Still getting dotty over here at the Little White Cottage On The Hill, but enough time has passed that I’m starting to feel comfortable about breaking out the “good” paints and the “good” canvas (read, bigger than 6×6). Things are starting to gel more and more and I’m growing into my own aesthetic. Practice is good. Putting your butt in a chair and churning out a lot of mistakes helps more than anything. And I’m still making a lot of mistakes, just having a different relationship with them than I was three weeks ago.
Tools help too. Compasses and protractors and rulers and chalk and pencils and the right brushes and the right paint, those all help. But none of them help if your butt isn’t in the chair.
Butt in chair applies to other things too. I signed up for a 6 week doula mentoring group and it has been SO good. In the last few weeks we’ve tackled so many things in this journey to become better doulas, to find our unique voice and style… I’ve learned so much and made some incredible connections. There’s been a lot of inner work around this group, journaling, thinking, not so much “go design a website/here’s how you business” but very much “why is this scary to you, go deep with it, what is holding you back?” And believe me, none of that works unless your butt is in the chair.
There’s no ONE way to be a doula and no one way to run a doula business of course, though certainly there are some who would really like people to believe that. Having the freedom and the space and time to truly decide what kind of birth worker I want to be, to grow into that person, that is liberating. And a lot of work! Sometimes really challenging work. One of the things I struggle with personally is crippling anxiety around new situations and people, so my doula mentor has had me “tracking my tigers” (which is an exercise from the most marvelous book Birthing From Within by Pam England) to see if I can’t get some traction around them.
I mean… THAT is terrifying, right? Right there, big scary tiger. How’d you like to wake up to that face? I wouldn’t! But I carry a bunch of them around with me every day. Provider meetings, client interviews, coffee with other doulas, networking… big scary tigers with large teeth. Digging in to those fears, facing them, asking what is so scary, what’s the worst that could happen, it’s helped me so much. And sometimes it makes those big scary tigers not quite so scary anymore.
I can handle that. I mean, this tiger is totally manageable, right? It is.
Birth work really brings home the necessity of doing your own inner work. Having guidance while I get out of my own way to do that work has been priceless. The Los Angeles birth community continues to amazing me with how supportive and welcoming it is, and in how the people here genuinely want to rise by lifting others. I feel really blessed to be a part of it.
So people keep asking when I’m going to put those turquoise earrings in my shop. The truth is, I’m not sure. It will be soon. Ish. I promise! And I’ll let you know here. I’m not pushing it. I think part of this new journey, this new Maia Rainwood journey is to Do It Wrong and have no fucks for what experts tell me I must do. I solemnly swear that I will not update regularly, not blog consistently, not stress if the muse isn’t with me for a few weeks, not worry about constantly making content for other people to consume, not worry if I miss a few sales because I didn’t update the shop every week, whatever, blah blah blah. I don’t think that’s the kind of artist I am or even want to try to be. I think I tried that already and it almost drove me crazy.
I do promise to put my butt in that chair and see what happens. I like doing it wrong a lot better. I like being relaxed and letting it flow. And it’s my party, so I will do what I like.
So yes, at some point there will be some canvases available, some original paintings and maybe even prints. More jewelry. I have some enamel, ceramic, silk, and other mixed media pieces cooking that will blow. your. minds. I’m hitting the Pasadena Gem Show next week to see if there’s anything I just MUST have. Who knows what I’ll find? There are other Things too. Other ideas and other rabbit holes I want to fall down, to pursue single mindedly, in this journey of making and becoming.
We will see where it all leads. In the meantime, I hope where ever you are, it’s good. I hope whatever you’re doing, that it gives you joy.
Joy is a worthy pursuit. Thanks for hanging out with mine.