Wow. I hardly know where to begin. The most amazing things have been happening since a bunch of mermaids swam into my life. They brought in the New Year with me, literally on New Year’s Eve, when Dean and I stopped in at the Silverton Casino to visit our very own mermaid of Las Vegas. As I watched her I thought, “I want to be a mermaid.” This simple acknowledgment of longing seemed to activate all my imagination and creative energies.
What is a mermaid? Is she half human and half fish? Does she breathe air or does she have gills? Both, maybe? Is she happier in the sea, like a dolphin, or does she enjoy basking in the sun by the seashore, like a seal or a walrus? How does she keep from being seen? Why does she choose to be seen by some and not by others? Her creative expression is song. She sings to express her joy and to enchant others. What does she want from those she enchants? To be seen? To be heard? To be loved? Does a mermaid feel like she belongs? What does she long to be?
As the year was shifting, I was beginning to revaluate the direction of my energies and efforts. I’m not going to lie, I was about to give up on my business. Why? Because I was feeling like I still wasn’t being seen. Although I have worked with many people over the past few years and witnessed amazing transformations in them through our work together, my income has not grown to a point where I can support myself from it. In the fall I even started a part time job to supplement my income. This has relieved some of the financial issues I’ve been facing, but it has taken valuable time away from my creative pursuits and my business. Then, the mermaid energy started to embody me. I think of her as a new spirit guide, directing the course of my actions. In some ways this is liberating, because I don’t have to take full responsibility for some of the new things I am trying. She reminds me that I belong right where I am doing the work I am doing. She promises to guide me to my tribe and to the people I will best serve.
This leads me to my last workshop. Since the mermaid energy was flowing through me so fully, I felt compelled to create a workshop with teenagers all about mermaids. Who struggles with issues of belonging more than a teenager? If anyone is an expert on this subject, they are. So I asked them about it and I got some very interesting results. The morning before my workshop I drew this at around 2am because these mermaids have been keeping me awake with all the inspirations they have been feeding me.
Here’s an easy way to create a mermaid! Just cut out half a person from a magazine and paste her down. Then, create her tail and environment. It’s so much fun, and a really playful way to connect with mermaid energy.
Later that day in the workshop, the magic really began. How do I define “magic” in my workshop? It’s not about people drawing masterpieces. It’s about people (in this case, teenagers) sharing, laughing, focusing, and playing with their imaginations. Magic happens when I can create a group dynamic of peers supporting, encouraging, and complimenting one another. How does this kind of magic affect our sense of belonging?
It lifts you up!
I have to share with you some of the other mermaid images my group created. They are preciously authentic!
What does it take to have an authentic sense of belonging?
“Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.” – Brené Brown
This is why I do the work I do. I left my workshop feeling inspired and motivated to continue my work. I took a look at how I could be more vulnerable myself. How could I better “be the change I want to see?” My answer to myself was: through my imperfections and my vulnerability. (I never get tired of quoting Brené Brown).
Most people believe vulnerability is weakness. But, really vulnerability is courage. We must ask ourselves… are we willing to show up and be seen?” – Brené Brown
I have done something that I rarely do because I feel so uncomfortable doing it. I have asked for help. I have created a GoFundMe page to help support my workshops for 2018. $600 may not seem like a lot of money to keep a person in business, but for me it will make the difference I need. It will pay for art supplies and gas in my car, and it will help me to continue to show up for the people who need to hear the message I am singing out loud. If you want to contribute or share my message, please use this link.
Please share this blog post, comment, connect with me, let me know that you have heard this message and you too are ready to belong instead of just longing to be. Draw a mermaid for yourself. If you do, please, please share her or him with me.
One last message from Brené (our beloved earth-mermaid)…
Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brené Brown
Sending love, light, mermaids and belonging your way,
Bonnie Kelso is a Creativity Coach who uses Creating as a healing modality. She is the author of Vitalize Your Creative Life, a workbook for engaging with your inner creative child. She also facilitates creativity workshops and classes locally in Las Vegas, NV. She is the creator of the ABCs of Conscious Creating, a guided self-study program that delves deeper into the spiritual realm of your unique creative potential. Are you ready to start right now? Do you have 5 Minutes?