Friday, 11 June 2010


This week Lis asks:
Organic growth - what would that look like for you?

The older I become the more interested I become in nurturing myself. The more I nurture the artist, photographer and writer inside, the longer and more complex the adventures seems to become. I used to simply see an end product that I would plow into full steam ahead, sometimes this would work if I was lucky, but other times I would find myself lacking, the end result feeling forced and certainly not as rich nor as wonderful as I imagined it to be. I expected it all to appear like that magic beanstalk!

When it comes to myself I am by nature an impatient person, always wanting everything done instantly and indeed perfectly. I have such high expectations of myself, that I think I should have all those tools I need to instantly create that amazing piece of artwork, to take the stunning shot that leaves others in awe, to write that book/poem/essay that will be treasured for years to come. I am learning that I am human, that whilst creativity comes naturally to me, I have to take the time to gather the tools I need to express myself. Like a mantra I need to repeat to myself that talents needs time and energy to grow and that this also involves being wholly committed and managing to be mindful in my learning process. I am creating a small vegetable patch for the first time this year, and those tiny seeds that I started with are teaching me exactly this lesson. I didn’t know what I was doing at first, I had to research and construct something which dovetailed with my daily life and my needs. It is a work in progress and I have to keep adding to my knowledge. I make mistakes and not everything is as successful as I would wish, but I am creating something slowly, mindfully, I am nurturing a skill to enrich my life and creating something which deeply reflects a part of myself.

The funny thing is that with others, and certainly with the children I teach, I consider myself in having that ability to nurture; I give them time, patience, safety to grow; I infuse them with the knowledge and skills they need to blossom. I never expect perfection, only to tease out the best the child has within them and to support them wholeheartedly in their adventures into adulthood.

On my creative journey I often compare myself to the amazing work and skills of others. I then sometimes feel unworthy, my own efforts lacking in comparison. That inner critic steps in and whispers that maybe I shouldn’t try at all as it will never be as beautiful/interesting/inspiring as the work of those I admire so greatly. This leads to then asking myself if I am charlatan. I am learning to listen to this voice in a different light. Having taken several creative e courses in the last months I can see a shift in my perspective at times; I am beginning to see that by gathering the work and knowledge of others I can inspire my own, magical creative process. Collecting the beauty and wisdom of others has such an important purpose - to help me find that unique style within myself, for each artist/writer is indeed unique. What I have inside is deep, personal and part of me, what I have to offer is unique. By exploring the work of others I am exploring my own creativity, nurturing it, learning to express myself. This exploration is a long, sometimes frustrating, sometimes heavenly journey. The riches lie in this adventure and not always in the result that I push myself so hard for. I must grasp that intention to nurture, which I apply in my teaching role, to now teach that creative goddess within.

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. I am also very impatient with myself and am learning to cut myself some slack. For some reason I think it's ok for other's to learn and develop a skill while I should "just know" how to do it.

    Good to know I am not alone.

  2. Hi Milena,
    Here is your key: "The riches lie in this adventure and not always in the result that I push myself so hard for." Use your Spirit Teacher to be kind to yourself. As you don't judge others negatively, offer yourself the same compassion. PS I'll be interested in further updates on your gardening project.

  3. Tears in my eyes ... so beautiful and wise Milena! So much of what you wrote, I would say about myself ... impatience, useless comparisons, desire to make it perfect right off the bat ...

    We nurture so many in our lives, isn't it amazing when we realize we need to nurture ourselves? Your creative goddess is patiently waiting for you to drop all those expectations and PLAY!

    I have gotten all in my head with comparing myself and am using Leonie as my little angel on my shoulder ... what would leonie say/do? "Darling, where you are is absolutely perfect!"

    Sigh. I love your growth, your garden. So grateful to be sharing this with you. I am thinking about starting a 365 project as a Flickr group ... a photo diary ... 1 picture a day of my life as it is. If you are on Flickr and interested ... email me: lishofmann(at)novia(dot)net.

    I am just hatching this idea as I type ... so who knows?

    xo Lis

  4. Milena, your words made me smile, you are describing me exactly!! I am impatient & a perfectionist, harder, i know, on myself than on others, always comparing always finding lacking. I love that your gardening is teaching you the lesson of slowing down & of patience. It in'nt an easy lesson to learn at all is it. Enjoy your journey x