Dear Artist: Beautymaking
This morning I'm sitting in bed with my laptop. My window is open to let in the first soft sighs of Autumn, lush and cool. Incense is swirling around me like a tender prayer.
Our coffee maker broke last night, and so before he left for work, my husband made a full pot of French Press for me and it feels like a cozy sweater on my insides.
These simple joys are the rich and liminal treasures of a life lived in the awakened presence of itself—I call it beautymaking, because it is simply opening our eyes to see and opening ourselves to notice and embody the grace and gift of this moment.
This week. It's such a full and breathtaking week. I'm still in my writing cave, working on Dear Artist which is my everything right now. I should be panicking because there's still so much to do—and I certainly did last week—but I am surrounded with deep peace and the gentle reminder to enjoy the process. How much of my life have I spent rushing through my moments and missing the living that is here? Dear Artist is my tender invitation to presence. For myself and for all who are called to join me.
Today I received an email for another course. There are so many lush offerings right now. It seems like we all feel it, we artists, we creative women...the season turns, light darkens, and we draw close. We nest and nurture. We go within.
It thrills me to see artists giving birth to transformative experiences that touch and heal the lives of others. I think of all the creative women I've learned from, and I thank God for them because without their blazing light, I would not have this depth and richness. But I didn't always feel this way. In the past, receiving the email would have felt like the slow constriction of my insides, like a belt tugging around my waist. Scarcity. Not enough room. With so many other beautiful, talented guides to choose from, all doing similar gorgeous things, how could I possibly make a difference or make a living offering my heart? Is there space for me? Should I sit down so others can shine? In her Money Love class, my wise friend Lotus articulated perfectly my former internal struggle—
“My more means that you’ve got less.”
“If I get what I want, then you miss out.”
It's the false belief that there's only so much to go around, and whoever grabs the biggest piece leaves someone else hungry. To have the brightest light, the biggest platform, the loudest voice, the most profound truths, the sexiest paragraphs—it means that someone else is left in the dark. Overshadowed. Hungry.
And in my faulty way of thinking, I did not want anyone else to go hungry. I would sacrifice my piece. They could have my portion. Of bread, money, space or love. So I would cover my mouth with my own hand. I would pull back, cancel my course, choose not to create what I was longing to create. On the outside it might look like my dream didn't matter, but oh my. How deeply it did matter. But not wanting someone else to feel uncomfortable mattered more.
Oh, how wrong I was.
Even if it was all in my head, I didn't realize that I was not doing either of us good—because if they did feel the discouragement I was afraid of, this was also their own sacred, private invitation to heal. I cannot take that journey for them because it's a deep, intimate, inward one. Feel heaps of compassion for, yes. Help in any way I can, oh yes. Be kind, considerate, and supportive, yes yes yes. But holding myself back from what is whispered into my heart is not helpful at all. And resisting my own God-given gifts and divine callings out of scarcity, fear, and untruth does not lay a foundation for the meaningful life I long for.
It took years, but I slowly learned the truth. And it is this: we have everything we need in order to live our ravishing, full, and gorgeous lives. If we do not have something we think we need, then the absence of it is a tender grace. This means that we need the absence of a thing more than we need the thing itself. Courage, darling! It is in the perceived lack that we are invited to be made whole. This is where we are deepened. Strengthened. Made resilient and wise.
And our work is to be faithful to what we are called to do. To be fully and unapologetically who we are made to be. To serve where needed. To be awake and aware, but not distracted by the whereabouts and activities of others. We do not answer for them. We only answer for ourselves: did we do the work we came here to do? Did we become who we were created to be—true, awake, alive? And above all, to trust. There is no single measure of creativity given to humanity—we all have exactly what we need. We just need to believe it and trust.
There is something that wants to exist that can only be born through you. Say yes. Please say yes. Others can give birth, too. Bless them. It is the way of lifemaking.
With so many incredible experiences to choose from, how will you know if Dear Artist is for you?
As a maker of creative journeys designed to evoke and transform, the work I offer you is only part of the work. Because actually, I am a co-creator with you. You show up and bring your own stories, your experience, your longings. You bring your energy, your hungers, and unique approach. Your experience of Dear Artist (or any of my other programs) will be different than mine because what you receive is directly related to what you bring to it. This is why only you can truly know if something is right for you—right timing, right experience, right facilitator. But here are some of the ways I decide if something is for me:
- Intuition—I just know. I can't always explain. I just know that it's time, or it's the right person to guide me, or my life needs this experience and connection with this person.
- Body witness—maybe I'm weird, but I will cry when I know something is right for me. Or my body will express YES in other ways...soul-shivery goosebumps, a sigh of relief, a sitting-up-straighter-would-you-look-at-this response.
- Resonance—their words, offerings, or voice speaks to a deep chord within me, a primal place, and I must must must have more.
- Teaching style—are they flexible, gracious, and allow room for me to have my own experience within the framework they've created?
- Content—the topic moves me in some way; it's usually a deep soul journey or something that will make a difference in my everyday life. It's beautiful. Evocative. Spiritual. With a hands-on element that will help me assimilate and embody it.
- Connection—this is very simple: do I connect with the messenger and to the message? Does the idea of taking part light me up?
- Spirit—is there a YES pulsing through me, whispering to and singing to me?
- Prayer—when I seek and ask, is there Yes?
- Resources—am I able to make the commitment right now? Can I make the investment without it being a hardship financially or energetically? Do I have the time?
Dear Artist is not really a course about art or art making. It's about life. Lifemaking. Using a creative approach to living a life that is resonant, transcendent, and meaningful. It is for anyone who longs to bring more life into their art and art into their life. Whether you are an artist by trade or an artist by desire, if Dear Artist is a journey that would bless and nourish your life, I would love to have you in my circle. We will embrace creativity as a spiritual practice and learn how to lean into our creative rhythms, experiment, follow curiosity, and embody the transcendent, meaningful life we were made for. This is beautymaking. It is a blessingway for your life. It is for anyone who longs to make their lives a work of art.