"Belonging. What does that mean? As David Whyte discovers in his extraordinary book 'crossing the unknown sea', we feel the gravitational pull towards the centre of our being the more we begin to live following the truth of who we are.
We are living in a time when our sense of who we are and the bigger, truly existential question, of where do we belong, to what and whom, grows more urgent.
Does belonging depend upon the colour of our skin, our religion born into and/chosen, our class, status, income bracket? Does it ripple out from the families we create and choose? Our vocation, careers, work? How we invest our time? Where we place our attention, a laser beam of luxury, freedom and privilege where we can pick at, like a buffet, and serve ourselves plates of what feels familiar, comforting and safe.
Is it enough to say we belong to the human race anymore? And then look away, busy ourselves with matters closer to home, half blinded by the understandable helplessness that strikes another human. Another life. Another world.
What does it mean to belong?
By simply being born, and that's a whole other story or stories, we are part of a conversation of belonging to life each other and the world. By who we are. By the words that we speak. By the actions we take. The course we traverse willingly or with great grudge. By the work that we do. By the art, words, and expression that we offer. It's all a part of the great living conversation. The conversation of belonging.
When we do not add to this conversation, for fear of the repercussions, we live a life crouched down, a life squinted and misshapen. We cower away, not desiring to rock the boat, the ocean liner, that carries us on the greater voyage of belonging, destination unknown. The boat marked 'in this together'..."
(Published to Elephant Journal. To continue reading head here :-))
'R for Resistance'. Or, how to approach those creative blocks, procrastination and doubts, that show up over and over again as we live our creative life.
Hurrah hurrah hurrah! 🎉🎊🎁
It's finally here!
I am absolutely delighted to announce that...drum roll please!...I have gone and launched 'The Creative Genius' on YouTube! 😘
Each week I will post a video as part of the series 'An A to Z guide to being a creative genius' xxx
Today, and because of my own faffing over the last month or so to actually DO IT, the episode is 'R for Resistance'. Or, how to approach those creative blocks, procrastination and doubts, that show up over and over again as we live our creative life.
No matter if you're an artist of any description, a company boss, a solo creative entrepreneur, or just often have this sense of malaise or 'meh!' as a background hum to your day to day life, you might find this video a lil inspiring.
Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and let me know what you think to this lil creative genius' first foray into videoland! 😊 And if sharing feels apt, then share away my lovelies 😘🙏
So much love, wonderment and creative magic xx HH
D is for doubt.
Doubt has taken up residence and invited the fraudulent one for tea. They’re eating rock cakes which are causing all their teeth to fall out, and they’re pissing ‘tea’ outta their orifices! Quite frankly, they stink.
It’s no irony in the grand scheme of things, of how life is the careful navigation between and betwixt the dualities that those yogic dudes once spouted about. Yeh. It’s taken me twenty years, including one year of yoga teaching retirement, to finally get it. Tis all the dance of the opposites that causes so much trouble, tremble and thorny-ouched days as we pirouette the best we can through our creative lives.
You see, one of the diamonds of absolute clarity that has arisen since beginning a journey with the, (as I call her), ‘business shaman’, Kat Byles, is in finding my core message that fuels and runs through the intention of what ‘The Creative Genius’ (my creativity coaching business, keep up in the back loves!! ;-)) is about. It’s a ‘Fuck, YES!’ to one’s creativity, sexuality and life force. It’s a no brainer for me and as anyone of you knows who has worked with me (or just simply live in my heart as my friend), making your life art, and your art life, is what I have breathed with conviction all of my life. It’s me basically. And this ‘Fuck, YES!’ is a soft, heart fuelled, passionate, pleasurable, delicious, juicy, affirmation of your life. Of your self. Of your heart, and of your art.
Now, in standing at the edge of the unknown, at a new level of visibility, that involves all of me showing up, exposed, present, embodied, engaged, I have run straight into, the wall of resistance. That is, I have come up against my ‘NO!’.
I understand enough now that what we call in and ask for, which is always and already available to us, what we receive is everything that is in the way of that. You want love? Guaranteed all the ways you seek to hide from, repel, and/or dishonour love will show up. You want clarity? Here’s a ginormous bundle of confusion for you to unravel! Asking for faith to show up? Well then let’s count the ways suspicion, and turning away from miracles, plays out in your life!! Fun hey!!??? :-/. And so on, and so on.
So here’s my ‘NO!’. Oh let me count the ways:
Distraction. Check. Procrastination. Check. Perfectionism. Check. Avoidance. Double check. Comparison. Yuk, and Check. Judge. Check check check. Total an utter turning away in a kinda drugged sleep walking. Check mate.
Oh. Shit. :-(
If you resonate with any of the above then now would be a great time to holler ‘me too’ and send thumbs up my way. It ain’t pretty but tis the truth.
The one who doubts is loving this. The bitch! And the fraudulent one. Well, she’s gnashing her bleeding gums and looks simply delighted in the pointing out of how can I, the one who is saying ‘No!’ with such bells and whistles, hold space for others to find their ‘YES!’. How ridiculous. As she says ‘ridiculous’ bright red spittle splays out. As you can imagine this isn’t a terribly charming sight!!!
Part of me doesn’t want to hear her and desires to sleep a thousand years and wait for Disney’s sickly sweet and sugar coated Prince Charming to show up, kiss me whilst I sleep (which is well dodgy!!), and wake me from a life of slumber and responsibility! You see doubt, judge, and the fraudulent one (Fraulein Fraudulent!?? :-)), are bullies. And in believing their bullshit I become their victim.
It just keeps getting better n better!! (Not!)
Let’s see what’s going on here shall we!? Time to face these miserable uncouth wretches spoiling my afternoon tea partying.
Am I a fraud?
I’m not. Though it may feel like it because I don’t have my Americanised ultra smile and glossy hair on right now. Or ever for that matter. I’m a normal woman. Sensitive. Shy. Sweet. Who needs lots of stillness, space and silence otherwise she gets overwhelmed. And who often has a soupcon of tremor in her thigh, and a quiver of terror in the pit of her belly. Fine. These are familiars, and after a lifetime of letting them curtail my ‘Yeses’, they no longer pose a threat nor a roadblock to the excitement of the muse! :-)
Am I a fraud?
Guaranteed that whenever we stand at a gateway into the next steps of our true becoming any number of our old resistance mechanisms will kick in. It’s scary. It’s unknown and new. It’s exciting but involves letting go of what we know. It’s a surrender into. It’s about trust. It’s a game. It’s growth. And if it’s truly aligned with who we are, there’s a level of uncertainty and thus vulnerability, that rises up to meet us. All of this equals a madcap rush of possible chaos and resistance. (And cake. Very possibly cake.)
If I’m to stand besides you, clear, strong, open, receptive, and trustworthy, then I’ll have to have gone through this too. Not just once, but over and over and over again.
Am I a fraud?
What I’m stepping up to do is challenging that part that feels safer hiding away and behind. And yet this call feels oh so right. Alive. Exciting. Playful. And me. Because it feels so clear I am completely naked and raw, exposed and vulnerable. I choose this. I choose to step forwards deeper and wider and into the limitless possibility of the creative void. I choose to say yes to that which makes me feel joy. I choose to walk my talk, and shimmy my lithe limbs, and say ‘here I am, here I am!’
Doubt and its annoying friends come in to meet us when we are on to something. When we no longer desire to live in a smallness that devalues and denies who we are. I believe more and more that the force of this resistance is in direct equal power to the force of our greatness. The dance between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, between ‘life’ and ‘death’, is an eternal waltz until our very last step!
As they say on many a show: Who wins? You decide :-)
Here are some practical tools (from the creative genius warriors rock ‘n soul toolbox), to assist you if you find doubt, fraud and friends have come to tea unexpectedly!
*If you find that you have been gripped by the vice of ‘NO!’: Name it. Claim it. Voice it. So that it can no longer hide and rob you of your light and life. Most of the ‘no’ thoughts are designed to keep us small, and shame us. Shame’s role is to hide us away, and keep us imprisoned. Say ‘no way’ to your captors. Turn to face them. Question their voice.
*Ask for help and support. No wo(man) is an island. The ego thinks so. The ego believes it doesn’t need others. That’s not the case. Our strength is in our togetherness. That’s my new motto. It’s very new for this lone wolf. Reach out to: Peers. Friends. Loved ones. Tribe. Professionals. Nature. Trees. Mountains. The sea. Your dog. Your cat. A terrific and fabulously real creativity coach! :-)
*Make a choice. A conscious choice. Do I desire to live in and from this ‘no’? Would I like to learn to move in and from my ‘yes’? You don’t have to know how. Just keep affirming your choice.
*Accept that life is lived in the uncertainty. In the vulnerability. In the ‘not knowing’. Learn how to tread water in this place. Learn how to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. A ship is safe in the harbour but that’s not what ships were made for. It’s not what you were made for.
*Acceptance. Of all the ways the ‘no’ moves in. Of all its seductive callings. Of each and every time you cannot resist, are blind to its crafty manoeuvres. Get familiar with these characters: the doubt, the fraud, the judge. The more we choose to pull up a seat and join them at their (by now a complete shambolic!) table, the more they lose their power over us. And listen carefully too, as there may be snippets and whippets of truth amongst their scaremongering. It takes a great discernment to know what’s truth and what’s lies.
*Make friends with the possibility of failing, of fucking up, of making mahoosive mistakes! Make friends with imperfection.
*Take a deep breath and just go for it. Wobble away. Shake rattle ‘n roll. Fall down. Get ya knickers in a twist and your tail feathers caught in the elastic of ya pants.
*Show up anyways in all your glorious humanness. You see, if what calls to come forth lights a rocket in ya pants so that you purr with life and pulse with the yes of Eros, of manifestation, of what turns you on, of what brings you joy, then that’s what is being asked of you to bring to life. It’s none of your business how to do so perfectly. It’s not possible to wait until you’re ready otherwise they’ll be burying us at sea and our bones will still be rattling in anticipation mode waiting, waiting, waiting.
*Oh yeah. And celebrate the steps. Each one. No matter how small. If what you’ve done is huge for you then celebrate :-)
*And when the next wave comes to carry you (which it will my darling, oh yes it will), rinse and repeat. Strap yourself in and say ‘Fuck, YES!’ all over again!
With each battle, each surf, our muscle of becoming and navigating this ride, gets stronger. It has to. It will do. It is.
Thank you for your time and attention,
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 :-).
If you like what you read then why not sign up to receive your FREE pdf book “10 ways to awaken your creative genius”. In all transparency, you will then be on my mailing list. I send out, about once a month, a Frida Friday newsletter filled with artists resources. It’s like a lil magazine, and it’s super inspiring. Yet, if you just want the book, well then go ahead, and unsubscribe afterwards if you like! ;-) :-). No problem! Thank you.
If you enjoyed this article then you might also like, 'Showing up for our creative lives', and 'I burn with a voice' xxx
C is for comfort zone.
The edge of our known world. The edge of reason. The edge.
We all know our comfort zone. For most of us its the place we live in day in day out. It’s familiar, safe, furnished to our liking, and of course, mighty comfortable.
Or is it?!
Gabrielle Roth says ‘if we are not living on the edge then we’re taking up too much room.’ OK then love. OK.
The thing about our comfort zone is exactly that, it’s not so challenging or life giving or dynamic. Its daily turning can sometimes leave us slightly uneasy. As our heads touch the pillow at the end of another day we might find some voice within us imploring ‘is this it??’.
Now don’t get me wrong. If your comfort zone is working out all tickety boo for you then great. Don’t fuck about with the status quo. And as they say, if it ain’t broke…
But what if there is a gnawing within? What if there’s a part of you that drifts off into dreaming of a life that looks rather different? And what if you know full well that mamma be parked her car in the zone for far far too long it all gone goddamn rusted!!?? ;-) :-)
Within our creative life there will come a point where we will meet the edge of this zone. To be frank if you’re an artist then it’s likely that you’ve met it already, a thousand and one times before. Indeed you might be there now, feet planted firm on terra cognito, nose peering out into the void, heart beating, palms clammy, and your mind racing a million miles to find the how to step in.
Stop. Stop right now. No my dear, I wasn’t talking to you I was addressing your mind. You see the thing is about stepping outta ones comfort zone is that we do not, cannot, and will not, know what happens next. It’s impossible. It’s the very nature of it all. It’s the whole fuckin point!
Ironically, it’s not the stepping outta the comfort zone that’s the problem. We’ve just made it that way with our if’s and but’s. In fact to even think that we are stepping is a falsity as what we are really doing is expanding into, or responding to, this supposed edge. This unknown.
It’s not a new place with a different postal code and temperate climate. It’s still our life, only bigger, with more of it available, a broader and wider and deeper perspective one might say.
Let’s see if we can connect the dots a lil more shall we?
Take a moment to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Put down any ideas on how or what and just quieten into just this moment now. Feet on the floor if possible or at least be aware of your bottom on your chair. Good. Now I’d like for you to picture yourself in the life you are peering all telescope at, the one ‘over the edge’. Really see yourself in it. Use all your senses. How is it once you’ve written your script, completed that series of paintings, taken a bow at the end of your performance’s first night? Really go into how it feels. Allow yourself to feel elated, satisfied, joyous, peaceful…Notice too what else is in there. Maybe a little resistance? Is there any fear? Anxiety? Numbness? Embarrassment? Doubt?
Find these in your body. Are there any beliefs or thoughts that wanna sabotage or dampen or even destroy this possibility, this place?
Be totally honest with yourself here, as in all truth, because you are most decidedly and defiantly human, there will be both. The joy and the doubt. The peacefulness and the anxiety. The elation and the fear. All a hodgepodge of human feeling and emotion. Same with your thoughts darling. You may well have the ‘look what I created!’, with the ‘what the fuck did you do you stupid talentless idiot!’ running side by side.
OK. Good. Let it all be there, the good, the bad, and the ugly! ;-)
You see here’s the magic key. It’s in our ability not to run for the hills or bury our heads under the duvet. It’s in our superhero power of simply staying with. Staying with. In feeling and allowing all of what arises to be here. Yes it will fly up and slap us vehemently across the face, whip us into a fretful frenzy, and pull at the strands of our hair in all the directions of the compass. And yet. And yet.
And yet if you choose to stay, to feel, to allow, to even say ‘hey you fuckers bring your worst!!!’, something begins to happen. After a while they begin to calm down, to settle, to slow and become quieter. They may not go away all together, and they probably won’t. But they’ll calm and as they do you will notice that you’re still there, or ‘here’ really. You’ve not been blown away. And as the dust settles you realise that you are still at this edge but now, but now, you are not so at the mercy of all your mind made lunatic possibilities. And this my dear even includes the ‘good’ ones because, hells bells, we really don’t know how we’ll feel or what kind of impact our creative work will have, but we will have done it. We will have stepped outta our comfort zone and grown!
Choices. Make a choice. Do it anyways despite the gabbling lunatic voices? Do it anyways not knowing if it will all be crap? Do it anyways even though we may be laughed at? Do it anyways despite not having a fuckin clue what happens next? And do it anyways even if so aquiver with fear that you be shakin’ and vibratin’ like nobody’s business hon??! ;-)
Yes. And yes again. And one more time just in case you’re still dithering, yes!
Don’t wait til you got it all sorted out. Don’t wait until you’re perfect and coiffed and fixed. Don’t wait until you’ve got the new safety harness figured out. Because paradoxically the more you live like this the more you realise that our safe and familiar comfort zones are in actual fact, our prison. They’re not safe at all. They need a lot of controlling and tweaking and managing. They are in fact quite surprisingly exhausting. And what we also find, in this place of freedom, that the fear, doubt and anxiety that we had associated with ‘the edge’, were really practically what we we’re living on in maintaining our comfort zone! Go figure!!!
Meet your edge. Every day if necessary. Choose life and the unknown. Live in the not knowing. Grow up and in and out, all wings and roots. Create and go for it because it’s in the making remember, it’s in the making that we are affirmed and alive and in joy. It’s in the moment by moment action and breath and craft. It’s never really about over there is it!? But you never know, you may look up one day and realise that you are in that place you once dreamt of, the one over the edge, the edge that seems so insignificant and small now, that you laugh at the beautiful and amazingly human being that you are. And maybe, just maybe, you find yourself dreaming and itching and facing a brand new edge. Keep dissolving that edge of comfort darling one. It’s the only way.
P.S. Disclaimer. Sometimes, often, just chilling in our comfort zone is exactly where we choose and need to be. It’s duvet days and devouring Netflix and box sets. It’s faffing and procrastinating and going over n’ over n’ over the same old questions. It’s sad days and flat days and human days. It’s life and living and all of it, every damn moment.It’s all, oh so stupendously, ours.
Hey lovely creative genius, let me know if you resonate with any part of this musing :-) And if you would like a lil assistance with shifting that creative stuckness that be cloggin’ up your creative flow, then click here sign up to receive your FREE pdf book “10 ways to awaken your creative genius”. In gratitude, grace and freedom, HH
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.