Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Believe It Or Not: The World Is Not Flat

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
— Pablo Picasso

Blessings to our Artist’s Way companion, Thalia, who courageously shared 20 of her fears that whisper (sometimes scream) that she dare not be an artist. Anyone else? Remember, you are in gentle, supportive company here.

I know that her experiences are bound to be very similar to those for all of us. I especially resonate with how the offhand sniping of someone whose opinion matters to us, like her best friend’s mother, can torpedo our confidence for years to come. It takes a lot of insight to uncover these toxic pools that flow into the underground streams of our sense of ourselves.

Some of my own fears about safety are very survival-based. Mine whisper that it is colossally selfish of me to devote myself to myeconomy is seriously threatening our future. My artsy yearnings might very well sink us. Or I might soleave me. Besides, it’s not fair to him, because he really is a talented artist who is forced to struggle in a shadow artist kind of job. creativity, especially when the frustrate and alienate my husband (who is the main breadwinner), he’ll

Others include my fears that delving into the deep realms of creativity may trigger some latent mental illness. Worst of all, I might discover that my dreams have been vanity all the time, and I have no talent whatsoever; that I am a hack. Better to wistfully dream my grandiose dreams, than to discover I am just a mediocre nothing. Woo. Such demons!

Well, good news, folks. None of this is necessarily true. Not for you, not for me.

One of the reasons we are urged in this exercise to come up with so many of these fears is that it forces us to dig into our underlying memories and layers of beliefs, many of which are simply false. Many of these fears are poisonous seeds planted very deep, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. They come from parents, teachers, our religion, our culture and even friends who are blocked by their own fears.

Julia notes, “Once we have cleared away the most sweeping cultural negatives, we may find we are still stubbornly left with core negativessubtle – but equally undermining if not confronted. Our business here is confronting them. we have acquired from our families, teachers and friends. These are often

“Negative beliefs are exactly that: beliefs, not facts. The world was never flat, although everyone believed it was. You are not dumb, crazy, egomaniacal, grandiose, or silly, just because you falsely believe yourself to be.”

Then she nails it:
“What you are is scared. Core negatives keep you scared.”

So, how are you doing so far? Not exactly a ton of laughs, huh? Well, now that we’ve dredged up our demons (and keep going if you think there might be few more hiding in your inner closets!), tomorrow, we’ll start to really deal with them.

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  • March 4, 2009, 12:15 pm joanna brightbrook

    I can’t be a prolific, creative, successful artist because:

    1. My ideas are too scattered.
    2. My art is too personal.
    3. My art is too fragile.
    4. I don’t want to share my art with anyone.
    5. I don’t want people I don’t know touching the things I make.
    6. I’m not consistent.
    7. I don’t have enough passion.
    8. I’m not talented enough.
    9. No one wants to “hear” what I have to “say.”
    10. My art is not “real” art.
    11. Art won’t ever pay the bills.
    12. I can’t stick to a theme long enough to make anything of it.
    13. My sister is a better artist.
    14. My friend is a better artist.
    15. My ideas of success are different than everyone else’s, so when I think I am successful, I’m not actually seen that way by others.
    16. I don’t have enough space.
    17. I don’t have the money to “waste” on supplies.
    18. I don’t have the self-confidence.
    19. To be a true artist you have to tap into your pain, and I just don’t want to go there anymore.
    20. I am not loved enough.
    21. I don’t want to have to keep around forever things that I make.
    22. I don’t have enough training.

  • March 4, 2009, 12:38 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Joanna! Blessings to you for your huge courage… I hope you are noticing how these fears get smaller once they’re out of our brains and hearts, and reduced to a mere 26 letters of the alphabet, floating in cyberspace someplace…

    If you can access these deep “core negatives,” you can certainly access the flowing power of Art in your soul! I know it!
    – Beth

  • March 4, 2009, 4:33 pm joanna brightbrook

    As I was writing this list, and looking over it after, I’m relaizing two things: 1. a number of my fears have to do with how one defines “artist”, “art” and “success”. And 2. a number of my fears have to do with inconsistency, which for me comes down to the fact that I DO fluctuate in so many things.

    So, I see transformation of these fears as coming from a place of redefining the core components– “art” can be whatever one creates with love. “success” can be something that brings one joy . . . it doesn’t have to bring money.

    And then the fluctuation part, some days I am super creative and focused and want to finish a project, and some days I want to go for a walk by the river and daydream . . . and that is good! (this fear is cultural I think, all those ones that say, well, to be an artist, writer, musician etc, you really have to do it every day and it has to be hard work, and you won’t make it right away. . .)

  • March 4, 2009, 5:36 pm Star

    I can’t be a successful, prolific, creative artist because:

    1. I’m too old to begin new stuff.
    2. I was never encouraged to develop my talents by anyone in my childhood.
    3. I like to do too many different things, and I don’t spend enough time getting good at one.
    4. I don’t know how to make drawings appear to be three dimensional.
    5. I need a studio with lots of light and space and tables and supplies.
    6. I like fine (usually expensive) materials only, and cannot really afford it.
    7. Painting is too messy.
    8. I want to make the final piece without lots of practice trials or prototypes. (Impatient)
    9. Other people interrupt me whenever I sit down to do my art.
    10. When I share my joy in my art, my friends are often in a non-joyful place and cannot relate.
    11. I am committed to other vital volunteer work for others with less resources than me.
    12. I have to make a perfect work space before I can do good work.
    13. I’m not as good as those artists that I admire.
    14. My imagery, color combinations, and media may be misinterpreted by others.
    15. My dexterity and fine motor skills are diminishing with age.
    16. I lack enough resources, storage space, work space to do it completely and right.
    17. I need a backup band and backup singers.
    18. I don’t have all the equipment I need.
    19. I would reveal too much of my personal truth and be ridiculed.
    20. There are lots of other necessary mundane tasks of living my life that take much of my time.
    21. Depression sometimes gets the better of me and I wonder “why bother” and “who cares about my art anyway” and “none of this will matter after I am gone”….
    22. I need to feel supported and encouraged by other like minded artists.

  • March 4, 2009, 6:23 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    >22. I need to feel supported and encouraged by other like minded artists.

    You've got it, Star!!! YOU SHINE, Girl! And by the way, I'd LOVE to be in your backup band and backup vocals! What fun that would be! If only my broom really worked the way it's SUPPOSED to, I'd be there in a skinny minute!
    – Beth

  • March 4, 2009, 7:36 pm meggins

    Thanks to everyone who has shared. You’ve encouraged me.

    Beth, you said Better to wistfully dream my grandiose dreams, than to discover I am just a mediocre nothing. . A very eloquent expression of a great (as in BIG) fear. (See my #12 below.)

    1. I’m lazy.
    2. Not enough time.
    3. Not enough talent.
    4. My ideas suck.
    5. Too many distractions.
    6. I need to earn money NOW.
    7. My inner ctitic is nasty.
    8. I’m afraid of what people will say.
    9. No training.
    10. It’s easier to think than to do.
    11. Just what will I do with the results anyway?
    12. Rather be a wannabe than a manque.
    13. There’s too much competition.
    14. My eyesight is bad.
    15. My general health is bad.
    16. I’m poor.
    17. I have a limited imagination.
    18. If at first you don’t succeed, quit.
    19. I can find other things to do with my time.
    20. Nobody supports me.
    21. Worked too hard to douse the creative flame to let it flare up now.

  • March 4, 2009, 8:22 pm Thalia

    Julia notes, “Once we have cleared away the most sweeping cultural negatives, we may find we are still stubbornly left with core negatives we have acquired from our families, teachers and friends. These are often subtle – but equally undermining if not confronted. Our business here is confronting them.

    I went back through mine and found that they came in clusters, and could be organized by theme; which made it a lot less than twenty, actually, and not as overwhelming. And yeah, an awful lot of them were cultural. Which means, not my fault. And I see a lot of assumptions from the culture in others’ lists, too. That this culture doesn’t consider art worthwhile is not our fault. It is deeply, deeply screwed up, but it is not us.

    That was very, very helpful for me to realize.

  • March 5, 2009, 6:39 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Meggins! I think your inner critic and mine must be diabolical friends. Powerful stuff to realize, isn’t it!

    I went back through mine and found that they came in clusters, and could be organized by theme; which made it a lot less than twenty, actually, and not as overwhelming.

    Thalia – what a great observation! This is so true!

    Everyone – look at how similar we all are.. the threads that run through all of our fears are nearly identical. Except I just have to point out – reading all of these – can you see how articulate and beautifully you express yourselves? Can you see the courage and candor that also runs through each one of us?

    This is proof, my friends, that the world is NOT flat, and that ART flows in our veins! I am so honored and blessed to have all of you (even those who are quiet for now) joining us here.
    – Beth