If I had published this book back seven years ago it would have been a different animal. I was self-absorbed, judgmental and full of resentments back then. But today I feel the love in all of my experiences, past and present and I am certain that it comes across in my book (thank you Universe!).
The way it has come together is nothing short of a miracle. When I painted the majority of the art for this book, I was working in a vintage furniture store (living art), which is stilled loved by me and lives on in my imagination (it is no longer with us), called the Swallow's Nest, owned by Ginny Vale and co-run by Patty Fontaine-Opp. The three of us started doing The Artist's way together. It was my first artistic spiritual awakening. It was my first taste of the power of collaborative energy and I knew even back then that the combined artistic energy of three women was a powerful thing. I had a tribe, for the first time in my life, I dare say.
As it goes, that was not the time for the book to become manifest. I was dealing with a whole lot of emotional unrest and issues from the past were surfacing and interfering with the kind of story I would want to tell today. I was emotionally immature. I quit working there and went on a search for my geographical cure. Of course, wherever I went, there I was.
In the last year, as many of you know, I started an art page, joined Leonie Dawson's Amazing Biz and Life Academy. Just before that I attended a workshop with Nick Bantock. His workshop was about accessing creativity, and I had to overcome some serious blocks in that weekend. It was part therapy, part imagination stimulation, part art instructional. I know that that class stirred the ashes of my soul's fire and got it raging. Before long I was creating art like never before. I have remained friends with Nick and his wife Joyce and they are family (tribe) to me now. I love them!
And Facebook's, Leonie Dawson group, is what set the stage for bonds that would change me and my life forever. I still have my friends from before and I am still grateful to them, but I have broadened my tribe. And you know, I have learned that you can never have too many friend's in your court, encouraging, supporting and giving you the nudge you need to take that next risk. I have learned that it is in taking risks that you get opportunities to succeed.
I have become fearless and less impacted by what used to scare me. I am reading Tony Robbins' Money: Master The Game, right now. There was a quote by Ray Dalio, in there, that literally jumped off the page at me. It said, " It's like I am on one side of the jungle and you could have a terrific job, a terrific life if you cross that jungle. But there are all these dangerous things that can kill you. So do you stay on one side and have a safe life, or do you go into the jungle?" I realized what I have been doing is going into the jungle and the more you go in, the better prepared you are to be in there. In the thick of the jungle you get to learn that there was nothing really in there to be afraid of, and that it is easy to cross the jungle.
The big thing is that all the gifts are there on the other side of the jungle; they always have been, but you were just too afraid to risk doing what it took to access them! I am ready for the gifts and I want to share them. There is nothing to be afraid of! I used to be afraid of criticism and I am learning to embrace it, take the gifts from it and leave the rest. I used to have an inner dialogue that went like this, "You dumbie! You can't do this and if you share it, people will know how stupid you are!" The old saying, "Better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and prove it," rattled around in my head constantly. Now I see how damaging that thought was. I wish I had been taught something different as a child, like "No idea is a bad idea", something my old boss Ginny used to say. But there is no better time than now to get into the jungle! So what are you waiting for? Get in there and do some fabulous risking! I hope to see you in there!
I will keep you posted about the progress of my book, of course. Let me know what risks you have taken this week below in a comment. That kind of thing makes my heart sing. Love yah tribe!