Mar 9, 2011

being brave

Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable.

I have been thinking a lot about this quote lately. Feelings of fear, weakness and vulnerability are present in my life.  I notice it when I create a new work of art, write a blog post and hit publish, share my true feelings, worry about my family and struggle with being present.

Recently, I made a custom order painting for a friend that was ordered as a surprise gift from her husband.  I think custom order artwork holds added pressure to please the buyer.  It triggers my fears around having people "like" me and often makes me uncomfortable.  When I finished this painting, I was happy with it and took it to the post office.  Then I felt scared and vulnerable for days.  My mind turned into a bad neighborhood.  I created a whole story around why my friend would dislike the painting immensely and convinced myself it was true. (It was not true.)

A while back I decided to write an honest biography of how I started making art.  I wanted my "about page" to reflect what is real.  I did not go to art school and although I could write a paragraph including lists of things that qualify me as professional and experienced, the real truth is that I fell into art picking up the pieces of my broken marriage and shattered heart. In sharing this story, I felt a mixture of fear and vulnerability, but also freedom. I know that each time I honor what is true for me I am growing stronger and connecting more deeply with others.

The challenging thing about this on-line world of facebook, tweeting, blogging, sharing and commenting is it can leave me feeling exposed and bring up my most fearful parts.  I notice the fear now, but it doesn't hold me back as much as it used to.  I know there is always a gift on the other side.  Thankfully, it is getting easier to be brave.


ELK said...

lori .. i understand your feelings . you encourage so many by doing this though and discover that so many feel the same way...blessings to you

windrock studio said...

"My mind turned into a bad neighborhood". I know all about that.
I'm very happy that you push on and share your beautiful art and words ...
it helps us all.

Mary Anne Morgan said...

I love this, Lori. And you are most beautiful when you are vulnerable. Thanks for being brave. We all benefit from your courage.:)

Mary Anne

Kim Klassen said...

oh Lori
your truth is so powerful..... really amazing....
i feel a lot of emotion as I read this....

i love the line... 'my mind turned into a bad neighborhood'.... 'sigh'

your truth makes me love you more....... truly...

thank you for putting words to feelings... I'm sure we all have ... 'sigh'

xxo, Kim

kelly barton said...

oh lori.....right to the point with a mad dash of
honesty. i love that. i have these feelings all the time
and find that they stifle my process and progress.

thank you for putting this out there, for each of us
to see that we are no different. we all have that
noisy neighborhood in our head.


amanda {the habit of being} said...

i just read your about page and it made my little heart flutter. seriously, it is so beautiful and you seem so very real. i think you are brave :)

Ewa said...

I'm sure you did a great job with the custom painting!!! It happens that sometimes I have a photography session with people that I barely know, and I always am so scared that I will not satisfy them... I feel like my pictures lack something when I take them with commercial purpose..., but I would love to go that way... become a professional photographer... but I'm soo scared and soo weak in pursuing this goal... I wish I had your courage!

Marcie said...

I think we can all relate to these feelings of fear and inadequacy..and never quite being good enough. I does get easier..but I have a hard time believing it'll ever be easy.
Your art is should be proud to share!

Simply Stated ~ Rebecca said...

I just love your post which lead me to stop over at your place to visit too....So glad Kim shared the link on FB and thank you for sharing. ;-)
Wishing you a wonderful day ~ Rebecca

Anna said...

Lovely post! So glad that you're putting yourself out there, cause your art makes me smile :)

deb colarossi said...

love this, Lori.
and I am getting braver ,
I love how you shared this.

deb colarossi said...

wow. just wow to your bio.


Kelly Warren said...

beautiful post! i enjoyed my little romp through your own blog and website just now too. your work, and you, are bright and beautiful!

Chantal said...

through the years we learn

kelly@thebluemuse said...

Oh yes, those fears come creeping in and try to overshadow your courage, but as you say, once you recognize them for what they are, it gets easier to squish them back down. I think that any time you create something from your heart you will have some of these feelings, it is the being vulnerable that makes us afraid, but also what makes us shine.
Let's be brave together. We can do it.

A Box of Chocolates said...

"Feel the fear and do it anyway" A mantra worth repeating hey!! I have and still do feel exactly what you have written. thanks for being brave enough to share with us.

Lisa Gonzalez - Happy Mama said...

Lori, when I first read your "about me" on your blog, I was moved by your openness. You, along with a few others helped me feel more at home on my blog, able to share the things I'd been holding back but wanted to say. Thank you for that!

I adore your artwork. Your wide-open heart comes through in each piece. You are most definitely spreading happiness through your art.


Oh, and I totally relate to the custom painting pressure/fear. I'm doing one right now and I'm anxious about it! LOL

Suki said...

It does take a lot to be brave, which I struggle with in real life too. Sometimes being honest and open about your feelings is just not easy.

Brooke said...

Dear Lori,

I think you are so brave. I can't even imagine what it would be like to do custom orders. I can just feel the stress! But I am so glad that you have faced your fears, and are doing it despite the fear. Again, you are such inspiration and proof of what is possible. And I can't get enough of the stories about moving past fear. Your strength gives me wings!

I think this painting might be my favorite of yours. It is so incredibly beautiful and the message feels like it is inscribed over my heart at the moment. You are pureness and beauty. Really, thank you.

Sending love xo

Kolleen said...

okay...i'm not really sure why it took me so long to comment on this post.

this beautiful, authentic, raw, honest, open, soooo relatable post.

i have visited that bad neighborhood countless times and it helps me to know i am not alone standing there. we all have these feelings of inadequacy and feeling as if we are falling short, not good enough. i feel it we all continue to be open and talk about it....we will help each other out of the bad hood and into the good, the light, the TRUE!

i adore you my friend and your wisdom