Yes You Can

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ann grasso yes you canAnd as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Marianne Williamson

I am among the many creatives who are moving away from timid toward tenacious regarding the value of showing up, speaking up and engaging in the “art as business” conversation. At first, you may feel alone and feel your work is not significant enough. We have been schooled for years to feel this way. We have been led to believe that only Artists with a capital A – with genius – are worthy. Therefore, many of us don’t even “dare” to expand beyond our worlds of safety.

I love this flower in the midst of fall grasses, standing straight and looking me right in the eye. “Yes, here I am,” it seems to be saying, “Even though I am the only one, I believe I have something to show.”

Brené Brown wrote, Daring Greatly. Consider reading, or rereading.

You may have friends who are also shy about publicly acknowledging their creativity. Get together with them and talk about why you are remaining in the safety zone. Instead of saying why you cannot venture forth, say, “WHY NOT venture forth!”

A personal story: Years ago, I moved to a small town to help with the care of my mom. The creative circles here are somewhat small and the work shown primarily of a literal, realistic nature, not at all my personal preference for abstraction and pattern. The first year I entered the local guild show, I was accepted, I think mostly because I was new in the organization and they wanted to make me feel at home. It was a start. Last spring, the abstract piece I entered won honorable mention with a judge from New York City. Yes, I was showing in a small pond. But I take heart that the judge was from a big pond. It was encouraging.

Of course, as Lucy in the comic strip Charlie Brown suggests, “Life cannot always be a series of ups and ups and ups.” There are failures. I have had my share. But this will be covered in other blogs.

Will you join me in moving from safety to daring?

What do you think? I welcome your input.

Showing 14 comments
  • Helen Conway
    Reply

    I will indeed join you! So often the only things stopping us are our own internal hangups and assumptions that no-one else ever achieved when they felt alone and insignificant when in fact almost everyone feels that way at some time!

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      We agree. I hope speaking up gives others the courage “to do.”

  • Pat Mathes Czt
    Reply

    This truly speaks to me. I have been moving into the daring some and it is a scary feeling. Your photo is spot on. Thanks for the uplift this morning.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Pleased to hear this, Pat. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

  • Jessica
    Reply

    Yes I can! Thank you Ann for this encouraging post. It’s nice to be one of the flowers growing next to you 🙂

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      My family hails from Maine, the pine tree state. A single pine tree is easily uprooted in a gale. A grove remains standing after heavy storms.

  • Ginny Lockhart
    Reply

    Anne, thank you for this wonderful photo and your thoughts. You are so encouraging, and I need and appreciate that support. I think we all feel like that flower at times. In the 1970s I moved to a big pond after 5 years in a small pond. I was able to take advantage of artistic learning opportunities and really bloom there.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      During my years in architecture, I lived in the smallest state in the union and thought I lived in a smallish pond. Moving closer to NYC, I thought would enlarge my world. It has been interesting to navigate here, but I can say I do appreciate each and every friend I have in this community. Also, I take advantage of classes on the internet (particularly those with Lisa Call – see her links in resources) and the outreach through both FB and this website. Looking forward to seeing you soon, Ginny.

  • Roseanne Sabol, CZT
    Reply

    I loved this, Ann. Thank you. It is only in this current decade of my life have I felt more courageous in claiming and proclaiming my abilities and creativity. Not always easy, but always satisfying. I no longer want to hide my venturings in the creative realms, however skilled or not, under a bushel.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Brava Roseanne! It takes many of us a very long time to endorse our creativity. Stating in print is one more brain assurance as well as public affirmation.

  • Jenn
    Reply

    I agree! I love the line flower standing up too?

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Exactly, although I believe there are many flowers surrounding waiting for encouragement.

  • Eva Dykas
    Reply

    It can sometimes be so exhilarating to be a bit different than all the rest…especially if that difference is of a special and exceptional quality!

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      I think you are describing leadership, whether out in front, or a quiet presence.

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