First you have to understand. I hate art projects. While I love looking at and admiring art, when someone says we are going to be doing art, my blood runs cold.
I panic and look for an escape route. Maybe I could run screaming from the room! Maybe I could go get a root canal!
This terror comes from a long stream of shame-filled art experiences in school and other venues. Not to mention while I slowly own the fact that I am creative, I am realistic and know that drawing something in a literal sense, is not a gift I possess.
This is why the mere mention of an art jam during the opening of my first Wealthy Thought Leader Gold Retreat made my stress level rise as I searched for a way to run for the hills.
I am so glad I did not trigger the escape hatch and I’m going to tell you why.
Visceral Learning is the Process
First of all, you cannot open the door to a tender space unless it is safe. All the credit for making the art jam a safe place where epiphanies could emerge goes to Daniella Rubinovitz for her incredible process and presence and Andrea J Lee and her amazing team for the vision and environment to make it happen.
When the process started I found myself in a familiar place feeling stressed and tentative about doing something that has nothing but bad and shameful memories attached to it. Also familiar was my full-on commitment to show up fully and surrender knowing that I am safe in the hands of someone I trust deeply.
That’s a pretty emotionally vulnerable place to be.
With specific direction from Daniella on what to paint and the restrictions of using only two colors and white at any given time, I was off and running.
At first I felt self-conscious but that quickly melted away as I was able to sink into the emotion of what was put forth in the directions and magic started to occur. Since this is definitely not my natural way of operating (refer back to the root canal references if you missed that part!), I did have to think my way into experimentation. Exploring my way around using all parts of my hands – front, back, fingernails, long side strokes. Asking myself, “Did I try my non dominant hand? Oh, I didn’t let’s try that and see what happens.” And so forth. Once I got going I was able to not only feel into the process but feel into what it has truly been like in my business the last 6 years. The light moments, the dark moments, the struggles, the pain points, the celebrations, and more.
I was reminded once again of the power of learning experientially in ways that push me way outside of my comfort zone. I’ve had some many examples of this from working with Debbie Ford to climbing trees, to the wisdom of horses just to name a few. Yet each time I experience a new way to access parts of me that typically stay hidden, I am renewed. I break through with a giant leap forward. [Read more…]