Saturday, April 26, 2014

Questions and more questions...

Wow! I love your responses to my last post, both here as comments and in e-mails. Of course, the question has been swirling around in my mind. What if the best is still to come?
(Photo credits go to my sister for the animal photos and to me for the flower pictures.)
Now, I want to clarify how this works for me. These questions I pose I don’t really ask of myself. In a small way, of course, my mind gets engaged (it’s very active that way), but more than that, I ask the question of the universe so to speak and then I try to sit back and just feel and notice.
I think what happens when we ask these open-ended questions that are in seeming opposition to a belief we hold, we allow a small opening for the universe to show us how things could be different if we allowed them to be.
My most notable experience of that was about five years ago, when a colleague of Daniel’s asked me if I was an artist, too. My very quick response was: “Oh, no. I’m not an artist. I’m not creative at all.” But somewhere within me, at the same time and for the first time ever, I asked myself: “Are you sure?” It turns out I wasn’t. I was told in school that I wasn’t artistic. I was musical, but not artistic. I was told by my teachers that I couldn’t write. I was told that I was good at math and sciences (which I love to this day). And I took those remarks at face value without questioning them. Until that day five years ago.
Once I made that tiny opening for the possibility that I could maybe be creative, everything happened really fast. A month later, I had started this blog and began making art. Today I feel creative in every part of my life and I am stunned that for more than 40 years I had thought the opposite to be true.
I find that most of the limiting beliefs I have embraced as part of me seem to have grown from small seeds that have been planted throughout my life, like the off-handed comments by my teachers. Many of them are not even in my conscious mind, but they seem to have been developing into a sort of very personal interference pattern that undermines what I want to do and who I want to be.
Since I started painting, in my conscious mind I think I’ve progressed amazingly and I really, truly love my art. Every piece I create. Every portrait I paint feels like a piece of me and I feel connected to them all. I never look at my art and become critical. However, I can sense the interference pattern when I offer my art to the world to see and to possibly buy. That’s when that I still feel somewhere deep inside that I am not an artist and not worthy and I feel great hesitation and want to hide what I make. I am really determined to access these patterns and disburse them or reorganize them into something more useful as I long to express myself fully.
When I sit with last post’s question of “What if the best was still to come?” I am flooded with little seeds again that were planted by family, teachers, and just the environment we grow up in. I remember my mother routinely making statements of how everything was going to change for me (and not for the better) when I would hit 30. I remember going to birthday parties of people turning 40 (when I was much younger) and all the decoration talked about being “over the hill.” Funny, yes, but also not really. As a woman, I started having mammograms and other routine checks after 40, we are told by doctors and the pharmaceutical industry to be on the lookout for all kinds of scary things as we age, and have you seen all the ads for anti-aging beauty products?
Now, I don’t consciously subscribe to any of this, but I am certain that some of these little tiny seeds have taken hold over the years just by us being bombarded by to so many of them.  And now, while I do believe that things can get better and better all the time, there are some niggling doubts that maybe this isn’t true. And that interference I am so ready to let go of.
Ok, as you can notice I don’t have a “real” answer to the question I had posed and I didn’t really expect to get one.
Usually, once I put a question like that into the ethers as it were, I start paying attention to what I get back, little signs I notice. Here’s what happened today: five times I heard or read something (none of it was related) about having to be fearless of what others think if you want to truly become who you are. Wow - did that ever strike a chord? I am so not there. I definitely care what others think. Even your comments!
You know that phrase we all grow up with: “What will people think?” I have internalize that to a crazy degree and I’m ready to let it go. This is a biggie for me. No matter what anyone has ever said to me to try to help me overcome that, I have not been able to change the pattern of it. It’s not anything I can solve intellectually, this is deeply embedded in the belief that others know me better than I know myself. And whatever they say goes. Crazy, right!? I’m so ready to be done with that! Truly!! And from that comes another question, one I am sure is firmly connected to the first one.
What if I could allow other people’s opinions to be just that - other people’s opinions? How would my life be different? How would I be different? How would I approach my days differently? My art? What I write? What if I could just be who I am? Openly? Honestly? Without fear of rejection? Without fear of criticism? (Ok, I know that was more than one question...)
Just asking gives me goosebumps and that tells me that this is important in my life.

Maybe these blog posts are the first step in being more fearless. Maybe...

With love and gratitude,



  1. Great follow up post and really gives us something to think about. REally interesting when we reframe who we think we were, and find out it just wasn't true. So thought provoking, and yes, your goosebumps are a big hint.

  2. Remember Dr.Seuss's "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

    Listen to your heart first. Everyone has their own interpretation that may not marry with yours!Being true to your self enjoying your god given gifts is the true road to happiness....through grief, loss, and's the thread to tie it all together!
    You are creative, you are an artist.... even if you sell nothing you are still an artist.... I only have so many walls for my own art, and I love whimsy so I tend to gravitate to that. I respect not everyone will love my gypsy pink walls.... but some will...and that's okay... I am being myself completely... The older you get some things are better and some things are not... I'd never trade the wisdom I have now for the youthfulness of yesterday! Everything is a trade off....being married, or single, being rich or poor... all of it has a balance of ups and downs! what you love... forget what others think. I was 47 when I started doing art.... imagine all the years I wasted because of those stupid idiots I listened to thinking they mattered back in the day! There is a huge vessel inside waiting to be discovered...worry less about what other think....and more about what you think when you are not being influenced! This is just flowing from though...didn't mean for it to be so long!! Hope it helps...and you ARE a beautiful artist!!

    Big hugs Giggles

  3. Do you know the Lennon/McCartney song "Blackbird"? This post reminded me of its refrain: "All your life / You were only waiting for this moment to be free."

  4. Whenever I start to worry about what others might think of me, this pops into my mind, but, unfortunately, I can't remember who said it...Maya Angelou, perhaps? "To worry about what others think of you is to be owned by them...and, honey, slavery is over!" That thought always snaps me right out of worrying about what people will think...



  5. I love your incredible photos!
    I had an experience recently which your ponderings remind me of. My original "art teacher" came. She always offered good critiques of our work. So when she stood by my works I said, "So, what do you think?" - and instantly regretted it. She had some criticisms but I found I needed to let them go because 1. she no longer has the right/position to offer a critique of my work, and 2. I have moved beyond the need for it because I know my work moves away from her expectations and I am fine with that. But by opening myself up to her critique, I closed the door on my own creativity - well, almost…. I have spent 2 weeks now getting over the blow to my creative self and renewing and searching out the path I want to follow with my art - the path that creates joy in me and keeps me true to my path…. Happy creating Silke!

  6. Bonjour,
    J'aime vos mots... Vos photos sont merveilleuses et pleines de poésie.
    Gros bisous ❀ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎ ❀

  7. know those time-lapse-photography of a bud, opening into a tiny flower, and continuing to open to full flower? that is kind of the feeling which reading this post, was giving me.

    buddddding... opening.... continuing to open and open and open... fully... delightful.

    i wish you all the best, with all these insights. i wish myself, to gather these insights, into myself and work with them, for myself.

    we each have individual issues. but we all can learn, from how others try to go about this task. that being told you were not creative/artistic, resonates with me. not the exact thing. but i know the "abilities" which i internalized, that i was-not-good-at. oh wow yes!

    you are so lucky to have discovered that you _do_ have artistic talent. i don't expect to find that i could be an athlete, or truly sing. but i still want to kick those "you can not's," to the curb. -chuckle- i want to be the one who decides about these long held beliefs. not an old voice in my head!!! ,-)

    i just said to another one, who is on this "be kind to self journey", that i so want to make a list on my sidebar, of those bloggers i have found, who are on trying to do this. so if other of my readers, want to, they can visit..

    just gotta' do it now!

    thank you for what you are doing!

    and beautiful photos!!!!!

    gentle hugs,

  8. I agree with everyone Silke. Just enjoy life to the fullest. As long as you and yours are happy in life, that is what counts. You are an ARTIST! Have a wonderful week.

  9. Great outside pictures of your animal friends!