Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Giving Ourselves Permission

Page of Rainbows © Osho Zen Tarot

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
— Helen Keller

Right up there with telling ourselves we don’t have enough money to survive as artists, the other Big Lie we tell ourselves is that it is too late for us. Julia points out that “I’m too old” is an evasive tactic. She declares that it is always used to avoid facing our fears.

Then there is a flip side. A couple of yesterday’s notables who began their creative endeavors later in life did so after they retired from their “real” jobs. Good for them! But don’t use that as your excuse – because it’s just another deception. Imagine how much more of their work the world might have enjoyed, had they jumped into their calling a little earlier.

Julia notes, “‘I’ll let myself try it when I’m retired’ is an interesting side trip on the same ego-saving track. As a culture, we glorify youth and allow our youth the freedom to experiment. And we disparage our old-timers but allow them the right to be a little crazy.

“Many blocked creatives tell themselves they are both too old and too young to allow themselves to pursue their dreams. Old and dotty, they might try it. Young and foolish, they might try it. In either scenario, being crazy is a prerequisite to creative exploration. We do not want to look crazy. And trying something like that (whatever it is) at our age (whatever it is) would look nuts.”

Hmm. Maybe it’s time to go back and review some of those myths about creativity and artists that we were getting rid of. Do you have to be crazy to be creative? Does being an artist cause craziness? Well, maybe you do have to risk looking foolish or (horrors!) incompetent while you are learning.

Creativity requires stretching out of our humdrum routines and “safe” but conforming lives. It requires loosening our death grip of trying to stay in control. When we do, we find ourselves in timelessness. When we are in the flow of our creativity, we leave our self-consciousness behind. We say we “feel like a kid,” because our artist self is a child who is only aware of curiosity, joy, and the moment.

Yet we so deeply fear seeming childish, inept, or inexperienced. Where does that inner voice of ridicule come from?

“Instead of allowing ourselves a creative journey,” she notes, “we focus on the length of the trip. ‘It’s such a long way,’ we tell ourselves. It may be, but each day is just one more day with some motion in it and that motion toward a goal is very enjoyable.”

So this weekend, I encourage you to spend a little time exploring in your morning pages: what would you do if you were younger and it could be exactly like you would have liked? This can be any age of younger you like.

I hereby wave my magic wand and poof! You get to keep your adult wisdom and memory, but you can become the child who needed and received the encouragement, the music lessons, the scholarship. Or you can be the college student who went (and was welcomed!) in a completely different direction; or the young adult who didn’t have the kids till later, or who had a wonderful Mary Poppins nanny who took fantastic care of them while you did your thing.

What did you need? If you’d had it, what would you have done differently? Where might you be today? Can you bestow any of it on yourself now?

Now, imagine that you are retired, a very comfortable pension flowing in with no worries; your health is terrific (maybe even better than right now!). You are absolutely free. What and who would you be if you didn’t have to worry about your resumé, family obligations, your image, your employment, and your “permanent record?”

Can you begin to see a path beckoning that way now? What adventure is calling to you? How old do you think you have to wait to be, before you have permission?

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  • October 2, 2009, 5:51 pm Star

    The questions were asked: 1)…"what would you do if you were younger and it could be exactly like you would have liked? What did you need? If you’d had it, what would you have done differently?"

    Answer: I think I would have excelled in my studies in elementary school and middle school, including art and music, if I had not had to move every 3 years or less and readjust to new surroundings and friends. I would take art lessons, music lessons, and maybe singing lessons outside of school and just the church choir. With this foundation and some support from my otherwise absent parents, I think I could have selected the art(s) that I was really good at and then improved my skills in high school and college. I would also have several close childhood friends with similar interests who had shared my experiences and life, with whom I would now be communing and sharing adulthood, retirement and art.

    2) "Where might you be today? Can you bestow any of it on yourself now?"

    Answer: I would probably be singing professionally as a backup singer or harmony singer in a small group, or be a singer/songwriter who could accompany myself on a musical instrument. I might have developed the skill and ability to play a musical instrument at the master level and be able to jam with others or play in a band or orchestra. I would be able to draw 3 dimensional images and maybe portraits, instead of simple line drawings. I cannot bestow youthful muscle tone and memory. It is physically too late for me to develop the dexterity and body memory to become a master musician, these skills must be attained early in life. My vocal chords are also beyond the age at which they can be shaped and molded into a fine tuned instrument. The only thing I could do now would be to take art lessons. My hands are not very steady these days, but I could accomplish some level of success with learning shadows and perspective. It seems like too long and expensive of a road for me to pursue at this time. I have chosen to do art which requires somewhat less fine motor skills. I continually yearn for the musical abilities mentioned above and settle for intermittent opportunities to sing harmony with friends.

    3) "What and who would you be if you didn’t have to worry about your resumé, family obligations, your image, your employment, and your “permanent record?”

    Answer: I would be a philanthropist, a patron, for young upcoming musicians and artists and support them to get the proper training and develop the appropriate skills at the appropriate age. I would be happy to help produce the music of others and would feel great satisfaction with their success and my success as a producer. I am a good networking person and would like to help these artists find exciting outlets for their art and have the opportunity to reach their highest level of potential and share their gifts freely with others and the community. For this, they would need someone with wisdom, worldly experience as well as financial, emotional, and spiritual support.

    Star*

  • October 3, 2009, 7:26 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Oh, I can SO see you this way, dearest Star… and I think that while some of may indeed be beyond the physical capacity now in our Crone years, some is still very, very possible for you.

    I hope there are some seeds here that really take root and blossom for you in the years ahead. You would be amazing!!!
    – B.