i just watched a TEDx talk from brene brown. through her research into the difference between peeps caught in their shame and peeps who’ve broken free, she boils it down to living wholeheartedly, owning vulnerability and practising acceptance of what is and that includes ourselves…

if i say i am enough, often enough

if i act like i am enough, often enough,

guess what, i will be enough.

NOT perfect, ENOUGH.

and i have found this to be true about being an artist (always my leading edge!!)

in about 93/94  i went to a self awareness through art class. we were asked to say a few words about ourselves,including what we did. i said i was an artist and when the tutor asked me what kind, i said, it’s an affirmation, i’m in block right now. so what are you really? i’m an artist in block. no…oh,ok i’m on the longterm sick with post traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia….oh, i’m sorry…yes, thanks for ignoring the good thing i was doing and “cutting me down to size”. later i had to leave the class, she insisted on a creative visualisation where we swam/played in water, i explained i would make an appropriate substitute, as my parents watched me drown when i was 3 and i’ve struggled with learning to swim ever since…she said, oh no, this will be good for you, replace a bad memory with a good possibility…i left!  beware of the stupid, they know not what they do!

in 97 i went to an art evening class, possible because the tutor very kindly gave me lifts, and then started a 2year access to art course.

in 98 and 99 i started part time degree courses i had to drop out of because of agoraphobia and tutor conflict.

in 01 i had my first solo show…

now i blithely say i am an artist, regardless of anyone’s discomfort…ranging from envy and insecurity to fear and rage at the outsider. i enjoy the way this instantly puts me in contact with the creatives, the positives, the people dancing to their own drum. very occasionally it backfires, i know someone who prefers the term creative because of how artist is used for ‘fine’ artist, not creator of wonderful work in whichever media appeals, and i suspect that’s not the only friendship that has had to hack through a jungle of same word-two meanings to get to an understanding. some of my husband’s friends thought i was ‘showing off’, which would make me grind my teeth as they were quite happy to say they were musicians or master joiners.

it’s just a skill people!?!

except that’s not what was getting to them,was it? i ALWAYS wanted to be an artist and because i wasn’t very good at representational art (i could do observational drawing and abstracts, but not imaginative drawing) i have had a long slog upwards from the place of no permission to complete and easy acceptance of this is what i am on the planet to be…what was getting to those people was seeing me be happy being what is mine to be, and encouraging everyone around me to be what they are here to be, instead of wage slaves and drowning/smoke screening their sorrows every weekend or doing something more ‘useful’ and screaming inside and occasionally blowing up like a gale force 10…

being enough, who you are, how you are is a radical act, and undermines a global economy based on cheap goods unfairly traded to be a false hope ‘pick-me-up’ for people who have lost their way.

accepting and loving your own and others’ humanness is not going to make any money for anyone and may start a ripple effect of love and esteem that begins the collapse of the stock exchanges!

before rushing to the barricades and throwing away ANYTHING (just where is away? i’ve never found it?) look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself how wonderful it is to be a living breathing human at this exciting time of flux and change, with your own special skills and love for……whatever it is…that can be part of the ripple. now think of someone you like and send them a random hug, just because they are them…you have now completed an exercise in being enough!

how was it for you? 😉