What Holds You Back?

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How are you? How was your week? I had a birthday last week. Can you believe that I turned 73? I can’t. I think aging is such an incredible journey. It feels like I’m around 50. I’m old enough to know better and young enough at heart to want to explore life to its fullest.

What holds you back?

Maria Shriver writes a Sunday column that I really enjoy reading each week. On July 8th, she wrote an article titled, Ask Yourself Questions. Maria’s coach asked her these questions as a challenge for her to see what holds her back. The following universal questions really got me thinking. I thought you might enjoy reading them too. I’m going to list some of them and then try to briefly answer them myself. Will you join me?

  1. What is surprising about me? I don’t think that I was a great mother to my son, Brendan, in the early years. Mothering came so much harder for me than I ever expected. I believed that I would be a great mother. I had no idea pre-mothering that I was so impatient. I’m sure my anxiety about being a good mother and my own early childhood trauma played a large part in it. I pray and ask for forgiveness regularly. 
  2. Where am I the most comfortable? I’m most comfortable on the beach. Growing up, we went to the beach on vacations. It was one place where there was no tension, and we always had a good time. The ocean is a magical place for me. I love sharing my beach experiences with family and friends.
  3. Have I found the best version of myself, and if the answer is no, why not? If yes, what is that like? I am getting close. My relationships are good. I love the work I’m doing. I’m not afraid to take risks. I still have ideas I want to pursue and places I want to explore. I’m a curious person and excited to have new experiences.
  4. What would God do if she/he had to confront the challenges I face right now? I think God would say, “Let it go. They really aren’t big challenges. I think God would approach it like, whatever is supposed to happen, it will. If not, you can come back to the next life and finish up.”

How would you answer these questions about you? You can share your answers with me if you’d like.

Creativity and Mental Health

There were two other questions that Maria posed that I didn’t offer as options to review: What does the world not understand about me? and What will it never understand about me?

What the world may not understand about me is why I live my emotional life out loud. I don’t have many secrets. For years, I was so terrified to disclose feelings and experiences that I was ashamed of. That’s not as true anymore. I’ve learned that when I hold myself hostage to my shame, it clouds my sense of self-worth and my feelings about me are harsh. My inner critic has a field day. I don’t like to be held back from living life to the fullest. When I explore what is holding me back, I become a better version of myself. It’s like clearing a path of debris along my inner beltway. When the path is clear, it is a beautiful experience.

One of the reasons that I find Mindfulness Painting so satisfying is that the act of painting connects me to me. The marks on the paper remind me of what is rolling around in my psyche that might need tending to. I don’t always have to do anything but if I think the issue might be getting in my way of greater love or experiences, I do my best to give it the love and attention that it needs.

Thanks so much for showing up to read my blog/newsletter. Don’t forget: Be kind. Be forgiving. Be Brave. Be Loving. Be Grateful. Be generous.

Creatively yours,


P. S. Do you know someone who would like my Newsletter or Free Art Guide? I’d be grateful if you would forward this email to them.

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