'Im Possible' affirmation card
Once upon a time, I dreamed about becoming an artist. My dream life had a wonderful studio space where I would work every day creating amazing paintings (and of course the sun always shone). I would sell my work the world over and feel deeply fulfilled by my creative enterprise. I would have my work in galleries and exhibitions, I would teach workshops and tuition to private clients in my bright, airy workshop space....
...and I would wake from these dreams, and stare at the computer screen in front of me as my heart went into freefall back to reality. I would glance around the office I worked in listening to the hum of voices speaking into telephones. I'd hear the rustle of papers in the filing cabinets and I would feel a heavy feeling settle in my belly...this couldn't be it - this deadened, numb existence...living in a world where every tick and every tock of the office clock signified a small lifetime passing...this couldn't be it, this slow, melancholy way of living, week in, week out. A way to pay the bills but nothing more. It just couldn't.
But for many of us, a dream is just that - something that we yearn for which doesn't occupy space in our real lives. For many of us, we don't know how to begin taking the tiny steps towards making our dream a part of our real lives, so we continue with what we know: being responsible, ignoring our desires and feeling the pain of not living in the way that we really want to.
Many of us are taught that the best path through life is Doing The Right Thing ~ paying our bills on time, raising our families, being a good spouse etc - and yes, these were the beliefs I was brought up with too - to get good grades in school, find a good job and earn a good salary. It was important to be in a Pension Scheme and to find a nice man to date, one you'd eventually marry, get a house and a mortgage with before filling it with children, and all preferably in the same part of town that you had been born and brought up in too.
And I believed that that was how things were done. For a long time.
I'd been at my office job for five years, and I took an evening school course in Interior Design. And then I did something that nobody in our family had yet done: I left my secure, well paid office job with its Pension Scheme and annual bonuses and ran off to Devon to be an art student at the University of Plymouth.
And over the years that followed I learned a very valuable skill: self belief. Sat in that office all those years ago, I never imagined that one day yes, I would sell my paintings around the world, yes, I would exhibit them in galleries and shows and teach art workshops. Back then I thought it was impossible, I didn't believe it for a minute and here's why: I told myself I couldn't do it.
A belief is just a thought we keep thinking over and over, until it becomes a truth for us. Did you know that? If we persist in telling ourselves things like "I'm never going to be an artist, a sculptor, a great photographer etc", it eventually becomes a belief and that becomes our reality. So, if we begin to gently tell ourselves that things are possible, on a daily basis, those good thoughts will become a belief too and that's when the magic starts to happen.
As I look back at the journey, I see how it all took place with the tiniest of steps - it wasn't achieved overnight and there were many mental hurdles like fear (and those limiting beliefs of how life ought to be) that needed to be overcome.
Step by step...bit by bit...I let creativity infuse my life, and it lived companionably alongside my day job for many moons. Here's how I did it:
I got seriously fed up with my office job
I went to night school to study interiors
I started drawing and painting at home more regularly
I went to university to study architectural interior design
I carried on dreaming
I went self employed as a signwriter/mural painter for several years
I got a house and started to work more on my art
I quit my signwriting completely to become a full time artist
I became a Mama
I took part in exhibitions
I taught art workshops
I sell my work around the world
I keep painting, sketching, writing in my Portable Ideas Book
I read heaps of books and research the net to help me build a better business
...and I have many more exciting plans and dreams that I am planning on realising.
And during all that, I overcame this stuff:
Fear: Fear I'd never be good enough, fear I'd fail, fear my art teacher was right and that I really couldn't do it.
Guilt: That I wasn't following the conventional path through life, that people were raising their eyebrows at me, that I was being selfish by following my dreams, that I was disappointing people.
But I kept telling myself "Im Possible" and I surrounded myself with other people who thought I was too, and with encouragement and support, mixed in with a generous scoop of self belief, anything is possible.
I still have the odd day when fear flutters like a dark butterfly in my chest, when there are bills to be paid and mouths to be fed - it stems from those deep rooted beliefs I've known since being a child. But stepping out of my comfort zone is all part of the journey for me, and each hurdle that is overcome sends me a step closer to everything my heart desires, on this crazy, joy~filled path that is life.
Thank you so much for visiting and reading ~
Sending you love,