(documenting creative entrepreneurship retreat. day 1 here.)
Day 2 is coming to a close, and it’s surprisingly been a day characterized by feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed. Yesterday felt like creative playtime… but now I’m feeling like I need to get down to business and “do” something. Even though what I’m doing is the thing I’m supposed to be doing. Guh.
Comments are being kept brief from sheer mental exhaustion, but the work is all documented here via imagery.
We began constructing our own creative entrepreneur mandala’s today, adding images to each of the arms. So far have filled out “heart & meaning” and “gifts & flow.” (I tried using pastels and bright colors, which I hate, and am already feeling resentful of the whole thing. May paint over it tomorrow.)
Next we worked on our “Gifts & Flow” pages. Some prompts for the imagery pages were simply to pick things that reminded us how we felt when we were “in flow,” or immersed in our work or passion.
On a parallel track, we started asking ourselves what our unique gifts are. Some prompts for the exercise were “What do I do so well that I barely have to exert effort?”, “What do people compliment you on accomplishing that seems so easy to you?”, “What do you get absorbed in for hours?” We jotted down some ideas, then came at it from the other side – “What are your wounds?” This was a bit more intimate of a challenge, but the idea was that our wounds were instrumental in the development of our strengths and gifts. So we identified our wounds, and then connected them to their manifestations as strengths. After a few iterations, I formatted my notes into a list of gifts I feel I am developing and would like to continue to shape.
As we went through the process, it was noted how we all tended to make judgments and criticisms about ourselves in our casual conversations, most of the time without even being aware of it. So we made a page about that too. That voice in the head that always has to spoil the party.
And finally we have our “takeaway pages.” Every day we do our top ten takeaways/a-ha moments/insights of the day. I forgot to post yesterday’s, so here it is:
And the easiest part of the day : Dinner. Another amazing taco stand.
And that was day 2! Heavier things to come, I’m sure. I’d love to write more reflectively, but I don’t think that will be possible until the week is over. Just too much information being downloaded! See you tomorrow…
Scott Lewis said:
I like #10 from today.
“I may be further along then I give myself credit for.”
There is much possibility in it. It also has a nice open quality that builds on your release of anxiety. I think you’re right where you need to be.
Thanks for sharing!
Venessa Miemis said:
thanks scott 🙂
I’m curious how old you are. I have a lot of things in common with you, and many of the same demons. But 2 yrs ago they started fading for the first time, when I was 28. I think sometimes anxieties and fears are rooted in being cognizant of your own potential; yet not necessarily having anything completed in your career that’s on par with your opinion of what your ‘true life’s work’ should be.
Well, I don’t know much about you, I could be way off base, but that’s how it felt when my demons went away. Not that I’ve achieved my potential personally (far from it, ha!), but I truly know what I’m trying to do.
This post reminded me of artist Meghan Clarkston sharing her demons about an eating disorder, here. She’s an art columnist on my Zouch Magazine project.
Venessa Miemis said:
hey sal, i’m 29. i guess it’s this stage in life where we can potentially evolve to the next level. (saturn return? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_return). this year has been huge for me in terms of rediscovering myself, identifying what’s important to me, and letting go of some crap that just doesn’t serve me.
it’s only the beginning
A photographer friend of mine told me about a 7 year cycle theory. The premise is that as we shed our skin every 7 years, there are other biological and psychological changes as well. Normally I would have thought something like this was new age hokum, but I realized that in my own life I DID feel distinct changes at ages 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28. Unless I’ve somehow sub-consciously skewed my memory.
He said that from 13-14 to 20-21 you learn your skills, hone your craft. From 20-28 you throw it up against the wall to see what sticks. And according to him you and I are in the early portion of a “getting things done” phase, where you can truly begin your life’s work by putting to practice all that you’ve learned.
Viktor Kunovski said:
I saw your demons among other things Vannessa,
who does not have them?, classic Super Ego stuff.
Thanks god there are ways to overcome that 2.
Karen Ward said:
Thank you so much for sharing your experience at the workshop. I’m a creative entrepreneur as well and I’m so intrigued by the process. Could you post a link that provides more information about the program and when/where it will be offered again?
Really enjoy the blog – many thanks for your openness, generosity and provocation.
Venessa Miemis said:
unfortunately, i don’t think lisa is doing the retreat again for a year, but here’s the details: http://thecreativeentrepreneur.biz/mexico_retreat_2010.html
Eden Haiku said:
Thank you Venessa for sharing your colorful notes from Puerta Vallarta’s workshop. I have been following Emergent by Design for a while and I find your work very interesting but what you are doing here is very brave and it is fun to be able to read your discoveries as you go along. I like very much : ” I like my darkness”!
Looking forward to what comes up. Sending you blessings in this very courageous adventure.
Venessa Miemis said:
RJ Johnson - 21st Century Appreciative Inquiry said:
As others have said, thank you so much for sharing, especially about your “whole” person.
I am grateful for the “What will I become” list. This enables me to think of myself not as multidimensional, but rather in different roles. Not that I want to be perceived differently and not bring all of me to each of my roles, but, by identifying roles, I can be more intentional about creating the success that I want in each role.
One of the words associated with entrepreneurship that came up in a conversation yesterday was “cowboy.” In other words, the typical go it alone, hero mentality. Obviously entrepreneurship is about much more. In fact, a selling point to encourage people to develop such skills might be that by learning to be more entrepreneurial, they might better help others. Being more entrepreneurial might also help some unemployed folks.
Lastly, yesterday I was editing a file on our website to set up Foswiki and that caused the 403 error. Will you please forgive me?
Can’t wait for the next installment!
Of one thing I am sure dear Venessa – you are a natural healer.
The purity and sweetness of your sharing – especially this week, and generally through Emergent by Design – is healing in itself. For you, I am sure as much as for others who, like me, follow your progress and learn more about who we are in this delightful, expressive space you have created.
Spiro Spiliadis said:
I’m glad you are sharing your experience, i think we can all learn from your experience….
We have to remember though that these things are not right or wrong, good or bad. Choosing them makes it so….
That culprit known as the ego will always label something, the catch is do we need to really change being anxious or thinking i like my darkness, i think not…
They all fit into the “scheme” of things, i think that’s why the experience of this thus far has been “at least for me” reading this is that acceptance and allowing is the only way we can truly be at peace with who we are….
We learn, we grow and at the same time we heal when need be…
It’s all good 🙂
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