Being True-The Most Beautiful Journey

November’s focus for The Artist Way was chapter 11: Recovering a Sense of Autonomy. I found this chapter to be a difficult, yet such important focus for my month.  By the end of the month, I realized that I was angry at myself for what I thought had been a failure to remain true to myself. I felt I had let myself down, slipped from the track. I don’t know about you, but when I feel this way it gives me some type of ticket to get really off course. That didn’t happen, but my attitude was terrible. I started feeling really sorry for myself. Things were slowing down and I was spending less and less time doing what I really loved doing.

When I start feeling this way, I usually go deep within to reflect. In certain ways, I began growing and discovering new insights, but those were difficult to share with others. I feared I was being swallowed up by all the needs around me, so becoming spiritually strong and steadfast became even more imperative. I meditated often. I prayed. I practice my intuitive work as much as possible. All of these practices led me again and again to my creative work. As I worked, I realized, it’s impossible for me to get lost in other people’s agendas. I am too stubborn for that. I just become grumpier the more I get pulled away from my art, and then comes the readjustment! Julia Cameron stated, “Creativity is oxygen for our souls. Cutting off our creativity makes us savage. We react like we are being choked.”

I believe I have appreciated my creativity for most of my life, but only in the last 10 years have I fought to give it center stage. It makes me so happy for painting classes such as Shiloh Sophia’s Awakened Woman. It took place right before Thanksgiving, so I had a lot to think about. You were to write down the 12 big lies you tell yourself. Some of my lies were that I am not the red rose kind of girl, I am not ready for big change, I am just a people pleaser, I lack direction, I am alone, I don’t need intimacy…. AND for me the biggest lie was OTHER people are sabotaging my efforts.

By the end of this class, my heart opened to the truth. I do love red roses, I do need love and intimacy, I am powerful, I am ready for the right amount of change to bring about my next steps toward my purpose, I aim to please God, I have been driven since a young child, AND I am the one sabotaging my efforts. BUT why? I realize that sometimes I get scared. When that happens, I use other people’s actions as an excuse to back down from my goals. It is my own convenient copout! Things flash through my mind like, “They are so controlling. I need some space.” Or, “He is going to stand in my way of this. Instead of speaking up, I’ll let him have this one.” I discovered that my need for control is what sabotages me sometimes when it counts the most.

I remembered the advice I had given all too often about sussing out motives. “What’s in it for you?” So, what is in it for me? Julia Cameron said, “If I allow myself to be bullied and cowed by other people’s urges for me to be more normal or more nice, I sell myself out. They may like me better, feel more comfortable with my more conventional appearance or behavior, but I will hate myself. Hating myself, I may lash out at myself and others.” So deep down I realize that staying true to myself leads to a happier me, so shouldn’t this be an easy choice–a no brainer?”

It is my belief that we get so comfortable with our fears that we would rather stay stuck in that place that we know so well than journey into the unknown. The unknown might just be even scarier than a stuck place which you dislike. At least you know that you have all of your creature comforts. You know that you have your familiar routine. You have your anger. You have your resentments. You have your disappointments. They are YOURS. You own them, but shouldn’t life be the most amazing experience? Shouldn’t we be fully alive to experience the beauty in relationships, the earth around us, the magic present in every waking breath?


“It is safe for me to grow, to create, and to experience life as the most beautiful journey.”

Acrylic on 18 x 24″ canvas. Created in Shiloh Sophia’s Awakened Woman live stream course.

Abandoned ~ No More

Over the weekend I painted most of the downstairs, and while painting I listened to Oprah’s “OWN” channel. I must admit that I am more a former Oprah fan. I enjoyed her before I felt that she became “political” with her prime time talk show (it has been several years since I’ve been a regular viewer). I am not a big TV watcher any way, but recently I’ve come to appreciate Oprah’s message once again. How did she win my heart back? With one show. Super Soul Sunday. That was why I turned to her channel while painting and over the course of several hours I got a real feel for what her current message is today. Something that I really used to enjoy (the real hook for me) was her focus on self-improvement  and developing insight. I think that she continues to offer shows with that aspect, but now is working on helping people to develop spirituality as well.

Anyhow, by the time I was nearing the end of my painting frenzy, her Life Class came on. I didn’t expect to find myself drawn in and as emotionally engaged as I became. This show discussed Daddyless Daughters with Iyanla Vanzant. I went away asking myself why me, a woman who was raised with two parents (who never left me) came away with abandonment issues of my own. As a matter of fact, most people I know have some sort of “issues” connected with abandonment. Why is this? The show talked a lot about divorce and the children that sometimes are left behind, but again, this was not my case.

You may be asking what on earth any of this has to do with art or creativity…

Well, it is my belief that the disconnect that we feel may come somewhat from disappointment in our relationships in life. It is inevitable that we are going to be disillusioned and/or let down here and there. Yet, I feel that it is bigger than that–the bigger disconnect actually comes when we feel that we are not connected or aligned with our “Source.” For me that source is Spirit or God, but for others it may be the Universe etc. When we feel disconnected, we feel alone–even abandoned, but this is not the case. It is us who has moved away from the Source. It is there if we will yet seek it and align ourself with light and love.

I’ve asked myself so many times why working on writing or art brings so much peace to me and why when with other pursuits I may get caught up with old, unhealthy patterns such as “people pleasing” or “over committing” (the behaviors that may sometimes associated with women who have abandonment types of experiences). I believe that it is because when I am working on my art/writing, I am working towards being authentic, not some other Michelle that other people expect me to be. For me, this is two fold.

  1. Being creative is a habit that I am cultivating and feel very comfortable and at home with.
  1. Creativity is connected with spirituality or flow and, therefore, an activity that brings me closer to my “Source,” not farther away.

So, why does the mere mention of creativity send some people running? I believe it is because their experiences with art or some other pursuit was negative, yet that does not mean that they are not creative in every area of their life. We are all making choices every day, and those choices bring us down a road of our picking. We are creating the life we are living. Sitting down and really deciding upon the life path that is wanted can bring this to our awareness, but even without awareness, we are still creating our life for better or for worse. Setting intentions and working toward those can be tough, but with the simple awareness, we can develop and create the life we seek.

When we realize that creativity is connected with spirituality, things become a little easier–sometimes a lot easier. This realization has the power to take the pressure off of oneself to a significant degree. One reason that people may not connect up with the spiritual side of things is a distrust which is interesting because spirituality and the Source are there to help us attain peace and connection in life that we hope for. It many times means that we surrender some of our control. I understand that it can feel scary, BUT hey, are we really doing that great on our own? Maybe. But maybe not! If that surrender leads us back to our Source, then it is worth it to lose the feelings of abandonment and loneliness. It is worth it to finally feel whole and worthy of receiving love of others. it is worth it to feel LOVED, VALUED, & CHERISHED beyond our imaginations.