February 4, 2016
It is that unnamed thing that lurks just under my rib cage and travels up while I least expect it, often while am happily working in my studio.
So, what does an artist who has to wade through skeins of fear do to tame the unnamed fear? Name it, so as to slowly unravel it. Work fast enough to keep any paralysis from over-analysis at bay. Chirp my optimism out loud so as to keep redirecting my brain. Meditate. Pray. People don’t realize that I choose, every day, to be positive. To say “yes”. To feel the fear and move forward anyway. Sometimes I can barely keep my thinking in a straight line.
The greatest gift I received was the observation made by another—that before you can have compassion for another, you must engage in compassion for yourself. It’s much harder than it sounds. Real compassion is not feeling sorry for yourself, or being narcissistic or letting yourself of the hook. Real compassion is accepting who you are at that moment: accepting your flaws, seeing your gifts and acknowledging the choices you have made up to the present moment—easy and hard—and accepting them as lessons for the future. Compassion is choosing to recognize the value of a thing, person, yourself, even when it is beyond your understanding.