In the not-so-distant past, I saw the passionate side of me as something that got me into trouble. My zest, passion, and enthusiasm for life is one of my core strengths – it is an essential piece of my being. And yet, I haven’t always embraced it in my life.
Why? You may ask…
Well, this swirling, dancing woman who lives in my heart has wanted to come out and be fully part of my life for years but I couldn’t let her because, you see, it wasn’t safe.
The messages I received as a child about being a “good” girl made my dancing woman-self into the “bad” side of me. Whenever I got excited and passionate, I was immediately shut down as being too loud, too intense, too much. Little girls were never allowed to be loud or excited or rambunctious. There never seemed to be a space for me to be me so I decided the passionate part of me was wrong somehow.
I hid essential parts of myself in order to feel safe and fit in.
It took a long time to realize my enthusiasm and excitement scared the hell out of people – sadly it was almost always the men in my life. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I chose partners who couldn’t handle what I had to offer. This pattern of choosing men who are scared of my passion is a pattern that grew out of the childhood message – being passionate is NOT ok. My father repeatedly made this clear.
So I closed the door on the dancing woman in my heart and hid my passionate, fiery self and only let her out on rare occasions. Instead I learned to draw on the fire inside to help me to survive in the male and ego dominated world I worked in. I used my fire to push and drive and organize and GET THINGS DONE. I let this driving energy become the central way I interacted with the world.
This way of interacting with the world became a form of protection and a way to use my energy that was acceptable for a woman, though only barely. If I inadvertently got too excited or intense in a meeting, I was still told to “tone it down”. Perhaps a message you have received in your life?
Today, the dancing, passionate woman inside of me is alive and present and becoming more and more visible every day.
Some years ago I took a left turn and walked away from the technology world I had lived in. Reaching a place in my life where I felt my creativity dying, I made a decision to leave and pursue my heart’s desire – to live and work as an artist. Little did I know that taking this left turn would open the door to my heart and let someone else out to dance her dance of passion!
After several years of twists and turns, my life is very different. I fully engage my heart and spirit in my art and teaching. And I love it – she is my pink rhinestone, sexy self who creates amazing paintings in her pajamas!
However, her regular appearance on the scene is forcing a radical change in my relationship with all that driving energy. In this creative, spiritual world I live and work in now, getting things done is not central. It is no longer my default modus operandi and my driving side doesn’t quite know what to do with that.
When we learn to lead from the heart, our path is often an easier flow rather than a forceful push to get where we are going
Tapping into my driving energy without conscious awareness can interfere and derail my work. It can result in jumping too fast into the practical side of things before ideas and process have been allowed to manifest all the way. I learned the lesson early that allowing my head to engage when I am painting from my heart turns into a frustrating disaster.
My painting, Woman Transforming Sword, is wonderful example. It is one of my early paintings and when I began to paint her I had a vision of what to paint, but let my mind distract me with questions of how to make something look like its transforming. I even checked books out of the library on technique. It took me several days to realize my mind had taken over and that what I needed to do was step away from the canvas and reengage from my heart. I chucked the first canvas into the far reaches of my studio and went out and bought an new one. This time I stayed in my heart and the vision painted itself on my canvas.
Allowing something to fully manifest is key to bringing creations into resonance and clarity. It is very important to stay with my Muse until the process of manifestation is complete. This requires trust and patience and is damn hard to do sometimes.
Trusting in Spirit to guide me is something my practical driving side cannot comprehend yet it is crucial to allowing my heart to lead and my work to manifest. My practical side gets frustrated and wants to scream at the world.
What do I do? Retrain myself. It’s a bit like a cross between a spiritual practice and dealing with a 3 year old having a temper tantrum. Conscious awareness meet screaming frustration. So what am I actually doing?
Well, sometimes you have to reweave these patterns by taking one step to the side, so to speak.
One of my steps to the side is to keep my pendulum with me so I remember to stop and ask: do I need to be doing this right now? Pendulum have been with humanity for centuries. A simple stone on a chain or string that can swing freely in any direction is the most common form. People use them to ask simple yes/no questions. It is similar to how dousers work to find water.
The other day I was going through email attempting to clear things out and got distracted by a sales notice from a clothing site. The next thing I knew my practical brain had reminded me I had a trip coming up and before I knew it I was loading up my shopping cart. Before I hit the Buy button, I stopped and asked my pendulum. Can I, may I, should I buy these items? A resounding no was my response. I took a deep breath and closed the computer and walked away.
A key act is to step back and ask
The pause gives me time to recognize if I have engaged my driving side. Sometimes, it’s ok that I have done so because sometimes things do need to get done. If that is the case, then I step back into the driving energy with conscious awareness.
Sometimes it is not ok that I’ve engaged my driving energy and I need walk away entirely from what I am spending my time on. This is much harder to do and is crazy-making. The reward is that each time I do this, I get noticeably better at recognizing whether I have engaged the driving energy. I don’t like making myself crazy or frustrated so consequently am highly motivated to move away from behaviors that induce those states!
I have a few questions for you – just notice what comes up when you ask them of yourself or perhaps write a few of your answers in a journal.
How do you engage with your passion in your life?
Do you have a driving side?
Is there a pattern like this that you want to change in your life?
What came up for you?
~ Annette Wagner
As you can see, I am very passionate about this work and about sharing it with others. If my work and words provoke you – consider joining me in person, for this upcoming August workshop on Pattern Walking.
Annette Wagner is a visionary artist and spirit guide who walks the patterns of connection with you to bring you into a closer connection to source. Her work is devoted to sharing the tools of Pattern Walking, Visioning, and Intentional Creativity to help you live the life your spirit is calling you to live!
Her paintings are portals into visionary realms asking the viewer to shift the way they connect to this world. She paints in the Contemporary Symbolism style and works extensively with symbol and color.
Annette is a certified instructor of the Color of Woman Method developed by Shiloh Sophia McCloud. She has a Masters degree in Women’s Spirituality with a certificate in Creative Expression from Sofia University. Her background includes over 25 years of hi-tech experience including 21 patents.
She invites you to visit her at: www.annettewagnerart.com
Pattern Walking with Annette Wagner
Saturday August 24, 2013 1pm to 5pm
Mountain View Studio
What happen when you bring disparate threads of your life into closer connection?
Pull others further apart?
Do sparks of passion and inspiration fly?
Does it shift your whole perspective on life?
Change is scary for most of us, especially when you have to do it by yourself. I know this intimately from personal experience. I’ve learned that when I approach change with awareness, the process of transformation becomes a dance with the universe in which I participate – instead of being dragged along kicking and screaming. And, I don’t know about you, but I’m not big on the kicking and screaming part!
What is Pattern Walking? – Learn more here