We Break The Silence: Beginners Play Out Loud (Beginner’s Luck Series)

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And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence
Sounds of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel

Click to hear me read this post: 


Scarcity has become our city.

They built it up all around us while we stood quietly still and now we live in it.

And as our authentically loving voices got quieter a midst the cultural noise, many of us got tucked restlessly into a desolate mindset of Scarcity.

Some of us might have a second home, maybe a vacation home, in Abundance; we may commute back and forth, but too many of us buy a cheap apartment in Scarcity and stay put because it happens to be there and it’s easy.

Its blackened bricks erected all around us obstruct our view of the sky. Walls that buzz and click with neon signs telling us we are lacking in so many, many twisted ways.

Signs flashing and screaming, telling us that we can’t make art because we’re nobody and we don’t have the talent, the looks, the connections, the time, the money or the swagger. We won’t be famous enough to matter, we won’t be rich enough to make doing what we love worth it.

We won’t go viral.

We won’t best-sell.

Bombarded with messages like these from all around, we are forced to walk Scarcity’s streets at night haunted and hunted by our ghastly fears. The fears that we can’t be who we want to be until we have everything they are trying to sell us to ‘fix’ us.

Somehow, we feel, we are wrong for even trying something not guaranteed to be a success. Somehow, we think, we can’t speak because we’re not [fill in the blank] enough. Somehow, our fears pin us down and we think there’s only so much talent / success / luck to go around, and we don’t deserve it. Or somewhere along the way we missed our shot.

So we chase and we are chased. We ignore and we are ignored.

We hold back and we are held back.

We compare and are compared. We covet, we hide. We are too afraid / ashamed / busy to share. We keep our dreams to ourselves. We don’t talk about what we really want to be doing with our time and talent. We have to just keep our heads down, our dreams locked up, and our silence.

To keep things in line, to keep fitting in, to stay on the right side of the cobblestone sidewalk, we must above all else keep the silence.

Wrong. So wrong, so very, very viciously and maliciously wrong, you guys. And for the artist? Excruciatingly, soul-crushingly wrong.

We’ve become too quiet about what matters a midst the noise of all that doesn’t.

We do not have to accept this scarcity mentality that is so pervasive in society and popular culture. We do not have to be lulled by the buzzing neon of you are never enough. Very often, people keep their artistic silence because they don’t believe they have enough – or are enough – to begin playing their art out loud, in real life.

Who am I to paint, draw, write, dance, sing, rock? They’ll think I’m a fool! They’ll think I’m a nerd, frivolous, pathetic, silly!

But the beginner dares to play out loud not because she doesn’t have all of those fears of not enough and of judgment running through her mind but because she’d much rather break the maddening silence. It matters to her to play out loud. It matters to her.

Every time we choose against the scarcity mindset, we affirm our abundance of strength, talent and worthiness. Every time we play a note out loud, share a piece of writing, or in whatever way make our art and our voices known, we break the petrified silence of ‘I’m not good enough.’

Playing out loud means beginning to step our own way. We begin to build, construct, and design our own city. A city built not on the idea that we are all here to compete with one another for shreds of fame and fortune, but instead to connect with each other, to share what we made and learn from one another.

And then to take all we have, and all we are, and all we gather, and turn it into something new, and beautiful, something interesting, something meaningful. Something original.

“Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another.” ~ Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

Comparing art is the fastest way to degrade it – run it into the ground, stop it cold.

The beginner’s mind makes better art because she dares to make her own art out loud. Without competing with anyone. Just to learn what her art sounds like, feels like, looks like. It matters to her to use her life to find out who she is.

Without measuring his work against a society gasping in the shallows of Scarcity.

Beginners aren’t focused on the final score, they are endlessly interested in the playing of the game. Beginners want to learn the moves and then make up their own moves. The win for us is in the doing and the sharing.

We feed on the work not yet done.

Only in abundance can we create. Creation begets creation. If we believe we are lacking, we cannot begin to spin what we have into something we are willing to give away.

“To create is to love. Love extends outward simply because it cannot be contained. Being limitless it does not stop. It creates forever.” – A Course In Miracles

So that the artist begins everyday with faith that she brings something to the table. It may not be a feast yet, but she’s got curious, promising, fascinating little scraps in her mind. And these clippings, drippings, gatherings, offerings – scraps of paper, scraps of ideas, scraps of what she’s read here and there, traces of experiences and inspirations that have stuck with her for reasons she has yet to understand – are destined to be woven into something the world needs.

Art becomes a co-creation of the love inside, it becomes the manifestation of the desire to share, to serve, to offer.

To connect.
To dance.
To try.
To see.

The artist wants to begin because she wants to play. She wants to learn by trying, she wants to show us what she sees, the way she sees it. She wants to be all in.

The beginner seeks not to get more but to share what he already has. His unique offering that comes from his endless love for the game of life, the trade and shuffle and thrill of creating something new.

He doesn’t play for rank or for keeps, he plays for expansion and to give it all away.

And while we may be constantly pressured by a culture of greed and scarcity, deep down, we know its promises are empty. Its calls to seek fame and fortune at the expense of our personal truth are based on nothing and offer nothing in return.

We’re after an exploration, a deeper understanding of who we are, what we are designed to do; to uncover the secrets of this co-creative relationship we are developing with our craft.

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Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.

If you are lacking in anything let it be only this: Lack of preconceptions. About what it means to make art, what it means to have meaning in this world, in your life. Wake up each and every morning as a beginner, as open and eager and willing to learn from everything and everyone.

The beginner’s mind knows the ultimate win is only in the sharing because in the sharing an idea increases.

“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” — Joseph Campbell

We have culturally strangled ourselves into fearing we don’t have enough. It’s a destructive mindset that keeps us silently locked down in fear, focused secretly on getting instead of giving. It is also a perfect way to keep our beautiful art forever hidden unless we decide it matters enough to us to break the silence.

Without buying anything else, without another badge or promotion or dollar, you have enough, you are enough. You have everything it takes to be someone who makes a difference.

To be love.

To be expansive.

To be generous.

To be open, honest, and brave.

To be eyes that see other people.

To be a heart that heals.

To be a joy, a light, a surprise.

To share.

To create.

In this very moment, you have enough. You are enough.


Because while we are being endlessly distracted by a greedy culture, constantly being sold on useless stuff that claims to be the balm for our imagined fears, we are quietly ignoring the biggest, most incredibly powerful, soothing, creative, warm, bright light in the room.

That would, of course, be you.

The real you. The real you who is the real star of your real life.

Some people wake up to an illness. Some people wake up to violence. Some people wake up to no food. Some people wake up to a loneliness so deep and so hallow that they have become despondent, unable to cope, no longer able to access their inner glow.

Some people do not wake up.

They do not wake up to the day, they do not wake up to their creativity or their passion or their calling. But the beginner does.

All she needs to pull from is her love for the game. When an artist lacks only reservation, when he needs nothing to begin, no one can touch him.

You can’t sell him anything; he doesn’t need it.

Once the beginner awakens and realizes the buzzing neon lies all around her are just an illusion, you can’t scare her and you can’t stop her.

There’s nothing you can take from her.

Because she’s already willingly, loving, graciously given everything she has away.

Let no one convince you you don’t have everything you need to design the life you desire.

The threat of scarcity, of ruthless competition, of never enough is a lie and an illusion. What you give in love multiplies endlessly.

Break your silence. Do your original art out loud.

You have enough, angel.

You design your own city.

You paint the walls.

Make your love stand out loud.


~ ~ ~

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© 2014 Allison Marie Conway at Glory Begin

26 thoughts on “We Break The Silence: Beginners Play Out Loud (Beginner’s Luck Series)

  1. Susan

    “The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
    ― Mary Oliver

    Because we die a little bit each day that we stifle our creativity. We were created to create….to the arms and legs (and words and brushstrokes and music notes) of the Holy Spirit.

    Thanks for being Awesome!


    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello, hello Suz,

      How much I love that quote! I had never heard it before – it’s so spot on. It captures just about all of why I wanted to take a shot at writing this post – even if it just helps one person who hears that creative call and hesitates to rock out with it. We all have so much inside waiting to come forward.

      You are so right, we die a little each day we stifle our creativity – our time here is too short to not explore.

      Thank you for being YOU and for being you out loud! And thank you for such a beautiful comment I really appreciate it, dear friend.

      Have a brilliant Sunday, sister! XO

  2. Meg Evans

    Absolutely, art is for giving away! Of course, that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with making money from a popular blog, a book series, or other creative endeavors. And it might be fun to be a celebrity, or at least to daydream about it. But when art becomes all about generating money and fame, rather than about the joy of building something new and sharing it, that’s when we have a problem. Abundance of creativity is not the same as abundance of consumer toys.

    I wouldn’t say there is anything wrong with enjoying our consumer toys either, but they are just fun things to play with in a world of abundance. They don’t define who we are, what we’re worth, what we deserve, what we’re capable of creating, or anything else in that awful narrative of scarcity you’ve described so well here. Net worth is just a way to measure whatever we might own at a particular point in time; it’s not for passing judgment on our worth as human beings!

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello, hello Meg,

      Thank you so for your beautiful and insightful words! I agree with you 1000%, my friend. I love every single thing you say and this especially sticks with me: “They don’t define who we are, what we’re worth, what we deserve, what we’re capable of creating. . .” This is so freaking perfect, sister.

      Here’s to playing the game out loud.

      I hope you are having an awesome Sunday!

      Thank you so much for your light & spirit. ;)

      Peace, always and always,


  3. Noelle

    This is something I talk about often. We’ve tied our gifts and talents to income. We’ve tied our gifts and talents to the price of time. If I cannot be assured my gifts and talents will make me a good income or a living then they are not worth the cost of my time to cultivate them. It is the most backward logic imaginable. We come to this plane for no other reason than to make manifest our gifts and talents. In a single decision, “I can’t make a living doing that….” I have sucked all the passion out of my life. Great piece. Love it’s grittiness.

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      “We come to this plane for no other reason than to make manifest our gifts and talents.” Noelle, this is an absolutely beautiful statement. Thank you so much for your thoughts, for sharing them here. I am so heartened to know that you talk about this often because I really think it needs to be said over and over and over again until people start to really believe it, to live this way. Our culture has become so obsessed with money and power and fame, it’s all we watch, all we pay for. We ignore our own selves, our own beauty, all the richness our lives could hold, we waste too much.

      Thank you for talking about it. Thank you for your beautiful talents and gifts, and thank you for doing them out loud! Your spirit and light is such a gift, thank you my dear friend.

      Oh, and THANKS for mentioning the grittiness . . . I love grit, too. ;)

      Namaste, dear Noelle.

  4. Robert

    Wow Allison! an amazing post, so comprehensive and well thought out. For a change I’m stuck for words, you’ve said it all :) A great truth, as beginners we have nothing to lose and all to gain if we open up and share, brilliant!

    Namaste my dear friend


    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Dearest Robert,

      I am totally rocked by your comment! Hugs, big, big hugs! ;)

      As always, I am so blessed and happy to see you here and I thank you for your kind words. I am so grateful to know this piece resonated with you, that is the BEST.

      You have such a brilliant light and spirit, and incredible talents and gifts. Thank you for bringing them to life through all you do.

      Way to get loud, my sweet friend. Never, ever stop!

      Peace and light, always.



  5. Anonymous

    You wrote:

    Somehow, we feel, we are wrong for even trying something not guaranteed to be a success. Somehow, we think, we can’t speak because we’re not [fill in the blank] enough. Somehow, our fears pin us down and we think there’s only so much talent / success / luck to go around, and we don’t deserve it. Or somewhere along the way we missed our shot.

    How depressing, yet this is a running theme, old tapes. This is the language of comparison, depletion and rejection. We feel “less ___ than”: less capable than, less talented than, less brilliant than, less lucky than, less meriting than. We fear we won’t get or deserve the kudos for effort.

    In reality, we need not compare ourselves to anyone but ourselves. There’s a wonderful Chassidic story about the 18th Century rabbi, Reb Zusha of Anipoli, who once famously said that he had a terrifying thought about meeting God Himself in the afterlife. God wouldn’t ask him, “Why weren’t you a Moses or a Joshua?” Zusha knew that he wasn’t given the abilities of Moses or Joshua. Instead, But, he said, he feared the moment he would be asked, “Why weren’t you Reb Zusha?”

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      “Old tapes” – Bingo! Yes, this. And what frustrates me even more than our own propensity to berate ourselves with our running ego monologue is that the culture built up around us (much of it, media, marketing, etc.) makes sure to echo our fears back to us. And it’s all just a distraction, it’s noise keeping us from beginning our deeply important creative work.

      I love this story that you share, thank you so much for sharing it. It sums up beautifully just what this post was meant to encourage: be you. Out loud. Just as your story points out, that is what God put us here to do. ;)

      Thank you for your light, my friend!

      1. Meg Evans

        Yes, and even the positive side of the culture is mostly about comparison too, encouraging us to think of ourselves as more deserving. That’s the topic of my post today — thanks for starting this conversation!

  6. Rajagopal

    Thanks for that audio clip Allison; you have a very feminine voice that made me hold the iPad close to my ears to literally have you whispering into my ears for all of those seventeen minutes. Your post takes the reader from scarcity to felicity, where creativity resides…best wishes… Raj.

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Hello, hello beautiful Raj,

      I am so happy to see you! Thank you for your absolutely exquisite comment! I am so thrilled you enjoyed this piece and the audio. I decided to audio record all of the segments of this series and you can find them all here if you like: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/glory-begin/id945649290?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

      Bless you, I love this: “from scarcity to felicity” – – I mean I really LOVE THIS! May I tweet that? It’s fantastic.

      Thank you, thank you, dear friend, for your gracious thoughts, presence and light.


  7. Alejandro

    Hey Allison,

    I just had the privilege of reading this blog and wow!!!!, how much I truly enjoyed it…thank you beautiful human being for writing so powerfully and clearly on this important topic. I have to say that from my personal experience I am getting so much better at this, but it is absolutely true that we tend to adapt and fit in the mold that society, family, friends, etc, etc has already prepared for each one of us. Why does it have to happen this way? Each human being is a wonderful gift to this world; of course we are in a constant process of development and transformation, and some of us are much more aware of this process and actually welcomes it more openly and happily than others, but that is life itself.
    How important to see and understand the difference between the mind, attitude and perspective of a beginner, to be likened to a child who is totally and completely “fearless”, trying everything and going after every challenge no matter what it is. I think the remarkable difference resides in the fact that a beginner takes the plunge on anything, whether writing, painting, sculpting, dancing, speaking, etc because they are much more interested in the “pleasure of doing” as supposed to being concerned about the “outcome”. However, most people who may not be considered beginners, upon starting something new or different in our lives, our minds and focus immediately goes to what the end result might be??? and then the ghosts of fears begin doing their nasty work of stopping us in our tracks. This is fucking ridiculous…(sorry Allison for being so explicit), because we are all capable of great contributions to each other and to the world if we follow our “inner artists” and shout it loud for everyone to hear it!!!! Please, let us stop filling cemeteries with a vast amount of unfulfilled dreams, great ideas kept in the innermost parts of our hearts because of paralyzing fears, capable artists who never made a difference because of fearing the labels of fools, crazy, or simply different.
    As you stated Allison, it is TIME TO BREAK THE SILENCE AND TO SHOUT LOUD AND CLEAR…let us indeed make a difference HEAR AND NOW…let us show the true, passionate and unique artist dwelling inside each one of us. Let us write our true minds without any filters…let us speak and connect with the world from our very hearts…let us fuel each other’s emotions so the spark of creativity in us burns even stronger, conquering any fear and moving forward in our journeys…I love you “artists”, the world is waiting for us to show and finally speak up!!!!

    Thank you Allison for your passion and determination to make a difference, we will continue opening a path of positive change!!!!


    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Dear, dear Alejandro,

      I am so excited and happy to hear from you and to read every single beautiful word you have shared! I can feel your spirit all the way through every heartfelt sentence – it is electric what you say, angel – electric. I am so grateful for it.

      This clip caught my breath and I held it for a minute: “Please, let us stop filling cemeteries with a vast amount of unfulfilled dreams, great ideas kept in the innermost parts of our hearts because of paralyzing fears, capable artists who never made a difference because of fearing the labels of fools, crazy, or simply different.” Alejandro, you have captured exactly why I do what I do – and I know it’s a huge part of why you do the incredibly good, light-filled work that you do – because we want to jostle all the beautiful souls around us into LIVING OUT LOUD.

      For so desperately long, people have been fed on lies that they aren’t enough, that they need to get more, more, more before they will ever be worthy of love, of creativity, of the magic and power of their courageous art. This is not OK. We are incredible beings full of warmth and light and exquisite gifts. Too long we have been silent. What a world we would create if people, beautiful regular every day honest people, would decide they already are enough to open their precious mouths and speak about their beauty and truth.


      Thank you, thank you for your brilliant light. ;) You rock the house, man!

      Here is to breaking the petrified silence, one decadent, inspired voice at a time.

      Peace to you, dear friend,


    1. Allison Marie Post author

      LOL!! Beautiful Carol B! You always bring a huge smile to my face with your energy and your words!

      Thank you SO much for listening and for getting into the groove with this message – you know you rock my world, dear friend.

      So much love your way, sister – XOXO ;)

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Wow, thank YOU so much for taking the time to read and listen. That really means a great lot to me – I am thrilled to know this resonated for you. Thank you for your spirit and light! ;)


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