I am 3 days and $900 away from paying my tuition + rent to return to France. Of the total almost $7000 I thought I’d have to pay, having $900 left feels like something akin to a miracle. Between scholarships, sponsorships and generous donations, I am thisclose to officially being able to start my journey.
The most beautiful and magical part about this though is how full of ease it’s been so far.
Part of my theme for this year was to work at my business from a place of love, not fear and never-enoughness. I knew that getting the tuition money together would be the perfect place to practice self-care and love while working to accomplish a goal that feels like it demands sacrifice and slave-like hours.
I have not pulled an all-nighter. Last year I pulled 3 in a row. I have not overworked. I have not forgotten to eat, stopped showering or dropped all of the things that matter to me.
I have worked hard, and steadily, but I have also been making sure that I get 8-10 hours of sleep a night. I have still been making art. I have still taken weekends off and relaxed and enjoyed myself. I have still spent time with my boyfriend, and called friends and chatted to my mum.
I have been working hard to prove to myself that:
- Motivation from love is more sustainable for my body and my soul.
- It still works. The money still comes in. I don’t have to pay in pain to get the money that I need.
As the payment date draws closer and the money slowly but surely flows in, I can feel myself wanting to give in to old patterns.
Every cell in my body wants to panic. Desperation keeps sneaking around the edges of my consciousness, looking for cracks to get in. The voices of the old patterns and habits are screaming at me that if we don’t start panicking and run ourselves into the ground with work, this money will not show up because the only way you can make money is by doing things you hate. And if you love something, you have to find ways to make it horrible so that money will come in. (Anyone else have that monster in the closet??)
I have to keep saying no. I have to keep choosing love, self-care, and self-trust. While it’s true that the panicking is pretty effective, it drains me. I can’t make art. I can’t create. I just have to put my nose to the grindstone and grind out the money.
I don’t want to start my journey like that.
I don’t want my journey to be like that.
This journey is about love – love of myself and going for my dreams. Love of my right people (that’s you!) and wanting to create the best work possible. Love of my art and my craft and the inherent poetry in both the things I want to say and in the way that they’re created.
This journey is vital to the work I want to do the in the world. And if my mission and message are about space – space for you, for your dreams, for your soul – then I have to live from that place as well. I can’t tell you that there’s enough space for you to flourish and unfold and blossom and then turn around and punish myself to get the money that I need to do that work.
It’s incongruent. It throws the energy off, like a badly-composed painting.
So despite the fact that 94% of me is howling for blood, sweat and tears and swearing up & down that it’s the only way for me to get that final $900, I’m going to give that part of me a hug and then keep on choosing love.
It’s funny, because the actions themselves don’t look much different – there’s more rest built in, and I keep making time for my art – but I’m still writing and promoting and sharing. I’m still taking steps to build my business, to shine my light, to share my message.
But the energy is different. I take a nap when my body says it needs a nap. I take a break when my mind says it needs one. I’m not pushing myself towards the end goal. I’m expanding myself towards it, by filling myself up with love and ease and trust.
My journey is evolutionary, not revolutionary. One foot in front of the other, baby steps towards my destination. There will be no violent overthrowing of the former regime.
I don’t have to. By choosing love, I’m always going in the right direction. I’m always heading towards my true goal – to create beautiful, meaningful artwork that changes lives.
Artwork that acts like a compass, a talisman, a touchstone. A constant, steady reminder, day in and day out, of your dreams, your loves and your goals. It’s one small way to begin creating the life that you dream of. Gently. With love.
So even though it’s tempting to panic, tempting to give in to those feelings of desperation, I’m going to hold steady to my course and remember that to create the best work for you, I have to create the best life for me. Or else how are you going to believe me?
To read more about my plans, or contribute towards my tuition, click right here.