Are you a creative type who feels stymied, squelched and squandering your talents or are you generously and without hesitation, sharing your gifts with the world? The difference between the two states may be who is on your team. Did you grow up with cheerleaders who reinforced your dreams? If so, count yourself fortunate. On the flip side, were the people around you telling you that you will never make it; and that all of your ideas were nothing more than pie in the sky?
I was blessed to have had parents who were my most ardent cheerleaders who told me that I could do or be whatever I chose, by way of a career, as long as I could support myself and I enjoyed it. Who is that lucky? As a result, I have a resume’ that is two pages and growing, with career paths that have meandered into writing, speaking, teaching, healing, counseling, coaching and hosting a radio show on Vivid Life. Had my parents attempted to limit my reach, I would either have remained small, rather than stretchy, or I would have rebelled and said “Go ahead, dare me. I’ll show you.” As I consider the people who have been part of my life in the interceding years, I can’t recollect anyone who told me that I couldn’t achieve my goals. How amazing is that? I am surrounded by yaysayers, by intention. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that I am reckless with my visions. I carefully choose what I reach for, being as sure as can be that it is achievable and that I truly want to do it.
I am of the belief that each of us has within us, seeds of greatness. We are hardwired for success and if we put our hearts and souls into it, ain’t nuthin’ we can’t do, as long as it is for our highest good and nourishes the world. I have many creative friends with desires that get tramped down by those who tell them that they won’t reach the lofty heights for which they are aiming; sometimes on literal tiptoes. When we are told that we can’t satisfy our longings, sometimes we retreat into our shells, and become, as one friend calls it ‘a creative snail’. Sure, if may feel safer to huddle than risk rejection. I for one, choose not to waste the inspiration that was granted me. Another reason to break free from those constraints is that the world needs our gifts. It is aching for it. Who are we to deny them that?
A recent guest on my show is Sandie Sedgbeer who is what I refer to as a ‘Passionista’. She puts her heart and soul into what she does and invites others to do the same. She is an enthusiastic yaysayer for her family, friends and clients. In our interview on April 16, 2015, we spoke about that very topic. I had asked her how we lose the spark that initially lit us up as children and had us wanting to do amazing things. At four years old, she declared that she wanted to be a writer.
“A lot of it gets knocked out of us as we grow up. You’re told you’re not good enough at it. Who do you think you are? What makes you think you can become a journalist when you have no formal training? Well, I did. If people say, ‘You can’t,” I say “Watch me.”
When attempting to explain what would possess anyone to douse someone else’s fire, she added “Perhaps people don’t want us to get hurt, they need to control us, need us to do this, because that’s the way it should be done. If we do it, when they think we can’t, what does it say about them? We should do what makes our heart sing. When we do that, we are giving permission for others to do it too.”
I was listening to an NPR-National Public Radio interview with Mark Ronson who is the producer of the mega hit Uptown Funk. He was talking about his musical influences and inspirations. One of them is his stepfather, Mick Jones of Foreigner. Jones came into Ronson’s life when he was a young child and valued his input about his music. The beautiful love song “I Want to Know What Love Is” was written for Ronson’s mother. Many children of performers attempt to dissuade them from pursuing a career in their fields. In his case, Jones was encouraging. The rest is musical history.
An analogy related to naysaying is that of crabs in a bucket. When one attempts to climb out of its temporary ‘home,’ the others will gather around and pull the wayfaring crustacean back into their midst. In their little screechy voices they could be saying things like “Who do you think you are to leave this place? Do you think you are better than the rest of us? What makes you think life is better outside the bucket? This is all you know. You’ll be back and we’ll be waiting for you when you return.”
When we stand on the on the precipice of what it is we most want to do, we have two choices; to face our fears and take that leap, as we fly forth, or stay forever on the edge, regretting that we didn’t take that chance.
Remember that a rising tide raises all boats. Buoy people up, don’t bully them down.