Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Breathe Deeply - You're Ok


I was recently discussing with the husband the topic of 'getting it wrong'. We were talking about my phases of paralysing fear of 'getting it wrong'. These phases stop me creating (which is a tad annoying). Call it self sabotage or just blind panic, I basically go into a mishmash cycle of self-doubt/fear of getting it wrong/art paralysis.

I fall into this cycle when I'm scared and thinking of the 'bigger picture' or the end goal. Rather than enjoying walking up the mountain (the process), I start looking at the top (the end product) and wondering how I'll ever get there, how far away it is, how crap I am that I'm not there yet, and how many people are already at the top before me laughing at little me not able to manage it etc etc....

I then look down at my feet and realise I have, in fact, stopped walking (creating art) altogether.

Now, if you want to get up a mountain you do have to at least walk (unless you can teleport or you are a winged unicorn/butterfly/angel/insert winged creature here). So, to get closer to the top of said mountain I need to at least put one foot in front of the other, ie to create the elusive 'Art I Like' I need be practicing my craft and making stuff.

current work in progress
Me and the husband, at these points of paralysis, cheer me on with kindness. Kindness has power. Seriously. Kindness really has power. Just saying to myself 'it's ok sweet cheeks, you are awesome, be gentle with yourself, baby steps, you can do it...' creates in me a gentler, less stressed self of soft compliance, and then I feel happy to create art again and take baby steps.

'Baby steps, it's ok, you can do it, just take little steps' ...until you're walking again towards the mountain top.

I dream of bypassing these moments of frozen panic, but this would probably take:

a) years of therapy
b) a change of my history
c) a lobotomy
d) a life time of mindful practice.


For now, when in these moments of frozen panic, Kindness to myself helps and I try to: 
  • Give myself Kind Words and Kind Thoughts, I am still a wonderful being.
  • Do something, anything that will move me towards the top of my mountain (baby steps little one, baby steps).
  • Realise I am not perfect, the steps I take may not be perfect, and That. Is. Ok! :) 

Be kind and make any movement towards the end goal. I'm not perfect and my steps along the way won't all be perfect, but they will take me closer to where I want to be. Standing still in fear will not.

I want to add a little something here about a lady called Leonie Dawson (you may have heard of her, if you haven't please check her out cause she's awesome). During one of my frozen moments I watched one of her videos (click here to see Leonie's video). It really helped me re-feel hopeful and passionate about my creations and stopped me 'falling off the creative wagon' for too long. Thank you Leonie, you are proper awesome! :)

I'm off to go create now... baby steps, baby steps. Thank you for listening and being here with me.

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Me and the husband :)

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www.graciehowle.com

9 comments:

  1. Oh how familiar this sounds :) But you are right! Any steps that will get us moving FORWARD are The steps!

    I start drawing buttons to warm up and then I look at them and say... well... these aren't THAT bad and I go on with what I need to do :) (and I'm off to buttons now for there are two little cards waiting to be done for you! :) )

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    1. Thank you lovely Nini :) I can't wait to see your cards! xx

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  2. LOVE this...thanks for sharing and for the links
    It made me think! yay! always good.
    Maybe if we did bypass those moments of being frozen though, we might likely miss the strength and growth and a deeper knowing of ourselves...and maturity that comes from persevering through and coming out on the other side... even though those things are also given to us in baby steps aren't they? not that we'd choose it.
    lovely.

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    1. Thank you Andi! I'm really resonating with you that there is a chance of strength, growth and deeper knowing of ourselves in those frozen moments :)

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  3. And learning to forgive oneself is so valuable. Part of being kind.

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  4. I really identify with what you wrote here! I too suffer from art paralysis and have done for years now. It's SO SO hard to get past that phase, because it's long, arduous and horrible. Why would anyone want to create only to not enjoy creating or hate what they end up with? It's so demotivating! I've been catching glimpses of what lies beyond though (I do think therapy has helped me here, I've been seeing a therapist for about a year now and first I noticed nothing, but then about a year later I was like.. hey wait, stuff has changed. Not actual physical stuff really, but mind stuff). Much love Gracie, I really enjoy your art!

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    1. Thanks Iris for your lovely words and thoughts :) I had the same sort of experience with therapy, when I was in it I was like 'this stuff is not doing anything!' but afterwards and even now I still notice the effects and changes. Therapy is strong stuff! xx

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  5. love this post Gracie. I am climbing a mountain too and your analogy really helped shine some light on my path. Thank you. I feel hopeful with each new bit of light that shines my way. For some reason, remembering that I am not alone on this hike makes it a little bit easier. Love your art and the bits of yourself we get to see too.

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    1. So lovely to hear Meg, thank you! You are definitely not alone :)

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