10 May 2013

Public Face, Private Heart

Everyone has a public face. It's the one we show to the world. We gussy it up. Smile broadly. Pluck and tweeze relentlessly. Smooth our hair. Edit out the flaws. Enhance our expression. 

We literally show our best face. 

For a long time, that was my Facebook profile picture. It's a self-portrait I played with in Instagram. I like it but it's only part of the picture. Only part of who I am. 

The other night I was reflecting on living a big life, a true life, a vulnerable life. What would it mean for me to show my true face? The private me. The one that no one really sees. Maybe not even me. 

I took some pictures with my phone and played with them in Instagram. One in particular struck me as more revealing, more honest, more true. 

Before I could change my mind I made it my profile picture. 

The moment I did I felt a sense of relief, like maybe I wasn't hiding myself so much anymore. Like maybe I could speak with more authenticity. Like I could be vulnerable and still feel safe. 

Since then I have felt this new sense of power. Of knowing. Of being. 

In that instant of showing my true face I changed my understanding of myself. And my relationship with myself. And that's changed my relationship with the world. 

It's a surprise to me that so much has changed. I don't want to over analyze it or make it something I'm not sure it is. I merely want to be grateful for the opportunity to be me. 

08 May 2013

What If's and Why Not's?

When I head to the studio I bring two very important questions with me. I ask myself, 

What if?

(meaning, What if I try this? or What if I risk that?)

and then I answer

Why not?

(Why not try this? Why not risk that?)

These questions, when I remember to ask them, offer me tremendous freedom to try new things. It's like a hall pass for creation. Instead of feeling trapped in a certain way of creating, I give myself permission to wander at will and follow visions and ideas with abandon. I make new connections and discard old expectations. These powerful questions offer me creative liberation and when I yield them, I soar.

But that is only when I remember to ask them. 

I have to remember.

Because when I walk into the studio without them, it's too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of expectations and burdens. Without these two questions, I take the known path and follow the well-worn tracks to certainty. I begin to listen to the cruel counsel of my inner critic. Without them, inspiration vanishes and creation stagnates.

And so I am considering my life to be a creation too. I'm thinking about how I've gotten to where I am now and envisioning where I would like to be. I'm daydreaming about my future and what I want it to hold. And I'm setting an intention for who I want to be and how I want to live. 

As I was envisioning my future, I was struck by a question,

What if I bring my two studio questions to my life?

The only honest answer I could offer was

Why not try?

What if I dare to shine as brightly as a supernova?
What if I take down the facades and just be me?
What if I live and love with abandon?
What if I trust in my dreams and challenge myself to make them real?
What if I trust in my dreams and challenge myself to make them bigger?
What if I start now?

The only honest answer I can offer is

Why not try?

Why not?