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.
Getting pushed out of a job you love.
Deciding not to have children. Starting a business.
Traveling around the world for a year.
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!
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!