Happy January!!! I hope everyone’s fresh, new year is off to a fabulous start! I have so much excitement for the coming year and can feel that there is something magical about how 2018 will unfold. My Spidey Sense tells me 2018 will be a brilliant combination of new experiences, adventures, friends, ways of being in the world, and opportunities to create, lead, and contribute like never before.
And speaking of new experiences, on January 2nd, I sold my real estate company, White Oak Realty Group, to a couple of superstar brokers whom I respect and enjoy tremendously. I remain as a broker with the firm and will focus my real estate energy and efforts on listing and selling commercial and land, as well as being an exclusive buyer’s agent for residential sales. The decision to sell was one I made over the course of several years and was one I did not take lightly. After all, owning White Oak has been like riding the most beautiful magic carpet since 2010, and I honor and appreciate the firm (and how it changed my life) with all my heart.
A larger calling has been whispering to me for years, and the timing (and my level of courage) is now precisely right.
My first dream as a young girl was to write a book. I envisioned myself typing away on a typewriter, filling page after page until I had a lofty pile that could be transformed into a book. From the time I was about 8 years old to the present, I have written poems, short stories, articles, columns, blog posts, etc. I also worked in the book publishing industry for 5 years, acquiring, editing, and producing other people’s works, but never my own.
Now is the time for me to stop being what Julia Cameron calls “a shadow artist.”
A shadow artist is someone who has infinite creative potential (that is, everyone) who never focuses on developing her or his own gifts. Rather, the shadow artist helps to develop the gifts and creations of others. So, like in my case, this person could be a book publisher. Or an assistant to a movie director. Or a secretary in a photography studio. Someone who devotes one’s life in service of giving volume and attention to someone else’s voice and talent, but never their own.
So out of the shadows I now walk.
Interestingly, during a trip to Boston over the Christmas holidays, I woke one morning and knew I was receiving a divine download. I was still in the glorious netherworld between a sleeping state and being fully awake, and I reached for the hotel pad and pen. I took dictation from this voice for about 15 minutes, and when the voice stopped, I had a working title and the entire outline for my book. Such an experience has happened to me before with ideas and strategy, but never for a creative project. My belief is that the portal opened because (a) I was making room for it, and (b) I was stepping out into the unknown (two things Providence adores).
Of course, I am under no illusion whatsoever that the process of writing a book is going to be an effortless, billowy ride of chiffon and daisies. I know it will take mountains of hard work, focus, determination, guts, and a willingness to go into the forest where I have never trod. I’ll be documenting my journey, and I hope you’ll ride on the high side of the sailboat with me as I search for powering winds that take me into new waters.
I’d also like to challenge you to think about where you may be a shadow artist in your life. Where are you brilliantly supporting the work of others, but not tending to your own creative expression? What has been tugging at your sleeve, trying to capture your attention, but you have chosen to push away because of fear?
Let’s make 2018 the Year of Creating. Let’s find the courage and the willingness to do whatever it takes to bring our vision into the world. Know that when you make a move, doors will open, support will manifest, and the first whiff of clarity will land.