Blue Heaven & Dismantling the Committee
In April 2014, as I was getting quilts ready to be hung in our local guild show, a woman in the guild (whom I had never met) tried very hard to get on “the committee”. As I was unpacking my quilt, she walked up, pointed at it, and stated “What’s that?!?” “What’s what?” I replied. “What’s that?!?” she reiterated, like it was some despicable piece of cloth.“It’s an art quilt”. “I don’t get it.” she sneered and walked away. “Okay” I said to myself and proceed to help hang the show.
A bit later, I happened to be near my quilt when the judges where hanging ribbons. I watched in awe as they pinned a blue ribbon on my quilt, winning for the Art Quilt/Pictorial Small Category. It was a very surreal experience! Since this was my first art quilt, my first guild show and first judged show, this person could have done real damage. Thankfully, years before I learned to silence “the committee”.
In 2002, “the Committee of the Masses” disabled me from doing my work. Real fear set in when I couldn’t figure out how to create art without it becoming “product”. What would I make? Who would want it? How do I price it? Where & how would I market it? The pressure was debilitating; my response was to shut down and do nothing. While I do not know who the anonymous committee voices were, I do know their target was my validation as an accomplished individual and artist. For the time being, they had won.
After a few years (2004), my need to create and the desire to paint reignited my journey into making. I had sent a few pictures of my painted abstracts to my aunt, who is also a painter and fiber artist. She sent a letter back that changed everything. In the letter, she said that for her it was “all about the process of making the work, not the results. Make your work and trust to keep on making it in order to get to whatever the next step is. Don’t skip any of it. Remember–it doesn’t matter what others think, whether work is accepted or rejected in shows, by friends, by piers, in galleries. What does matter is having the incentive and desire to do the work, to move forward and allow the work to lead the way—not the brain or voices of others.”
I decided right then to focus on the process of doing the work. Period. The Committee of the Masses was dissolved.
While other committees “attempt” to form from time to time, I’ve learned to keep them out by staying in the present moment, breathing and moving forward; if the messages that come my way are not uplifting, edifying or helpful in some way, they are discarded. Meditation, hypnotherapy, energy work and EFT/tapping are tools I use with great success to clear out committees that tend to show up in other areas of my life.