taking on fear

Flame of the forest Spirit 2014

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.”


Sharing some surprises

I found some surprising research and inspirations on commonly held assumptions about human relationships and thought I should share them with you. Some of these come from the University of Westminster research by Dr Viren Swami and some from my own, sometimes bitter, experiences. However, having made some of these mistakes, I realise they are so true.

1. Absence makes the heart grow fonder TRUE false!

Despite the internet and mobile communications, it has been proven that the most of our closest relationships happen with people in our immediate surroundings, people we keep in touch with and meet regularly.  Even in romance, the chance electrifying encounter won’t make it into a relationship, if both parties do not make physical contact and keep up that contact.

2. Opposites attract TRUE  false!

The idea that there is our better or even other half somewhere (the ‘one’) that make our existence complete is not true. In fact as Buddhism notes, we are the mirror and we attract people who are similar to us.  So if you are angry, you will attract an angry partner. So change yourself before you seek the ideal partner.

3. We choose partners who remind us of our parents NEITHER True nor false

Choice of partner is a complex issue.  Yes, we may be attracted to someone who reminds us of a parent but whether we stick with them is dependent upon point 2.  Appearance is only a small part of what the relationship is.

4. Its okay to idolise a person that you love TRUE false

Idolising someone actually dehumanises and objectifies them.  The person you have idolised becomes part of that lie and then if they make a mistake or hurt us, we are so shaken that our whole world collapses.  We must remember we are all human and we all make mistakes- so do remember to forgive!

5. People cannot change TRUE false

People change, they grow old with their experiences.  Sometimes they change for the better, sometimes for the worse.  Always be open to people changing and to yourself changing. If you don’t like that change and cannot be part of that, it is better to move on rather than expect people to conform to you.  Even relationships, sadly, have a lifespan. So go through life lightly, forgiving and moving towards love and happiness.


At one of the train stations I use, one of men working there has been putting up inspirational quotes every day on the notice board.  The quote today was particularly apt for women who want to change themselves in order to attract a partner.  This quote from Wilson Kanadi, a modern ‘twitterer’, said- “You might not think that you are not worthy.  But I guarantee you that there is someone out there who thinks you are.”  To which I have added another one from Wilson Kanadi- “If you have choices, choose the best. If you have no choice, do the best.”  Many times we, particularly women settle for the second best, thinking that nothing good will happen or who would want me, etc.  Those negative thoughts have these exact outcomes as ’cause and effect’, i.e. we meet potential partners and nothing good happens or we don’t even meet them.  So I am trying to positive from now on, keeping those thoughts in mind constantly.