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
I burn with the fire of words escaping like flints that violently spark red and heated from my fingertips. Wired like charges from what my heart needs to say. In a way I don’t know what my heart needs to say but it needs to say something.
We all have a voice, that still small voice that runs like God’s prayer within and through us, a veined cable of electric current; a current that links and bridges the truth of the divine that holds each cell a vibrant alive particle that makes us a living breathing Frankenstein creation of madness.
There’s a madness that runs riotous within us. A madness that is in fact our genius. It causes us to squint and squirm if it doesn’t have its time unleashed to growl wolf and bare its fangs and let the slobber that foams at its mouth fall in globs and drips and piles of wet moist stickiness down our chin.
What is this rabid frenzy? What does it want from us?
It’s our freedom and it wants to run and roam untethered.
Many of us have a problem with this wild feral voice. Many of us have a wounding nestled deep down in our throats, a cork stopper of nicety and good girl/boy-ness, that swallows up the words, the voice, that threatens to upset the apple cart of Eve coated sugar and pour a bitter-sweetness out on to the city streets.
I question what it is I need and the bile rises to be belched out. Not at him or you or something to pin the donkey tail of blame on to. Oh no. Blame and shame keep us spinning headless chicken like, plucking feathers out of integrity’s nest.
We all have a right to our anger. When our boundaries have been blurred by neglect and carelessness and the allowing of another’s punch of dishonour to wind us of who we are. I have been learning about my boundaries these last few years. Learning where the frayed edges cower back afraid. Afraid to say No. Afraid to say yes to what is my truth. Tell the truth my teacher says. Tell the truth.
I read some words recently, by Herman Hesse, one of those quotes that bound about like whores all over the place. But this one choked me up and especially one line. This line:
“My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.”
Who no longer want to lie to themselves.
We live a lie each and every time we do not say no. We live a lie each and every time we know, and god damn how we always know, and open our mouths then shut em close like a goldfish blinking complicit in its own demented memory loss. We live a lie each and every time we betray our own soul, our own worth, our own truth, to become a pawn in the porn soul selling for the admission of another’s momentary thrill and pleasure. And we live a lie each and every time we make that choice, we topple over, into diminishing ourselves for the god forsaken validation and supposed ‘love/not love’ of another.
Guilty. I’m guilty. Guilty as charged. Guilty and yet not gilded by guilt nor shame. Guilty and yet oh how I see, post incident, post accident, when the blood and guts have been mopped up and the sirens of emergency have gone back to drama land, and stillness descends once more and there’s only this, just this, just this left to be with. Guilty and yet bowing to the medicine of that gift, another reminder, another choice spilled over on to the wrong side of the road to splatter.
And as the dust settles once more the voice arises. The voice of No, the voice vilified by the vice seduced once more on the faux shiny road of addiction. Addiction to the victim that no longer serves.
No more, the voice rises full and free.
And I let the voice rebuild and re-enliven. And I let the voice be brave in its shaking. And I let the voice rip through the hiding and the denial and the silly folly of the old fool for love/not love. and I let the voice do its surgery on me tending and threading and stitching and pulling together taut its wires to knot back together that which fell apart, this time reinforced with steel so that those rips are stronger, perhaps some of that light that Mr Cohen spoke of, gets inside too. I can only hope.
The voice is my doctor and my God right now, my life in its hands. There’s no anaesthetic, no soothing balm, for I must stay awake to its crafting, to its service.
And when it is done and the instruments of forgiveness have been put down and its hands of words are empty I can only rest. Rest and surrender, and let the healing happen, the scar a part of my living, my wisdom, curious in the knowing that I cannot, and will not, go there again. No. No. No.
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.