Being an artist can sometimes be a very lonely and scary thing. We sometimes have the feeling we are misunderstood by the rest of the world because our dreams are bigger than others, because our emotions are multiplied by hundreds and because more than anyone else, we put ourselves out there where judgment can be pretty harsh. Being an artist is showing who we truly are and letting people into the deepest and most fragile parts of us. It's also scary because we cannot live without it, it's who we truly are.

You don't choose to be an artist. I didn't choose it. It was in me from the very first day. It has made me oversensitive to certain things and creative in others. It makes me see the world differently. It frustrates me in an everyday, regular person's life and it exposes me to people's poor judgment and discrimination about what an artist is. 

NO, being an artist does definitely not make us bad at everything else we do. I've too often heard people, mostly in my work setting, say the word "artist" as a negative thing. To them: an artist is a disorganized, not focused person who can't deliver good work. And, it's wrong. At least, I hope I've been able to prove it about myself.

The Artist's Circle

This week, I attended Wendy Parr's "The Artist's Circle" in Nashville as my first step into the music world in the US. This was way more than a regular networking event or meeting point between artists. Wendy took us through truly inspiring discussions about ourselves as human beings, making us realize so many things about releasing our fears by working on our mindset. Personally, it made me feel less alone as an artist.

To begin with, we were asked to stand in a circle, and say our name out loud, preceded by an adjective, whilst making a  gesture we chose. Once done, everybody would repeat it with the gesture. It was a nice and fun way to break the ice between the participants, although we had already been talking to each other before the session began. I introduced myself as "Crazy Diana" to a stepping-around-and-can't-sit-still little dance.

As an introduction to the session, we were then shown the following video about Felix Baumgartner jumping off an atmospheric balloon, 24 miles above earth's surface. Incredible!

But wait a minute, weren't we supposed to be talking about being an artist? Well yes, but an artist also has fears and that's what Wendy was coming to. If Felix Baumgartner was able to jump off that balloon, what could possibly be stopping us from reaching our goals?

In small groups of 3-4 people, we were asked to discuss our goals for the next 5 years as well as our fears related to those goals. It was surprising to see how most of us came up with the exact same fears! All those fears I thought I was alone to have were actually the same for everyone else and that's comforting.

The funniest thing was that when one person was sharing their goals and fears with others, everything seemed feasible from the outside. But once it was our turn, our fears seemed bigger than our dreams.

A great team @ Wendy Parr's Artist's Circle
This shows that we are sometimes our only enemy in achieving what we want and it's time to turn that enemy into our best friend. Throughout different exercises about changing our vision about ourselves, we created real connections between us and it was great sharing openly with such great people.

Wendy Parr's Artist's Circle was a great experience overall, especially in opening my eyes to the fact that I was not alone with my fears as an artist and that nothing is impossible. That I am here in Nashville today is probably one of the biggest steps I have taken in overcoming my fears and the intense feeling of happiness that comes with it gives me the strength to want to break down more walls. 

The few days I've spent here and being surrounded by other artists has made me feel right in my place. A place that is sometimes hard to find in my usual Swiss life-setting, which is not always very music-friendly. Here in Nashville, I don't feel like an "alien" because I play music and have dreams that may seem absurd to others but for the first time, I feel I truly fit in and there are people to share it with. 

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