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Allison Marie Conway is the author of Vein (available now on Amazon) and the creator of Glory Begin Blog & Podcast. Her full body of work is focused on spirituality, sensuality, creativity and inspiration. Email Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org
Right, so we’ll get to building your sexy ass confidence in just a second, good friend.
First tho, here’s a fun trick to try if you’d like to testyour creative confidence; publish a blog post about erotica, get everybody all seduced and lathered up, and then come back a week later and publish another blog post.
About anything else.
Post about something else – after riffing about touching and stroking and fingering – and expect anyone to give a shit about what could possibly come after all that goodness.
I hear you. I know. But never fear, my love. I’ve got you. I am not afraid.
I have something even hotter to talk about this week, if you can possibly fathom that (I realize a blogger with any sense at all would be concerned about deliberately stacking this kind of dangerous pyramid scheme of expectations but nobody’s here to play it safe, I sincerely hope).
Fair warning, lovers: This one will be very different from the others. (Are you reading this at the office, by the way? Because you might not want to be reading this at the office. But then again, maybe you really do.)
Consistency is divine but so is disruption. So is surprise.
This post is not about how to’s or fixing or changing anything. It’s about feeling.
Feeling, it seems to me, is a precious and increasingly scarce form of artistry. People are numbed out all over the damn place trying to avoid feelings of pain but also, in more cases than we seem to realize, trying to avoid feelings of good honest organic pleasure (because, you know, the guilt and the guilt and the guilt and everything – and then there’s the guilt).
Odd things, we.
Maybe it’s better (more accurate? more tragic?) to say that avoiding our feelings has become a twisted art form in itself.
Somehow, in these overcharged, overstimulating, hyper-sexed times, we end up numb and ashamed when all we really crave is to be touched and awakened.
A weird thing happens to otherwise normal people when we attempt to level with each other about work.
People seem to act like if they were to start doing the work they truly loved, other people will think they are colossally selfish / stupid / immature and begin throwing themselves out of seven story buildings or lighting themselves on fire in protest.
We act like if we want to be artists we’ll need to prove we’re “allowed” by only doing what we long to do as a “nice hobby” or in a damp cellar by dank (dank?) candlelight where no one has to see us in all our crazy.
We seem to think that if we were to work on something that we totally dig, this may simultaneously cause our families to implode, our lovers to walk out, our children to disown us, our very physical security to be threatened by some invisible bully.
We think we don’t deserve it. We think they can’t handle it. We think it has to be a big fucking deal and we’ll need to ceremonially trade in everything we’ve earned in our entire lives up to this point in exchange for the right to pursue our creative passions.
But you know what actually happens to us and to other people when we finally dare to start working on our dream?
Incredibly, there’s still a lot of noise on the interwebs about being “authentic” and “keeping shit real” in our lives, in our work, in our relationships, in our swim suits, in our Instagram galleries.
(By the way, whomever started #nofilter, I’m starting #damnrightitsfiltered. If I wanted everything to look like it does on any given pimple-faced Wednesday I’d still be wearing jelly bracelets stacked to my elbows and using those trashable wind-up cameras from the 90’s while getting way over excited that they take pictures underwater now! Stop it. Everything should look like a classic black and white Humphrey Bogart film.)
Of course, some of the noise about keeping shit real comes from yours truly, mind you, so the irony that I’m calling us out on it is not lost on me. Smug-Allison-Marie is even a little proud of that noise because it’s important noise to be making (she believes).
But somewhere amidst the chaotic weirdness of $5 selfie-sticks and $zilliondollar celebrity, we seem to have confused “being real” with being loud, obnoxious, rude, disrespectful, ignorant, and in an obscene number of cases . . . NOT REAL.
So two things right off the top: #1 I’m not talking about jealousy in this post (WTF?) and #2 I’m fully aware that exactly no one wants to talk about shit like this (hence the trickery, but let me explain).
Shit like what, you may well demand to know since I’ve just confessed to the old bait-and-switch title of a blog post which may or may not land me on the wrong side of the tracks with WordPress / Google / Nick Jonas.
It turns out that although we most often think of ourselves as struggling with jealousy (where did you even come from, Nick Jonas?) what we actually struggle with, technically, is envy.
“In this country, we use the words “jealousy” and “envy” as synonyms but they are not. Envy is the feeling of wanting what someone else has. The linguistic root is from the Latin invidia which is connected to the modern word ‘invidious.’ Jealousy is the feeling of wanting to protect what is yours. The linguistic root is from the Latin zelos which is connected to the modern word ‘zealous’.”
But the thing is, no one Googles envy for the same reason no one Googles sloth. (If you do though? The “medium-sized mammal” comes first with adorable photos; the “deadly sin” comes in second. Go figure.)
Lazy sounds like a thing we should probably work on but also feels like fuzzy socks. Sloth sounds like one of both of us should be roaming ancient Jerusalem sacrificing our livestock when shit hits the proverbial fan.
Hello, gorgeous – would you come closer for a sec? Sssshhh come come come closer closer closer . . . I have a secret to tell you.
Oh. Yes. ;)
Actually, I have 43 secrets. (*politely checks wrist where watch would be if anyone wore watches anymore now that Fitbits are apparently every sick thing in an ever-expanding arsenal of sick digital things all diligently calculating a million new ways to remind me that I haven’t done enough today*)
Don’t sweat it though, babe, these secrets are fast and they are powerful if you listen tight.
You see, secret friend, I have been secretly working up to this secret blog post, secretly, over the past secret six weeks.
As in: drenched and soaked and sealed and locked in secret. Total sexy punk wizardry; total ninja stealth warrior hidden in plain sight.
You know how some people have to clean their entire kitchen / office / living room / patio / house / dog house / bird house / neighbor’s house before they will finally just sit down and start doing their creative work?
I’m not one of those people. (Nor do these people ever seem to live next door to me, proving that no good will ever come of this kind of neurosis.)
I can write with a messy kitchen / teetering piles of papers / tipping stacks of half-read books / vases full of but-they’re-so-arty-though dead flowers / unwashed dishes (… you guys can’t actually see me, right?) doing their unkempt thing all around me.
I can write through the Apocalypse. (Done it, actually – see how that turned out here. Spoiler alert.)
I believe in the power of the individual and I believe in the power of the community.
Deeply, I do.
I believe in the power of ideas and the sheer penetrating force of a collective movement toward a higher consciousness. I believe people come together when they are meant to come together by the energy of values and ideals that matter sincerely to them.
This is sacred; this is work; this is precious.
I want to connect and I want to converse. I want to elevate and listen and understand and offer what I have.
And then I want to be left alone to my thoughts and my soul and my creative process so that I can come back again when I’m ready to engage from a centered place of authenticity, strength, clarity, balance and truth.
I’m not asking you to live on the street or give your last dime to charity or replace your dark roast coffee with decaf (in fact, if decaf coffee is ever mentioned on this blog again: someone else is writing this blog).
I’m not asking you to somehow figure out a way to make up for what you didn’t do or could have done or should have done or should be doing now.
I’m not asking you to change houses or partners or jobs or religions or toothpaste.
You’ll either find this to be the toughest or the easiest thing in the world to do.
If things get brilliantly bizarre – which they totally might so, I beg of you, please don’t rule that crazy goodness out – you’ll find it to be both at the same time.
There’s a lot of noise right now about resolutions and this new year being the most “fucktabulous” or whatever the latest punchy catch word is but experience has proven that until the year actually ends itself, there’s no sure way to tell what in the confetti is about to drop.
A proper year takes its grand old time undressing and I don’t know about you but I can’t wait that long to see if when I turn around my life in retrospect had been fuckalicious. I mean, who could possibly predict how many other fucksational ways we’ll have come up with to use curse words on kitschy cocktail napkins by then ( . . . wait for it . . . ).
But there is something that could rock your world right this minute even if the rest of the year falls to hell in a fiery hand basket. Continue reading →
It’s before dawn on an inky black morning in late November. A sudden slap of thunder collapses over me, slamming the hairs on my neck straight up.
And I know in this fear-strangled moment. The Apocalypse is upon us.
In hindsight, I’m sorry I didn’t alert you guys but to be fair we’ve not yet exchanged phone numbers (it’s not you, it’s me) and I have a dysfunctional relationship with Facebook right now.
But we all damn near perished at approximately 05:14:00 Eastern Standard Time last Tuesday. And at some point on Wednesday. And a couple of times over the weekend (the weekend details are still sketchy; I may have passed out more than once).
We’re still here, though, thank the sexy buddhas, and do you know why?
You think you know a person, right. And then she pulls some random shit like this on you.
What is happening right now. You’d like to know. I bet.
You think you know yourself.
You think you know all there is to know inside what you already know and then you got comfortable there.
I’d like to disrupt you for a second, babe, if that’s cool. Because while you are warm and snuggled there in the chaise lounge corner of your punchy Ikea Nockeby sectional, your mind is getting dull and your face is pulling sunken and your beautiful, beautiful wild spirit is growing stupid-restless.