Updated: Jan 14
I was introduced to The Art School podcast by Leah Badertscher through my business coach Caryn Gillen about six months ago. I had experienced extraordinary personal growth during the pandemic, shifting from primary care to brain health coaching. And I knew that I wanted to create an online dementia prevention course that could have a broader reach.
That cheetah was free and wild and fierce, and there would be no more pink bunnies for me
But I felt like my writing came in fits and starts, much like my art had always done. Sometimes I could get into a zone of creativity that flowed with ease and comfort, and sometimes I was just stuck. I knew that my art and writing were somehow linked, but I didn’t know how to develop more predictable productivity for myself.
It’s not my job
My inclination was to take yet another online class myself. Perhaps what I needed was a course on writing online courses step-by-step, or maybe I needed a painting class to get the creative juices flowing. A part of my brain kept telling me that I didn’t know enough, that I didn’t have the skills and that I needed more knowledge and credentials. That I needed to be selling my art in order to be a “real artist”.
It wasn’t my job to censor or critique what came out when writing or creating art
But then I listened to a couple of Leah’s podcast episodes and I was hooked. I began to learn a new language and approach to creativity. I learned that it’s normal to feel like you are exposing a naked piece of your soul when you share your art. And that we can learn to listen to our central nervous system (i.e. nerves) and to gradually unlearn all our past trauma around creativity.
And when I joined The Art School Mastermind, I learned to tune in to what “safe” felt like in my body, and to cultivate that safety. Even when creating, inventing, composing. To stay grounded, accepting, allowing. I gradually came to see my inner creative child who had been shunned, ridiculed and shamed. I was able to reclaim her from exile, and to reparent her, helping her to feel safe and to heal.
I learned that it wasn’t my job to censor or critique what came out when I was writing or creating art. It felt easier to distance myself from the Creativity that wanted to emerge - like I only had to be responsible for getting it out on the page. I could always choose to reshape or edit later on, but by judging or correcting along the way, I had been stifling my creative process.
I found myself in an intimate community of kindred spirits in the mastermind group. It’s hard to describe the delight I experienced, basking in the shimmer, glow and sunlight of their respective energies as they also waxed and waned in their creative journeys. It has been so healing to feel a sense of belonging and to rediscover my own playful, curious, sparkling creative energy.
I didn’t know that it was possible to be held in a space that made it safe for me to explore the magic of my own creativity. It felt like coming home to a place I’d never even been to before, at least not in this lifetime.
I’ve learned to feel more comfortable in my own skin and in my identity as a “real artist,” and I have given myself permission to be my version of what that means. When I looked around at my fellow artists, I saw how impressive and inspiring they were. I saw them being brave, and nurturing their creativity. We didn’t have to be angsty or suffering for our art. We are bold and unapologetic, affluent and prolific AF.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway for me in this round of The Art School mastermind is that it’s okay to trust. That writing is my craft. And drawing, and painting. That I love color and words. And that it’s worth paying attention when I love what I’m seeing in nature or in the detail of an image or in life.
It’s okay I won’t always understand what that pull is about, because eventually I will.
It’s okay that I won’t always understand what that pull is about, because eventually I will. It’s like the story of my cheetah painting. The painting got started in 2019, in a neon palette. It took me over two years to repaint and finish because I honestly felt rather uninspired to do so.
It wasn’t until I showed the final painting to another artist friend that I realized that my cheetah was the captive one from Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed. At the time, I started to say that there should be a pink bunny in the painting like in the book, and then I saw that the cheetah was free and wild and fierce. And that there would never be any more pink bunnies for me.
My life thus far has been so much about science and quantitative measures. Research studies and diagnostic test results are still very much a structure and language that I love. And I’m seeing that this next half of my life will be about bringing balance to the other side of my brain.
Glennon Doyle’s memoir of how she learned to peel back the societal conditioning that had kept her trapped, and to find the courage to discover the truth of who she was and how she wanted to be in life.
Master Certified Life Coach and former lawyer Leah Badertscher holds space for creatives to step into the full expression of their vision and achieve their goals and dreams. She shows us how the creative process can be applied to creating extraordinary results in all areas of life, in money and personal wellness as well as in art,