Open the door to moving through fear.
In our house, October is our favorite month of the year. We are big fans of Halloween, even our 2 year old gets into “scary night” and all the fun creepy things that come with it.
I think we enjoy it because (aside from piles of candy) it gives a chance to practice facing our fears and coming out the other side unscathed. It gives us a little rush of excitement and ends with that feeling of fulfillment that we’ve overcome an aspect of ourselves that is filled with fear of the unknown.
This is great practice for facing ALL the fears can keep us from living fully. If your daily life is not filled with zombies and spiders bent on biting your face off, you don’t get to practice this often enough in daily life. (Sorry to my friends in Australia because from the sounds of it spiders are always of concern)
Imagine a haunted house experience. When you stand out front you know that it holds all the potential to scare the bejeezus out of you. You have no clue what will jump out or how you will handle it, BUT you know you will make it out the other side regardless of how much you scream when you are inside. That is really what it comes down to… knowing the fear is there and opening the door anyway.
The starting, opening that door, is all it takes to get you to the other side. You will respond when you need to, run when you have to, look for trap doors along the way. When you have more than one way to get started you can get going faster and face that fear monster.
This month we are going to face the fear of the blank page. At this point I have so much practice facing a blank page that I just dive in, EXCEPT when I know I am creating something that I want to share with the world. That sends me right back to square one. All the fears, thoughts and criticism that I thought I was past flares right back up.
We are never done with the practice of moving through fear so we might as well get started.
Here are a few of the ways I open the door in art:
Lines: get loose and close your eyes if you need to. Scribble, dash, slow, wobbly… try them all.
Color Blocks: Putting color down in large areas gets that page started. You don’t have to stick with it, but it gives you something to respond to directly. Do shapes, sections, smears or all over color.
Setting Limits: Pick one tool, three colors and one shape. Explore only those things. When the world isn’t full of endless options you don’t have so much anxiety over each choice.
Special Tools: Find something that looks like it might make cool marks, make putting color down super easy or give an interesting texture. Start there then respond with a new tool. (your tool can be your fingers, brush… nothing complicated)
Layers: In art, in haunted houses, in business, in dealing with anything my process is always start and respond. The response comes in a new layer, a new batch of lines, another block of color, a new round of limits, that next tool that catches your eye. Think of each option as a layer. Then it is just a choice of when to stop. (that is a whole other email!)
Follow along the images to see how I do each and how I layer them all to work towards completing one painting. Explore ways that you like to start, to layer and see where it takes you.
Answer these questions during or after you create.
1. Where was I getting lost in my fear of failure?
2. What did I try that worked?
3. What did I try that flopped?
4. How did I move from choice to choice? Was I intuitive, logical or stressed about each choice?
5. What did I learn about my fear in art?
More ways to work with fear:
I have been on a journey of exploring all the ways to face and overcome the fears that keep me from being fully present or active in my dreams. I’ve explored mindset, affirmations, EFT tapping and even force of will. EFT is my favorite way of coming face to face with a fear and diving into the behind the scenes to find my way to the other side. It is a way to walk through the haunted house of my mind and find the secret passage way to the end where nothing can frighten me anymore. If you want to know more and experience it with a guide for the first couple rounds try my 2 hour coaching package.
I’ve combined EFT with a creative practice that taps into the subconscious through imagery and have found it to be quite successful in soothing those emotional reactions that keep us frozen or fleeing. I also created a worksheet packet to continue the practice for yourself with everything I’ve found that keeps me on track and making progress.