When You Can't See The Miracle of Your Dream
Right behind that stuff you don’t want to face.
For many years I struggled financially as a “starving artist”. I never wanted to be rich or famous or anything. I wanted to be self-sustaining in my creative career.
Secretly, I also wanted to own my own home but that felt impossible given how hard it was to pay my rent on time.
(That seems funny to me now that I do own my Dream Loft as a self-employed creative and have paid down so much of the mortgage it’s actually cheaper than renting – but that’s how dreams work)
What I wanted was hiding behind ALL the stuff I didn’t want to face, specifically:
- learning business stuff – marketing and sales specifically
- being brave about asking for what my work was worth
- trusting myself to build a business around my creative vision
- being vulnerable enough to put myself out there
I was waiting for it to come to me. I wasn’t going out and getting it.
As much as I wanted my dream, I was really too afraid to go out and get it. And so my career as a starving artists eventually ended with me getting an office job.
Of course that job led to me becoming comfortable enough in my life that I became able to really go for my dreams. And here I am coming up on 8 years of successful self-employment.
So given what I have learned about how what I want is hidden in what I don’t want to face – why am I struggling with this right now?
Usually I am pretty willing to dive into the hard parts because I want the rewards of the work.
But today I’m sitting here feeling pretty stuck.
So that’s a good place to start. Let’s get to know my stuck.
(stuck’s words are in italics)
OK OMG turn off that music. I can’t think with that on.
Oh. That’s interesting. I was playing really different music than I usually do.
Yes – because it’s distracting you from your feelings. From me.
OK. It’s off. So hello stuck, can we talk?
Well sure but I see you are typing our conversation into a blog post draft and I don’t think that this is something we will want to share in that way!
OK. You know it helps me stay grounded in our talks to type or write it out as we go. Typing works better for intense conversations because it’s faster. Please don’t censor yourself for public consumption. Say what you need to say and I will edit as necessary (or not publish this as all!)
OK thank you for that reassurance. I’m angry that you have fucked up so hard.
Oh wow. OK. How did I fuck up so hard?
You lost track of the money.
Yeah I did. I mean – I’m in a new situation here! I am married after a lifetime alone. I am sharing money with my new husband. There’s a steep learning curve here.
You should know better.
Maybe. But that’s not helpful. And I am learning.
That’s true I don’t think you’ll do this again.
Well of course not. I mean we agreed that this way of doing it isn’t working and we have a plan for the new way. It’s just that this is how we’re handing paying for this trip to Mexico in October and we’re almost done so let’s just finish and then do things differently after.
I just can’t believe you could be so stupid.
OK COME ON. I made an honest mistake. I am adjusting to a lot of new stuff in my life – this slipped through the cracks. I am not stupid.
I am being mean because I want to impress on you how serious this is. You have to be smart with money. You know how many women – even today – end up stuck in bad marriages because they can’t afford to leave?
(stuck just went from angry and hard to really super emotional all of a sudden)
Oh yes I do know that. And I am not going to be one of them. I mean I have a great marriage. And I was 100% self-sustaining before getting married there is no reason to think I won’t keep that up.
Yeah I can see it’s not logical but still it feels scary.
Yeah. I get that. So what can I do to help? What do you need?
I needed you to see where you weren’t careful with money. And to take it seriously enough to stop doing it.
Yes – done. I mean you can see that no permanent harm was done right? I’m ok. I miscalculated something. I have the money to cover it. I don’t usually miscalculate but it’s ok. I don’t see a reason to get all paranoid about money now because of it. But obviously you were triggered in the process though.
Well I mean what about [thing(s) from the past we definitely don’t want to publish on the blog].
Oh. Yeah I had forgotten about that. Yes of course it makes sense that you got triggered then. I am so sorry. I promise what is happening now is nothing like that. I will always take care of you (and me).
So I’ve just been sitting with that, giving all the feelings that came up some space. The stuck has dissipated.
Where am I now?
Well I don’t feel stuck anymore. What feels clear now is:
The path to [what I want] goes right through [all the fears I have about why going after what I want will somehow destroy me].
OK yeah so the path looks daunting. As I sit with this I can start to feel how I have more fears about [what I want] than I knew about, like:
- If I go for it as hard as I can I may fall on my face that much harder
- If I fall on my face I may not be able to get back up
- What I have now is so good what if I mess it up by going after more?
- What if what I have now is all I can have?
- What if I am not capable of creating what I want to create?
- What if I am not as good as I think I am?
- What if I find out that I just totally suck?
- What if what I want to do pisses people off?
But as I list those fears another part of me is starting to wake up and get excited – the part of me who remembers how magical + transformative it’s always been to work through lots of fears.
What do I want to do next?
Well I feel way less stuck now than when I started writing this.
The situation that the stuck was upset about is not really related the thing that I want. But somehow I feel free-er to go after the thing that I want now that that stuck is un-stuck.
That is how stucks work sometimes.
So now I feel free to start working on [what I want]. While I feel more aware of my fears they feel smaller than my desire to do the thing.
If they get bigger and start to slow me down then I sit down and talk to them.
Sounds like a good plan.
PS: If you are curious YES this kind of exploration is what we do in the Creative Dream Circle. There are tons of classes and resources to help you find the magic in your own fears and stucks.