2013 was a year with lessons in store for me. And when I say lessons I mean: it was not always an easy ride. Yet I am left with a feeling of honest and deep gratitude. And some relief that I lived and learned, strengthened my soul-muscles and are ready to move on.
(Me, from my first photo shoot with a professional photographer = awesome experience)
A few things I encountered during the journey this year:
Trying out being my own sales person
I set out to learn how to sell the products I began producing back in 2012, knowing that if I wanted to make a full income as an artist, that was something I had to figure out. So I travelled the country, visiting many shops (at least 100). It was one thing I thought I would never be doing. It was a lot of foot-work. I was scared. I recalled the “feel the fear and do it anyway”-sentence a lot. It involved cheers whenever I made a sale and quite a bit of self-doubt when nothing happened, feeling I was completely nuts to believe I could ever make this work.
It was a journey of trying out different paths to see what worked. And finding the flexibility and willingness to correct my course whenever the resistance became so big that it had too high a price for me personally, finding a smoother way to keep myself intact during the journey.
Low point: sitting completely exhausted, miserable and crying in the car at the end of a sales day, alone and far away from home and with no sales at all after visiting 3 cities and over 15 shops in one day, feeling like I would never be able to pick myself/ my confidence up again.
High point: The feeling of utter joy and rush when I finally experienced one day with flow and lots of sales and openings. And being proud that this happened because I kept going and stayed open so I could see that it was not me or my products that failed, but simply a journey of learning how to find my own way with it.
I learned: That it is so, so important to be surrounded by caring and supporting people who “get” you and are able to remind you of your full potential even when all you can say is: “I am stuck”. For me, admitting that I was stuck and did not know how to proceed was very embarrassing. After all, the fear of failing was what kept me from pursuing this dream for many, many years. Daring to believe in it and ACTING on it was definitely new and scary. I also learned that self nurturing is vitally important when you set out to do something far outside your own comfort zone. Just like your body needs vitamins, your soul needs comfort to stay intact during testing times.
(Lise Meijer cards on the counter!)
Finding my way with social life and friends
2013 threw in some challenges to do with social connections and friendships. I learned that even though I love to work alone and work from home, I have to make sure I am connected to other people both personally and professionally, and to pursue collaboration in many different ways in order to not feel lonely and stuck.
Also, I had to go through some grief-processes to do with the changing nature of some of my existing friendships before accepting that connections between people somehow has their own life and transformations are taking place that we can´t be wise about before perhaps much later. Acceptance and forgiveness to myself and others has been part of my journey this year.
As a surprise, some new dear connections, both friendships and work collaborations, presented themselves during the year, adding much joy to my days. For that I am incredibly grateful.
I am guessing we all love great opportunities? The kind where someone asks you to do something that you had (secretly or loudly) been wishing to do but not yet found your way into. Of course you still have to leap out and grab those opportunities, but the fact that they come is always a very good sign that you are on the right track….
In 2013 I was asked to:
– Talk about my creative journey and sing some of my own songs 3 times this year. And. I. Loved it!!!
– Create Blog banner and buttons for Amy who has this amazing and very popular blog. What a challenge! And so much fun to do!! And then she launched it with a sweet interview, such an honor.
– Make exhibitions with my paintings, these opportunities kept presenting themselves, meaning my paintings were almost always out partying this year.
– Contribute to a blog series and a project by two wonderful mothers, each with their own mission, with writing and images. I said yes and was part of this wonderful blog series about creative mamas and will be part of a very special new mama pack, a kind of gift for new mothers that will launch – well, soon! (I´ll share it when it´s ready)
– Teach a New Years Claring process in Copenhagen for the 4th. year in a row. Love that someone else is making the invitations and arranging the facilities with so much beauty and love and I am allowed to concentrate on the teaching and nothing else, yes!
(“Walking with Visions” – exercise during one of my workshops)
2013 was also the year where I finally created my very first Lise Meijer Wall Calendar. This was an opportunity I created for myself. And I am so grateful that so many of you jumped at the opportunity for some wall art for the whole year, so much that it sold out already middle december, yay!
Balancing life with my dear ones
As many people on this planet, I often struggle with finding a good balance between work life and family life. This year, a blessing in disguise presented itself and ended up giving me the long sought after uninterrupted work hours: one of our two cars broke down! And could not be fixed!!!
So, Rune and I sat down for a chat and decided that with me working at home we would try living with just one car for a while. The only problem was that then I wouldn´t be able to pick up the children every day from school. That´s a 15 kilometers drive back and forth.
(pic of my workspace….)
It turned out to be no problem: Celeste and Vincent (10 and 7) was ready to take the bus home on their own. Celeste picks Vincent up from after school care and they appear home about 1,5 hours later than I normally would have to go to pick them up. It has worked so well. We enjoy a cosy tea-time together when they arrive. I am more at easy because I feel I already had an honorable work day. Oh, and we are saving money and making less pollution, good deal!
Celeste, painting, dressed in her kitty-ears.
Thank you 2013, you came with testings and were rich in sweet surprises. You taught me a lot!