This is kind of a long story but I am hoping that you’ll read it.
There IS a lot of magic in disappointment and there is a lot of power in following your creative impulse even when you don’t get what you (thought you) wanted.
But the magical stories of disappointment are rare because we live in a world that shouts about success from every rooftop while carefully sweeping failure under the rug.
This skews your perception of what success actually is (it actually isn’t anything that you can measure with a number). And it skews your perception of what it takes to bring a dream to life.? These two skews leave you kind of screwed!
My story starts in January of this year.
I was running a session of the Creative Dream Incubator e-course and playing along, exploring what was happening in my inner world, looking for new dreams that were ready to come to life.
And the dream that came to me was: Creative Dream Retreats.? I saw myself leading life-changing dream-growing retreats in beautiful, nourishing, creative spaces around the world.
The essence of the dream was about adventure and discovery and spaciousness and glee.? The dream was beautiful and it was also all kinds of stuck.
Week after week I wrestled with my doubts, fears and inner saboteurs.? Week after week I followed along through my Creative Dream Incubator, gently un-sticking the stuck, activating the magic and learning how to give my dream what it needed to grow.
And then Chris Zydel, one of my creative heroes, began appearing in my dreams – like, the dreams I had while I was sleeping.
So Chris and I got together to explore why this was happening, maybe it was a sign?? Maybe we had something to share with each other? We talked about what we were working on, but couldn’t find any message or reason why she kept showing up in my dreams.
We were about to end our call when I said “Well, since I’ve got you here, maybe you can give me some pointers?? I’ve been working on putting together a retreat and I’m stuck….”
And it all snapped into place.
Chris talked her Creative Juices Arts studio, which solved ALL of my stucks about the retreat – where to have it that was inspiring and had the right space for creative explorations but was also in an interesting place where there were other things to do too… everything was perfect, down to the massive amounts of art supplies and a delicious caterer.
And we both kind of lit up with the idea of doing a Creative Genius Retreat together.
I started telling some of my clients and friends and had so many “Ohmigosh YES I am so totally coming!” responses that I didn’t promote it very much because it seemed like it was already sold out.
I happily went through my year, knowing I’d be leading this AMAZING life-changing dream-growing retreat in a gorgeously inspiring space.
Except, well, all of those “Ohmigosh YES I am so totally coming!” responses didn’t translate into actual registrations.
The timing was off.? Things came up.
And this fall we realised – the retreat wasn’t going to happen.
And you know what?? I didn’t feel sad or disappointed.
I felt a little confused because of the amazing response I had, but mostly it just felt right.
I’ve shared this story often, that when I first started doing creativity workshops I often had events where no one showed up.? And it was horribly disappointing back then.
But today? This is just one retreat, not doing it doesn’t impact my business.? No, I didn’t feel disappointed.
I felt proud.
Proud that I honoured my creative impulse.? Proud that I worked through the stuck parts.? Proud that I put it out there.
I took a big step and I learned some stuff and now I know more about how to take the next step.? This is how it works.
And underneath that, I felt glee.
Because I’d already bought my plane ticket to San Francisco for crazycheap because I had a voucher that expired earlier this year.? Which means I’m still getting my adventure and my creative retreat.? I’m getting the essence of my dream in a different package.
In the video I made about The Magic of Disappointment I talked about how feeling disappointment helps you to see how very much you still want the thing, and you can use that desire to move yourself towards it.? In this situation, the magic of non-disappointment is showing me that this wasn’t really what I wanted.?
The truth is, and for some reason I couldn’t admit this to myself before – right now I? just want to go on amazing creative retreats by myself.
Because every day I’m supporting my people through the inner transformation that creates outer change… retreating on my own replenishes me so I can keep doing that.
Following your creative dream and working through the stucks does NOT guarantee that you get exactly what you wanted.
Your dream is wise!? It will bring you somewhere new.? Somewhere a little more aligned with your unique creative soul.
Sometimes, somewhere you didn’t even know you wanted to go to.
Having things not work out does not mean that you failed, ever.
The only way to fail is by giving up before you start.
Something magic will happen every time you take a step towards trusting your dream.
Fear of failing stops us from doing that.
And it’s stupid.
Because, like I said in the beginning, our perceptions of success and failure are skewed.
You are a success for being brave enough to claim your dream.
You are a success every time you follow your creative impulse.
You are a success every time you put it out there.? And each time you do – you’ll learn something about how to do it differently next time.
So every time you take a creative risk you deserve to be celebrated.
Just like I am celebrating cancelling the Creative Genius Retreat, and going on to California on my own.
I still get to have my own Creative Genius Retreat.? I still get to have a totally amazing time.
My flight leaves first thing tomorrow morning and I am very happy.