It was mainly the spiritual part that attracted me to this program my coach told me about. I knew there was a creative piece to it but I pretended that wouldn’t be a big part of it and I didn’t want it to influence me not to do it. My coach is an artist. And I had it in my mind that I was a business woman with a creative splash but I would never have called myself an artist. People who paint and write poems and sculpt cool shit are artists.
So I signed up for the 7 month group coaching program with 6 other women that I didn’t know. It started with a retreat for us all to meet. I found out later that my friend was also in the program and I was excited. I know her as a business woman/coach and not as “one of those super talented artists” that would intimidate the fuck out of me. I was trying not to be influenced by what I thought I might be getting into. And then I got an email a couple of weeks before the retreat with a list of materials we’d need and it included an expensive ass trip to the craft store where I sat in the aisle for an hour overwhelmed by paint options and brushes and my stomach hurt. I was scared. I was out of my zone and I wanted to back out.
I like to put my fighting gloves on when that mean, critical voice in my head gets loud and annoying so I put them on knocked her out. I can do this. I can paint on a canvas. It can’t be that hard. I always say, “it can’t be that hard” when I want to get out of my own way. I kept saying, easy peasy, I got this. But I didn’t open the paints or anything before packing them up for the retreat. They were still in the wrappers when we all joined on the patio. And there were these two women in the retreat with us that are like REAL artists. With expensive stuff and tripods and everything. I was totally intimidated.
Allison started out with a brief overview of what intuitive painting is, how to play with colors, how to get started and all sorts of other things. But mainly she was saying, ‘I’m not teaching you how to do this. Your spirit will guide you. Let your inner whisper work her magic. Use your intuition and play.’
I kid you not. I was supposed to use my intuition and PLAY?! With paints? And somehow she (and everyone else it seemed like) believed that something beautiful would come out of it. The perfectionist inside (whom I’m super good friends with by the way) was freaking her shit out. And since she has pretty much been the one to power through the past 10 years of my life she was the loudest in this moment and she was kicking and screaming inside.
Looking from the outside we were seven women with our canvases spread around this amazing patio in Mexico surrounded by palm trees with crashing waves across the road creating a peaceful and gorgeous backdrop to the experience. And tears started sliding down my cheeks. I made a couple of strokes on my canvas. And then I froze. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t try and make something that might not be perfect; that for sure wouldn’t be perfect. It would be better to NOT have to paint then to paint something that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to turn out. But I couldn’t even know how it was supposed to turn out because apparently that is the point.
Allison acknowledged my tears and wanted me to talk about what was going on. But I didn’t want to so she brought me over to her canvas, blindfolded me and had me paint on her canvas. She worked with me through the art (and finally with some talking) and I was able to get to the point where I was more comfortable. Or at least I was comfortable being uncomfortable (which is actually a pretty magical place to be too).
I painted. I played. I moved through my fear and had an intimate experience with the perfectionist in me.
That was in February. It is July now and I’m selling my paintings at art fairs on the weekends. Just kidding. That would be an awesome story though. I didn’t fall in love with painting or discover some amazing new passion. I am in love with trying new things and with being creative. I call myself an artist without blinking now. My definition of an artist is someone that allows the creative being inside to come out and play. I have a place in my home where I can paint when I want to and my son loves to paint with me too. I listen to Shakira when I paint. I love watercolors, words and doodling. I love writing. I love dancing. I love creating parties, retreats, and brainstorming new ideas for our business. All things creative. My husband loves to cook (thank you God). That’s where he gets creative.
We all have creativity in us and the key is to open up and allow creativity to flow from you. The more I use it, the more creative I feel. Getting in that creative space allows us to experience new things at a deeper level and live a more fulfilling life. And who doesn’t want that?