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Feng SHe Articles on Self-esteem


Passionately Persevering

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LIANNE SNOW: I've heard it said: To persevere is to do the hard work that would be unfathomable to most people, but also unfathomable for you NOT to do.

There is a driving force that keeps me in my passion despite heavy odds. Some might say it is just the plight of an artist. Creating is not a choice, so much as a personality trait that appears much like a possession. I know that when I was small, the free flow of ideas and skill with a pencil was simply natural. I knew no other way. However, as I matured, and fitting in is the order of the day, a grave conflict began.

Although it was clear that my talent was recognized and valued (mostly for what it could produce for others) it was also always up against an equal systemic value of conformity. We layer into this the gender roles we are expected to buy into and identity becomes a very tricky business.

Despite the variety of roles I have tried on over time, my value to the world on its terms seemed greatest when I made the most money. That surely is a standard measure of success. But even my serious black suit could not disguise the artist that lived inside.

I am not the first to say that what we resist persists. It does. It is like trying to keep light out of a barn. At first it appears dark when the door shuts but then the brilliance of the light shines through every crack until it seems hard to imagine you had ever thought it dark.

I can put on my black suit, but I cannot keep the light from escaping through the chinks. We also remain loyal to ourselves, whatever we may think. A part of us will sabotage our efforts to ignore our true selves. It will rise and challenge the world to accept us as we are. I wore lapel art. In some ways, I admit, the jewellery I made became a Litmus test. It opened conversation that helped me find kindred spirits or as the Pachamama Alliance calls it, finding other imagine-er cells. But frankly, it was as often a way for me to silently flip the bird to the whole world of homogenization.

I think it takes a long time to regain our true selves. As a woman I felt I needed to become, in some part, complete with my perceived obligations to society's expectations. I married a man and a mortgage, but raised a child artfully, teaching her to see with a different eye. As a therapist skilled in unconscious mind work, I taught her hemispheric balance and choice to move between the analytical and detail oriented left brain and the expansive, big picture right. I taught her to honour the wisdom of both. And now I do the same, for my passion will not be denied. Nor, will my precious gift be accepted without gratitude. I graciously accept my connection to that which persists. And since I have let go of much of what was respectable to a world I didn't much respect, I have grown.

'To grow' is 'life' language. Life keeps coming around for me -- this prime directive and best teacher. At the bottom of my ravine garden, large tree skeletons have been removed. They were so tall that many of the forest trees nearby suffered damage. As a result, one of the willows needed to be cut to a small stump. It was not a particularly nice tree, forced in the overgrown shade to bend and twist in competition for space and light. I was saddened by the destruction I saw. It would never be the same. However, within a week the very small stump had shot forth with tender green life and was revelling in the light as it reached with vigour that surprised me.

Places in the world where the past is being devastated, a way of being stripped away, new green shoots of humanity reach for the light. Life persists. I may go so far as to say it has a passion for itself. Perseverance to me has always had a definition tainted with difficulty but perhaps it is more as I began: it would be more difficult to do or be anything else.

Accepting this as truth comes with a responsibility. And our ability to respond involves strength. Just as the tender green willow shoots will grow to tougher stuff as its boughs stretch wide, so do we. It is now possible for me to redirect all the energy I once spent suppressing the light within. When we do, we expand the unique brilliance that is our true selves.

By loving our individuality we find our important place in that which we thought was all 'other'. Isn't that what it means to grow up after all? Perhaps we truly fit in to the master plan for everything by passionately, persistently being who we know ourselves to be. Society may have a way of trying to put a box around a round peg seeking its round hole.

I ask you now, what have you always loved? Where have you always found comfort? What part of you persists no matter what? Tell me your passion.

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More from Lianne Snow


Article Pic Biography
Therapist discovered to be The Recycling Queen! Unwilling to choose between the two passions of art and psychology, Lianne Snow decided to fuse both together and her business Piece of Mind was born. Piece of Mind is about creative living techniques and artful self-expression, which bring new light and colour into life.

In Lianne's experience, sometimes the best in life comes from creatively recycling your garbage, consequently, her life motto has become “What can I do with that?” And that’s what she teach best; Creative Recycling or ”How to spin the world until you like the view.”

Artist by nature, goldsmith by trade and counsellor by vocation, being in business brings full expression to Lianne's life. Creativity is the key to pulling it all together. Combining a private practice, (personal counselling, communication coaching, seminars, workshops, keynote speeches) and an active design studio, (paintings, jewellery, stained glass, and garden sculpture) balances her life beautifully.

Although passionate about all she does, blogging and speech writing have allowed her to engage others in chat about sustainability as an expression of balance for humanity and the planet. These talks provide her with another avenue to balanceher analytical left hemisphere with her creative right for maximum problem solving.

We are all creators. For the last decade her work has focused on the Art of Upcycling. In this she has found purpose for her gifts. could be more satisfying than creating a world?" Lianne Snow C.Ht., C.L.S. Coach, C.C., DTM

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