creativity

Self-Portraits, Curiosity, & Blending: An Interview with Ariane Machin of the Conscious Coaching Collective {She of the Wild: The Podcast}

I am so pleased to share this interview with my friend, entrepreneur, therapist, mom, and coaching guru extraordinaire, Ariane Machin. In our fun conversation, we touch on topics ranging from taking selfies as an authentic practice of self-discovery, curiosity as an effective + low-stress way of inviting yourself into new experiences, and how to perfectly balance it all (or not).

Subscribe in iTunes, or listen right here:

Want to see the selfie we took mid-podcast because we really do love selfies? Here you go:

Meet Ariane!

Meet Ariane!

You can connect with Ariane on her website and at the Conscious Coaching Collective.

Are you looking for one-on-one support in following your curiosity and getting into the heart of your creativity? I can help! Sign up for a free 20 minute consultation Soul Coaching call with me and let's explore how we can work together to help you find + be the most authentic and alive version of yourself.

Got creative community? Come hang out with us in the She of the Wild Facebook community, where you can get exclusive access to the video version of this interview, in all its unedited glory. 

You NEED To Pursue Your Creative Goals + Dreams

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson


I've been seeing a similar flavor of creative insecurity has been coming up [again] lately in my creative world, both for myself and for others, such as my Soul Coaching writers and some She of the Wild community members. It's the whole, "Who am I to write/dance/paint/publish/think that other people want to take in my creative work?" thang.

Maybe that sounds familiar? I know it's certainly an inner gremlin that rears its cranky little head for me regularly, especially when I'm in a time of growth, and that I need to work past again and again.

And it's okay that similar themes of resistance rise more than once in our creative lives. I think that life operates in a spiral more than along a straight line, and every time a challenge comes up afresh, we are offered new opportunities to growth more, know deeper, and integrate ourSelves more fully. This is not a bad thing! And in fact it's really quite a good thing, even while it's also kind of sort of really a pain in the butt.

If you've been in the creativity game a little while, you've likely run across the above words from Marianne Williamson as well. And maybe they feel a little trite to you right now, or a bit tired. But what if, just maybe, there's truth in them -- for you? For you now?

Because, as she says, this creativity thing isn't in just some of us; it's in all of us, and it's for all of us. Yes, even yours.

But forget about other people. Think about you, five or ten years from now. Hold two scenarios before you in your mind. In one, you've done your "how dare I think I'm all that to try this thing" thing, and you've failed -- you wrote and published a book, say, and it wasn't read all that much, but you're still pretty proud of it regardless. And in the other scenario, you never even tried.

Now ask yourself: which scenario feels better? The one where you gave it your all, and did your gorgeous creative thing, and expressed what was in your soul to express, in spite of all that felt stacked against you? Or the one where you're still wondering what might have been?

Which would you prefer: to live with the knowledge that you did your best and did yourself proud, no matter how the creative endeavor turned out, and to have reaped the benefit of just hours spent in experience and practice of your art, or to live with the regret of holding you creative dream(s) unexpressed?

I can't tell you which is the better option for you. Only you get to decide that.

But for me, I know that hands down I would rather try and risk and fail than sit in relative comfort and safety paired with regret.

Know, too, that your risk doesn't have to be unchecked. You don't have to bankrupt yourself or move halfway around the world or quit your job or get divorced or anything drastic like that. But some calculated risk? That can go a long way in getting you closer to the creative life you want to be living, not to mention helping you heal from the grumblings of your "Who are you to be awesome?" gremlins.

So why not try? Or take a baby step or two toward trying?

And whenever those frustrating gremlins come to call (again . . . ) asking, "Who are you to do this?" ask yourself: who and how do you want to be in this life, and how will working on your creative goals or not working toward your creative goals help you get there?

And then act accordingly.


If you know that you DO want to pursue your creative goals + dreams, but don't quite know how, or simply need some company while you do so, check out my 6 week writing e-course, She Writes Wild. You'll come away with more know-how, more confidence, more community, and LOTS of words written. Find out more HERE.

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do

I feel lost.

I find myself with more time to myself than I’ve had in years, than I ever dared ask for. I thought I’d be reveling in it, creating So Many Things . . . but instead, I feel lost. Incapacitated.

I don’t know what to do with all this time + space + freedom.

So I am writing to you. Because it’s something I want to do, and need to do, and because it’s familiar and I know how to do this.

This is what I try to do when I don’t know what to do. I go back to what I know that I know.

(Well, I actually first flail around a whole bunch. Because I always forget that I know how to navigate these murky waters. Tell me I’m not alone? 😂)

Okay, so once I’ve panicked and thrown some existential temper tantrums, then I manage to remind myself that I’ve been here before, and made it through, and actually have some tricks up my sleeve.

First, I do something. Anything. It doesn't even matter what it is. If it gets me even marginally closer to achieving a goal, be it a professional or creative or personal goal, then I do it. I eat some chocolate. Then I do the next thing. I keep moving, as steadily as I can, perhaps with great stubbornness. If I do this, then sooner or later my paddling feet brush against sand, and I can stand once again.

As for the what of the Do Something . . . I make sure that I do something that I am already familiar with. Something that I know that I know. So right now, I’m feeling a little mixed up with She of the Wild, so I went back to this love letter. I try to send them out weekly, and have gotten out of it in the past month thanks to some big life changes, so I knew that I both wanted + needed to get back to love-lettering. So I showed up here (hello).

Sometimes, however, it’s harder to remember what I know. For example, when I feel lost in my creative writing, or my painting, it’s very difficult for me to jump back in. I feel terrified, like if I did jump, I’d find out the Very Hard Way that there are sharp rocks lurking just beneath the dark water’s surface.

What then? I step even farther back. So far back that it feels kind of silly, like I’m going back to kindergarten. If I can’t find my way into making A Painting, I retreat to my art journal. If that doesn’t work, I just grab some sheets of scrap paper and a crayon and start making lines, or take to the streets with my kids and some sidewalk chalk.

(Pro tip: kids are excellent for helping you find your creative way. They are so brave, and so unattached to the results of their creativity. If you can borrow a niece or nephew or friend’s kid to paint with for an afternoon, do it.)

I go back to what I know, be it penning Very Good Poems or playing with magnetic poetry on my fridge. Or finger painting. Or making hummus. Or reading to my children. Go back to what you know for sure that you know about anything related to your stuckness, and then do it. And keep doing the next thing (or last thing) that you know.

If you keep moving, you will make it through, and some day [probably] soon, you'll find yourself comfortable in what made you uncomfortable today.

What about you? What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Share in the comments, or come chat with us about it in the She of the Wild community. I always am looking for new tools to add to my resistance-and-fear-fighting toolbox, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Update! I recorded a podcast episode with even more ideas on what to do when you don't know what to do. To listen, check out our podcast page, or search "She of the Wild" in iTunes and then download episode #5, or stream it right here, right now:


Night Cycles, my book of vibrant, soul-nurturing poetry, is on sale. Save $2 on the Kindle edition for a limited time!

Nab your discounted Kindle copy or treat yourSelf to a signed copy HERE.

What readers are saying:

"Holy wow! Easily one of the best purchases I have ever made. I highly recommend you click that buy now button because it is worth every dollar and more. Stunning and enchanting!"

"...these poems will reach into your soul. Read, ponder, be refreshed."

Come grab your discounted copy!

You are Creative Right Now

I was thinking about you early this morning (yes, you, lovely reader + SHE OF THE WILD community member). I was awake, sleepless, and then my ten month old woke up, too, and could not be consoled. Cradling him in my arms, I paced the room, the two of us, both caught between slumber and wakefulness, needing and wanting a rest.

While I walked, I sang. Hummed, really. It was not meant to be a real song.

But I realized, even through my 3:00 AM bleariness, that it was a song.

In the most unlikely of circumstances, without much in the way of formal training, I was creating music. Out of nowhere and nothing, notes came from between my weary lips and into the world.

In the darkness, it felt like a miracle.

And I thought of you. I wanted to share this miracle with you.

Because maybe you think that you're "not creative" -- which is what we say when we mean that we don't naturally possess near-genius level talent in the arts: writing, painting, drawing, and other fine arts.

But just because you weren't practically born with a paintbrush in your hand doesn't meant that you're not creative.

I think that we are all creative, and my too-early-morning song proves that to me.

I am not a musician. I am not trying to become a musician, either professional or hobbyist. I have not touched an instrument in over a decade. And yet, I sang, without effort, and it was lovely and sweet and sent my son back to dreamland.

Why do we discount such acts of creation? Are they less valuable because they are small, or wouldn't make money, or just done in the middle of everyday life?

What if something like my sleepy lullaby is made more valuable by its smallness, its lack of monetary value, its simplicity, its impermanence?

When did I lose my sense of wonder at such things? When did you?

And -- perhaps most importantly -- how can we take it back?

The only answer I have is to press in to your small miracles even as you chase your bigger creative goals. They are all water from the same well.