I started a blog about 6 months ago – I wrote about 8 or 9 posts and you know what, they’ve been sitting on my computer under that ‘documents’ folder ever since. I didn’t publish a single one. Why? Because I was terrified someone would read them and think, nah she can’t write.
You might wonder why this is important. Well here you go – I have a life-long dream to write a book someday. I have notebooks full of ideas and I’m hit with inspiration on a daily basis, but at the back of my mind there’s that thought – if no one likes my blog posts, who would be interested in reading my book?
Since writing those posts, I’ve started reading Elizabeth Gilberts, ‘Big Magic’ – a book I now feel was solely written for me (well, my ego). Gilbert asks the questions:
Why do I need someone else’s approval to do what I love?
Why do I need people to even like what I create?
There will always be people who think your work (or your ‘art’ as Gilbert describes it) is worthless, mediocre or uninspiring… you get the picture. But then there will be others that look at what you’ve done and think, wow, you are a complete genius!
We can’t please everyone. Believe me, I’ve tried for the past 38 years. Well technically speaking, it’s been more like 30 years. I didn’t spend my first 6 or 7 years like this – as a child my parents described me a ‘free spirit’. That changed at around the time I was in Grade 2.
During school, I desperately wanted to ‘fit in’. I was the chameleon – changing my colours for each group of children. For the quiet, studious group of friends, I was quiet and studious. For the loud, disruptive ones, I was loud and disruptive.
This ‘fitting in’ continued into university and into the workplace. The clothes I chose to wear, the way I chose to speak or ‘act’ was taken over by ‘labels’. I became a ‘teacher’, ‘receptionist’, ‘massage therapist’, ‘kinesiologist’. As long as I had a label I felt I fitted in.
I now feel I’ve come a full circle – from that free-spirited child, to the chameleon, the label, and now back to a free-spirited adult. I have no interest any more of trying to ‘fit in’ or put a label on who I am – I am simply me (Lara Darlington) and whether or not you like what you see, I don’t really care.
The work I have created has come from my soul – it doesn’t have a label and it doesn’t try and ‘fit in’ with what others are doing. It weaves all my life experiences and the magic I have studied – from working with children, energy and soul medicine, as well as shamanism, to create some pretty darn special offerings.
My work is deeply connected to the way of the shaman, or medicine women. I gently take the hands of my clients and remind them first of their connection to the earth – to nature, plants and animals, and then to their very souls.
There will be people who look at my work and think, ‘Is she for real?’ I would have thought the same thing if I’d seen someone working weaving ‘animal spirits’ into their work 10 years ago.
The thing is, I LOVE what I’ve created, I LOVE what I do and I LOVE seeing clients reconnect with their souls and soften into their bodies again. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters!