Unmasking the fraud, uncovering an artist

27 05 2015



I AM an Artist. I’ve finally said it. The big word is out. You may wonder what the big deal is. Fair question. I don’t know. But it feels huge. All I know is that it has been a very long journey to make peace with the idea of being an artist. And obviously I have not made complete peace with it yet.

Last week, I was browsing through Caroline Myss’ online library, looking for archetypes that resonate with me. The first time, I scanned through the list, I just skipped the Artist. I saw it, but I did not want to read the description. “You are NOT an Artist,” the voice in my head said, “no use in even looking.” The second time, there was a different, kind voice that said: “Just read, and then go from there. No harm in looking.” While reading the critical voice was on repeat: “See that you’re NOT an artist. I knew that. You’re nothing but a fraud.” That hurt. To see the confirmation of something I feared deep down. And then I read this:
Doing what you do in such a way that you create an emotional field that inspires others also indicates the Artist energy at work, as does the emotional and psychological need to express yourself so much that your well-being is wrapped up in this energy.
The first half of the sentence rang true, but the last half hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a very visceral response while reading it. Nothing more true. When I don’t express myself, when I don’t create and share, I die on the inside, I dry up, I get more and more tired. I just never saw the correlation.

As you may have read recently, self-expression has always been difficult for me. Still is. I used to censor myself all the time, without even knowing I was doing so, a completely automated response during every form of expression, even, or especially, when I was in the process of creating something. Paired with my inner-critic, he seemed invincible. Both deeply integrated in my being, like a weed taken root in every part of my psyche. Instead of extracting the weed, I am going to stop feeding it. Which simply means that I am going to fearlessly express myself in any way I want to. Knot in my stomach. But I can stomach that. I am going to feel the fear and do it any way. You don’t need to agree with me, you don’t need to like me or what I create, you don’t even need to pay attention to me, because I do this for me. Expressing myself through creation makes me feel alive. I don’t know where this will land me, how this will go, but I am going to allow it to evolve. I am going to take it one step at the time, Allowing myself to express unhindered by limiting beliefs, unhindered by the need for anything I create to be perfect from the beginning, or perfect at all. I am going to work on my skills by drawing and painting objects and I am going to work on allowing flow by working associatively.  I am going to experiment, and allow myself to fail, and fail, and fail. But most of all, I am going to give myself permission to be the artist my soul has always been yearning for, without confining myself to an ideal or fearing to be a fraud. Even more challenging may be my inner-critic shouting that it isn’t ‘useful’, that I am just mucking about, it even feels sinful. I guess I’ll just fearlessly have to grab that one by the horns as well. I am not going to let anything hold me back from living my life to the fullest. My inner-critic was right, I was being a fraud, not as an artist, but by not showing all of myself, by masking part of my soul.




I AM Victor

13 05 2015



Some a-ha moments are so profound that they change the way you look at yourself in an instant, and forever. Today, I had an earth-shocking insight into my own psyche. These last weeks, I have been asking myself: what is inhibiting my natural joy. What I have come to realize is that I want to feel lust for life again. I want to inhabit my passionate self again. Somehow I lost it. Today, I discovered where I lost it.

No matter how hard I worked these past years to release what wasn’t Me and embrace what is, no matter how much responsibility I learned to take for my life, I was still playing out the victim archetype.  Everyone around me probably noticed, but I was blind to it. Today, I ‘accidentally’ stumbled on Susanna Barlow’s articles on archetypes. I was googling the Martyr, but my eye fell on the Victim. I thought I had conquered the Victim, but it simply went out the front door and snuck back in through the back door, and hid in the rooms of my psyche I was too afraid to explore. It was quite happy there, weaving stories so exquisitely they fooled me with ease.

An archetype is a universal energy pattern. It always has two aspects, a negative and a positive aspect. When an archetype is strongly present within us, and we are not aware of it, we are living the negative aspect, the shadow side. In my life, the negative aspect of the Victim expresses itself as loss of energy, frustration, perceived helplessness, shaming and blaming. The two latter took some time to discover within myself, but I do it stealthily. Once we become aware of the archetype, we can transform it and live the positive aspect, or the enlightened side. Transforming the Victim into a Victor is all about owning our true power. It is about feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

I can see why this pattern emerges now. Perfect timing. Further untethering. It is time to step into my power. It is time to live NOW. To be fearlessly in love with live, NOW.  After a first, rather yukky, release this morning, I feel my energy soar. I feel empowered and strong. Not in the mood to take any more BS from myself. There is a determination like I have not felt in a long, long, long time. Victim or Victor, that’s the question. Well, at least, for me.


photo by Gayle Lindgren