Since April, I have been meeting with a great group of women bi-monthly at our women’s circle. I love our women’s circle. Ir provides the eight of us with a safe place to express our feelings and check in with each other. We also do various things like meditation, movement, EFT, breath work etc. This past week I was saying something about my chakra paintings or studio and one of the women excitedly said, “Are you an ARTIST?!” I started fumbling/stuttering. All of these thoughts were going through my head and I was trying to say things to minimize it like “oh I just…” or “Kind of…” and as I fumbled for a moment trying to minimize it, I realized what I was doing and took a breath and just said “Yes!” Everyone busted out laughing and started clapping for me. I was so glad I realized that I was trying to minimize it instead of just proudly saying, “Yes, I am an artist!” and it felt so wonderful to do just that.
A few days later, I bought the book Creative is a Verb: if you’re alive, you’re creative by Patti Digh. I recently became aware of Patti, her books, and her blog, 37 days through an small (online) creative community I belong to, Creative Coconuts. When I saw Creative is a Verb at my local Barnes & Noble the other day, I just had to get it! I started reading the introduction and I immediately connected with what Patti had to say! It reminded me so much of my own struggles to proclaim “I am an artist!” In the introduction, Patti shares a story about a time she had minimized herself as a writer. Patti’s business partner, David, asked her why, when people ask what she does, she doesn’t say that she is a writer. The next day Patti and David were out and an acquaintance asked Patti what she did. She answered, “I’m a writer” (Yay!) But when asked what she writes, she answered, “Oh, nothing, really. I just write these little essays every Monday.” The rest of the introduction talks about how we minimize ourselves in so many ways, diminish our SHINE, and deflect away from our accomplishments. Indeed it is time for us to let our lights shine, to be fully present and fully ourselves! Except when surrounded by those closest to me, I still struggle with being me and not minimizing who I am. It is something I am mindful of and working to change. There is freedom in sharing who you are rather than trying to diminish who you are. What areas of your life have you been minimizing?