Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Artist PlayDate: All Security Nets Have Been Removed So Strap on Your Wings, It’s Time to Fly

Over the course of the last two weeks, the artists who were scheduled for Artist PlayDates have had unavoidable things happen. One artist had an accident and the other was battling illness. Please join me in sending well wishes and BIG hugs out to them!

So, you have me again this week..hope you don't mind but these artists will be making an appearance in the coming weeks along with many, fabulous others.

I will be attending an event tomorrow that requires that I leave before noon. So, I would just ask that you get your submission in no later than midnight EST so that I can include them tomorrow! I can't wait to share...some of the ones I am seeing are going to make your jaw hit the floor.

The worst mistake I’ve made in my professional life has been to search for security. Now don’t get me wrong we all need money to keep a roof over our head and food on the table but I took it to the extreme.

When I first learned that it was possible to make a living as a writer and artist, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I scribbled notes in my journals about characters, story ideas for the next “great American novel” and sketched images to go along with my poetry. Although I had no idea how to get published or where to submit my work, I believed I could make it happen. Enter my family.

“Of course you can be a writer, just make sure you have a backup. Writing is a tough field and you want to make sure you have something to fall back on,” they’d often say. “Art? An artist? Yes I think you can be an artist, just make sure you have a backup. Art is a tough field and you always want to be sure you have a backup.”

I know they were trying to protect me but their worry, their mantra became my mantra and before I knew it, I was backup obsessed. I needed the safety and security of my backup before I could do anything else. I took jobs in corporate America because I’d become obsessed with making sure that I had “enough” money as though having enough was a tangible idea. Do we ever feel as though we have enough? Isn’t there always that little bit more we could use? I believed that when I achieved the right amount of the security that would be the right time to pursue my craft. I would have a safety net in place and thereby not get hurt going after my dream. The problem was I spent so much time trying to create my safety net that I lost all track of my dream.

What I have come to learn through tremendous trial and error is that security is a fallacy, it is an illusion we create for ourselves. When you look at the natural world there is little that is secure; as cliché as it may be to say, “Change in our one constant.” No amount of money, no great number of things will prevent something from going wrong at any time. Then again, no amount of money or things will stop things from going right either.

Passion, self-belief and a willingness to test your wings are what will help you to pursue your dreams and make them a reality. There is remarkable freedom in losing the idea of security. When we stop holding on to everything from the people in our lives to old habits for dear life, we can separate ourselves from the idea that we “need” things and people in order to survive and realize who and what we “want” to have in our world and that thought, that wanting brings about a greater sense of appreciation for everything and everyone.

Suddenly, we can stop building that secure fortress around ourselves or our loved ones. We can stop spending all of our time worrying about what “might” happen. We can release our grip and instead of trying to keep everyone free from harm and worrying about every little thing, we can enjoy the folks in our lives, celebrate them and help them to adjust their wings so that they might soar. We can stop creating only the things we think will sell and start taking risks in our art. We can stop being who we think others want us to be as artists and writers and start being who we are. We can start creating the pieces we’ve always dreamed of, those pieces that visit us in our day and night dreams and cause butterflies of excitement in on our stomach.

Today, I invite you to think about the idea that there is no security. Does that thought make you feel uncomfortable? If so, that’s good. I always find I get immensely uncomfortable before I make an exciting change or embrace a shift in perspective. If you were to stop, “playing it safe” what would you do? Believe me, this is an idea that challenges me. It makes me want to crawl out of my own skin sometimes but it also intrigues and excites me. I still worry but not as much and I still find myself clamoring for the illusionary security net but I have come to appreciate so much about this life and as that appreciation continues to deepen, the freedom in believing there is no such thing as security becomes more intoxicating. I have stopped playing it safe and been lost for quite some time and sometimes lost is good; lost led me to this beautiful space. So, I recommend burning the safety net and strapping on your wings. It’s scary at first, no doubt but I’m just starting to feel a little brave and who knows where that could lead.


Jenjen © GottaLoveMom said...

Natasha, as usual - dead on!
You're timing is perfect! It's like you're reading what's in my mind and this week's entry.
You're one of my new pals that give me the push to just do it - what the heck, just open myself out there..
Big Hugs (**as usual**)

lisianblue said...

Yup - exactly!
I didn't take that leap until in my 40's! and yet my lifetime dream was to be an artist! "But, you can't make a living as an artist"
and yet it was my 5 years of art classes that got me the best job I ever had and didn't involve any drawing or painting!
You are awesome Natasha!

Sherry said...

Natasha.....what a great article you have shared today. It has such depth and a very wise take on the concept of security! And that's exactly what is is...only a concept.
Thanks again're the best!

Amanda (Blake) Fall said...

Amen, sister! :D I actually just blogged yesterday about fears..and a quote from Erica Jong: "I have accepted fear as a part of life--specifically the fear of change...I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: 'turn back'..."

Somehow, your topics are always right on the money (no pun intended, okay, maybe a little) for me. Right now, I have the opportunity to give full focus to my artistic ventures--and yet I waste so much time and energy worrying about the next step, and if it'll ever be enough.

You said exactly what I needed to hear!

by Patricia Wood said...

Thank you:)

Marja said...

Wow, Natasha - did you just write this for me? :) I so needed to hear this...

Natasha said...

Jenjen - I can't even handle how proud I am of are doing it every day, every week and it's really is...I am so inspired by all you are doing...don't stop...what you are sending out into the world is magic, pal!

lisianblue - you're awesome because you made the got yourself out there and did it and all I can do is cheer LOUDLY and help me to stand tall and run after my dream :)

Sherry - you are a tremendous artist and as I watch you pursue your dream I am inspired...thank you for continuing to share your art no matter what!

Amanda - as always your words resonate with me...great choice for that quote...I'm coming over to read it...and what you are doing - the worry about the next step while pursing your dreams and taking advantage of this gift of time is natural. Don't beat yourself up for it...just gently call yourself back when you feel yourself slipping down the worry hill. Thanks for sharing exactly what I needed to read...

Patricia Wood - welcome...I LOVE your avatar...that is by far one of my favorite characters....thank YOU for stopping by...please come and share's great to see you here

Marja - yes, I could sense it so I wrote it...thanks for needing to read it because apparently I needed to write it LOL....keep soaring higher and higher Marja..the world needs you!!!

Frenzy23 said...

What an ideal perspective for an artist. For a person to grow you have to take off the safety wheels, and an artist needs to be constantly developing further style and experimenting. For some, even sharing their work is taking a leap, art can be so personal and dear to us that sharing it with the world takes off our security blanket. But without taking the leap, we can get nowhere.
I currently have two jobs in corporate America. I hope my business will build up enough that I'll be able to fly away from that, as far, far away from serving fast food as possible. :)
When I danced, I learned the human reaction is to curl up. Recoiling is a security instinct for human beings. Physically standing up to that instinct, by spreading your arms, taking a leap, staying upright and proud, is the most exhilarating feeling I've ever experienced in my life.

Amanda (Blake) Fall said...

"just gently call yourself back when you feel yourself slipping down the worry hill"--okay, at this VERY moment I'm writing that down, along with a "Natasha says" and a smiley face.... and going to slap it up on my bulletin board in my studio!

Natasha said...

Frenzy23 - there is movement and music in your writing that I adore. You are 100% right without that leap we go nowhere...I love that you are leaping and I FIRMLY believe that you will fly away from corporate are shining too brightly ...I want to help you soar....and lines like this: "Physically standing up to that instinct, by spreading your arms, taking a leap, staying upright and proud, is the most exhilarating feeling I've ever experienced in my life." Make me happy...I'm going to dance.

Amanda - you made my day....thank you ...I wrote down the quote you shared...I'm a HUGE member of your fan club....HUGE!!

Meekiyu said...

another great post and rings true... I'm also stuck with the need for safety wheels that's why I'm working towards another career even though I love what I am doing on etsy. I think I would be terrified x_x

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...


And somehow I am immensely amused by the fact that the Aflac Goose was staring at me as I read this. :-D

Wonderful as ever, Natasha. :-) Thnx for taking that leap of faith and sharing your life with us! :-)

Bright Blessings & Good Fortune! :-)

lisianblue said...

Natasha, I highly recommend grabbing on and making a run for it! It was a little scarey in some ways to concentrate on art when I finally went to college instead of a "career course" ie- education, occupational or physical therapy, sort of things - the job I ended up in did require using my knowledge of aesthetics, color, design etc - it was sort of a perfect fit, I got to use both the logical and creative sides of my brain.
Thank you for your cheers!

aquamaureen said...

boy, this connection we all have at TST is just amazing .. . Natasha, I can only echo what the others have said----did you write your words JUST for ME????? "We can stop creating only the things we think will sell and start taking risks in our art . . . we can start creating the pieces we've always dreamed of, those pieces that visit our day and night dreams . . ." Oh, haven't our hearts and souls been crying out to us: "Do this thing you have been born to do!!!" Isn't it way past time for us to all holler "YES--YES I WILL do what I and only I can do .. ." Doesn't this world just ache to have all of us give to it the beauty and wonder that we were designed to create through our art??