I help people dream big, set goals, and accomplish them. There’s no greater fulfillment than being able to help my clients get from point A to point B. But what happens when I find myself sitting across the table from a new client and that person is - me? I work with a coach, practice self-coaching, and usually don’t have a difficult time putting in writing what I intend to do and then executing. However, recently, there seems to be an inner battle taking place between my creativity and productivity. I find myself asking the questions: how does creativity exist in a world with boundaries? How do we integrate the fluid and creative aspects of ourselves with the part that makes sure we do what say we are going to do? This seems to be the lesson that the universe is putting before me. I have a feeling 2015 will be about my discovering how to achieve the delicate balance of letting go, being messy, and taking risks while maintaining a life structure that allows me to achieve my goals.
I’ve lived most of my life with self-inflicted policies and guidelines. This structure ensured that I would be safe and prepared for anything that could go wrong. I was deliberate in when I would allow myself “time off” - a chance to escape the pressure. For me, dance and theater have always been a safe space to let go and be free. Once a show was completed, however, I would go back to my carefully formatted life, separating the two worlds entirely. Why? Because I feared a loss of control should these two parts of myself combine.
As many of you know, this past year for me has been marked by transition, and as I’m going through changes mentally, emotionally, and physically, I notice a curious thing taking place - my creative side is reaching out from deep within to touch the boundaries of who I am. My soul, my skin, my bones feel awakened by this stirring. Naturally, this feeling also invokes anxiety. When everything has its own special compartment on the shelf, it’s scary to think about the contents shifting and engaging.
Feeling fear and anxiety is part of the creative process. Research shows that when we are feeling comfortable and content, we aren’t as curious about thinking outside of the box. I find that we are more open to new opportunities when we are restless and unsteady. In this state, we are continuously questioning ourselves and others, as well as the status quo. I’m currently in a state of unsteadiness. I know positive things are in store for me, but I can’t tell how they will come or what exactly they will be. For now, I am choosing to open myself up to this process in spite of the discomfort, because I believe that I'm meant to learn something valuable.
So as I think about this New Year and what things are coming my way, I am making a commitment to befriend the fear. I am inviting it to take its place alongside the creativity. I know that if I don’t allow these two parts to engage and learn how to co-exist, I will deprive myself and others of something greater – the beauty of an integrated human.
When we stop denying nourishment to the parts that make us who we are, we experience a coming into (ourselves) and then eventually a coming out – a place where we can expose ourselves fully in the light without fear or judgment. Creativity relies on the unknown, often scary, and ever-changing aspects of who we are to exist and flourish. It is this need for reinvention that separates us from any other living being. I invite you to join me in allowing your fear to ride beside you as you create, alter, and reinvent how you will show up this year. Use the feelings of uncertainty as opportunities to ask questions, take risks, learn, and grow.
New and beautiful experiences we will create.