It’s time to own it.

Painting in progress

When I was in my early twenties (and just starting to paint and sell my work) I lived in Santa Barbara with my dear friend Chris. I was in a fearful place around money, my talents and my ability to make a go at a creative life. My inner critics were having a field day. I’ll never forget when Chris stopped me, looked in my eyes and said (more frustrated than I had ever heard him), “When are you going to take for granted that you’re an artist? And start creating from there? Stop trying to prove it!”

He said this in a moment of utter exasperation – probably tired of hearing my fears and self-diminishing chatter.

If he was Madonna, he probably would have said, “Darling, just fucking own it.”

And all these years later I can see it. Of course I’m an artist. Why all the drama? Why did I waste so much time trying to prove it? It’s all I’ve been doing since I was a little girl – drawing, painting, making jewelry, choreographing dance routines. How could I ever have questioned it?

And yet. We do this.

Even now, I can see that I’ve owned being an artist, but as a writer? I still need to own it.

How about you? Where in your life would owning it shift things in a profound way?

Is it your beauty?
Your talents?
Your ability to write?
Your voice?
Your ability to be a leader?
Your joy?

Take a moment and consider where in your life you need to own it.
Where have you been trying to prove your worthiness?

What if you took __________________________ for granted and started to create from there?

(Fill in the blank in the comments)




  1. M Payne
    Posted January 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE this!!! I’m not sure where I need to own it these days – maybe as a mother…Thank you for sharing as always!!! Just the inspiration I needed today.

  2. Posted January 5, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Permalink


    being an artist
    being a writer
    being a cultural change agent

  3. Posted January 6, 2014 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Gah- this really hit me in the gut. I AM AN ARTIST. why am I so scared to acknowledge it?!? I’ve always been a creative and I’m so scared to admit that to others, so silly. Thank you for this post. Your words are beautiful and perfect!
    PS-I’m afraid no longer!

  4. Posted January 6, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I cant believe you don’t think you are a writer. you write brilliantly and I just wish I could write with such clarity beauty and elegance!

  5. Posted January 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve lived in this particular house since 1997, I’ve lived in this state since I was young. I’m still seen as immigrant, transient, not from here. My thing that I need to own is that this is my home and I belong here. The more I feel like that, the more everything else falls into place: photography, writing, mothering, living.

  6. Posted January 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I took this course last year and LOVED it. Are they always different from each time?

    Thanks! Shauna

  7. Posted January 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m printing out this post to tuck into my wallet. Each time I’m not “owning it” I’m going to pull it out and read!

    I’ve not owned how beautiful I am! I’m told often that I am but I’ve never actually believed it. Time to own it!

  8. Áine
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    For me it’s owning that I can deal with people in an encouraging gentle way while creating change.

    I was told years ago that I was aggressive and overbearing. There were lessons to be learnt but I don’t think that’s my true nature and yet I’ve carried the fear that I am inside me which has held me back from many things for fear of proving that person right.

    Time to own it!

  9. Robert
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I need to own that I am strong and healthy as per the recommendations of others. I say that because I don’t always feel it but others tell me and recognise that in me which is important. I also need to own that I am better than what I think at times but I too often think oh I was no good today when I do preaching or when I meet new people yet I get told differently on many occasions. So to sum up owning my lack of self-esteem.

  10. Áine
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Hey Sweetheart,

    So you’re owning that you:

    Are majassively strong and healthy

    You are brilliant at meeting new people

    You preach beautifully

    And that you are bigger stronger braver and more amazing than you’re inner voice tells you.

  11. Bryan Shephetd
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Andrea. I knew you back then. I couldn’t agree with Chris more. It’s at your very core.

  12. susan
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    ..I feel moved so very often, by your blog A.. Today, the comments at 10./Robert touched me a great deal. I have felt too, something of what he voiced.. I can feel paralyzed about my (personal) movement through (Life)..have misgivings about own self worth & lack confidence,, But, I certainly believe in the worth & value of every-one else.. If I may contribute something that I felt was deeply instructive regarding, the art of living, that I came across/ and which i wish I will enact, some-day: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.’ (I learned it is from the gospel of St. Thomas: these are Jesus’s words). xo

  13. Posted January 6, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m finally taking ownership of being me. It’s been a long journey but so worth every step. Thanks for your insight. Cx

  14. Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    WOW!! That was the question this summer!
    Artist! and so whatever kind I want!!
    Craft, Quilt, write, blog, paint, create.
    Thanks so much for this post!

  15. Sara
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I love the painting in the photograph for this post!

  16. Shannon
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Your words kicked the answer right out of my noggin. You said, “It’s all I’ve been doing since I was a little girl – drawing, painting, making jewelry, choreographing dance routines. How could I ever have questioned it?
    That’s it! My talents reside in many areas of creativity and that’s OK. It’s more than OK, it’s beautiful. I’ve felt a need to focus and pick just one. Talents are not like marriage, it’s OK to float around with one or many until you’re tired and/ or another talent breathes new life into you. Flirt with them, create with them. We are so lucky to be so multifaceted.

  17. Posted January 7, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I love this. Some of us need to own talents, or titles, or permission…I need to own a new boundary around my time. My time is valuable and I don’t have to justify it to anyone.
    Thanks for being you Andrea!

  18. Posted January 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    What a fantastic blog post. I’ve been thinking about it since I read it a few days ago and today did my own blog post around your question and my art. (

    Thank you so much for the inspiration and the nudge to move toward acceptance and courage.

    xoxo Silke

  19. Nancy Guillery
    Posted January 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful artwork and post! Cheers me up and warms my heart on this freezing morning in Montreal, Canada

  20. Jeckabee
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Dang! Who was this psychic/tarot reader you saw! I would kill for a reading with them…just to see what that untouchable is I crave and know deep inside!

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