I received a message from the stars in the form of a horoscope.
The only horoscope I’ve read for more than 20 years. Maybe more. I’ve lost count.
I’m a hard-core Pisces.
The horoscope in question sounded like profound understanding of where I am and how I’m struggling. It was in no way written as premonition of any sort, it was so matter-of-fact and clear, that I’ve been carrying the words in my heart and mind for more than a week:
Virginia Woolf thought that her Piscean lover Vita Sackville-West was a decent writer, but a bit too fluid and effortless. Self-expression was so natural to Sackville-West that she didn’t work hard enough to hone her craft and discipline her flow. In a letter, Woolf wrote, “I think there are odder, deeper, more angular thoughts in your mind than you have yet let come out.” I invite you to meditate on the possibility that Woolf’s advice might be useful in 2019. Is there anything in your skill set that comes so easily that you haven’t fully ripened it? If so, develop it with more focused intention.
I began FlowArte as I do everything: with a sheer determination to do things well. To follow the path. To study, to work hard and build a business from my work.
I had walked the same path before with several projects including a web development business that allowed me to work remotely for two years. However this Doing things well has backfired each and every time. There are multiple and chaotic reasons for this but I can share two:
- Since I was a teen, I dreamed of having my own business. I sold hand-drawn illustrations in my mom’s office supplies shop. And this feeling of wanting to do my own thing has never gone away despite my relentless pursuit of everything contrary to myself.
- Sometimes you are such a weirdo and have such a bizarre combination of traits, skills, idiosyncrasies and interests that unless you work for yourself, you’ll feel out of place 99% of the time.
How bizarre can one be? You can be an outlier, an underground Punk who simply lives against all establishment and is surrounded by their peers. When you present yourself, people see it immediately, through your look, your attitude, your fashion choices, the way you speak. You show yourself all the time and you honestly do not care what the world makes of you and you never will. I would consider my dad in this category!
Or you can be a normal person on the outside and be a composite. Take me for example.
I am a Highly Sensitive, ADD, anxious introvert with an ocean of shyness. An existential, pragmatic pessimist. An empath who lives in a constant sense of overwhelm.
I feel like a glass bottle with a message inside, bobbing in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, waiting for the inevitable hurricane. But not only that, the message in bottled-me is in three languages, as I corroborated with my multiple journals, blogs, notebooks and post-its. And the message is trying to find a destination.
To come to the above summary, I have tried to begin 2019 by reorganizing my ADD-addled mess. When I finished I was in tears and profoundly scared about how on earth I would survive in times like these, at this point in my life. It feels like I’m forever at the departure gate going in a different direction, arriving nowhere.
I have however small anchors: my writing, my drawings and watercolors, my books.
And in human form, my husband who still feels like this little package that I am is who he was looking for his entire life. He is an optimist, a meditator, a disciplined superman, a clearheaded Libra. A funny, compassionate, generous, levelheaded man who I can still surprise with my unexpected points of view.
I created FlowArte in a way that is the complete antithesis to who I am and now it’s catching up to me in the form of unbelievable shoulder and neck pain. A tension I’ve never felt before.
I followed a business plan, I took up social media, I listened to all the business advice. I paid some insanely expensive courses and I’m still at the departure gate.
Not for lack of work or effort.
Or for lack of commitment.
But because I was doing all this for the wrong thing.
I knew from the beginning that it was not enough to love movement and dance and yoga. I would have to live it. I would have to be able to write, create, produce content that supported all that. My home practice can’t be stretched into content-marketing. I am not a professional dancer or yoga instructor. I’m not passionate enough to become one. So even though I own a pair of each of my leggings and use them daily, I do not have the inclination (ocean of shyness, introvert) to use myself as the main messenger.
So in the midst of this reflection, I shredded piles of old work that wasn’t good. It was all created in the the “departure area”. I only kept a very small pile of things I truly, liked.
I have many questions still. But I must make space first and do the things that honor who I am. For once.
So what’s next?
I will start focusing on the artwork itself. I will join it to my other loves: words and books. I want to be bolder in trying to make work that communicates and reaches kindred spirits.
I recently went through the people I follow on Instagram and picked out five of my favorite artists. I asked myself why I admire them so. It surprised me that it went beyond their visual art. Their work is an amalgamation of experiences, books and their personal view of the world. It’s something I aspire to do.
I hope you come along with me. If you purchased a pair of leggings, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. They are made to last, I hope you enjoy them for a long time.
If you are not yet subscribed to my letter, please do so. I want to create a publication that touches different aspects of the human condition, past and present and dispel so much noise that instead of helping us as creatives just makes us get so lost.
I will share a lot of art, a lot of words, mine and others. It’s good. I promise. If you’re looking for a companion in your path to art I’d love to be one.