The She Dares Boldly Manifesto

The She Dares Boldly Manifesto

Let me dare to hear the wild within calling me to dance.

Let me dare to invite the wildness of my heart to set my spirit free to leap and cavort as I throw my arms up above my head in a joyful salutation to the sun and the moon and the stars.

Let me dare to spin and twirl beneath a cloudless sky of blue infinity laughing and exalting in the sheer delight of being alive.

Let me dare to paint the world with childlike wonder, casting doubt and self-consciousness aside as I spread my arms wide to capture all the colours of the rainbow dancing in the magic, wonder and beauty of this day.

Let me dare to seek miracles, to believe in love and let go of holding onto unforgiveness and regrets.

Let me dare to drain every juicy ounce of goodness from the day so that as night settles in and I lay my head upon my pillow, my soul is soaked in a river of joyful celebration infusing my dreams with sighs of contentment for this day well lived beyond the realms of my imagination.

Let me dare to forget about the steps as I leap into this dance of life with wild abandon.

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I have often written about my awe of the muse’s ability to flow in and permeate my body causing my fingertips to ooze vowels and consonants that form words marching into sentences I never imagined could escape from my keyboard.

The manifesto above was just such an occurrence.

Unbidden, but most welcome, the muse arrived as I sat down at my desk in the quiet darkness of morning light not yet broken and began to write.

I knew I wanted to write about the latest She Dares art journal page I’d created — I just didn’t know what.

I needn’t have worried. The muse knew. All I had to do was get out of my head to let her flow freely through my body onto the page (in this case the computer screen but you know what I mean) and become a manifesto I didn’t know I needed/wanted/had to write out.

My wish, the one I dare to dream, is that this manifesto speaks to your heart. I dare to dream you too will rise up and twirl about in childlike wonder of all the magic, beauty and awe in your world.

I dare to hope you dance.

She Dares to Walk on the Wild Side

You know those moments when you’re working on something and you think… “Ugh. This is going nowhere.” Or, “Why did I do that?” Or. “What on earth was I thinking by doing it that way?”

Yeah.

Those moments.

Well, I hit one of those yesterday.

I knew in my head how I wanted it to look. But, the outcome… well, let’s just say I struggled to get anywhere near what I envisioned with what appeared.

I also know… seeking perfection is the path to frustration. It can also lead to a whole bunch of negative self-talk and doubt.

And staying in my head… well that’s the road to perdition.

Because, in my head, it’s easy to get caught up in the “What is wrong with you/Can’t you do anything right?” game the critter loves to play with my creative expression when I am stuck or over-thinking or feeling frustrated by a new technique I’m playing with — and taking my play way too seriously.

Which is why I am choosing to share this piece even though I struggle to accept its imperfections.

Like it says, I gotta dare to walk on the wild side and let imperfection be a reflection of what my heart is yearning to express.

It’s not about the art. It’s about the process. And the process for this piece incorporates a new-to-me element — using stencils, rice paper and soft pastels together.

I love how it works and looks — I just don’t love how I judge myself so harshly when learning something new!

In that space, I forget all about being loving and gentle with myself as I slip effortlessly into a river of self-condemnation and doubt.

Swimming in that river is not good for my mental health. It dams up my fearlessness, leaving me swimming upstream against the natural flow of creativity as the critter exhorts me to ‘get it right… the first time!

It also makes me want to quit.

I am writing this out because in writing it out, I find myself once again doing what Benjamin Zander suggests in his brilliant TedTalk – The Transformative Power of Classical Music when I come up against my oh so human traits of thinking I need to be perfect when I do something new…

I throw my hands up in the air, shake my head and exclaim, “Aren’t I fascinating!”

And then… I take a walk on the wild side where the beauty of imperfection is a wide open field of possibility, stunning in its capacity to open me up, heart, mind, soul and body to the wondrous nature of life lived wild and free.

She Dares Boldly

I am immersed in video editing. Focused. Engrossed.

And slightly ticked off.

I mean seriously? How many times do I have to edit, download the finished version, hit play and discover…

…it still needs some work.

I go back to the file.

keep editing.

and editing.

Until finally, I tell myself, “Perfection is not the goal. Getting your message across is.”

As I’m nearing what I think is the final, final, final version, I’m still struggling with the ‘title’ for the calendar.

I send the two versions of the title page I’ve created to my eldest daughter. “Which one works best?” I ask.

She writes back, “She Dares Boldly.”

She Dares Boldly was not one of the two ideas I’d shared.

But my daughter is right.

It is the ‘perfect’ title.

I go back to the drawing board. Back into my files to create a new title page until finally I remind myself (again), “Perfection is not the goal.”

The moral of the story… Listen to your children!

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I am pleased to launch my 2022 She Dares Boldly desk calendar. I’ve had many requests for another #ShePersisted calendar but this year, I’m shifting out beyond the #shepersisted realm into the unlimited possibilities of #SheDaresBoldly.

Some of the images were created as part of my #ShePersisted Series but never used in the calendar so I’ve adopted and adapted them — all the quotes focus on “She Dares…”. The calendar will be available on my Etsy shop soon!