When Fear Effects Our Creative Work: Lessons from My New Dog

When Fear Effects Our Creative Work: Lessons from My New Dog

Two weeks ago I found my new dog. Well, actually, he found me. And every day  I am so aware of how my life is reflected in this journey.  Let me explain…

This is Stryder of the Bluebottle Pathway, Stryder for short. He is an Irish Wolfhound mix. And yes, he is quite a big dog.

From what I have been told by the amazing woman who “rescued” Stryder, he has never been an inside dog. He slept under the porch of a trailer. When he arrived at my home he  was terrified to come inside.  He completely froze; he could not take that step.eyes fsMy friends and I coaxed him in. It was a gradual process.  The first night Stryder and I slept in the living room because he was afraid to walk down the hallway to enter the bedroom. The mirrored closet doors where he would catch his reflection added to his terror.

I am one who lives in metaphors.  I, like Stryder, am sometimes afraid of entering into a new creative space.  I may know what my “next step” is but I also stop at door. Like Stryder, I am a deer in the headlights.  I freeze. I find many excuses of why not to pursue my ideas. It is very easy to fill my time with other things to do instead.

In my transformational writing class I  have been teaching from Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art.  I love Pressfield’s quote, “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” How many times have we stopped dead in our tracks and not entered into a new pursuit? This pursuit may be an idea for writing, a piece of art that has asked to be created, the presentation of new music …

me n stryderSo how did I help Stryder enter my home (his new safe zone) and settle into a place where he could grow? We did it one step at a time. I spoke kindly to him, in the same way I have learned to speak kindly to myself as I grow in this creative unfolding journey.  When Stryder does  something well, no matter how small, I am quick to congratulate him, just like I have learned to offer myself encouragement and praise.  I can be heard saying, “Good boy!” to this gentle giant. And to myself, when I stop in my tracks because I am moving past my creative comfort zone, also remember to say, “Good job, Annie!”

I am learning a lot about creativity from my dog while he is entering into his new life with me.  We are helping each other.

Annie photo BWDiane “Annie” Mathias, MA has pioneered in the  Creative Arts for decades.  Her wisdom is solid and her passion is genuine.  New virtual online writing classes will be announced soon! Join our subscription list to stay up on our latest offerings.

One thought on “When Fear Effects Our Creative Work: Lessons from My New Dog

  1. What a wonderful new friend! It’s hard to tell who is the lucky one, both i don’t doubt. And a congratulations on giving yourself a pat on the back once in awhile. Our creativity is so important!

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