Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Flying Girl Pushes Her Way Through, or Trust Your Instinct

Flying Girl Pushes Her Way Through, or Trust Your Instinct
2/23/09
Golden Fluid Acrylic on Paper, 5x8"

I am really coming to believe that most of the world's problems stem from a deep insecurity.

Why do we cause wars, start fights, hurt people, deny others, deny ourselves, cause misery, hoard things and resources, eat too much, starve ourselves, take drugs, become jealous, put others down, use people, run away from our biggest selves and all the other ills of the world?

Because we don't think we are good enough. We don't trust in ourselves or our own powers. If we have enough, are enough, believe enough in our selves, we don't need to take anything away from anyone else.

Simplified? Sure. But sometimes simple shows the heart of the matter.

It's also not so easy to trust yourself, to believe in your powers or to know that you are enough.
I painted this picture about trusting your instinct, for Illustration Friday, but I struggle with it.

How do I know when it's instinct speaking or fear of not being enough? There are fears that are valid instincts... self preservation, for one... but so many fears come out of the small place. How is one to know the difference?

I don't know. I'm all scared of the big things that I want. Revising my novel and putting it out into the world. Opening my shop. Risking the uncertainty of a small business and freelancing over the relatively secure weekly paycheck.

But i want to show you some frightening things that happened while I was painting this painting.

First of all... I really like the last one, and was afraid of the disappointment that might come from trying a new painting. It seems whenever I knock one out of the park, the next few are duds.

And then, this is what I first came up with.
Ack!

But instead of scrapping it, I kept working at it. I kept trying. I kept thinking about how I could adjust and revise.
And in the end, I like what I came up with. I don't love it as much as I love the other one, but I like it and feel a resonance.

Most importantly, I am taking the lesson of fear... of facing the fear and diving into it. I am remembering that it is also about believing in your own ability to handle whatever it is you are afraid of.

My shop does not have to be perfect when I open it. I do not have to get everything right. There is room for adjustment and trial and error... in fact, it is required. The same goes for my novel. I get so confused when confronted with the pages I need to revise. I get lost in the tangled threads of plot and am afraid to dive in. I don't want to ruin it? I don't want to disappoint my own hopes, maybe? I don't want to find out that I can't do it after all? What if I'm really not a novelist because I can't handle revision?

I don't even need anyone else to tell me this is not a fear of self preservation, but the small fear, from the small place, that wants me to run away from my dreams.

My instinct says... I love stories. I love novels. This novel has what it needs to be alive. And I have the knowledge and skills to bring it to life. And if I don't have them right now, I will learn them on the way.

As for life... there is no way to get it right. There is no way to always make the perfect choices. And there is always room for rewriting your own story. So I make a choice that might make things tough for a while? Am I willing to put the effort in, to face the fears, in order to create a life of intention. My instincts say yes.

What are the small-place fears saying to you? What are they trying to get you to run away from? What is your bigger instinct saying? Which would you rather trust?

10 comments:

Querulous Squirrel said...

The key in the brambles is so "key", the central image, the protective mask secondary. It's so obvious you worked and worked, the first so fragile, each draft getting stronger and stronger, more and more confident. I love that you kept going, that it wasn't easy, that it shows that you struggled, that it was hard, and that a completely new level of your art was achieved. Bravo!!

Vhrsti said...

One word - wonderful!

Shelly Lowenkopf said...

Once again I follow you into sticky terrain which, upon your description, becomes not at all sticky and, in fact, remarkably wonderful.

mapelba said...

I too have been wondering about the deep insecurity. I keep writing and making art even though the insecurity demons are dancing and screaming around my head. What else is there to do?

Rowena said...

Marta, I think we can acknowledge those demons, recognize that they are trying to keep us safe... I mean, that's what fear is for, but once recognized, we have to just say, "thanks for your concern, but I've got work to do, and this gets in the way."

Even when the work is the scary stuff that you've been afraid of your whole life. Then... just go one step at a time. Even if the process is slow, at least it's moving. That's what I've been thinking about this etsy shop of mine. It's so slow, but that's the pace that I need to take right now.

Shelly, I'm pleased that you came along on the journey, it can be a rough one.

I love what you got out of it, Squirrel. It's so interesting to hear other people's interpretations.

and thanks Vhrsti

Genie Sea said...

I agree. A lot of the ills come from a place of insecurity and fear.

Have you given your novel to anyone to read? A fresh set of eyes and a different perspective? If I lived closer, I would totally read your novel and give you feedback :)

sarah said...

It's good to hear about others struggling with the process when painting, so often we just see the finished product and don't consider all that went in to it. Love her hair!

glasfaden said...

I'm so glad, that you've sent your work to pecannoot and that I have subscribed pecannoot.
I agree with you about fear/insecurity. It is the mother of everything negative, as far as I can think of. I'm not sure, how to find out the difference between fear and instinct. I think, we need to practice it. I just started mine. I'm glad to read your post as food for thought. Thanks!

D'Arcy said...

Wow. I need to hear this. Especially the first part of it. I've been trying to prove all week that I am good enough at what I do. I have overworked and pushed and pulled and trained the whole year. It paid off, my students took first place in all their events. All the parents think of me as the teaching Goddess. All the kids love me. I'm the favorite with the adminstration as they see me put in long hours and work hard.

And yet, I've starved myself and stuffed myself and cried myself to sleep and overworked myself trying to prove something? I don't know what. I wish I could figure this week out somehow.

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