okay, now I know that sounds weird and maybe it is however, it’s very freeing. Think about it, you’re not worrying about whether a shot is framed just right or not, or if the lighting is okay or not. And when you look at the shots after wards, it’s amusing to seeing what shows up. There were some things I photographed that I didn’t remember even seeing much less shooting! Now don’t get me wrong, some of the pictures were just bad and those I dumped but others, were actually quite nice and if I had been looking through the view finder, I might not have “seen” them in the same way, and I would have probably shot them in a more “normal” way and not gotten anything near as interesting.

I have a dear friend who is one of my all time favorite photographers… he also teaches college level photography. I remember he once said to me that when you’ve got a camera in your hand, you’ve got to do the “camera dance.” Meaning, don’t be afraid to move around, try something different. Standing there with the camera to your face, looking through the viewfinder or screen can be quite boring… stoop down, stand on something, get up close, do whatever it is you need to do to get an interesting shot and most of all… don’t be afraid to push the button.

Well, for the last couple days, I did a different kind of “camera dance”…. I took my camera for a walk and let it do the shooting.

How cool is that! Here are a few more shots to give you some ideas.

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Baby Hummingbird

A month or so ago, a hummingbird built a nest in my garden outside my bedroom door. I watched her for several weeks as she sat in the nest. When we would walk by, she would fly away and once even challenged me… checking me out to make sure that I was okay and wasn’t going to bother the nest, I just stood there and tried as best I could to let her know I was okay.

Last week, I noticed she wasn’t there anymore, I thought she had abandoned her nest. I was feeling a little upset with this and wondered what had happened to the baby. I was afraid we might have scared the mom somehow and she refused to stay.

A couple days ago, I heard a bunch of fussing from what sounded like a bird, I couldn’t figure out what it was and it was not letting up. I went to investigate and there was the Momma hummingbird, fussing at my cat who was sitting under the nest. I thought this was odd and chased my cat away… just in case. This morning I decided to take a closer look, and there it was, the baby. Very shy and almost fully grown.

What a blessing to have such sweetness in my life. I am grateful for the joy they have brought into my life. I took this picture to share with you.

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Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog.

My blog is about creativity and the exploration of what it means to be creative and live a creative life.

Creativity is not just about drawing or painting or cooking or anything else we tend to think it’s about. Creativity is about living the best life we can, in the best way we know how and being okay with who we are and what we create. This is what I’m up to…. learning to live a creative life and loving every minute. Learning to allow myself to be creative in whatever form that shows up.

Come join me on this wonderful and exciting adventure, together we can learn what it means to create wholeness for ourselves and each other.

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