Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time to fess up...

Ok, so I haven't been in my studio for over two weeks. I blame it on the heat, but that's only part of the truth. The other part is that I am sort of intimidated by the creative process at the moment.
I know that sounds sort of weird, so let me try to explain...

My art is changing and I don't know if it is good objectively seen, but to me it seems to be getting really good. Different than before with more depth or something -- hard to put into words.

All my life, I have had real difficulties being really good at something. I'm so comfortable not standing out in any way (actually, in my younger years I consciously practiced blending in and it has sort of stuck with me), that when something starts happening that might make me stand out, I immediately get paralyzed.
Ok, that sounds like I think I am oh so very good, but that's not it. I have that feeling that something is happening in my art that is going to make me extraordinarily and uniquely "me," sort of like I am finally on the cusp of living the creative life I imagine living and it scares me into inactivity.

I know it makes no sense and logically I am aware of it all and I know just what I need to do, but emotionally it's a whole different story. It's that old notion of fitting in, of not making waves, and of trying so hard to be "normal."

And, believe me, I KNOW that being "normal" is highly overrated, I KNOW that there's nothing else but to be "me", but how to know it emotionally? How do you make that leap from knowing something in your head to knowing it with your whole being? I am hoping at least one of you knows what I am talking about...
In the past, as soon as I'd get to a point like this, I'd retreat and sort of blend into the masses again for sheer comforts sake, but not this time. I've considered it - believe you me! But when I do, everything in me says MOVE FORWARD!
One of the reasons I am putting this out here is because I know that when I say this "out loud" to you all,  it is much more of a commitment than when I just say it quietly in my mind. And, most importantly, because I wonder if some of you are dealing (or have dealt with) with something similar.

So, are you?!?


  1. Silke...I completely understand!!!

    When a publishing deal for my children' book literally fell in my lap, I felt paralyzed, too. I thought, "Oh my god, now I really have to do it...I have to finish my book!" And the thought of being a published author scares the crap out of me.

    I know what you mean about becoming who you are meant to be...your greater self. And that being a scary thing. Oprah once said something like, our biggest fear is that we are even greater than we can imagine. I think we know that having talent is a big responsibility. You need to share it with the world, and that means going out of your comfort zone. It also puts you in the position for ridicule and judgement from others.

    I am glad you are taking the courageous path!!

    I'm holding your hand...


  2. Sometimes taking a step back, is the only way to move forward! And all development is good..... and it's ok to think you are getting better... heck, all that work, you should be, that's the whole point.... be nice to yourself!

  3. I understand you so well. I blended in my whole life and at the same time I felt I wasn't like everyone else that I was different. The way I dealt with it was that I didn't show my art to anyone until I was comfortable enough with it. Sometimes it takes a couple of days other times a couple of months. But you will get comfortable and you will want to show your new art to the world. :) Hang in there Silke. You have to keep pushing.

  4. I know what you felt because I felt the same thing also in my life. The notion that you had something special in you and you can be somebody because of it but sometimes it scares the hell out of you. Being creative is not only in your mind but also it comes from the depth of your heart. By the way you have a great art here.

  5. Yep! I understand too! On the one hand, I long for someone to tell me that they want to publish my poetry and that I will become the next Maya Angelou! :-) Then there's the other hand, where if they actually contacted me I'd assume it was some nut trying to scam me...because my poetry couldn't possibly be that good!!!

    I'm terrified about all of the ways my life would change if someone actually recognized me for as good as I think I am...and deathly afraid it will never happen. It has caused me to almost become inactive in my writing except in moments of sheer inspiration, nothing pressed. But I know I need to do what I do...including crocheting the "Break-out" necklaCE THAT WILL MAKE ME A MILLIONAIRE!!! mILLIONAIRE?...yikes!!!

    Don't let fear capture you Silke. You are worthy to let people REALLY see who you are!...And so am I.

  6. You are truly helping people (like me) with this post Silke. I am NOT SUPPOSED TO BE the creative one in my family. But here it is and here I am stepping into it....slowly and tentatively but doing it nonetheless...

  7. I know that fear. Because there is no going back, after you have crossed the imaginary line. What it boils down to:
    "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." — Anaïs Nin

  8. I haven't experienced that with my crafts, but I did many years ago with my career. I am good at what I do....and it doesn't matter what I'm doing....I'm good at it. That isn't bragging...I just learn and I work hard.

    I would settle into a position, be offered a promotion and cringe at the very thought. Not that I thought I wouldn't do a good job, I knew I would and that scared me. It wouldn't be the "safe" place. I worked for the phone company for years. I was offered a promotion and training for an administrative position. Had I taken that route and stuck with it, I would have been able to retire many years ago....but I would have been too "out there" and that wasn't "me".

    I was afraid...not of failing, but of being good and moving up and up and up. I would be noticed, I would stand out....and I didn't want to stand out. I never have.

    Even now....I work hard and I do some great things, but just don't call attention to me. Don't make people notice me. Just let me do what I do and let me feel "safe".

    I think it's sort of what you are feeling, just in a different area.

  9. Ah the notorious fear of success! It's such a buggar!
    You have just made two giant leaps forward! You are not stuck, you are moving :)
    Step 1. you realize and recognize your talent, ability and dreams
    Step 2. you put it forward to others to hold yourself accountable
    Now you need to move to Step 3. Create! Make the dream a reality!
    Love to you on your journey. You don't want to blend in, you're too colorful and amazing for that! Step forward! Make yourself known!

    I must go now. Time to start practicing what I preach ;)

  10. Silke, you are going through a normal step in the creative process. I usually experience it right before a burst of creativity that I cannot keep up with, or when I know my style is going to change somewhat and it is not firmly implanted into my subconscious yet---to move ahead.
    You'll be fine.
    Don't worry....we all go through this.
    Just have a big cup of coffee and let the creative thought swirl for a while...no pressure, you know? :)


  11. Dear Silke, I understand perfectly, that happens to me too. When I was young I used to change my personality, and do what others do, forgetting what I really was, and now I have great problems with that because I don't know how to be my self, I abandoned everything I liked doing what what I hated for blending in with my family, which are very religious...And now I get paralysed too much frequently because I have to be sure about who I am and what I want, and is difficult to me. I hope you understand my english...Love, and I hope you find what your new art is.

  12. Oh Beautiful One, I completely understand. I am living it right now. I think the pause, the block in the road is necessary to allow our hearts to decide what we truly want to do, what will delight our souls and allow us to live a creative life every day, and not be guided by what we think could be profitable. I have not been sewing for over a week...all this packing up the kids' belonging and the moving out has now sparked a desire in me to purge the rest of my home, unclutter and I know that once the closets and cabinets are in order, my heart will know what it wants to do. **kisskiss** Deb

  13. do you know, that makes all the sense in the world. tapping into a source can be frightening, and when it is your own source there are unexplored depths and possibilities that can threaten to overwhelm you.
    put on your swimsuit and jump in ;]

  14. Can't linger and I will be back, but for now I blame it on karma because you did not share that fig tart with me!

    HAHAHAH! Just teasing you Lovely One. I shall return this evening. TSUP!!!

  15. "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepset fear is that we are powerful beyond measure...We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." - Marianne Williamson

    Silke - this is soooooooo exciting. I am so proud of you for standing up to your impulse to turn away. Live with these feelings for awhile. And then start making art.

    As many have said before: FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT. If you start doing, the feeling will follow.

  16. Silke, I think it is very brave of you to put your feelings out here for the whole world to see! I have no sage words of advice except to say I support you in all you do, and if you need to take some time before you proceed with your next art project, I think that is just fine. In fact, I would not suggest that you move foward with action before you line up your energy. Maybe it is time to give yourself permission to be just as you are. You are doing extremely well!

    I like this quote by Helen Keller: Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

  17. Silke, I have often felt the same way as you. Lots of fear and insecurities. But trust me - you have nothing to fear. Your work is great. :) You are moving forward and that is a wonderful thing. This was a courageous post. Thank you for sharing and putting out there what most of us feel but aren't always comfortable in addressing. I gulp every time I post a creation - wondering what people will honestly think of it. I don't know that it will ever fully subside. But when I see someone with one of my creations, it makes me feel really good. Your art is in people's homes - that's a great thing. There is no place for you to go but ... UP!!! Keep making your pretties!!! :) Theresa

  18. Wow...I literally cannot remember which little bounce from blog-to-blog-to-blog led me here, but I am absolutely rocked to the core by the coincedence of your post and how it relates exactly to where I am in my creative- no, my ENTIRE- life right now! I know I am on the cusp of deciding once-and-for-all to NOT retreat to the safe shadows- to own my individuality, my talents, my capacity for success. I am scared to death. But I know this time is different, because instead of retreating, I am standing still, and every once in a while (when I don't think anyone is looking), I am taking a tiny step forward. Whew. It's exhausting- but I now making art that is at a new level, and responses to my work are steadily coming in to tell me what I'm allowing myself to admit I already knew: I can do this. Thank you so much for your post. -Megan

  19. I absolutely love this post because I think it resonates deeply with me and it looks like lots of others too. Sometimes I fear that not only am I wonderful but that I can't possibly live up to my potential... and then I feel all weirdly narcissistic and feel the paralysis set in. I think as a woman, I was always taught to be very modest- and almost hide my strengths.
    I also agree with mermaiden. I am an art therapist, so I have definitely witnessed the power of art- and how it can move and change us.
    What an amazing journey to be on:-)

  20. I can't add to all these brillant comments except to say for me it has come (being braver) with age. Stepping outside of the comfort zone feels less and less scary and more ce la vie. If i like it, it's good enough.
    Believe in yourself Silke,

  21. Silke - I think you are just saying out loud what we all think and feel. Sometimes - it just isn't there. I think that inspiration comes tous when we least expected - during moments when we are just living our lives. Don't try so hard to look so hard. Just see what happens. You are loved~~~


  22. I hear you and I am in a similiar place.. I have been silent in my creativity these last few weeks.. slowly finding my way back

  23. Dear Silke,

    All I can say: Follow your heart! ...and there's really nothing to fear than fear itself!

    Do it for the joy of it and once it becomes joyless, then find something else to fulfill your heart's desire! It's really rather simple, but then, we are all very complicated beings and I never sease to amaze myself at my inablility to follow my own's good advise ;-)

    With love,
    Doris :-)

  24. Hi Silke( hugs)...beautiful post! I am very excited to see where this journey will lead you! when you are ready you will simply FLY with your new wings..new space always feel little foreign at first...but it truly is part of us that is coming to life..!!!.get to know the new you and the new expression coming through....new energy can feel powerful...you will know what to do!

    YOu mention you feel there is more 'depth" etc...exactly!!..it is like integrating another powerful-layer of space/a world within......and giving it "new space to grow and live inside your being to express and come out more"!This inner garden is moving in..and it feels powerful..let it bloom!

    An experience I had......there was a time when i never painted anything in the background..just a "color backdrop"..then suddenly...things were shifting in my work...I began "to encounter" that background-space I alwasy avoided.......and I could feel more space and depth was opening up...I felt confident and began exploring...and it was like pushing back that flat "color backdrop" and stretching it out till it became a whole scene that I coudnt quite see before! I began to add space to my art...a sense of depth I hadnt yet conquered! At the same time in my own life..a parallel..to being more in the open space of life...( something I am not always comfortable with). Interesting isnt it!

    You work is divinely expanding...and the sky is opening up vaster so to speak..this has happened to me! it is exciting..and at first can feel like death or dying..but truly a new dimension is being birthed..and there is nothing to fear.!

    Honor you work..honor your creative essence..honor your heart and spirit and you own journey and the divine-pace of your soul...when you feel ready you will explore this new layer!

    Be grateful you are aware of it..and it's power and the gift presenting it self! You art is the corridor to finally encouraging you to feel harmony! I am like a hermit..who loves to work in solace and live in that hidden space too..and I have had to make peace..again and again..with being out in the open..having light shone on me.!!....and understand..you must must must shine..for every heart carries a seed of light..and it is the very nature of light...to shine!!

    embrace your new self..your new art..it will bring you to an even deeper space of Home within!!