On taking chances.
This image was inspired by the beautiful words of Elaine McGinty, the poet and activist I am collaborating with on a couple of exciting projects.
We were taking chances when we decided to open up to one another and lay bare our souls, the place our art grows from. We were taking a chance on each other.
We put our whole being on the line when we take chances, when we go all out and risk failure, fall flat on our faces and risk going unnoticed or worse, be ridiculed. Oh and I know a good deal about failing! And yes, it hurts.
This year I have submitted children's book proposals, entered design competitions, applied for jobs, all to no immediate avail. But while I was doing the work I had fun (mostly) and I felt I was following my heart and purpose. My life was meaningful. That is what Brené Brown means with 'Going into the Arena' and Living Wholeheartedly: you have to take chances. Does the baby stay forever in its comfy cradle? No! At some point it gets up, tries to walk and falls a few times before it can run.
And beyond not winning the medal or getting the job, working on these projects brought me new friends, connections and opportunities. I honed my skills and continued to define my style and who I want to be.
What looked like a failed project 3 years ago, when having a stall at several Christmas markets didn't turn out the success I'd hoped for, led me to sharing a fabulous art studio with Suzie Hacker from Soothme Skincare, who I met at one of these markets. Or not getting the job as a graphic designer for a mental health charity focusing on art and music, led me to volunteering there. Mentoring a group rather than being tucked away in the office, re-enforced my wish to become an art therapist, whilst also giving me the experience needed to apply for the course next year. Or, submitting my book proposal to a Spanish publisher brought me a new connection with a writer, educator and over all kindred spirit in Spain, with whom I will be collaborating next year.
When we 'fail' in a specific endeavour, we tend to focus only on that without seeing the other half of the picture: The half where we grew in an area where we really needed to up our game.
We learn the lesson that we need the most in any given moment
to get us closer to where we need to be. And sometimes, after we have completed every tedious level in the right order, we find our goals have shifted and the thing we thought we wanted so bad, isn't important anymore. But what we reach instead is our true authentic calling. At the same time, If we skip some levels and lessons and by sheer luck manage to get what we thought we wanted the most, we find that it doesn't fulfil us after all and the search continues – nobody can jump ahead.
Taking the chance of joining forces with Elaine and her beautiful poetry elevated us both to heights we could not have reached on our own. We complement each other, with her words speaking directly to my soul and my art giving them shape. We've both grown in confidence and trusted our guts 'building a world with our wombs'.