Becoming a Certain Kind of Woman

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:57 PM


There's always been something very attractive to me about uncertainty.  Attractive and agonizing, that is.  How so, you ask?  Like my pattern of falling for men who were slightly aloof and emotionally unavailable.  Even as I expressed my disdain for their opaque behavior, I secretly savored the mystery.  I would ask myself over and over why I always went for guys that challenged me this way.  And yet for better or worse, when the ultimate ambiguity knocked, I not only answered but I allowed it to move in, settle down and make three babies with me.

Sorry, I digressed there for a moment.  But I do want to talk about knowing yourself, your patterns and how you can use your natural inclinations to your advantage.  You know, to become the woman you want to be.

Self-observation is good for the spirit, you know?  In my example above, I talk about being drawn to uncertainty.  I used to see this as a liability, but I've reframed it because, well simply because it pleases me to do so.  Thinking of it in a negative way just wasn't working for me.  We have to really search ourselves to find those deep rooted thoughts and stories we tell ourselves that define our self-perception.    It's important because if we don't do this soul searching work, we'll continue to place limits on ourselves that are built on false truths and old ideas.  For me, instead of wondering why I never could stick it out with "normal" guys, I accepted that normal is subjective and I prefer a little bit of "crazy".  Just a little.  I also prefer a little bit of emotional distance.  Again, just a little.  A healthy amount of detachment is necessary for me to feel free.

So when I say that I want to become a certain kind of woman, the statement has many meanings.  To some extent, I am talking about certainty in the literal sense and knowing that my natural instincts are relevant and shouldn't be devalued.  But speaking more broadly, I'm talking about the process of becoming a self-loving woman who lives her truth and exploits her strengths, weaknesses, preferences and idiosyncracies to her advantage.

I am going through some self-analysis right now to get clear on where I'm going and how to focus my energy.

Perhaps it would benefit you to join me in asking yourself these questions:

*What are my greatest strengths and weaknesses that I need to build on or deal with in my professional and personal life?

*What old beliefs about myself and my capabilities am I hanging on to?  What false ideas are holding me back?

*Am I currently doing the work that I want to be doing?

*Does the bulk of my energy go towards what I have to do for money or what my spirit calls me to do creatively?

*What are my real feelings about using my creative outlets to make money?

*Do I currently have a support network that supports what I want to do?

*Do I have a mentor, and if not, why not??

*What are the top three things that I need to learn and how can I learn them?

**Questions adapted from Gail McMeekin's The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women**

The Truth About Creative Living (Part I)

Friday, February 17, 2012 5:31 PM

**"Consider this: what if the woman who wrestles with God but doesn't live to tell the tale is the one who refuses to create a work of art - an authentic life?  What if the fatal wound, the one from which we never recover, is regret?"

How do you define creative living? Maybe you want to stop working and home school your kids. Maybe you want to be a world traveler and not be tied down to one spot. Whatever it means to you, if you're not living it, it's time to start taking steps in that direction. Depending on your current situation, it may not take long to get there, or it may take years.  As far as we know, we only get one life, so why wouldn't we be passionate about living as authentically as possible?

A huge component of creative living for me includes writing professionally.  It's my calling. It's what keeps me scribbling ideas on little pieces of paper and daydreaming on the job when I'm supposed to be working.  I must admit that I don't know how that is going to work.  I've been working a 9 to 5 for twelve years and I can't fathom how my family could ever stay afloat without the security of two reliable incomes.  Although I don't understand the HOW,  I do understand that it's going to happen.  And I'm excited to see how it all unfolds.

The truth is, we tend to over concern ourselves with the HOW.  And when we can't figure out the HOW with enough detail to satisfy our logical minds, we get discouraged and our egos tell us that we can't do it, we're not creative, and we don't have the chops.  But what if we just let the HOW happen organically?  In other words - do what you love consistently, get better at it, study it, make love to it, and watch it grow. 

If you want to build a creative life of your own design, keep the following Do's and Don'ts in mind: 

Don't fixate on the end result.
Don't worry about how people will perceive how you live and what you do.
Don't compare your life or your choices to others.
Don't worry about how.  Just do.
Don't place limits on yourself.  Be open to success and think big.
Don't allow fear to control you. Make friends with it.

Do imagine how you will feel when you accomplish what you want. 
Do enjoy the process of becoming. 
Do away with anything that stifles your creativity (people, places and things).
Do surrender to your creativity and explore it.
Do trust your instincts.
Do accept failure as a necessary part of the process of creative living.

**"As you slowly learn to remove the rubble of the opinions and judgments of others (including your own internal critic), and exchange a limiting, toxic interpretation of a miserly, mean-spirited God for the orderly direction of a loving and supportive Creator, not only will you encounter the inner artist, but you'll come to respect your art as a personal form of worship."

...And this is the difference between a calling and a job.  Currently, I obtain my main income through a job.  When you discover your calling, the money is secondary.  As the quote above states, "respect your art as a personal from of worship."    Whatever you do, do it to give the truest part of you a voice. 

When you trust your inner guide and worship by living creatively, the path will gradually become clear.  Just do it and the opportunities and the money will come.  Sarah Ban Breathnach says "Remember, it can't be published, produced, performed or purchased if it doesn't exist."

So join me in getting out of your own way and letting your gifts take the lead.  Who's coming with me?!

**The quotes in this post are from this book by Sarah Ban Breathnach.