(an older painting i don’t think i’ve ever shared. it says “listening to grace” which is exactly what i’m trying to do these days 🙂
i received an email the other day from another soon to be creative mama. she too had a similar panic like i had a couple of weeks ago – the one i wrote about in this post. i related to so much she said in her letter about how hard it is to trust that you can create the life you envision as a mama AND a creative biz owner – especially when so many people signal to you how hard it’s going to be, how unrealistic you are being, how you have no idea what you’re in for, how what you envision just isn’t actually possible, how there is no way you can properly tend to your wee one while tending to your passions at the same time – how this might even be a bit selfish. it’s so true – as much as i’m surrounded by support and possibility and creative mama mentors, these other signals seep in all around me.
it all gets me a tad bit feisty. for me, if you tell me i can’t, then i most certainly will. i wasn’t always this way. this gene kicked in when i finally discovered my passion (art) – when i finally loved something enough to fight for it even when everyone told me i was being unrealistic to think i could one day quit my full time day job and make art for a living, esp when i had zero training in the arts. i’m not suggesting we should change our whole lives just because we were told we can’t to do it. i’m just saying that we need to trust our own center, our own callings and run with them – not from a place of nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity, but for the sake of what’s really calling us in our lives.
lately, i’ve been feeling that same bit of feistiness again – my heart has been on high alert for fighting for what it wants when it seems there are so many subtle signals and voices out there insisting that it’s going to be a hard hard road to create this next part of my life. it’s a bit hard to navigate all the noise and opinions about how i should do things. how much rest i should get. how much work i should get done now before it’s too late. how i shouldn’t work to hard right now. how i have no idea how my whole creative biz world is going to end when baby arrives. how i should schedule my life when baby arrives. how much time i should take off. how i should or should not give birth, breast feed, carry my baby. how our whole worlds are going to change with the birth of this baby (there’s always this tinge of negativity to the statement that just drives me crazy).
oh my! all of that noise and feedback is downright exhausting. it’s as if these voices want me to fail or are waiting for me to fall flat on my face. in my best moments, i’m in the center of my own beliefs and intuition about what i know to be true and possible, but every now and again i get sucked into all of that noise and it leaves me feeling unnerved.
when i consider all the inspiring creative moms out there who are doing just fine and creating wonderful lives for their families. when i surround myself with the words i most need to hear. when i get really quiet at the end of the day. even when i’m afraid and have no idea what i’m doing, i do know this: it’s possible. i deeply deeply believe that we must create the life we most imagine. do i imagine myself working as hard as i’ve worked these last many years while being a new mom? no. do i want to work that hard while being a new mom? no. do i realistically think i’ll be able to take a three month maternity leave? no. is that okay with me? yes! do i think there’s going to be a whole lot of surrendering and adjusting and time and flexibility? yes. but in the end, do i think it’s possible to create what we most want our life to look like with baby, creative life, and so much more? wholeheartedly, yes. and that’s what matters and that’s what i’m trying to remember every day. i really want to look back on this and remember my own hopeful words. i know i’m going to need them. i already know it’s going to be hard, but i also know that hard doesn’t always have to mean bad. and i also know in my bones that love will always fill the spaces of uncertainty, of negativity, of overwhelm, of anxiety. and that it will always, always win.
we all have our own experiences, and our own opportunities to create the lives we dream of. i just want to always subscribe to the idea that we each have an ever expanding capacity of limitlessness and possibility, baby or no baby, job or no job. whatever our circumstances, i say we tune out the noise that makes us hesitate on creating that possibility and get back to center. what is calling you? what do you most want to change? what small steps can you take today? how can you begin? how can you surround yourself with people who believe what you believe: that life doesn’t have to be one subtle message after the next about what’s hard and what’s not possible but rather what is possible and what is waiting for you (love and connection and change in all the best ways).