I have been very fortunate to have lived a life full of my own creations. It’s the way of the artist and I’m grateful every day that I chose that path.
But there’s a myth floating around out there in the dominant culture collective brain that says choosing to do the work that has heart and meaning for you is easy. That once you make the decision to follow the promptings of your soul your dreams will unfold with minimal stress and effort.
Your art will flow out of you in one continuous stream of unfettered delight. Money will joyfully fly into your open and waiting arms. Your book will get published on the first try. Your workshops will fill as soon as you put the word out. Your art will sell effortlessly. You will get all of the recognition you know you deserve just by announcing that you are now open for business.
But I’m here to tell you that is a line of total, unadulterated bullshit. That myth is just a tall tale from people who have either never really done the work of manifestation or who are trying to sell you on that story of ease so that you’ll pay them money.
This is the truth from the creative trenches and from someone who has been SUCCESSFULLY doing this work for over 40 years.
Anything wonderful and amazing that I have achieved, developed or created in my life, in addition to being deeply meaningful and fulfilling, has also been frustrating, maddening and a total pain in the ass to pull off.
I know that can be a little dismaying to hear. But I think it’s important to tell that truth because I see SO many creatives who get bamboozled by that myth, and then give up on their creative dreams when it becomes challenging because they think they’re doing something wrong. Or that their dream is simply not meant to be because they’ve hit some bumps… or even boulders… on the journey to bring their creative desires to fruition.
When you’re trying to make something happen on the material plane it’s often just plain HARD. Things take WAY longer than you want them to. Frustrations abound. Mistakes are made. It’s not uncommon to feel thwarted in ways you could never have expected or even imagined.
But it’s just the way it is here in the third dimension, and not some message from the Universe telling you that you need to quit.
I sometimes hear people talk about feeling like a failure or believing that they’ve failed when things don’t manifest according to plan. But I’ve had workshops not fill, launched offerings that were met with crickets, had people be angry at me and disappointed in my work, shown up to retreat centers where things were a mess, and had to deal with emergency evacuations and totally reconfiguring an entire workshop at the last minute because of natural disasters, just to name a few.
I’ve been scared. Exasperated. Annoyed. Weary. Felt defeated and disheartened and like I wanted to throw in the towel. But I’ve never once thought I was a failure cause I know that none of what happens or doesn’t happen is totally up to me. And because of that attitude I don’t take the sometimes discouraging setbacks personally.
My motto has always been when you hit a snag, Don’t stop! Get more creative!!
That can look like inviting people you know for free to a workshop that hasn’t filled. Or, creating a gallery showing of your art in your own home as a creativity workshop. Or publishing your book yourself.
There’s a million out of the box things you can try when your dreams aren’t going to plan. But it’s important that you keep trying stuff. The act of simply NOT giving up is a message to the Universe that you are totally IN for your dream. And it keeps the energy moving.
It’s also important to simply be patient and kind to yourself throughout this process. To allow yourself to cry and weep and wail when things get hard and to ask for support. And to remember that difficulties are not the problem.
They will make for GREAT stories once they are in the rear view mirror of your life. And the process will give you wisdom and fortitude and that satisfying feeling of creating your dream NO MATTER WHAT!
Which makes achieving your dream so much sweeter cause you know how much it meant to you to make it happen.