Your Five Closest

Have you ever felt completely depleted?

You feel low energy, and as you stare at your Art projects, there is an emptiness…a lack of inspiration.

And this feels so icky! Your Art is your heartbeat and passion.

What is going on?

The muse has left the building, and it can feel very lonely.

So what do we do in that moment?
How do we turn it around to return to that place of energy, joy, and creative flow?

How do we go from feeling stuck to inspired action?

A few weeks ago, I went to see a close friend present her choreography at Martha Graham.  It was a very special night, as she was showcasing work that had taken two years to compile.

At the end of the show, the audience leapt to the their feet, and as I stood cheering, I became aware of one woman in the back, shouting very loudly. Turning to see who it was, my whole stomach dropped.

Standing clear as day was a woman who used to be my friend, who used to be one of my closest confidants, and even a fellow performer.

We shared years of secrets, tears, triumphs and tribulations….until it all ended, right in the wake of my devastating divorce.

A friend no more, I hadn’t seen her in years, and instantly I could feel my body tighten.

Would she say anything to me?
Would I say anything to her?

I hadn’t seen her when I came in, and now with hindsight it made perfect sense she was here.  Of course, she is also close friends with the choreographer.

Friends with her….not with me…anymore.

And for very good reason.
She stopped being a healthy support for me.

She was the only friend who thought I should do a trial 6 month separation in the face of infidelity and a man telling me to my face he didn’t love me anymore.

She defended my ex when I laid  myself at her feet, sharing how devastated and broken I felt.

I felt invisible in her presence.
I felt like my words didn’t matter….

And most of all, as I started to truly open up about my shame and vulnerability, she wasn’t interested. She wasn’t a safe harbor anymore.

In simplest terms, we were no longer on the same page.

I wanted to grow, she didn’t.

So, we ended the friendship…mutually, and never spoke again.

And I went on to create many new friendships, deepen the most loving ones, and build a whole new life where my Art actually nourished me, instead of drained me.

My new friendships reflected where I was NOW, not where I was before.

And that evening, among the throngs of people at the Martha Graham studio , no words were exchanged.  Our eyes never met….we both knew.  We had both moved on.

 

Who supports you?
Do they understand your passion and Art?

Do you feel like you are spending all your time convincing them?

That can be really draining.
That can be exhausting.

And if they are close to you, it can really affect not only the quality of your Art, but your ability to actually get out there and promote yourself, connecting with your audience.

One of the most famous quotes rings very true here,
You are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with.

So, take a moment and take stock.

Who are you surrounding yourself with?
What are they saying?

Are they criticizing you and bringing you down?
How do you feel in their presence?
Energized and inspired, or exhausted and depleted?

As Artists, our power is in community. YOUR power lies in support and fellow Artists who not only GET you, but lift you to do your best, to express your heart, and to step forward fearlessly with your unique voice.

And here’s the part that I missed for SO long….we do this TOGETHER.

Specifically, we do this with Artists who are on the same page.

They want to be Untoppable
They want to create their best work
They want to move the audience

Like you.

Negative, blaming, and critical energy can be so draining.

Find your people who inspire you, who energize your muse, and who hold your path of GROWTH as absolutely vital.

We are constantly changing and becoming with every day!  This is the joy of being an Artist, because we have the ability to express this.

So, take stock.  Release those who are more interested in blaming and staying stuck.  Release them with grace and know,
you are not alone.

Let’s rise together.

Choose those closest to you with care.

This is your precious life.

Who do you want to share it with?

Pinched and Pulled

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Who do you think you are?
Don’t you know that’s hard?
No one wants to hear what you have to say.
Good luck with that…seems like a waste of time to me.

How many times have you heard this in your life?
How many times have you gone to your friends, family, or colleagues with a new creative idea and had cold water splashed in your face?

How many times have you shared your Dreams to only have them squashed by negativity?

You know who these people are in your life, and their words have been painful.

Like the pincers of a crab.

Crabs are interesting creatures.  I recently heard a story about a man who was concerned when he saw a barrel full of crabs.  The lid was off, and he said to the fisherman, “aren’t you afraid they will all crawl out?”

The fisherman smiled and said,

“Nope.  Anytime one of the crabs tries to rise up and crawl out, he is pulled back by all the other crabs.  They keep each other down.  The work is done for me.”

Think of what happens when a negative person enters a room, or you are surrounded by people stuck in blame and a victim mentality. There is a feeling of deflation, an energetic pulling down.  And they are looking for commonality.  In essence they are saying, “come join me in the barrel.”

So, down you go, and as you stare up at the open sky, you wonder if you will ever be able to rise.
You wonder if your Dream was ever worth it at all.

How can you create from there?

 

Last week I was at my business mastermind event in San Diego, sitting in a horseshoe with my community.  I sat surrounded by entrepreneurs making six and seven figures, so inspired by their success and spirit.

The theme of the mastermind?

Generosity.

My coach handed out pink and grey threaded bracelets and challenged us all to perform four acts of Radical Generosity.  Together, we tied the bracelets around our wrists, and began right away, offering within the community ways we could help each other in our businesses, whether it was referrals, or a quick tip, or promoting a recent project.

I walked out of that mastermind feeling like I could fly.
I came home and was so inspired and fired up to take my next steps.

My community actually lifted me out of my challenges.  They didn’t pull me down.  That’s the commonality we share.

And I couldn’t wait to share this with you.

Here’s the good news.  You get to choose who is in your barrel with you.  

For years, I would go into a blame cycle around my performance career, complaining about how I was cut or didn’t get the job.

And I stayed there for a long time, with my fellow crabs who were in the same boat.
Is this what you want for your life?

Chances are, if you are reading this, you actually have so many reasons to rise up out of the negativity.  You have something to say, something to give, and a very unique creative expression.

And you deserve to be supported in that.  Think of what you can achieve with a community that believes in you.

Maybe it’s time to cut the crabs out of your life.  

 

I recently came across a favorite childhood photo.  When I was a toddler, I had two things I carried around, a blanket and a bucket.  When I wasn’t sitting in the bucket sucking my thumb and holding my blanket, I was standing on top of the bucket giving speeches in front of the TV…with arms raised.  My parents knew very early on I was going to be a performer.

The tee-shirt I’m wearing?

Maryland is for Crabs.

So, let them be.  Maryland can have as many as they want, barrel after barrel. But, I imagine your younger self had different aspirations.

Raise your arms, and go for your dream.  Your audience is waiting.

Who is going to help you there?
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I want to hear from you!  How has negativity held you back in your Creativity and who has helped you to rise above the Crabs? Answer in the comment section below: