Posts Tagged ‘source’

Meeting the maker

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

I’m pretty sure I’m at another one of those places in my life where a big internal shift is about to click into place after multiple weeks of limping around funny, like when every step hurts your ankle because the bones aren’t lining up quite right.

I am transforming. It is intense and embarrassing and lonely and hard.

Any minute now I’m going to start those ankle circles again and this time, on maybe the second or third one, something is gonna snap and suddenly my leg will fizzle in relief and come back to life.

As part of this multifaceted, uncomfortable time, I am finding that the internet — which has been my line for social interaction for most of my life — especially in times like these, doesn’t seen to really work for me anymore. The interactions I do have online nowadays are weak and hollow feeling when all is said and done, like a fancy dinner you drive away from in a fancy car, but it’s in exchange for your soul and your health which are far more valuable. My relatedness with technology and the internet tastes like cheap chemical candy once the bulk of it has melted in my mouth.

Which brings me to the other piece of my skewed anklebone puzzle; My anger, which I often focused through online tirades, isn’t working for me anymore, either.

And dammit, I fucking like my anger! I didn’t run an early 00’s “Courtnee’s Hate Mail” column on stileproject for fuckin nothing!

The upshot is that my perspective has deepened to the point that I am uable to blast that adolescent, fiery hate without being distracted by the tender underbelly and potential consequences of slashing at it. As such, I don’t rant like I used to, as often as I used to, and for Previous Me that was a major stress outlet for a long time (not to mention a source of endless amusement).

I think the best example of this movement in my life, at least the most shattering one, would be an experience I had recently where I met a celebrity that I had previously foam-mouthed ranted about online, in person.

Not only did I meet this person, who I never imagined I would meet, I met them in the context of my massage practice. They had come to me for healing and support.

In that moment that I received the email reservation request, I thought maybe my friends were fucking with me. Kinda wanted that to be the case, but, I think I knew it wasn’t. I began the process of soul searching to determine how I would respond to it, every shitty, petty, mean thing I had said in my rant neutralized — Simply at the thought of potentially interacting with them face to face, things I had written in a vacuum, things I actually believed and meant at the time, vanished.

It was then that I remembered the little uncertain voice that had been whispering at me while I was writing, the one that caused me to take the rant down a day later. The one that tells me that the way I historically harness and point my anger isn’t working anymore. The one that tells me I have to go back to work and level up, again.

*sigh* again.

And I knew that this person contacting me was no joke, and no accident. I knew that I needed to step into the opportunity to take responsibility for what I had said, why I had said it, and to approach this client with integrity. And I had about a half hour to figure out how I was going to do it.

When Amanda Palmer arrived, I said there was something we needed to talk through, and I told her that I needed her to know that I had said some pretty shitty things about her on the internet.

I explained that while I had had some true disagreements with her, what I said was bullshit. Mostly, it was uncalled for vitriol from all sorts of places in my life that I had projected onto her image as a celebrity – and that was why I had said the things I had said.

I confided that I needed for her to know that about me before I could be comfortable sharing an intimate energetic connection, such as having my hands all over her. And I said I was sorry. Because I was.

The response to my emotional risk was overwhelming. Tears, relief, and “I was supposed to meet you today” kind of overwhelming. The massage was magical, as was the massage I gave Neil after working on Amanda.

After they had left my massage studio, I checked out Amanda’s blog, to gain some kind of insight into why she thought meeting me that day was kismet. I was taken aback by how powerful the experience had been for me, and as someone who is generally on the other side of the coin, invoking transformations and shifts for others, I was interested in what made this situation uniquely mutually beneficial.

I found a lot of similarity and relatedness there.

This person had come to me from a very vulnerable, familiar place, and we had deeply connected. That would not have happened had I not had the courage and insight to risk myself, cop to having been an asshole, and opened myself to the possibility of rawly connecting with the real person who had presented to me, as the real person I also am.

The night before I met Amanda, I was falling asleep on my office floor to a flimsy cocktail of a few pills on top of champagne. I had just sold a painting and been taken to an amazing meal, yet I was on my floor crying, fantasizing that by some miraculous fluke the chemicals might align just right and I wouldn’t wake up.

Clearly, the universe had other plans.

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

“I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Stampede

Monday, February 18th, 2013

I’ve been thinking lately about my decision to, though currently saving for a house, and recently leaving one of my part time jobs, simultaneously agree to increase my office rent by about 75% for the next year in order to add a second room for an art studio.

In some ways, and surely on the paper itself, the decision seems ludicrous. It’ll take all the money I make from my various forms of work to pay my rents and provide basic things for myself, like food and bus fare – and it’s not even for the huge gorgeous mountain view office I REALLY wanted (which was $1410 a month – over twice what my new office is). Still, it’s entirely possible and I am preparing for the reality that I will be eating ramen for months in order to make this change in my life.

And yet, the move seems completely worth it. I have some concerns but they are being overridden by my connection with myself and what I want in my life. This is the right step for me right now – and that dream office I can’t afford seems like a good goal for my future.

In the past when I have had a space to make art, it’s been inconvenient somehow – like a shared space I couldn’t leave my work in, or a cold dirty partially finished basement that made me sneeze. I made the most of these solutions and they were great stepping stones while I learned about myself.

But more of that at this point in my life won’t fuel me and propel me through forward motion like I want. It won’t address the challenges I now face as opposed to the challenges I faced years ago.

To the degree I am currently capable, I have accepted and embodied the reality of my being fundamentally artistic human being. My deepest wish for myself, and my adult-life struggle, has centered around how to truly create an abundant life in which my artistic pursuits are the focus. I need my own space for that.

In the time since I came to this awareness I have yet to meet an artist I consider successful who does not have a dedicated physical space to work. Whether it’s aerial, or visual art, or massage, or writing, a true artist to me is someone who values their work enough to create a space in physical time to pursue it – and made that space their own, as well.

Over the years I’ve nagged at myself that I need a studio and yet have not made one happen. I’ve been waiting to succeed before rewarding myself with the freedom to express and create and experiment. I’ve been waiting to prove to myself that I am worth the same efforts that the successful people around me have seen themselves as being worth. I’ve been waiting for someone else to see the value in me and make it happen. I’ve been waiting to give up, sign my soul and energy away to a social machine that doesn’t speak to my life values in order to afford an art space I wouldn’t have the time or substance left in me to use.

No matter what the story or visual, the constant in my view of my life is that I’ve seen through a perpetual state of deficiency, trying to make space for myself when I felt I didn’t have the resources to take ownership of any. I’ve been doing this (to lesser and lesser degrees) for years and it hasn’t been working. It’s time to set another big suitcase full of baggage down.

With this new office, I will have a place to create, that is not attached to my living space or who I am as a person. This dovetails very well with an emerging perspective of artwork as being something I make, something I produce under the guidance of my Self, which is sometimes an intense and extremely vulnerable expression of that self (I.E., my aerial act), but doesn’t have to ONLY be that kind of art for that purpose.

I want to make art because I saw a cool tutorial on youtube and I want to try a new painting style. I want to make art because it’s cute, or funny, or because I feel like experiencing blue on canvas, or because I want to cover my fists in paint and throw myself against something. I want to make crap. Lots and lots of crap. I want to let myself practice things.

I also want to make art because I have to, because it’s the only way I can create glimpse of what I am experiencing as a human being in this world. I want to make art because I have a new dress that I feel sexy wearing, I want to make art because I discovered a new way to pose my body. I just want to MAKE. ART.

Having this new space supports that vision of myself, and I believe that vision of myself will support me in paying for this new space. Now that I have a second room in which to otherwise be productive, I have the opportunity to be more disciplined in my work, which is an aspect of the success of my mentors I have had a lot of difficulty mimicking in the past.

I can now hold business hours in which I am present, working on art, in addition to offering massages. I can now separate my work from my home life and self care, rather than having half of it jumbled into one big gob of a thing. Now, I can accept walk-in’s and last minute bookings, whereas before I could not manage time effectively enough to offer that to my clients.

Additionally, having this space allows me to expand and collaborate with more people who are doing things in this world that I want to support and be a part of.

Yes, it’s a risk. It’s all a risk, no matter what I choose to do, or if I choose to change nothing. But with this decision, even if I utterly fail, default on my lease, and completely knob the whole thing up – even if the voice in my head that suggests I’m too crappy an artist to have a studio, that even if I have time set aside and a space to create that I won’t ever get any better, that I’m too enslaved by my moods and inspirations to be consistent enough to make this decision work, that the furniture isn’t all going to fit, that I just can’t do it, is right – I will emerge from this choice changed for the better by the experience and I will learn from trusting in myself to handle this challenge of taking more responsibility for my life.

So fuck that tiny little voice. Fuck that I don’t have myself entirely positioned over a safety net. Fuck that I have questions, that I don’t know all the answers, that I’m not certain how this will all pan out. I’m doing it anyway. It’s a no brainer, and whatever happens, I can handle it.

Even if what happens, is wild stampeding success.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Yesterday, I believed I never would have done, what I did today.

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

“A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself ” ― Maya Angelou