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What IS the Take-Time Challenge? Read about it here.

So I messed up a little. Here we are coming into week 8 (today) and I haven’t written a post for neither weeks 6 OR 7 yet. I hope you have all been continuing to take time while I’ve been searching for time. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Just a recap, if you’re interested… the last two weeks had us pulling two different, but oddly similar, soul challenges:

Take time to be creative.

and

Take time to dare.

So today and tomorrow, while you wait for my next post, I hope you can combine the two, and dare to be creative. For me, creativity has always been a dare. Creativity is the hard way out. I know it shouldn’t feel that way, but that which I crave most always comes at the bottom of my to-do list.

I’ve always identified myself as “an artist”. Deep inside, I can feel the fires of passion and creativity burning hot, bringing words and images into my head, ready-to-spill. Pen, music, dance, paint, digital – I crave every medium… in fact, I feel quite ready to take on any medium. However, once I open my mouth/pick up a brush/strike a pose, it all sputters out. This blockage – a severe’s form of artist’s block – has plagued me as long as I can remember the feeling of self-consciousness. Words on paper have always been the only form that don’t seem to escape me – that is, words on paper that no one sees but myself. There is a dam, filtering all that threatens to spill from my mind out into the real world. This dam includes negative self-talk, timidity, fear, ego. This obstacle tells me that I should stick to “easier”, “tangible” expressions. If that which comes out of my mouth is a number, a fact, a citation, I do not have to step into that dark, scary unknown where I’m putting my soul up for scrutiny… and possibly criticism.

Because of this ultimate obstacle to the expression of my creativity deep inside, I was always more confident in mathematics, physics, science. Because of this obstacle to expression, I tried to keep my creativity somewhat solitary. Because of the obstacles, it is (more and more, as I get older and more trepidatious)  just so much easier to ignore it.

A beautiful way to end this might be to say: “…but now, in the past two weeks, I started painting again!” or “I picked up my husband’s guitar to try one more time to learn!”. But, alas, I have done neither. And, consequently, my scores in the past two weeks went from a little low to worse.

My total (week 6): 27 (ok, this week wasn’t terrible – I actually did end up making a card for a friend and taking a lot of time for my soul with the help of others)

My total (week 7): 21 (a record low!)

So the last two weeks’ challenges will continue to ring in my ears as I approach this new week (and this time, will let you know sooner what our soul challenge will be). I have to dare. I have to step a little above and beyond my “safe spaces”, and take some chances. It will take more energy, it will take some courage, and it will take some inspiration, but it’s time I push myself a little.

If you keep following your own footprints, you will end up where you began, but if you stretch yourself, you will flourish. ~ Donna Basplay

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