The other day I stood in front of my bookshelf and asked for guidance in which book would really help me the most right now. The one I was drawn to was The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer, which had been sitting there for maybe a year. As soon as I started reading I was hooked, and I devoured it in just a couple of days. I had no idea I needed it as much as I did.
What sometimes happens with books that are part personal development and part memoir, is that I don’t quite connect with a lot of their story particularly when it’s more of a corporate or team business setting. And while Amanda is an extrovert and a lot of the things she’s done would terrify me as an introvert, it’s the viewpoint of being an artist, wanting to put your heart’s work into the world, and doing something that is the opposite of a ‘real’ job, that made her message and stories so powerful for me.
Throughout her life she’s been open and honest about asking for what she needs. From her friends, her community and fans, and from perfect strangers. Something that most people, and in this case artists, find very hard to do. What’s incredible is that it’s reciprocated in so many beautiful ways. I was awed by her stories of love, connection and being seen. To understand what a gift it is to help others and in turn ask and receive help and support for ourselves. It really opened up my mind to what’s possible.
As someone who always feels like I can do everything on my own, in my business especially, this is quite a profound concept. I’ve always just thought things would be easier, better, quicker, cheaper, et cetera, doing it that way. But I see that’s not always true and there is a downside to it. What about all the amazing things that are possible through the exchange of ideas, thoughts, challenges, experience and energy. I feel safer working on my own, to figure things out on my own, to rely mostly on myself. But I want to open up my heart to more connection, sharing and community. I don’t really know where to begin, but I can be willing.
The artwork above is based on this intention for the next couple of months, using the process I teach in Amulet. The colours represent heart, growth, communication and truth. I painted the goddess Green Tara for her help in asking others to help me instead of trying to do everything by myself. She has a little squirrel friend for support, balance and resources. I also invokes the energy of the Earth element and of the planets Uranus and Mercury. I love having this beautiful reminder for myself to allow others to support me and my work.