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Friday, October 28, 2011

Letting Go of Good

"A hidden wave of passion lies just below the surface of most people's lives, a passion yearning to be liberated from the paralyzing myths of talent, skill, accomplishment, success and failure, and just plain not being good enough.  It is time to throw off the shackles, to reclaim that which every child knows and is taught to forget:  the essential right to create without interference or shame."  Michele Cassou  (From her amazing book Life, Paint & Passion)

Gorgeous image borrowed from here

If you haven't yet read the above words, please read them now.  If you have read them, I recommend reading them again--I'm going to do that now too.  

Whew.  These words have me all stirred up this morning...I can feel that fiery, soul-waking passion rising to the surface--flushing my cheeks, creating an image of me shouting this message from the tips of the clouds to the depths of the oceans so the whole wide world (including the sea creatures) can hear.   

It is so clear to me that words/concepts like talent, skill, accomplishment, success, failure, not being good enough, are keeping us small, scared, hesitant, stuck, paralyzed.  We are so afraid of not being good enough that we do not even let ourselves begin. Or we begin and then decide that we were absolutely right (that we're really not good enough).  And so we stop.  We leave the paints to dry out, the poem half written, the camera abandoned, left alone in the closet to fend for itself, the shiny new guitar gets shoved in a corner (wedged between the wall and the old rocking chair).  The voice that wants so desperately to sing grows weak with silence.  

We are so convinced that we don't have the "talent"(can we please please just forever banish that word from our vocabulary?), that we're not the "creative type," that we hold ourselves away from the very things that fuel/rejuvenate/invigorate/ heal/ empower/ awaken us. 

I feel a deep sadness when I think of all the ways we hold ourselves away from what we love in the name of "good."  

It's funny, I wasn't at all planning on coming here and writing about this this morning.  I was going to write about how soft I feel inside.  How, in the last two days since I started my 41 day thing, I've been showing up in the creative space soft and receptive.  There's been a beautiful gentleness.  I've allowed my creative time to be meditative and quiet.  I've let go of the idea of product and simply let myself play. It's been a moment-by-moment beautiful unfolding.

And this softness reminds me of how painfully hard it has so often been.  I know all too well what it's like to show up in the creative space feeling scared, constricted, grippy, hesitant, unsure, so worried of it (whatever it is) not being good enough that I stay there stuck, unable to move.  I've felt this painful feeling so often that, to show up with softness/openness, with the intention of receiving, has felt so very sweet.  

And then I think of others, precious friends of mine, beautiful, lovely people who I brush up against on the web, who won't allow themselves to begin or move forward because they're shackled by words like talent, skill, accomplishment, success, failure, not being good enough.  And I just have this incredible urge to take all of those tender-hearted beauties in my arms (myself included) and whisper, ever so gently;

Shhhh, just let yourself be soft, open--quiet. This isn't about good. Let yourself receive what's already there-stirring deep inside.  It's okay-it's already all there-just let it come through. Slow down.  Listen. This isn't about good.  Let go--let all the way go.  Let yourself be cradled and held.  

Trust the process. Trust that there is something beautiful there waiting for you, beyond the confines of your mind. This isn't about good. This is about loving and nurturing and honoring your sweet, one-of-a-kind self.  It's about freedom & liberation. It's about connecting deeply, it's about opening to new ways of being/new perceptions. It's about play. It's about healing and stepping into all of who you've always been--not leaving any parts behind. It's about embracing the whole, beautiful essence of you.  


It's about letting love in.   And out. 
It's about connecting to that light in you, that light that only you can shine, so you can shine the twinkling beauty of it, of you, out in the world.

From my tender heart to yours,



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  2. Beautiful and important words to read again and again, and to listen to deep inside. Both the quote and your words Julia. Thank you again. x

  3. Julia, I can feel the softness of your words coaxing that scared little bird out from the thick shrubbery into the dazzling light.

    I battle self-doubt on a daily basis. I usually cast these thoughts away like junk mail, preferring to look for that interesting envelope addressed in fancy penmanship and kissed with an interesting stamp. These are the messages of love; personal mail sent directly to my heart from another heart stirring with softness towards me.

    These are the thoughts I nurture. These are the thoughts that are worthy of my time. The messages of truth sent from the other side of this vast universe, reminding me of who I am and how precious my time here really is.

    Thank you for listening and for sending me this important message. Listening to the light seems to be your gift. Thank you Julia <3

  4. Julia,

    Even though I haven’t commented lately, I have been reading each and ever one of your postings ... and Loving them.

    Julia, Thank you so much for creating and sharing this beautiful space. Feel proud and know that you are inspiring so many people.

    I am right here with you ... as we move closer to our dreams.

  5. Julia, I'm right there along with Eydie - I haven't been commenting, but that doesn't mean I haven't been enjoying! Thank you for all of you beautiful words, especially these. I used to draw and paint regularly several years ago but I stopped when I got into high school and had less time. Now I feel a very strong pull to start back up again, but I have this voice in my head that worries that I won't be good enough. Thank you for reminding me that being "good" is not the point of art. The point of art is to express yourself deeply and honestly and just have some fun! I plan on making a trip to the art store soon!

    Lots of love,

  6. Wow, Julia. This maybe my favorite post of yours, which is saying something. I have that broken open perfectly feeling.

    "And then I think of others, precious friends of mine, beautiful, lovely people who I brush up against on the web, who won't allow themselves to begin or move forward because they're shackled by words like talent, skill, accomplishment, success, failure, not being good enough. And I just have this incredible urge to take all of those tender-hearted beauties in my arms..."

    Yes. That. Myself included.

    You are such a beautiful soul. <3

  7. Have I told you lately how much I love you? Each of you.

    From the absolute center of my Self, I thank you.

    With so much gratitude,


  8. Thank you. I am accepting the bits which I find unacceptable, and they are transformed, like a sulky toddler who is told she is beautiful.

  9. Oh, this made me slow down... way down... and breathe... deeply... letting love in. Thank you for that. ;)

  10. This is simply beautiful!! And - there is such power in letting go of being 'good'...altho it may be a life's work to actually achieve that. A practice. A process. A one-day-at-a-time mantra to believe.

  11. You speak of art and creativity and yet your words about being good at the end of your Post are the perfect for my daughter who has run away and returned home and will continue to struggle... Your words are a guidepost for her and for me as I continue to show her that " this isn't about good. It's about letting love in and out...." perfect words for a most heartbreaking yet gift filled journey. Thank you for your blog. It is a daily gift to me.

  12. It is so true, how quickly we can disconnect from our creative selves when we let the judgement or perception of others matter more than they should. Why have we been so conditioned to let the opinions of people who don't even know us have so much power over our lives and decisions? You bring up important ideas...once again!


What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia