During a recent Creative Focus session, attendees witnessed me trying something new without judgment: starting to practice Tibetan calligraphy. I’ve had all the materials I needed since August, including the Tibetan calligraphy instructional book that breaks down all the steps. After my first few fountain pen strokes, I felt at peace. My inner critic had no place here since I had no expectations other than to learn. There was no right or wrong, just the non-judgmental space to be open and curious about the movement of my pen on the page.
I’ve asked myself, “What stood in the way of my exploration for creating art?” Perhaps criticism of well-meaning teachers in my elementary school years. Maybe the high expectations from my mother, an accomplished painter. Somehow, I was supposed to produce fully formed beautiful images, with no specific training or guidance. I am not that kind of artist.
In fact, I have never thought of myself as an artist. I can create vivid images with words more easily than I can paint them. Everything I’ve tried in the name of art has been a disappointment, to the point where I’ve been ashamed to let anyone else see what I’m doing.
So using what I’ve learned from our supportive group writing practices and applying those skills in a new realm. I step back from my practice attempts and look for what’s strong rather than what’s wrong.
Now that I have decided to step out of the self-limiting beliefs about myself as an artist, I’m saying yes to what interests me. My first step was learning Tibetan calligraphy. It’s the closest thing to drawing without the pressure of creating a fully-formed image.
My Tibetan Buddhist meditation teacher strongly suggests that we all learn a craft, something we produce using our individual interests and skill sets:
- Wood carving.
- Playing a musical instrument.
He doesn’t specifically mention writing, but I add Writing to this list. I’m expanding my repertoire, learning a craft that takes me out of my comfort zone. As I write this, I realize that calligraphy is a harmonious blend of writing and artistry!
Onwards Towards Bigger Goals
I’ve also decided that it’s important to keep nurturing my personal writing goals. I have a tendency to support others to the point of neglecting my very rough drafts. I believe that no matter how far along you are on your path, or how advanced in your practice, you should always have a mentor. I have reached out to a writing mentor, asking for her support toward bringing some of my rough drafts to completion. You may be at a point where you’re considering your next creative steps.
There are many great teachers and skillful mentors out there in the world, so it can be a challenge to choose the right person at the right time. If you have been thinking about writing for a while – maybe years – and not making much progress, this could be your time to take a small step. When people first sign up for one of my writing programs, they don’t necessarily think of themselves as writers. When you join a supportive writing circle you may find yourself on a life-transforming journey.
I invite you to join my five-day ONLINE writing retreat January 25 – 29th, 2023 WRITING FROM THE HEART: Craft Your Compelling Story. This is the perfect time to gather and work with those scraps of paper filled with story fragments. Discover a deeper connection with your writing voice and build practices that enable powerful words to flow onto the page.
Early bird pricing is in effect. Use promo code WRITE2023 for $200 off (good until Dec 23, 2022).