Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blowing the Lid Off the Small Box.

How does it serve me to play small? As I’ve mentioned before, I’m taking an e-course - the courageous year with Kate Swoboda. One of our recent topics begged me to answer these two questions.

one | how do I use overwhelm to play small?
two | how does playing small serve me? and am I playing small?

I will say that when I ponder both of these thoughts, my eyes fill. And along with the moist eyes comes a smile! Because if I’m having a reaction like that, then I know I’m on my way. We are talking about belief and story, and what stories each of us carry with us through life. Where did you pick them up? And what would happen if you let them go? We’re also discussing the concept of living big vs. living small, and I can honestly say that I have lived small most of my life.

Playing small sort of feels like living in a box. A small box. With just enough room to move around in, it’s not really comfy, but it’s not thaaat uncomfortable – ah but it is grasshopper! I have put myself in a safe little box; one that keeps me contained. The BIG me, the one that wants to stretch and run, and skip and soar. All of my muscles – my creative muscles, my heart, my body are all suffering from atrophy. This small box is not the place for the BIG me, the REAL me.

I can’t play big if I continue to use the word overwhelm - and I do use it on a regular basis. I’m not talking about an overly dramatic, back of the hand over the forehead, and fainting overwhelm. I’m talking about a more subtle version of the word (it’s actually a quite effective, yet subtle tool that’s used to keep the lid on the small box). It just slides easily off my tongue. I use it whenever I am taking on something that is a challenge for me. Or when I’m doing something that I “believe” I am not good at – like when I’m taking on getting organized.

Being unorganized is one of my stories. Because while it’s true that organizing does not come easy to me, it does show up in some areas of my life pretty effortlessly. For instance – my closet is organized by color, category, and from short to long. *Disclaimer - don’t get ahead of yourself and picture a beautiful closet worthy of being photographed, because that it’s not. This example debunks my story right? If I’m organized some of the time, I can’t be unorganized all of the time.

I have so many stories, and beliefs that I hold onto (I'll continue to share them here, as part of my effort to let them go). What’s the point of holding onto something so tightly if it’s not even true? Is it all in an attempt to avoid living/playing BIG? Yes, I think it is. Staying in the small box and playing small has kept me safe from harm, and in a cocoon of sorts. Stepping into my power, and owning my power is scary. What lengths will I go to keep from expanding? I’m at the point where I can no longer stay curled up, living and playing small.

Be guaranteed that I will be looking for all of my stories to show up. I will take note, and do some rewriting. The time is here. Time to shed the cocoon. Time to spread my wings. Time to blow the lid off of this little box! You have served your purpose. I say thank you for your promises of safety and bid you adieu. I will take my crumpled wings, and all of my atrophied muscles and crawl away. I will crawl until I can walk. I will walk until I can skip. I will skip until I can run. I will run until I can take flight and soar.

Is there a belief or story that you hold onto that keeps you playing small? And if so, what is it? How does playing small feel to you?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Giving Away a Spot in An Experiment in Radical Creativity!

Hi all! I am doing my second giveaway in two days! A little taste of how Oprah feels!  Kate Swoboda has graciously offered to let me give away a free spot in her Across Mediums e-course. Kate is a life skills and creativity coach, and she's sharing her passion for COURAGE with the women everywhere. This is an opportunity to create and play without ANY pressure. Come courageous and enter yourself to win! It's going to be a lot of fun, and it starts next week.

So raise your hand if you're someone who... (This is who Kate sees signing up...and for the record - I'm raising my hand)

* hoards art supplies, telling herself that she'll use them (and then somehow that doesn't happen).
* secretly longs to quit her day job and spend long days sketching or painting or collaging at a studio desk.
* gets totally inspired when she buys the canvas at the art store, then feels paralyzed with fear or resistance when it's time to sit down.
* someone who makes the first brush or pen stroke, sighs and thinks, "That sucks," maybe gives it another few minutes and then gives up.
* would love to do something creative, but doesn't have the time or money to go to art school.
* would love to do something creative, but doesn't want to have people critique her work--why can't it just be fun?
* would love to create lots of artwork, but what would one do with it once it's finished?
* is creative on a regular basis, but has a "been there, done that" feeling about most projects and is looking for something new.
* promises herself that this time, she'll finish that sketchbook and yet...yet...yet...

This course is exactly what I need right now. I've been feeling stuck and blocked in just about every area, and Kate's perspective on having fun with it all, and letting go of the end result is the perfect prescription! I'm currently enrolled in her e-course The Courageous Year and I can speak to the incredible support and enthusiasm that she shares with me, and the other participants. Knowing this first hand, makes me feel confident saying that I'm sure this will be an incredible 14 day experience!

Kate says ~ You'll probably "mess things up," and hopefully have fun doing it!

Get a little taste of the course here:

Across Mediums: An Experiment In Radical Creativity from Kate Swoboda on Vimeo.

Kate's going to be leading the way to unleashing your creativity through writing, sketching, painting, photography, and getting your fingers into a little clay. Sounds good to me.

Sound good to you? Just leave a comment answering the following question,

"What keeps or blocks you from using your creativity?" Mine would be fear

And you could win a free spot in this great e-course!

I will also throw in another entry for anyone who tweets about this giveaway, just leave a seperate comment for each entry (if you tweet - leave your @info plz.)

You have until 9:00 p.m. PST tomorrow night (2/11/10) to enter.
Winner will be announced Friday morning.

**Please be sure to leave your email address in your comment
so that you can be contacted if you win with details about the course. Leave your email address in this oliveandhopeatgmaildotcom format or some derivative, to protect you from spam.

Good luck to you!

If you don't win and don't want to miss out on the fun... please go here to sign up.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Story of Stepping In.

photo via Lin Pernille

I have been reading a ton about stories. You know the ones that belong to each of us? The ones we've claimed, woven into our lives, and let take root. If you wanted to live the life of your dreams...what story would that require you to give up? Or rather...what would story would you have to step into? A version of this question was recently posed by two people | Kate Swoboda who is doing a fabulous e-course called The Courageous Year, and Jamie Ridler via last weeks Wishcasting. I've been considering what stories I would have to give up or step  into. The first thing that comes up - is that I'd have to step into feeling deserving of all good and abundance. ouch. The second thing that comes up - is that I'd have to step completely into being an adult, and not letting this wounded little girl that dwells inside have so much power over my life. yeeps. Next in line - is that I'd have to acknowledge that I'm talented, creative and capable of making a living being all of those things. really? This is all stuff that I know, stuff that I own, and stuff that I'm ready to really look at. I've been it's time to put on the night vision goggles and really have a good looksey.

For some reason the "stepping into" zings me a little more than the letting go. Perhaps because owning a new version of the story is uncharted territory?? It's so much easier to look at what you've already got, or already know. But there's a point where it becomes unbearable to accept staying stuck, to keep doing the same old thing, and to not use the tools in your toolbox. My body, soul, heart, and mind are all giving me the signal. Go ahead...step forward...and bring that wounded little girl with you. You know what to do. You'll both make it. And you will both be healed in the process.

What stories would you have to step into, or let go of to live your life fully? Have you already? And if not...what keeps you stuck?

Monday, February 8, 2010

My First Giveaway.

a few of my little baubles.

I have been wanting to do a giveaway for a while, but sometimes the fear of the unknown stops me. I get caught up in the what if's and the how to's. It occurred to me today that it would really make me happy to give a ring away. And then it occurred to me that by not doing it...I'm screwing myself out of that very happiness! I'm going to just do it, so hang in there with me - I'll never learn or grow if I don't try. So here we go...leave a comment with your email and I will use a random number generator to pick a winner. Tell me your favorite color or two (not of the colors you see above, just your personal favorite colors), and something random about yourself that you love, by 7pm PST on February 9, 2010. I will pick a winner, and send her a lovely little Valentine treat from me!

My rings are very comfy, so even if you don't wear jewelry that often, throw you name in the hat. I think that you'll be pleasantly surprised. I've had many converts! They are worn by beauties from 13-88 (this I know for sure!).They've been worn everywhere from the beach, to coffee with a friend, to a day out shopping, to date night, to a fancy schmancy Museum Gala. And just to give you an idea of what they look like on, here is a picture. Boy do I need to get a hand model! - hence the small picture ;)

*when you leave a comment please post your email in this format oliveandhope|at|gmail|dot|com, or some derivative of that, for spam protection. If anyone has a better method for entries, I would appreciate the input!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Not Perfect or Pretty.

Crawling out of the muck.
That's where I'm at.
It's all I can do to write something.
Create something.
I'm sick of being stuck.
Want to let go.
Too many expectations for myself.
All or nothing. Black or White.
Both hurt.
Stepping into choice.
Choosing to write whatever comes to mind.
Not perfect or pretty.
Don't care if it's tied up with a pretty bow.
It is what it is.
That's where I'm at.