Episode 1 – Confusing Artistry and Creativity 

January 2, 2023

I just got off from a long, fun morning chat with my pal Kathe. We were talking about an experience that I had at a summer camp for adults in upstate New York called The Good Life Project. It was created by Jonathan Field and his lovely wife Stephanie. You may have heard of the podcast, the Good Life Project. We gathered for a long weekend, and we listened to speakers that were inspirational or business related. We had creative classes that were around painting, tie dye and writing. You could create your own menu of experiences based on what you needed in the moment.

Somewhere in there I came to the realization that – for my entire life – I had been confusing the word creativity with artistry. I also realized that I wanted to experiment a bit more with my own creativity because people always say to me “you’re so creative”, yet it always landed flat with me.  So I decided to sign up for a mala making class – you know, mala prayer beads. I walked into this beautiful glass room in the middle of the woods.  All of the beads were set out, and this wonderful gal was teaching us how to go about making the mala necklaces. This is really embarrassing, but I was so overwhelmed with this idea that I had to do it just right – trying to get it beautiful – that I went to a corner and sat down and cried. I can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny at the time. It was extremely triggering and, needless to say, I left the class without my mala necklace.

The reason I was telling Kathe this morning was because I was sharing my recent experience teaching myself how to make necklaces. In Florida last winter, I told my friend Gail that I only wanted to buy one thing while I was there. A beautiful necklace. We finally found the perfect store for my purchase, and I was trying on all of these necklaces when it dawned on me that maybe I wanted to try to make one myself.

I leaned over to Gail and I whispered in her ear “don’t let me buy anything.” Well, that thought stayed with me and when I came back to New York I thought maybe I wanted to go to the beading and gemstone store near Union Square. Once again I got all up in my head about getting it right. The noise in my head was telling me I didn’t know anything about gemstones. So, I started googling about gemstones and thinking how can I go in there and be so ignorant?. Then I stopped myself and I was like ‘Constance, this is not about knowing or getting it right. It’s like fragrance. You need to smell it, feel it, and see what speaks to you. You need to be in the moment and choose what’s calling your heart.

So I forced myself to get on the bus and go down to the store, and of course I left with all of these beautiful gemstone. I didn’t know the names and it didn’t matter. I absolutely loved them. Some were very expensive, and some were the cheapest thing on the on the table.  Sure enough, I came home, put my bag of stones away and never looked again.

Then one late evening, – I thought  ‘let me get that bag out’ and I proceeded to lay out a group of stones on a little black table that I have. I looked down and I simply marveled at my own creation. The stones weren’t yet strung together, but they were laid out so beautifully I was inspired to try. I ended up getting into this whole underbelly of New York City that I had never known before. It’s called the Diamond District. It’s now actually just one street. All of the sellers of watches and old and new jewelry are there. It’s a really exciting bustling street, and above the stores that are on the ground level are all of the people that make and clean and reset, repair and redesign jewelry. I just loved it.  The whole scene reminded me of when I was in Italy trying to teach myself how to cook. You know, they don’t really use recipes so much in Italy. You have to wing it. Figure things out. I remember going back over and over to the market and saying “Signora, how do you make this rice? How do you make that roast? How do you make that sauce?

I was teaching myself how to make the jewelry just like I taught myself to cook in Italy. I taught myself by asking questions and going back over and over again to the Diamond district vendors. . It was so much fun.

On the phone with Kathe this morning, I was sharing I loved what I made so much it truly didn’t matter what anybody thought. I was sharing all these photos of the pretty things I am making. I was so proud of myself, and loved them all so much and I truly didn’t care what people thought. It was the first time in many, many years that I had created something just for myself, just because, and in sharing them, I truly wasn’t looking for approval. I truly was just sharing my joy of having made something and in having taught myself something entirely new.

I was telling her about Dear Constance, as she hadn’t heard about it yet. I said: I want to bring that same beginner’s mind, that sense of joy and trial and error. I want to find what lights me up and I want to be okay with whoever listens in. This isn’t about designing something to get accolades. It’s about being messy and experimental and bringing a beginner’s mind. It’s about being creative and finding my voice.

So, I’m so happy that you’ve found Dear Constance. Sharing this story about making the necklaces begs the question what are you doing in your life that is messy and new and creative that requires that you show up with a beginner’s mind? …. and that hopefully brings you joy the way making this for you brings me joy.

I’m just loving this whole process of teaching myself how to make audiograms, how to edit,  and how to be okay with my garbled language. It’s fun. That’s all for now. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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“Speaking with Constance helped me to see myself  – and my experience –with fresh perspective.  I got great clarity and completely shifted gears. She totally got it. The experience fully re-energized me.”

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