I feel lucky that for the most part, I stay mindfully in a place of happiness and motivation when I am painting, or dreaming of business ideas sprung from my creative well. I do have an inner critic, just like every artist. Just like every person, I would imagine. Mine has a few favorite zingers that it likes to fling at me, quite when I’m not looking. And I’ll share ways to combat that in a future post. For the moment, I’d like to talk about one feeling I get most, as an artist who is just on the cusp, starting out and beginning in my artistic career. Sometimes, when I’m pretty tired and I know that I have research on printing paper, color management, selling on etsy, and a host of other items that I would like/need to know more about in order to progress, I think: “Wouldn’t it just be easier to just get a 9 to 5 job?” I’m not talking about a voice that says, “Your art stinks, you should just get a different job.” No, that’s a different voice, one that thankfully I don’t hear too often.
This voice is different, one that stems from fatigue but really is about acknowledging all of the various creative ideas I have whirling around my head at any given moment, and how overwhelmed with possibility I feel. Overwhelmed and exhausted. This voice says: “If I had a 9 to 5 job, where someone just cut me a check at the end, I wouldn’t have to LEARN anything, or RESEARCH anything, or sigh in fatigue thinking about how I would , like, go out to a movie on a Wednesday night. I wouldn’t have those arguments with myself in my head about how I kind of also really want to read more about small craft businesses, order that sample pack of Epson papers, play with textures on my flower photos and write a blog post I didn’t get to today. It would be easier, right? I don’t even know what I ‘d do with my evenings but I’m fantasizing that it would involve lying on the couch and watching a movie, or a TV series marathon. Or I might just read, for like, hours. And it would be a novel. Ha!
Yeah, it sounds easier. But the thing is, if I’d be happy doing that, I’d be doing it already. But I’m not. I really love learning. I get addicted to researching. I really believe in my art and aside from the body pains bending over the computer or canvas, I love being engrossed in it. I know that this is who I am, and despite that fact that I moan and groan sometimes, this is who I’m going to be.
Recently though, I had a massive attack of this kind of thinking. And it all happened over breakfast, while I was reading an email, thinking about past experiences of mine. I pictured myself in a specific moment, very needy. I swallowed another spoonful of Grape Nuts (Seriously, what are they??) and thought to myself: “What would’ve really helped in that moment?” And then it hit me. The idea hit, in almost complete entirety. It came in like a meteor and landed on me and my first reaction was “WOW. That is awesome. I wish I’d had that! That’s a great idea!” And my very next reaction was:” Uhh, wait. No…not me! Uh God? God, are you listening?? You hit the wrong lady with that meteor idea!” Seriously. Not surprisingly, at least not now as I’ve learned to see synchronicity, I open my Artist’s Way that day and read, almost immediately, Julia Cameron’s wise and all too timely words: “You may find yourself longing for the time when there was no sense of possibility!”
Yes! That’s exactly how I felt once I digested the enormity of the idea I had. I don’t know how to manifest it. I don’t know how to produce it. Heck, I bet I don’t know half of the things that I will come upon that I don’t know anything about in regards to this project! Sometimes, I just want to throw it back!
But here’s the thing, (and it’s the thing that I am repeating to myself these days whenever that voice pops up and says “Oh no, not me. I can’t do this.”):
God, the Universe, would not have given me this idea if I wasn’t able to manifest it. If I wasn’t SUPPOSED to.
I am overwhelmed by the thought of this idea. I am also geekily excited about what skills I will learn, what mountains I might conquer, what friends I might make, what parts of myself I’ll uncover in the process. I’m scared, and I’m excited and all I can do is trust that I am SUPPOSED to do this.
If you are feeling the same way, or hearing some of these same thoughts in your head – if YOU want to throw YOUR idea back – this is what I want you to say to yourself: You wouldn’t have received the idea if you weren’t supposed to have it, and manifest it. You may not know how yet, and it may call upon you to make new skills, interact with people in a different way, or fight even more voices. But, the idea is yours. Run with it.