This is the perhaps the most paradoxical post I have written thus far. Paradoxical because I am writing, and posting publicly, about the necessary rite of passage that comes from no one paying attention to your work. The very possibility of someone reading and commenting on this subject could have the unintended consequence of pushing me through this gateway prematurely. But then, if you trust in divine timing, then there is no such thing as "premature". So here goes.
In the last 20 years of my journey with the hoop. People have almost always seen and enjoyed my work. Because it was weird and different, because I was one of the first in the movement that is the hoop dance community, and if I can be so audacious as to say, because I am bad ass at it. Now that I am embarking on a new endeavor, in a whole new arena that is not so unique, I find myself feeling unseen and unnoticed. I am not saying this so that I can get the outpouring of support that this kind of statement usually elicits (though of course it always feels nice), but to express the burgeoning realization of just how important of a phase this is for strength of character. As I somehow managed to kind of skip over this stage with Hoop Dance, I realize now that I missed out on some things way back then. I missed out on knowing just how committed I am to the medium I am practicing. With hoop dance, I had many moments of purpose and solidity, but also many moments of wondering if I was doing the right thing. A certain fluctuation in certainty of purpose is, of course, totally normal. But to be honest, I see now that I came to rely on the positive feedback of others, rather than my own inner sense of knowing. I was so close to moving on from hooping so many times, and all it took was a flurry of lovely fan mail to have me on the hook again. Of course, we always want our work to be enjoyed and popular, but if that is the only thing that keeps one going, your commitment can't NOT waiver. I don't regret a minute, but I am excited to foster a sense of purpose based on an inner KNOWING, rather than outer positive feedback.
So, on day 4 or 5 of few to zero comments on my blogs, and the insecurity and doubt that comes up as a result, I am getting to practice what true dedication to a craft looks like. I get to practice feeling all that doubt and writing again the next day anyway. I get to glean the confidence that comes as a result. I get to practice the kind of dedication that would have me writing and sharing even if NOT ONE PERSON ever commented, liked or shared what I was doing. I get to disentangle my creativity from the need to be liked, accepted and loved. I get to experience what true freedom of expression feels like, without being controlled by addiction to attention and validation. This time around I will not side step the gateway of inattention. I will stand in that fire as long as it takes, whether anyone notices or not ;)
xo ~ Anah