"It's not about being let in, it's about opening the door and walking in." ~ Liz Kalloch in
Indie Kindred by Jen Lee
I have been delving a lot deeper into creative community this year. At the core, this hasn't been about going to more events, it's really been more about showing up for myself and my creative life and nurturing the kind of connections I want to have. It's been about curating experiences and cultivating relationships. It has also meant taking a big step out of my safety zone. For me, I have had to learn to let people in a little closer. This has meant being less guarded by standing more solidly in who I am so that I can put myself and my work out in the world. Creating gatherings, for the first time this year, in my own home has been a big part of this opening up as well.
In order to be a part of it all, I have to let people in.
Community sometimes has felt like this elusive entity somewhere out there while I was standing somewhere else, over here. It has often seemed like a big wild and exciting party that I was completely missing out on and wasn't invited to. But the truth of it is, it's ultimately our willingness to be seen that allows us to take part in it all.
Instead of looking in from the outside longingly, we have the ability to simply arrive.
So that is what I have been practicing, arriving where I want to be. Showing up. It can be vulnerable work for sure, but it also is where the richest marrow is. Once you realize that it's not about who you know and it is all about who you let know you, something shifts and these doors of connection and opportunity are so much easier to find and throw open.
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon sitting around my kitchen table surrounded by art supplies, conversation and simple moments of happy togetherness. The day before that, I attended a workshop with people I didn't know and found, again, that creating in community has it's own alchemy no matter who or what the ingredients are. Gathering creates a unique conduit for kindred connection and that juicy good stuff that we all crave.
But you have to be willing to open the door... again and again and again.