Art Is Not What You Make, It’s Who You Are

lotusLotus rising from the mud – created during Whitney Freya’s painting meditation.

This week I was rejected. Well, that’s not entirely true but, my artwork was and that’s pretty much the same thing. It wasn’t a flat out “we don’t want you” kind of rejection but, let’s face it, it doesn’t sting any less. A no is a no. It happens to us all at one time or another but, it’s still painful. I was disappointed, hurt, maybe a little angry. Rejection. It’s what we all fear. It’s what stops us in our tracks when we contemplate putting ourselves out there. So, what did I do?

I reached out to my husband and one of my besties to share in my sadness – misery loves company, right? I cried and moped around for the larger part of the day. I may have had a few handfuls of chocolate chips. I allowed myself to feel the pain. After a little bit, I pulled myself together and submitted my work to another show as well as jotted down some ideas for a themed show I’d also like to submit too. I got right back on the horse so to speak. I listened to Flying Leap! Lori Portka and Liv Lane’s free audio class about fear and finding your purpose. I purchased their book Infinite Purpose directly after. Divine timing.

Once the kids were in bed for the night I decided the best thing to do was give myself some space and paint. I have been listening to a painting meditation series with Whitney Freya on and off since January and that felt like the perfect medicine and you know what, it totally was. I listened to the meditative music, moved watercolors around on paper and I felt lighter, more connected to my soul and began to shed the sadness from earlier in the day.

Art heals. It’s why I create. At the very core of what pulls me in is the desire to feel that direct access to my heart through my intuitive mind, eyes and hands. Art is not what you make, it’s who you are. It’s who I am.

I let my feelings simmer for a couple days after my rejection and then replied. I was grateful they took the time to look over my work. I also wanted to ask a question. The response mentioned that my style was similar to other artists already scheduled and that stuck with me. You don’t want to hear that your work looks like everyone else’s and it’s tough to look at your own work with a critical eye. I wanted to know more. What was it that made my work feel similar to others? I wanted to be able to see my work through a different lens. I may or may not change my work based on the opinion but, I wanted the opportunity to sit with it and let it simmer. I have not heard back yet but, hope that I do.

Soul purpose sometimes doesn’t make sense. It isn’t romantic and doesn’t necessarily work the way you think it should. Soul purpose is about growth. It is about you showing up bigger than you ever have before. It is about you stretching in sometimes uncomfortable ways. ~ Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici

I know I need to show up more and do my souls work. I am leaning into the idea of daily practice and what that may look like. The desire to be authentically me is overwhelming and paralyzing at times. I look at this as a lesson of growth. My voice is a result of dedicated practice and that is something I need to make time for.

Rejection. It is a catalyst. It is something that pushes us, makes us uncomfortable and can break us if we let it. Don’t let it. Move through the hurt and find your strength. You are not the sum of what people think. You are so much more. Believe in your worth. Believe in your gifts. Believe in YOU.

_MG_0969Photo by Kerry Burki and Kimberly Kling. Art by Kristen Fagan