Saturday, May 28, 2011

Creative Direction (and other demons)

i have lots more taos stuff,  but in the meantime….. i 've  had some struggles lately and felt the need to share.  partly because writing helps to clarify things in my own little brain and partly because there is always a chance someone else will be able to relate to what i’m saying and we can swap viewpoints and strategies.  love that about blogging!

it seems most of my life i have dealt with various insecurities and the demons have been knocking on my door lately for a variety of reasons (wouldn't think you would reach an age when this no longer happens???)    the you’re not good enough demons.  the less than demons.  the what’s wrong with you anyway demons.  the who do you think you are demons.  the maybe you should just forget that idea demons.  and lately one of the loudest knockers:  the where’s it all going demons.

you see it’s been almost 2 years now since i retired from my teaching job.  don’t get me wrong.  i LOVE my life and am incredibly grateful for it every.  single.  day.   *seriously*.    it’s just that when i left my job i had high hopes of doing “something important”.  at the time, i was still printing and framing photos and selling them at artshows and galleries.  and presenting my multi-media shows in assisted living facilities.

 i’ve since decided that printing, framing and selling are really not my thing (except for the little stuff like cards, magnets and bookmarks). i loved doing the multi-media shows, but the marketing was completely daunting and eventually did me in.  

so those things have mostly fallen by the wayside in favor of new creative pursuits.  i love blogging.  and i totally love the new art forms i am dabbling in, working in my new studio and doing the retreats.  (i am a happy girl in spite of those demons!!)  

but when i look at the future, it’s hard to grasp it all going in a direction that is going to “make a difference”.  based on past experience, my future view feels somewhat limited.  and that can become scary if i let it.  i know, i know, it’s all about the journey…. and i do believe i am getting better at stopping those negative spirals.... but i can’t seem to reign my thoughts in and keep them from going in that direction from time to time…..sigh...

i know i’m presenting a mixed picture here, but that’s my life.  probably more days than not i feel excited and confident about what i am doing.  my “daily practices” are wonderful and i am adding more all the time! but i wouldn’t be completely honest without acknowledging these little midnight visitors and i’m guessing maybe some of you have been visited by them too.  or maybe not.  would love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I have all of those .. at the moment, it's mostly the "where is it all going" one.

    I got stuck on the whole making a difference thing. Often, come to think of it. The thing I am deciding this year is that when I think about making a difference, I think it has to be big and grand. But in reality, I don't necessarily need to know what sort of difference I am making and when I am focused on wanting to do something big, it keeps me from doing the little things like picking up trash because I feel like the little things are not important. What I am trying to focus on now is that I want to live my life, be present, show love and kindness as often as I can, and trust that it is enough.

  2. Oh boy..can I ever relate!!! Me too - I'm wanting to 'make a difference' 'contribute' - somehow - 'be that big change'. But - I don't know what..and I don't know where..and my self-doubts and questions and every other daemonic excuse in the world keeps me from moving forward.
    Oh girl..I could have written the exact same words!!!
    And - I love your images here...:-)!

  3. Thanks for your very kind and wise words, my friends. It's always nice to know that we are not alone!

  4. Remember this "ART does GOOD". Art is a path, and like all paths, it is sometimes clear and sunny, sometimes dark and foggy...just keep going...jane

  5. I'm so in the same boat, Patty, I can't even comment! Are you sure there isn't some strange solar activity or something! I can hardly stand myself, and worse, don't know what to do about it. We should all get together for a retreat - looks like everyone's in the same canoe. xxDonna

  6. I am so with you Patty, and am touched that you shared your thoughts, especially because you also know how blessed your life is. It is honest, and doesn't mean that you are ungrateful.
    Though I tend to blame my negative self talk on my over extended commitment to my job (not enough self nurturing), it pops up in alone, quiet moments as well. I keep thinking that from childhood we've been "programmed" from parental/societal dialogue and expectations that we excepted as truth. I want to free myself from critical, limited thinking. Perhaps writing about the demons, acknowledging them,(as opposed to suppressing, or avoiding the feelings) is perhaps the best one can do because that acknowledgment can open up space for new insights and thoughts. Like facing a foe. Hmmm it is difficult to put in words. But you definitely are not alone. Julianne

  7. Dear Patty-you have articulated your thoughts and feeling so well. Boy! Can we all relate!!! My personal take is this...I think it's a GOOD thing when our demons come knocking (!!!) because it gives us the opportunity to clarify our goals, become stronger and more determined in what we want to accomplish and let the other things fall by the wayside. It helps us know that we are not complacent...that we are growing and changing and rising up to meet our higher (or better) SELVES. Imagine if we never felt any fear at all! I think the thing to do is to keep on showing up and...I think we can all make a difference. To quote Oprah..."we all have a platform whether it's one person or a million. And we can use that platform to love, bring light and joy to our community"
    That being said...I know it's difficult when you are in the thick of things being KIND to yourSELF really goes along way:) You are certainly not alone in this!!!xxx

  8. All of this sounds very familiar to me. Patty, and from the comments here I can see that we are certainly not alone. It always amazes me how many of us have the same self doubts and negative talk going on and we just don't know that until someone steps up and talks about it like you did here. Thank you for that.
    The photos in this post are magnificent, so beautiful, and they fit right in!

  9. Wow - it seems so many of us have struggled with the same issues! It occurred to me that I am actually teaching to this topic at the mini-retreat and in fact have a whole powerpoint presentation on it - shouldn't I have a better grasp/solution?? But then again, I think it makes teaching more meaningful and relevant coming from one who has actually been there. So that's the way I will frame it.... I'm also thinking of writing a follow-up based on all the wisdom you guys have shared here. I soooo appreciate your input!!! XOX

  10. I was secretly hoping you would segue into this subject during your retreat. As you teach, so you learn. We are artists, we are sensitives. It goes with the territory. It's my opinion, we have much to learn. We must love ourselves 'just a little bit more', so we can come to our own aid, si we can build the confidence of our inner child, or teenager, or whatever age the inner woman may be who is in doubt. We must find ways in which to 'self soothe'. Most artists are 'intuitives' as opposed to 'sensates' according by Meyers Briggs. That means at the very best, we are 15% of the population. No wonder we have some challenges finding our tribe. I'm learning just recently how very important it is to be there for myself. To be able to counsel my inner being from an adult point of view. Playing these roles is so very important for our creative selves. As I was told by a very highly acclaimed spiritual teacher ... "Donna, no one is coming. Learn to be there for yourself. Make a wonderful life. No one is going to make it for you." Wow, so simple, however, that is still sinking in! I'm learning to be there for myself in ways I never dreamed were possible. As we open to consciousness, and awareness, it's a responsibility to be taken seriously. Groups of people, such as those in your retreat are the way to approach this. Support on this creative path is so necessary. As Artists, we are tender. We are always growing 'new shoots', which must be nourished with the loving support of like minds. One harsh word can set us back eons. Be careful who you allow in your garden. Only those who understand growth and the nurturing the inner garden takes to mature must be allowed to be with us in our gardens. Others will stamp out the growth in a minute, not because they mean to, but because we are awakening to spirit, and we simply cannot take it. I'm rambling, Patty. This is one HUGE topic. Glad you are taking it with you and watering it on your retreat. xxDonna

  11. You are in the place where I see myself in a few more years. I am a teacher and just about ready to retire. My goal is to become a full time artist then. Part of my plan is to work on my art now as much as possible...but... my problem is to just start doing it. These demons speak to me too and are most likely what is keeping me from working in my studio in spite of my desire to do so. I think as teachers we have spent a large amount of time making a difference in the classroom and it is very rewarding when it happens. Art does make a difference though. It heals and can take us to places that stir memories. I know that one of the pieces I have by a potter just gives me pleasure and relaxes me when I look at it. Maybe that is enough to be a great difference.

  12. A pleasant journey and so many beautiful and evocative images..

  13. you have done something special,, a teacher with a career she's retired from,, a fantastic artist, wow, your photos are brilliant,, I understand your concerns,, i think we all have bummps in our life road where these worries come up to face us full on but in the end we really have only ourselves to please ,, nothing more,, be happy in yourself,, you do lovely work,, the stress of competing in the comercial world is only a flighting pleasure security ion your soul is ever lasting,, I love your photos,, and I'm a newbie who's following your blog because I love your writing,, have a peaceful happy day,, give those demons the boot!

  14. those damn demons....i mean i never let them in....NOT!
    there are so many things i want to say. so i will just say
    this! you are a gift! sometimes we dont' realize that our
    gift is shining. yours is shining!

    i have been away from my fav blogs for so long. so happy
    i am taking this lazy morn to catch up.

    love you.


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