This week, my first ever art show opened and it will be on for three months. It may have been something vaguely I wanted to do and I really hadn’t thought much about it. Then I heard an inspiring talk given by a blind artist and realised how I ‘understood’ her art and her techniques for painting. I got talking to the person who organised this show and suddenly she turned to me and said, ‘Why don’t you exhibit your work? We have a three month vacant slot here.’ I was deeply reluctant at first. My reaction was- ‘what if people don’t like it? what if people laugh at the work? what if people don’t get it?’ etc etc.
I was full of fear. But having thought about how much I was going to regret not taking this opportunity, I said yes eventually. Then I also decided to paint new work and re-worked some of the originals. I realised I had changed- I had taken on fear and won. Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”
You can always learn from mistakes, but what if you’ve actually never made a mistake (as if that is possible!)? Life is all about making mistakes, learning from them.
Having now done, I am in a daze- people have written many kind words about my work. One said, “I have just been to have a look and the art looks amazing. You are very talented!”
Many people helped out, working on Saturday at 8-00 am working solidly for four hours to hang the pictures- none of them got paid to do this. Someone who helped out with the hanging commented,”Just to let you all know that the pictures are all hung safely and, personally, think the corridor looks great…..several people have already admired them…..”
What can I say, I am speechless with gratitude! If my art moves and inspires people, even though technically it might not be amazing- it is perfect for me and them. It is my gift to the world. By taking on fear and leaving aside regrets, we can only become more creative and live true to our hearts. It doesn’t matter if I get any more compliments or not, or even if I get some nasty comments- I have won! As Marianne Williamson says in her book, A Return to Love, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”