Fear and anxiety

Newly thrown large pot.

I was an anxious kid when I was growing up. I was anxious about everything- school, social situations, being a good person, staying out of trouble. Often the anxiety manifested itself into fear. Being afraid was something that I dealt with daily. Even into my adulthood, I was anxious and fearful. I’ve gotten over most of that now, but I recognize the time I struggled with it is as a source of strength. 

I learned what make me more prone to anxiety, like lack of sleep and being overworked.  I learned how to handle my anxiety, stress, and fears by acknowledging them, asking for help when I need it, and by allowing clay to keep me centered. Most importantly, I learned how to let the fear pass.

The scariest time for me creatively was when my kiln was finally installed. I looked at my husband and said “There are no excuses now. I’m not bound by somebody else’s firing schedule. If I don’t make anything, it’s on me and me only.” Failure now would be only of my own doing. Now that’s scary.

But the fearful anxious times in my life have taught me how to get through the anxiety and remain creative and productive. I know my triggers, such as the first show of the season. When I’m scared I’m ready for it, I acknowledge  it, and I keep working until it passes. And when I need to, I ask for help. Mostly that comes in the form of asking my husband to allow me to briefly depend on his spiritual energy, and lean on his strength as he takes me by the hand, leads me into my home studio and say, “Come on. Let’s do this together.”

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