Jenn Gash (aka LM$ M$e) life long artist, coach and therapist produces artwork not just for aesthetic value. In painting, a process which is, by its nature healing, she seeks to collide her worlds of creativity, therapy and coaching. In her discussion and photos, you will see the paintings develop from an idea to a finished work but you will also be privee to the learning that took place through the process.
You can link to her painting website here, or read below about some of her work.
The Tight Rope Walker
I thought I was a risk taker until recently. I have also sought to do things differently, but taking a massive “leap of faith” seems to not work for me: I get scared, run out of energy and money and find myself back peddling. I recently read a article by Chris Guillbeau, writer and entrepreneur, about risk taking. He questioned some of the traditional narriatives about risk and career: “leap and the net will appear” but sometimes no net appears. I had just given up a very well paid job, in order to leap, but leaping never felt right- I was walking a tightrope in my new business. My journal entry on that day included:
“Not so much as a leap, but a step over the edge into faith with a path that is thin (and focussed). Balance, poise, concentration and composure are needed. A tightrope walker keeps her eyes firmly fixed on the end goal; don’t get distracted by other things, job offers, courses, praise, doors of possibilities. If you loose your sights, if your eyes gaze at all the beautiful other things, you will wobble and fall.
In Funambulism (tight rope walking) there are risks but there is a recipe for success (bear with me on this one). If I am walking the tightrope, trying to get from A to B, what do I need to be, do or have in order to give me the best chance of success?
-the tightrope walker has a firm outcome…she can see if before she steps off the platform, she keeps her eyes on it all the time, not being distracted by noises, people etc -she has practised rope walking both physically and through mental rehearsal
-there is a net, assembled beforehand, but she has no intention to use it
-training…practice…developing skills…being willing to wobble and fall to learn!
-she may have a pole to help her balance, but importantly, she sinks into her body core to be balanced, grounded in her body
-she takes small, considered steps, maintaining forward momentum as stopping too long causes her to wobble
-her eyes remained focussed on the end point, the result
So what does this mean for me, my business and how does it help?
Outcome. What to focus my eyes on. The end of the tightrope. For me, I have to constantly remind myself of what I want, where I want to be, the outcome I desire. I have an appalling memory…really bad and use vision boards and other right brain and left brain techniques to give me reminders…..I also use my own coaching to remind me! This isn’t about being rigid and overly attached to the outcome, but it’s an overall sense inside of what I know I want to be doing and my life to be like.
Rehearsal. We practice all the time, by our daily actions, habits and routines. I have also been using mental rehearsal as we might call it in therapy or “Mind Sculpture”. Mind Sculpture draws on the evidence we now have from the Neuro-Sciences (that we have known for many years) that you can change and strengthen neural pathways through thought and actual practice.
Understanding distraction. Projects, courses, people, or nice ideas. If I decide to let myself be distracted whilst walking the tightrope, I can do so by bending my knees, taking one foot off the rope and dipping one toe into the “distraction”. This has to be done carefully and only for a short time or I’ll fall off the rope, but I can’t move forward toward my goals whilst doing so. So there is choice: enjoy the distraction or detour, but know that I am choosing to do so, OR I can keep moving forward. I have choice.
Trusting. Knowing that a net is there, without spending too much time and energy on creating it, at the expense of moving forward. I could spend most of my time making the net safer, smaller holes, tighter, ensuring the net works should I need it, but does that just makes my fear of failure even greater?
Being centred. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Sinking so that my centre of gravity is lowered and helps me maintain balance. Making sure I really know where my feet are! Being mindful. Noticing when my balance starts to go. Noticing what is sending me off balance.
Small steps. Having being almost completely converted into the way of small steps, ala Dr Bob Maurer and Jill Badonsky I now know that small steps often results in disproportionately large movement, and can take place without stress or fears getting in the way.
August 2011: Juggling whilst trying to balance?
Every August, I fall off the tightrope. I seem to lose so much belief in my business, my ideas and myself. Juggling doesn’t help.
“I am juggling website development, product development, marketing and PR, home, kids…not to mention at least 15 paintings in progress. I am so very very slow. And this causes me to lose momentum which also means I risk falling…well not just risk it, but completely spend weeks off the rope and in the net, like a trapped fly in a sticky spiders web”
….small steps Jen…just one tiny step is all that’s needed…it will yield greater results than you think…remember that a “crappy first draft” is really helpful…
The distractions are multiple at this point. In the paintings, the distractions are seen as the audience and the doors below the net (doors of opportunity which are far too tempting to not open!)
My biggest distraction is always myself, my creativity, my ability to see a million possibilities and generate a million ideas.