Thursday, June 26, 2008


I had my first meeting today with my coach (career, creativity, life). During one sitting, I had compiled a list of roughly 130 questions to use to whittle down to one we could work with as a touchstone for our work. (She assured me that most, if not all, the questions would eventually be answered through this process.) She had me read the questions aloud while she took notes. Some of the question included:

How can I balance writing/art/workshops?

Should I focus on one area?

What do I see myself doing in 7 years when my kids have left the house?

What do I need in order to feel successful?

How does money affect my ideas of success?

How does my spiritual life inform my work?

What gender issues come into play in my work?

What is my last project trying to teach me about my future work?

After we reviewed the questions, Kathy asked for more details about my past. Why did I quit my job? Do the reasons I quit still apply? What do I think is the essence of Jill? (I had a hard time with that last one.) I filled her in on my creative and working life of the past ten years. Many a-ha moments later we came up with the question, How can I live my life to the fullest? This question was punctuated by a crashing leap by Kathy's cat. AMEN!

It may seem like a very broad question, but it encompasses so much of what I am trying to do. When asked leading questions about where I see my focus, I say I want it all. I like the painting and writing and workshop giving. I like raising my kids and making dinners. I like taking it all in and spitting it out in different forms. Like a conduit cable made of many wires.

Some themes did emerge. It became pretty apparent to me (Okay, Kathy told me and bells started going off) that I shut down when I receive criticism and direction. I don't like being told what forms my art and writing should take and this often has paralyzing results. We also discussed money which, interestingly enough, seems to be innately linked to gender roles in my mind. These roles are a big part of my process and art.

I am most excited to be going on this journey with Kathy. A former fiber artist who has studied gender roles in artmaking. That could describe me. I'm not sure where all this is going, but already today, I have written more than I have in the past month. I hope to journal a lot and make sense of this---starting with one large question.

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