Hiding and seeking

Last week we talked about hiding. Now let’s talk about seeking.

Counting to ten with eyes closed, peeking through fingers, saying READY OR NOT HERE I COME and then setting out into the world not sure what you’re looking for.

I talk about this in my video training, How to Undo a Creative Block (which you can watch for free by signing up here, if you haven’t already) – step one is noticing that you are hiding, and step two is making the decision to create every day. The decision to seek.

That decision can be tiny!

Creativity is like recovery, in that it’s one day at a time. One simple choice, one day at a time.

No matter where you are, how busy or tired or burned out you are, you can come back to that choice. A choice to create. No creation is too tiny. Today is another day and you can start where you are.

Our trolls, our dragons and demons like to make it an all or nothing proposition — why bother doing ANYTHING if you can’t do EVERYTHING – if you can’t be a great artist you are NOTHING – if you can’t work for five hours you can’t work at all! You might as well give up.

Those are your trolls talking. And I say, instead of giving up, give it five minutes. 

Five minutes! You can find five minutes.

Five minutes a day to do whatever you feel like doing, whether it’s drawing or writing or dancing or singing or playing with modeling clay.

Five minutes to follow your creative urge where it leads.

Five minutes to seek and see what you find. Five minutes to coax your inner child out of their hiding place and invite them to play.

Do it for one week and see what you find.

 


… if you are seeking structure, momentum and guidance this summer, it’s not too late to sign up for the summer of creative magic!

Advertisements

Hiding is part of the creative quest

I’ve been thinking about hiding.

The ways we hide as artists, as adults, as parents, as people.

Why do we hide from the things we most want? How is it that you can have this epic thing you’ve been wanting to do for ten, twenty, thirty years and somehow you never do it? The book of poems you want to write, the album you want to record, the country you want to travel to, the house you want to build, the children’s book you think you could dream up.

I coach artists through the creative process, so I have seen first hand how we all get stuck in these expectations, these fears, these stories that lock us in place.

I’m also an artist myself, and I am very familiar with hiding from the work I’m most called to do. I’ve done it before, and I’ll certainly do it again. I’m probably doing it right now!

I’ve carried around a lot of shame around hiding, but when I look back, I see no cause for shame.

Hiding is part of the creative process. It’s part of the hero’s journey – avoiding the call to action, trying to find some way to not embark on the great quest that calls to you.

We hide because it’s scary, and it’s hard, and it’s easier to avoid hard things than it is to face them. It’s easier to get pulled into other people’s projects, other people’s needs, other people’s agendas, other obligations than having the courage and tenacity to make space for our own projects, our own needs, our own vision and voice.

It’s absolutely understandable to be scared, to hide – and it is also absolutely possible to build up the muscles to face your fears and get out there and do it anyway.

So today, right now, let’s spend a moment noticing what we are hiding from. Notice those thoughts that are running through your head, take a deep breath, and sit with them instead of pushing them away.

Let’s think of the great heroes, real and imagined, who hid from their gifts and their demons as long as they could before they turned and faced their destiny.

I’ve been thinking about Sansa Stark, the hero in Game of Thrones (maybe the ONLY character on that whole freaking show who got a satisfying arc from start to finish but more on THAT another time).

One of the things I love most about her character’s growth is how it took a loooooooooong time for her to step into her power, to become an active agent. For many seasons I was impatient with her, dismissing her as passive and weak, a pawn.

But I was wrong. She was hiding for a good reason. She was hiding because that was the best way to survive, and she was slowly, patiently gathering the skills and the strength she needed to step out into the open.

I love that watching her grow helped me look at myself differently, to value the parts of myself I have dismissed in the past.

I’ve put together a video on working through your creative fears and blocks and guess what my first recommendation is? Accepting hiding as part of the creative process. 

If you want to see what my other recommendations are you can watch the video (or read the transcript) by signing up here: get the HOW TO UNDO A CREATIVE BLOCK video

And wherever you’re at in your creative quest, whether you are hiding or crossing a bridge or facing a monster: I wish you strength and courage!

Motherhood kicked me in the a***

Since we just celebrated mother’s day (or skipped it entirely if you’re not down with the pressure holidays), it seems like a good time to re-introduce myself and one of my favorite topics.

Hello. I’m Faith Helma. I’m an artist / creative guide and I would not be who I am today if motherhood had not kicked me in the aaaaaabdomen.

If you’re a mother, you know what I mean. If you’re not, swap “motherhood “ with big life transition / roadblock / curveball of your choice.

Turning 50.
Getting pushed out of a job you love.
Deciding not to have children. Starting a business.
Traveling around the world for a year.
Breast cancer.
Building your own house.
Caregiving a parent at the end of  life
Falling in love.

The hero quest starts with a call to action — an initiation —and for me becoming a mother called me to action in the most humbling, loving, brutally shamanic way.

I went in knowing it would be hard, knowing there was so much I didn’t know. I had no idea.

It’s probably similar to climbing a mountain or doing any other impossible thing. You’re in it now. There’s no going back.

What do you do, when you’re deep in it and there’s no going back?

That’s the exciting part. And that’s why, for me, no matter what logistical challenges motherhood throws my way, from childcare to balancing work and family to lack of paid leave to health insurance to dentist appointments … and no matter how physically hard the act of parenting is, from projectile vomiting to 2000 hours of wiping poopy butts to the neverending rush of leaving the house in the morning… I’m getting to my point here… for all that, I am grateful for the ways it pushes me to be real, to be honest, to be stronger, to be kinder. To be more creative.

Its made me a better artist even though I’ve technically produced far less since my first child was born 5.5 years ago than I did in the fifteen years before.

It’s fundamentally changed my idea of production and art and who it’s for.

IT’S FOR ME.

I used to think of self-indulgence as the worst thing an artist (or human) could be.

It took going through the marathon of giving birth then realizing I was in charge of someone else’s survival 24 HOURS A DAY to free me from this fear.

Suddenly self-indulgence didn’t sound so bad. Are you kidding? That sounds AWESOME.

I would kill for ten minutes a day of self-indulgence.

Owning that, claiming that is so liberating!

My art is for me. If I make art and I’m the only one who likes it, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

That’s my challenge for you today. If you set out to make art for you and you alone, what would you make?

And if you’re someone who wrestles with the fear of self-indulgence, ask that troll: what’s so bad about indulging myself? What’s the worst that could happen? Could anything good come of it?

Let me know what you find out!

Faith

p.s. If you are wanting company as you wrestle with your trolls and claim your human right to be creative, consider joining the summer of creative magic!