Thursday, August 19, 2010

Acceptance: I am what I am.

Ink Mandala

We are unfortunately, not all born with a bushel of self confidence tucked under our arms.

Since I have been a "learn as I go" kind of person, I've often undermined my own abilities by telling myself I must not dare call myself a writer, an artist, a teacher, or a musician...... That the moment I do, someone will come along and slap it out of my hands stating, "Who do you think you are? You don't know ANYTHING about THAT!"

And so I tried to play it safe.... I created over 1,200 mandalas but told everyone that they were simply personal expressions... (no, no - never art) That they were like these cosmic sneezes that just "Happened." In my mind, I'd think, "I'm just doodling.... How could doodling be considered art?"

I sometimes, (actually a lot of the time) have trouble trusting people, which in turn makes it difficult to trust in myself. Though there are one or two people out there, and when they speak, I listen. And it took one of them yelling in my face, "YOU CREATE ART. YOU'RE AN ARTIST!!!!!" for it all to start to finally sink in. I didn't really need anyone to tell me that my doodles were (or weren't) art, all it took was the action itself.

I create art, therefore I am an artist.

I write, therefore I am a writer.

I play music, therefore I am a musician.

I teach, therefore I am a teacher.

Though I may not (yet) be a master in any of those categories, I understand that I do not need to achieve any particular level of mastery to say that I am those things. Now if I want to be a GREAT writer, artist, etc., then it is up to me to seek out someone that can help me move forward with my abilities and give me honest feedback towards achieving my goals.

I think a lot of this self confidence BS comes because someone along the way told us that we couldn't do something, or be something. They laughed at us, mocked us - it made them feel good to suppress our desires - maybe because someone did it to them. We weren't strong enough at the time to tell these people to f*ck off and we instead internalized their words. We started to believe what they said to us or about us, and that is just horrible because it can cause such heartache and stagnation and missed opportunities...

But now is the time to throw that heavy blanket off and allow ourselves to grow towards the sun. Know that your world is open to infinite possibility and that all you have to do is believe in yourself. I am what I am, now you go and be all what you be. :o)

29 comments:

mark said...

Whenever the turkeys try to get me down, I remember something my Daddy told me.

"Son, if turkeys could fly, this here would be an airport." Or words to that effect. :o)

Keep on, keepin' on.

Jackie said...

I can so relate to this post . I always think ,well, I am not an artist until my art lives up to a certain expectation of what art is.
I have read so many times others who feel the same as you and me.Maybe thats part of the journey . To really begin to tap into our creativeness we need to let go and accept .

bilogle said...

Tank you for sharing this. I have been trying to decide if I am a drummer or a musician. At what point do I graduate from learning how to drum to becoming a drummer.

I play my drum, I am a drummer.

I am the one who is setting this expectation on myself that I have to reach a certain skill level, sound good enough, etc. to call myself a drummer.

Your art is Super! You can drum amazingly. Thanks for the inspiration, and the encouragement.

bilogle said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have been trying th decide at what point I call myself a drummer or musician.

When will I play good enough to stand up to that status. I play my drum, I am a drummer.

I am taking weekly lessons now & had a chance to attend another of Jaqui's classes.

Seems like 6 months since Loretto, not even 3 weeks have passed.

Your art and music are awesome to my eyes and ears. Thanks for your reassurance and encouragement.

Marsha said...

I love this. It's exactly the message I needed to hear today.

Thanks!

Megan Warren said...

You are awesome - I find your artwork inspiring - thank you for sharing this!

chel said...

I can *so* identify with this. i call myself a stay at home mom because I don't dare claim the work I do is actually of any sort of value or meaning, even though it does go out into the world. And even if it didn't, it would STILL be art. I always think if I claim to be an artist, or a jewelry designer, or anything else, someone will then see my work and think "really? she think that's art?"

That's over. Yesterday a form asked for my occupation and I hesitated. I usually write "SAHM" but this tim I wrote artist. And left it at that.

Julia said...

Excellent post. It is very hard to get up and say I'm ...Somewhat after all the criticism and self doubt. Recently I recorded a song (not mine, I was just singing and playing guitar) and it was criticized b/c I don't have a "big voice"> But I know, in heart, I'm a singer, some people told me that they cry when listening my singing. So yes, your post is about me too.. ;-)) Thank you! ;-))

Lanz said...

As a famous sailor once said, "I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam."
I've not worked on a short story of novel in some time, but I am a writer.
I go very long periods without opening a sketchbook, but I am an artist.
Who you are, how you describe yourself, that's entirely your own affair. Other people have opinions, you have knowledge.

Arpit said...

Inspiring, very inspiring...thank you for sharing - I really got something from what you shared

JoniB said...

Thank you for this post! I struggle with the same thoughts. But know this: You ARE an artist, and you are MY inspiration. Keep on truckin' girl!

bengkia said...

I have always described myself as an 'art student', meaning i am still studying art. I hesitate to describe myself as an artist, because we have all heard the sneers o the unkind and even if these sneers are not always directed at us, we remember and seek, through self-effacement, to avoid them.

I have reached a sort of calm now, where i don't really care about labels and descriptions or whether my work is 'art'. I draw because it makes me happy, it gives me satisfaction and that is enough, at this point in time, for me.

Learning our craft never stops, but the important thing is to avoid people who poison your thoughts and in doing so, keep you from your love.

Biffybeans said...

Much thanks Mark!

Biffybeans said...

Jackie - let go and accept... exactly!

Biffybeans said...

Bill - if you drum, you are a drummer. :o) Glad to hear that you are staying with it and looking to learn more. It is quite addictive for sure! Very happy to have met you at the Renewal even if we didn't get to speak much. Thank you for the kind words on my music & art - and much thanks for attending my mandala workshop. PS - your lighter was the last I borrowed prior to quitting smoking. LOL!

Biffybeans said...

Marsha - I'm really happy you liked it!

Biffybeans said...

Megan, thank you so much for the kind words!

Biffybeans said...

chel - yaaaaaayyyy!!!!! You are an artist!

Biffybeans said...

Julia... you are very welcome. Keep singing!

Biffybeans said...

Lanz - {{clap, clap, clap}} Well said!

Biffybeans said...

Arpit - thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! And thank you for taking the time to write. :o)

Biffybeans said...

JoniB - bless you, and thank you. :o) Your words mean a great deal to me.

Biffybeans said...

bengkia - "avoid people who poison our thoughts" EXACTLY! Thank you!

Danielle said...

I had to smile at this one, I have suffered from the same issues all my life but it would never have occurred to me that someone as obviously talented as yourself would do so. In fact, here is a quote from a blog post I wrote last week, my first ink review post. I hope it makes you smile :)

"If you are an artist looking for an artist’s review, I highly recommend my favourite ink review blog (which inspired me to start reviewing ink here) The Spiritual Evolution of the Bean where the inks Stephanie reviews, and all their shading potential, are shown off in magnificent mandalas."

http://www.narrativedisorder.com/2010/08/20/ink-review-j-herbin-les-subtiles-rouge/

We really need to get off our own backs, don't we?

rlrho said...

This post struck a chord with me. I've been thinking about it since you first posted it.

I found your site because I was looking for information on fountain pen inks. I return because of your amazing mandalas.

I've never met you and I only know your blog-face. Which, for me, is the face of an artist. I never thought about how you identify yourself. I just assumed you see what I see.

This sent me to my metaphorial mirror to try and see what others see that I don't. I sometimes forget that my own view of myself is not absolutely true. Sometimes others see things in me that I don't or just can't. All of my emotional crap doesn't negate what others see. Just because it screams louder doesn't mean it's more true.

So, thanks. I need to be reminded to listen for truth in what others see in me. You also reminded me how important it is to tell others what I see in them. I see an artist in you.

Thanks.

Biffybeans said...

Ah Danielle.... We are always are most harshest critics, aren't we? Thank you for taking the time to write.

Biffybeans said...

rlho,

Thank you so much... I agree. It is all too easy to see what we want to, rather than all the good stuff that everyone else sees. A good friend once said to me, "Everyone sees the good in you but you."

lavalotti said...

Thank you for this post; it resonated with me. All the best to you.

Jim Donovan said...

Excellent work.

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