Taking the Leap

Has fear stopped you when it matters most with your work?

Have you been right there, and the next step you need to take in order to go Full Time scares you out of your mind?

It may be,
Starting your Youtube channel
Submitting your manuscript to a big publisher
Hiring your first producer
Promoting your workshop
Raising your prices on your art
Launching a newsletter or blog

It’s that next level of exposure and action you KNOW you need to take, and yet you find yourself paralyzed.  You may feel like your feet are stuck to the ground.

Have you ever felt this?

And the fear can be intense…
It can feel so overwhelming, and you may be thinking,
If I’m THIS scared, I’m not supposed to do it!
Maybe I’ll just wait…
I’ll wait until I’m no longer scared.
If I’m scared, it must not be right.

So, you wait, and wait, and the fear never goes away…and your dreams of going Full Time are no closer.

How does that feel?
I imagine it can be devastating and really discouraging.

You are an incredible Artist.
You have so much to give and your audience is waiting for you…..
So, what’s the DEAL??

Why won’t the fear GO AWAY?

I mean, things would be so much easier if it did, right?

Wednesday night was a big night for me.  Almost four months after a serious calf injury, I decided to try leaping across the floor for the first time.

I had been back to dance class now two times prior since the injury and each time had felt even more solid, and I was actually really excited. 

Tonight is the night!  I get to leap!

And yet, right before I was about to go, I felt it…Fear.
This was exactly how I got injured in January.  It was the leaps across the floor.

For a moment, I could feel that voice coming up saying,
What if you’re not ready?
What if you hurt yourself again?

Have you ever felt this?

I was scared.  The last four months have been really challenging and I have MISSED dance so much!  The last thing I wanted was to have another injury and be out again.

But, something deeper was with me.
So, I leapt WITH the fear.

And I made it across to the other side of the room. A smile broke across my face, a wash of relief came over me.  My calf was tight, but I was ok. 

I was ok.

I remember in the very midst of my divorce, sitting in front of a Zen teacher with tears streaming down my face, sharing my heartache and weeping as I choked out my deepest question,
How do you let go?

He passed me a box of tissues and then asked me,
Are you ok without him?

This question stopped me cold.  Literally, it was as if a huge shift occurred in my body.

Yes, I was ok.
Yes, I was breathing.
Yes, I had support of family and friends….I was still alive.

I honestly had thought because I was SO afraid of being single, of being without the man I had spent 19 years of my life with, that ultimately I would NOT be ok.

This was unknown territory, after all.

And yet, here I was breathing and alive.
The ironic thing was I was the one who actually said,
I want a divorce.

He had asked for a trial separation, but there was no way I was going to give that to him. He was in love with another woman, and had shared he didn’t want to have kids. AND in couple’s therapy, he didn’t want to look at the deeper reasons he was leaving me.

There was no future here. I knew it, and I knew what the next step had to be, and it rocked me to my core.

So, even though I was terrified of never finding my partner, of never having children…I leapt.  It was scary as hell.

And I was ok.
I am ok. And that ability to leap WITH my fear allowed me to not only find my life partner and begin family planning, but also create my own Art business and find true meaning in my life.

Last week I saw a quote from one of my favorite women in the world, Marie Forleo
Fear isn’t the problem. Waiting to stop feeling afraid is.

And this IS the heart of it.

Whoever told you not to step forward because you are scared, lied to you.

It actually may be the least helpful advice given, ever.
We don’t grow when are comfortable, we grow when we are challenged, face it, and step INTO it.

The reason why?

Because when you are able to take steps WITH fear, you are building your greatest ally,
Self trust.

It took me losing everything to wake up to how strong I actually was.

And trust me, it wasn’t easy, and I didn’t do it alone.

Fear is actually just an indicator that it’s important to you!
Much like family to me, partnership, and dancing!
Dancing is VITAL for me, so OF COURSE I was scared to leap.

And I did WITH my fear.

Perhaps, this isn’t about letting GO of fear.

What if fear can come ALONG on the journey?
What if fear is just here to point to what’s important to you?

Take the leap.
The only way is through.

Fear is not your enemy…it may actually just be waiting for you to make friends with it.  Maybe your fear WANTS to leap across the floor and feel freedom too.

Because when you land there….you will realize, it’s gone.

Just like that. It’s disappeared, and there you are….landed from the air, alive.

You are alive.

The wait is over.

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography

Tightening the Screws

Do you have something that’s been NAGGING you for a long time in your Art?

Do you feel like you are fixing the same things over and over again?

It can be so frustrating, especially when you feel like your attempts are all for nothing.

Whatever hasn’t been working can start to feel:
BROKEN.

And that can be so disheartening when your work is so heart-based, and comes from the deepest part of you.

And honestly, there are only so many hours in a day!

You want to put your focus where you are going to see the greatest return, and yet the same things seem to be plaguing you,

A broken link on your website
Low sales for your Art or events
Miscommunications with your collaborators
Equipment going on the fritz
Low social media engagement

Sometimes, it can feel like you have duck tape holding your Art career and business together.

Because, really you want to be spending your time CREATING.

That’s the joy, right?

So, why do these annoying small things keep distracting you, and taking you off creating your most powerful work and creating raving fans?

Couldn’t they just be permanently FIXED?

 

I’m a big fan of my drying rack.

I have a lot of dance and yoga clothes that are very happy hanging to dry instead of being burned to death in the NYC economy size dryers at my local laundromat.

When I moved into my sanctuary in Astoria after my divorce, I was actually really excited to buy a new drying rack.  This one was more sturdy, it had solid bars, and was a far cry from the rickety wooden one I had had, when I was married.

But, as this drying rack was used every week, it started to weaken.

And soon, I was finding the rack wobble, and the bars coming loose.  I felt like I was spending half my time just trying to put it together every week, and picking up random pieces that were falling off.

It was so frustrating!  The rack would fall over, and stand at this odd angle……I honestly spent more time just trying to find something to lean it against.

As I knew I was moving, I just assumed,
Well…..I just need it to last a few more months and I will get a new one when I move to NJ in Feb.

And then, two weeks ago, right as I was picking up a screw for the hundredth time from the floor, a NEW thought popped in,
Maybe I just need to tighten the screws on the rack.

I grabbed a phillips head and tightened one screw….and then another, and then another.  In fact EVERY screw needed to be tightened.

Five minutes later, I opened the rack and realized it was sturdy
It was solid.

In fact, it was as solid as the first day I bought it.

And all I had to do was take 5 minutes and tighten the screws.

It was that simple.

 

So, what is that thing that is nagging you in your Art?

What have you been putting duck tape on, doing the “quick fix” for MONTHS or YEARS thinking it will actually get better?

Is it your:
Organization
Pricing
Social Media
Website
Marketing
Scheduling
Cash Flow

Limiting Mindset?

Whatever it is, you know it, because it keeps coming up.

I was so intent on picking up the screws and believing my rack was broken, I wasn’t seeing the answer right in front of my eyes.

My focus was on the wrong place.

And this can plague us in our Art.
It can plague us as we are trying to build a raving fan base.

We can waste AGES on the quick fix, instead of taking the action that will actually give us solid footing, and allow us to use our energy where we want,
ON OUR CRAFT.

And when we waste our time, we really do believe things are broken, when this just isn’t the case. We can feel wobbly and unsure.

We’ve become blind to the solution.

But, if you took a moment and got really quiet, ask yourself,
What needs tightening?

What have you been resisting doing?

The answer is simpler than you think, and will save you hours and days in the long run.

Place your focus on what is going to actually FIX your solution, instead of running after the endless dropping screws.

 

Stop using the duck tape, and reach out for the help that will give you lasting change and growth in your Art.

Narrow in on that area that needs the most help, and make 2018 the year you truly become Unstoppable.

This is your life, and your work matters.

 

 

Photography by: Caitlin Cannon Photography