V is for Voice.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Hmmm. Maybe. Though not necessarily so! (as my oldest niece, having her little sister copy everything that she does, is finding that it’s more irritation than anything else! ;-)). But it’s how we learn isn’t it? We copy the alphabet to learn how to write and spell. We go to art galleries and reproduce our version of the old masters paintings into our school art pads. We study each and every nuance of our favourite performers to try and capture something of their creative genius essence.
And yet we also have our own way, our unique way, of seeing and perceiving and observing the world around us, filtered through our eyes, experiences and beliefs.
As a small child we dance and draw and make up stories and games. All of our knowing is play based. And pure. And innocent.
This innocence gets corrupted and we become closed down in some way. More fearful, less trusting of our own innate vision and truth. And this impacts upon our voice the strongest. We lose our voice.
We have been told that what we have voiced is ‘wrong’. What this filters down to, at the most base insidious level, is that must mean that ‘we are wrong’, ‘I am wrong’. And that is a mighty twisted place to live our life from. It’s an off balance, crooked and unstable foundation, you know, the bit beneath what is seen, to build atop. We might create giant heights to dazzle and take ones breath away but, and it’s terrifying really, a little gust of critical wind, a tiny blow of another’s questioning breath, and down it all tumbles, a staggering dusted cobble and debris of all that has been created from the illusion, and goddamn it it is an illusion, a deluded delusion actually, of being wrong.
Now copying is not wrong. In a way it’s an extraordinary way of understanding another’s genius. We literally put ourselves in their shoes. We shapeshift and become them like putting on a costume. We attempt to mine the essence of who they are and what makes them tick and why they create the way that they do. This can teach us empathy and keep curiousity alive. But staying here too long and it borders on fetishism and plagiarism and probably other words that end in ‘ism’! ;-). And it negates, the already wobbly toothed state, of our true and authentic and uniquely ours, voice.
Having spent the last few months crafting this here website for my new business, I have immersed myself in the t’interneted world of the how to’s and the marketing do’s and don’ts. Everyone has an opinion, their opinion, their VOICE, on the most optimum way to navigate this terrain. Now I’m not about to blast all of these tremendously helpful and creatively entrepeneured folk. Well maybe just a smidge! But there is a kinda ‘one size fits all’ system going on. A system that’s appears to be, in my opinion, quite shouty and fuelled by a shady hint of fear. Like that’s the fuel. Fear. Because unless we do it this way or that way we might never be seen. We might never be heard. We might never find those folk whom we are extending our hearts and arts out to.
I get it. I really do. Obviously I want for my business to take off. Obviously I desire clients and likes and claps and for what I am offering to be successful. I also want to make a living, a damn good living, from what I’m tremendously good at. I own this. For the sake of clarity and integrity. I both desire to make a fabulous living from something I am devotedly passionate about; and, I am absolutely bloody great at what I do. Full stop. Amen! ;-)
But here’s the thing. After many weeks of ploughing through this advice and this checklist I started to feel like something wasn’t quite right for me. Something was off. And what I realised was it was I that was off, off kilter from my own truth, from my own authentic voice.
You see I’ve never been what one might call conventional. I wouldn’t really know how. I’m me. I’ve always been me. And these days blessedly I feel more me then I have ever felt so before. And that’s bloody marvellous.
And what that also means is that I have been listening to and following my own truth more and more. Stayed in my own integrity lane if you like. And on a bigger scale that means that anything that I put ‘out there’ or offer or express will be coated in pure ‘me’ ness. If that’s a thing. Yeah I can see how that might seem a little selfish (me, me, me!!! ;-)), but there comes a time when we gotta stand up and claim our voice, and the way it pours forth through us, whether in words, or paint, or music, or song, or image, or dance etc. We gotta take our shape and fuel it with our absolute ‘Yes!’. We gotta own that crown atop of our heads, work that sash, and wave that glinting, gold topped sceptre, unapologetically, for all to see. Well, at the very least we gotta allow ourselves to be (fellow introverts I hear you!). That’s it. No excuses. Nada. Zilch.
So, thank you, there have been tips aplenty that have certainly been worth the deep dive into marketing know how. And I’ll imitate them because I can rub off on your genius :-). But I’m gonna put the rest down. And I’m gonna find my way, my creative genius way, to share my creative offering out into the world. And trust in that. And trust that being clear in what I am, which is the seed of all that I also do, will steer the way to what I desire. Or maybe it won’t. But we’ll see.
And for now I’m not sure exactly what that looks like.
There’s a few sprinkling of idea seedlings (there always are), and my intuitive soul will be my guide. I know that I’ll get lost and mess up and most likely at times act from fear as opposed to love. Because I’m human and learning and this is all new. But I believe in who I am. And, this is where I find my voice, a channel directly plugged into my creative genius. I’m practicing what I preach! ;-)
And it is this blueprint, though I hobble and shake and vow to keep on showing up and voicing who I am as an artist, as a creative being, that is brought to each client that I work with, and to each session, and to each creative relationship that’s explored through creativity coaching. It cannot be any other way. I want for you to deeply clarify and then take action from your truth. I want for you to be able to really know your voice and then to use it to super charge everything you touch and create with its power.
Because it is a power, and maybe that’s partly why we have lost it or are afraid of it. It’s part of our creative genius. And it’s a dangerous force but it has no rules or laws. It’s pure. It’s innocent. It’s goddamn real. And each and every one of us, has it.
What’s your voice dear one? Let me hear you :-).
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If you enjoyed this article then you might also like, 'Showing up for our creative lives', and 'I burn with a voice' xxx
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.