Virtual Advent Calendar:
Being creative doesn’t mean
that you need to go to extremes to impress people.
Sometimes all it takes is to see things from a different perspective
and to present it to someone from a new angle.
That is the secret to creativity.
Nothing fancy or far off concepts to understand.
It has taken me my entire life to try to understand this
and get to the place of admitting that yes, I am an artist.
I always had trouble with that word
because I would constantly compare myself to others:
“I’m not as good as so-and-so,”
“Mine never turns out right,”
“I could never do something like that.”
It was as if these lies discounted everything I was capable of,
not to mention debilitated my talents because I was too scared to even try
lest someone compared me to another, leaving me to feel inferior.
Isn’t it funny (and by funny, I mean sad)
how easily we can succumb to a lie for a very long time?
And the common thread each lie you believe in is the ability to
compare yourself to something you shouldn’t:
Someone other than yourself.
That comparison virus can really destroy so much good in our lives, can’t it?
Just think of what we could be capable of doing
if we stopped looking around us and started to see what was within.
Sure, to some people, they see this post and think,
“Big deal, so she cut some bread with a tree cookie cutter and threw some cinnamon on it.
What’s so great about that??!,”
but for me, I choose to think:
“What a deal! It’s french toast in the shape of a Christmas tree.
How great is that??!”
Just the ability to choose to see something with a different perspective,
without the violation of comparing myself to someone else’s french toast post.
Choosing to not compare ourselves
allows those nasty voices telling us that we are:
Not good enough.
Unworthy of love.
Terrible at drawing.
to disappear and allow them to be replaced by
affirmations telling us that we are:
Maybe this holiday season, we can make a promise
to be a little more gentle on ourselves and stop the cycle of:
ourselves to something (or someone) we shouldn’t,
and start accepting the idea that we are
brilliant and creative.
This brought a little tear to my eye!! so beautifully written and so true. I spent years hiding behind my insecurities but now I try to just see the good in what I can do and not worry what other people will think of it! I completely agree with you that you don’t have to over compensate to be creative or an artist, something simple can be perfect and original 🙂 Well said Cara!! xxx
How funny that you just read this post for a few months back when I was actually JUST thinking about it last night while writing today’s post. It genuinely touches me that it touches you 🙂 xoxo
That is freaky!! I was being a bit nosy and delved right back into the 2011 posts!! Theres some gooduns back here! 🙂 x
hehehe. That gave me a good giggle–not nosy at all! I love that–that means a lot to hear actually, it really does. Here’s to a beautiful day full of lots of self love and acceptance! xo
you’ll set me off again lol! Have a fab day – oh I just commented on your take a hike post too lol! Your getting a bit of an overload of me today (I emailed u too lol) xx
Never too much! More! MORE! 🙂
Lovely. One of the keys to self esteem is doing esteemable acts, and accepting yourself as is right where you are today.
And never compare your french toast insides to other’s french toast outsides (you don’t know what their insides are like). Your presence and creativity have made me smile over and over again!
Spent my life in books wishing I was one of the characters on the page. Didn’t matter which one, any one would do. Everything and everyone was better than me. I was just me. Too much of the wrong stuff, not enough of the right stuff. Unwanted, unneeded, cast aside, someone else’s duty, a burden.
The times in my 31 years of living that I haven’t wished to be someone else, somewhere else, I can count on one hand: 1) when I received love from a man in exactly the way I’d always pictured it (who eventually decided I was too much) 2) when I’m tied in, hooked up, and climbing like the beautiful, strong woman that I am; 3) when Rose’s head is slung over my shoulder and Analaigh’s over my belly and they sigh in happiness while sleeping.
Here’s to finding our moments, eh?
This was so so so beautiful! I read this and think: “YOU??? You wish you were someone else??? But why?!” It puzzles me so. But thank God for little pups that remind us of our worth. Rose and Analaigh were created for you and you they to remind each other every day that you are needed, you are loved and you are worth being loved on. And being too much for someone? Only because they are too small to hold the bigness of your greatness! I will drink to those moments, my friend 🙂
It’s funny, isn’t it? The people we think have it so together or have so much who feel just as broken as anyone else. Have a wonderful holiday and I hope you get everything you want from Santa!!
You too!!! Give Rose and Analaigh a big hug for me! xo
Very nicely said, my friend… =)
Hey, I was JUST thinking about you!! I made more persimmon cookies just now and I was thanking you in my head for creating the best cookie ever. Man, are those things awesome!!! xoxoxox
totally true.. i need to put this up on the wall too. you can ask my husband how easily i get into the comparison mode.. and get depressed or jealous and so many things…:) its one of those automatic thought processes which are difficult to change.. its the way i have grown up.. always being compared.. working to get better.. always getting appreciated only at the top.. cant blame the world.. that helped me get somewhere. but now i know better to let those thought processes bog me down.. somedays they do surface and i need this pep talk those days!
i love these french toasts and i love your creativity! you are an artist and stay the way you are.. all beautiful and sweet always!
Talk about putting something up on the wall–I’m doing that with this comment, Richa. How thoughtful and wonderful 🙂 Thank you for the super kind words at the end. So sweet!!!
chinmayie @ love food eat
Love this post! You are so right about self esteem! I go through it a lot too… I am sure everybody does.
Absolutely, Chinmayie. I think that is the human condition, isn’t it? Now if I could just master and perfect it and no longer deal with it… haha.
When I start to get crazy with that negativity stuff, I always come back to this gem:
“You are enough, you have enough, you do enough.”
So simple, and yet so damn perfect so much of the time.
Hmmmm, sounds like someone reads SARK. Is that where you found this gem? Because if so, I am a *huge* fan of her work and I have that mantra written everywhere on my journals 🙂
Ha, ha – now that you mention it, I’m sure that’s where I originally got it! I love her. I actually got to see her speak once, and it was very cool.
You are making me very jealous right now! Her books carried me through some dark times. I love her positivity 🙂 And I love that you know of her!
Nora @ Natural Noshing
Yes, yes, yes!!! I totally agree! I need to work on this too- you are right on, I love the sincerity and truthfulness in this post. You never cease to inspire me. You ARE incredibly talented, creative, beautiful, worthy and just plain awesome!!! just need to practice more positive self talk myself!
Allow me to help you with the self talk:
I, Nora, am marvelous, funny, real, compassionate, BEAUTIFUL, creative, thoughtful beyond belief, joyful, and an amazing cook!
There, I think that should be good enough to get you started! 🙂 xoxo
Nora @ Natural Noshing
Awwwww Cara, you’re seriously THE best!!!!! Greg better watch out…haha 🙂
and you completely made my day! Thank you!
Well, I only speak the truth 🙂 I will heed the warning to Greg. ha
What a wonderful mantra, Cara. I think copies should be sent to every young girl in America along with a piece or two of fun french toast. The toast might not last but the truth would hopefully wiggle into their/our brains and hearts and find a home there. And isn’t that what all the best athletes say when asked? “I’m competing against MYSELF.”
Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.
Laurel, do you ever consider writing as a career? Or have you in the past written? Because you really have a way with words and if you aren’t already putting your talents to work, I am going to force you to!
WOW! See the thing about self-esteem is that you’re always afraid you’ll get it wrong, like if you do some cosmic policeman out there will arrest you. I’m that way with blank paper. Now you make me wonder why. Thank you for that wonderful Christmas gift. I’ve found a quote I hope everyone will enjoy. :
“If I could give you one key, and one key only to more abundant life, I would give you a sense of your own worth, an unshakeable sense of your own dignity as one grounded in the source of the cosmic dance, as one who plays a unique part in the unfolding of the story of the world…Greta Crosby. Although there’s this, “No one, Eleanor Roosevelt said, can make you feel inferior without your consent. Never give it.”
– Greta Crosby
I love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote. It has been one of my favorites for a few years now. And it looks like I have a new favorite by Greta Crosby 🙂
You should really tend to that blank piece of paper, Laurel. If I didn’t understand the tricky issues of self-esteem, I would sit here in confusion as to why you haven’t pursued writing thus far. But I get it–we convince ourselves that we are not good enough to the point where we freak ourselves out from even trying. But alas, I again repeat myself–please start writing! You are TOO GOOD not to… Seriously. How about getting a blog, for starters? 🙂 xo
I love this post! I feel like half the battle is just remembering that I am my biggest obstacle. Thanks for the reminder!
Your french toast post is beautiful and so are you!
Ugh. Tell me about it. I think that is our life long struggle: ourselves. If only we can just tweak our pesky little minds, eventually we would get there. Thank you, Corrina. A very thoughtful comment!
I love this post! I need to tape it to my wall, because we all could use the reminder that we are ENOUGH just as we are. I adore your work and what you do and getting a peek into the way you see the world!
It should be our daily mantra, shouldn’t it? I don’t know when it started to creep into our minds that we aren’t good enough just as we are, but it needs to be stopped immediately. So glad to hear that you feel the same way. We can convince ourselves that we are alone on this. How absurd! 🙂 Thank you, Cadry. xo Man, I just love your name, btw.
Aw. That’s a new year’s resolution I can get behind…
What I always wonder is why it’s so much easier to tell other people how wonderful you think they are… like I’m about to do… because I think you’re wonderful. And I love your French toast trees. 😀
RIGHT??! I am beside myself when people I love and adore don’t believe this in themselves. In fact, I think they are downright crazy! But then I remember, oh yeah, this is stuff I have a hard time believing myself. ha. If we could only just see ourselves through the eyes of those that love us, I have a feeling we would be much kinder and gentler on ourselves. And I thing YOU are wonderful! xo
Perspective is so important – beautifully said Cara….now onto the French Toasts, I think your Chirstmas Tree French Toasts are BRILLANT!
Thank you Heather. And I think the French Toasts are pretty damn awesome myself 🙂 hahaha! And so freaking are YOU. So happy to have found your blog.
i LOVE your creativity and think you are amazing! woo-hoo for french toast in the shape of a christmas tree!
You are just saying that because we are twins and whatever is true of me is true of you 🙂 HAHA. I’m kidding, of course. Thank you Caitlin. You are a little ball of sunshine here in the blogging world. I hope you know that!
This is beautiful! I think we all could use a little self-compassion and kindness this holiday season.
Your “why veggie” story is so inspiring – you look absolutely amazing 🙂
And lastly you make the coolest most creative stuff ever! Your santas bah! I always include you creations in my holiday themed round ups 🙂
Ok enough gushing – hope this helped with the self-esteem today hah!
Arielle aka Your Vegan Girlfriend
Arielle (beautiful name!), I could not have been more pleased to wake up to this comment! Thank you so much (from the bottom of my heart) for the incredible sweet and encouraging words. I am so glad that you said something over here because now I *do* want you as my vegan girlfriend. hahahaha. For reals though, so good to hear from you and I can’t wait to go over to YVG and cover your posts with sweet words as well 🙂
Cara, what a beautiful post! This is something I really need to work on.. I am terrible with the self talk.
And you really are an artist! The recipes you have come up with are brilliant! You see food in such an amazing way!
Self talk is difficult, without a doubt! You just have to learn how to silence the critic, which of course, is the hardest part. Thank you so so so much for always being a bright spot over here at Fork and Beans. I always look forward to reading your comments–you are so encouraging! xo