For a bit of time now I have wanted to have people over to my home,
to gather around the table to connect,
make some art and share our stories.
An Artsy Gathering
Last week I did just that.
Funny enough, as simple as an art gathering sounds,
I was actually quite scared to do it.
You know, invite all the people. Ask them to come over. Into my actual house. And then feed them. Give them food and water. I’ll have to play hostess. And then, horrors, ask them all to get their “artsy” on and make stuff with me. Shiver. This is terrifying stuff!
What if people think it’s weird? Worse, what if people think I’m weird?
The “artsy fartsy” type, head in the clouds, woo woo. For whatever reason I am always nervous about that. Even though, really, I am quite grounded and practical. I guess we all have these kinds of stories we grapple with that sometimes keep us from doing things we might want to do but are afraid to do them.
I’ll tell you, I have done more things that scare me in the last few months than maybe ever. Not scary in the way of, let’s say, big life decisions or dealing with difficult people. That is a different thing. But still, putting yourself “out there” in a real way, showing up and being seen, I reckon that deserves to be on a list of scary too.
It can be quite challenging to unarm yourself, open up and metaphorically say, “here I am world, this is whatcha get with me”. Perhaps it’s me being in my forties. Something that only age can bring. This feels like both a gift to know this about myself, this is pretty much what I have to offer in all its’ goodness and all its’ shortcomings, while also being terrifying to stake a claim in that bit of truth.
There is a wild sense of freedom in knowing and claiming,
“This is it.
This is me.
This is who I am
This is what I can and cannot offer.”
I did not have that as much when I was younger. It has been my observation that only age and life experience can give both privy to that knowledge and also the courage to build the framework of your life around it. Okay, that and maybe being tired and worn down gives it to you too.
I bet you didn’t think a post about a silly little artsy gathering would go in this heavy direction.
Sometimes it is the simplest of things give the opportunity to show up and be seen.
But sometimes it may be better for us to wait it out and stay private.
There is not a bad choice here. Sometimes you feel ready to go all out, go for broke, whoop and holler. Sometimes it is okay to stay cocooned and swaddled in our safe place until we are ready. It is all about timing. Really, it is okay to baby step our way into scary things.
So, in this case I waited. Until I didn’t. At some point I just wanted to do this thing that had been in my mind and on my heart. I wanted to gather people, eat some nourishing food, art together and to “talk story” like they say in Hawaii.
And we did and it was good.
No one thought it was weird.
I am pretty sure no one thought I was weird. Even better, people want to come back! The ones who couldn’t show up want to come to the next one. It was good. Really good. A few of my friends who did not previously know each other discovered some common interests and discovered that they shared a similar personal struggle. I was warmed up inside as I observed them hashing it out, supporting each other, and talking about what had helped them.
See, that makes it so worth it and was exactly what I was hoping for. It was awesome. I am pretty sure I will do another one. I am pretty sure I will feel nervous and apprehensive to do it. Remember, I have to feed and water and art people. But I am also pretty sure I will give it a go again. You know, just to show up, put it out there, let the magic happen.
This is me.
This is who I am.
This is what I can offer.
And it feels pretty good to show up in just that way.
Altered Playing Cards
In case you are wondering, these are simply altered playing cards. Yes, just playing cards that have been collaged! I love, love them because they are so NOT PRECIOUS! That means there is so much freedom in the creation of them. They are cheap, plentiful, small. You can use them as bookmarks, stash them in your wallet or bedside table, hang them on a mirror. You can give them away to encourage someone who needs it. And, to top it all off, you can throw them away if you are not happy with them! They are after all only a playing card!
Check out my pinterest page to see more examples, tutorials, and ideas for altered playing cards.
Also, be sure to check out Brave Girls Club for their version of altered cards called Truth Cards. I love Brave Girls Club as they do many projects that are similar to this one, both in its scope of meaning and approachability.
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It has been on my heart to share in this way and I want you to be there!
Copyright 2016 Shay Michelle All Rights Reserved