Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Teachings from the Studio


Last fall, when I created my art studio in our basement, I made a commitment to write in my art journal about what I learned and experienced with every session in the studio.

So, to get the confessions out-of-the-way first — I haven’t been consistent with writing everyday in my art journal. In fact, you could say I’ve failed miserably in my goal to write every time because since beginning in the studio on September 23rd, I’ve written 10 times in my art journal.

There is value in when I did, and didn’t, write. When I did write, I captured my feelings, thinkings, ideas, impressions. As I read back through what I wrote, there are ideas worth exploring, deepening, expanding upon. When I didn’t write, I find a great reminder about how easy it is to get ‘out of the moment’. Sitting down to write brings me into ‘the now’. Not writing lets me off the hook of my accountability.

There is value in all things and sometimes, the greater lesson is learned when I don’t do the things I’ve committed to do. In my not doing, I see where I trip myself up, keep myself playing small, or allow myself to be unaccountable for my journey. In the not doing, I have made a conscious decision to not be present. Which, given that this is my year of daring boldly, means I need to turn up, pay attention, speak (write) my truth and stay unattached to the outcome in all things I do. Getting conscious in all things is essential to my living life outside the lines.

In the past, when I have missed out on keeping my commitments with myself I have beat myself up, called myself down, let myself wallow in self-defeating mind-chatter that does not celebrate, nurture or support me.It doesn’t allow much room to grow and evolve and learn and create freely either!

The outcome of my not doing was always the same — I didn’t do. I felt badly about myself. I quit.

To not be attached to the outcome of my doing, and not doing, means to let go of self-defeating games. It means I must release my habit of self-denigration and set myself free to accept what is, as it is. I must learn from what is present now, and begin again from this place to be true to myself in all things I do, all ways I am.

What is true is that since last fall, I have worked in the studio more days than I’ve written in my art journal. The ratio of ‘days in studio/writing’ is irrelevant. The number is simply a fact I use to deflect the truth — I did not keep my commitment with myself to write in my art journal after every session in the studio. Whether or not I had anything worth writing, whether or not I felt inspired to write, whether or not I felt like it, is not the issue. The commitment I’ve made is with myself. The teaching is about discipline, keeping my commitments with myself and accepting that the objective isn’t ‘good writing’, it’s writing. Period. On the path the way appears.

What is true today is that yesterday I worked in the studio and wrote in my art journal. I will work in the studio again today and I will write again today. That is my intention and my commitment. To begin again. To dare boldly to keep my word with myself and stay true to my desire to celebrate life on the wild side of being my creative expression releasing itself to create a world of wonder and awe all around me. A world in which I bravely live the truth of who I am, the Divine expression of amazing grace.


Dare I say it? To live bravely I must dare boldly to express myself with love, joy and integrity in all my creations.


Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

13 thoughts on “Teachings from the Studio

  1. Thanks for this post today, Louise. I found it very helpful, for where I am.


  2. Elgie,

    It’s easy to stick with things we stick with. It’s also easy to beat ourselves up for things we don’t stick with.

    I’m reminded of a course I took many years ago – one of those U of A extension courses. It was a course on decision making based on a Harvard business school case-study program. I struggled. I was always looking at ‘this decision’ vs. ‘that decision’ as if everything was an either or situation – that anything else was failure to decide, failure to come to a conclusion.

    The instructor coached me to realize that sometimes ‘not making a decision’ was the better course, the better choice.

    As I read your confession about not writing every time like you promised yourself – this memory of mind leapt out. So, though there may not be the same connection for you, why not consider that your subconscious is at work too, that consciously committing to do something and saying so, writing it down or publishing it does not necessarily bind ‘all of you’ to that course. And, when you don’t do something there is a likely reason. And, sometimes, not doing so right then might be the better choice.




    • Hi Mark — I read recently that 85% of our thinking is actually sub-conscious — and not all of it working in our favour. My subconscious is definitely at work here — and I agree, there is a reason why I didn’t do it — I think the reason why not is powerful.

      And there are absolutely benefits to not doing something — I like how your prof described it — I believe the word to describe that process of decision-making is heuristic. (now I have to go check on that! 🙂 )

      Have a wonderful day in the snow — if you don’t have to drive, don’t. Ellie and I are staying close to home today.

      Thanks Mark!


  3. Once more, Louise , thank you for this. It strikes home for me! I would walk through fire to keep a commitment to someone else. I tell myself it teaches by example but never,until now, stop to think what is taught when I don’t think enough about myself, to keep my commitments to me! It reinforces my old “not good enough” tape!! My new commitment to me is to stop teaching myself that I am less than, and keep ALL of my commitments!


    • Thank you Marney — I recognize that ‘not good enough’ tape — it is a challenging one to overwrite — but keeping commitments to myself is the best way to teach it a lesson in Love! 🙂 Happy New Year!


  4. Meant to tell you — love the new theme. I think doing is more important than journaling about doing… I have written books in my head about all the knitting projects… but none have seen the end of a pen or the computer keys. Paint on!


  5. Inspiring. For me I think the not doing is often a very unconscious self-sabotage and I’m working on figuring out how to work my way through or around that…. Not beating myself up over it — something I need to remember. Thanks for bringing me back to this question.


    • So true for me too Leigh — very much a game of self-sabotage. though I also think Mark has a point — sometimes my not doing has value too! LOL — so many aspects of everything. Which brings it right back to living in the moment and being conscious of the now! Hugs


  6. Louise … I so love your header for this blog … and re-connecting with my blog sisters. Let’s be audacious this year! Of course, you’re always audacious so I’ll just follow your lead.


  7. This post is wonderfully inspiring – as all your posts are! This one especially speaks to me as I too have made a commitment to write, however too often my book swirls around in my mind instead of developing the discipline to sit and write. Just do it. I love this part: “The teaching is about discipline, keeping my co
    Thank you so much Louise for sharing your wise and wonderful light with us all here. Cheers, Gina


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