Starting before you’re ready… and the beauty of being unfinished… THE ART OF THE START
(This video is far from perfect or even excellent. It is not a finished product. It’s messy, I make mistakes, you can hear the nervousness in my voice, But… I started. And I’m sharing my messy unfinished artistic process in service to others finding their own courage to start something that both calls to them and scares the hell out of them.)
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” –Hugh Laurie
The old version of myself took forever to start anything that I deeply dreamed about or deeply desired to do. The more intense the dream or desire the longer it took. A prime example of that is starting a blog. I thought about it for almost a decade. I finally started it sometime in 2014 and even then it was a painful and slow birth. I don’t think I even managed to get a piece of writing up until 2015. Really it wasn’t until I committed to posting one piece of creative work every week that it finally began to gain momentum [more on that commitment here].
Another thing I have deeply desired to do was start a newsletter. I thought about this for several months. I’ve made a commitment to myself to just jump in and start on the things I dream of. Instead of waiting another decade I am starting now. To free myself from my own self-oppression. To embrace the fear of the things that call to me. To make mistakes, look like a fool, and not know what I am doing. To hold ever so tightly to the wisdom that it is by doing and taking action that we learn, grow, and transform. I am still pretty slow to start on these deep callings, but I am getting faster. So, in the spirit of just jumping into the fire of life…
Welcome to my newsletter–> ALCHEMIZED
*I will never send spam or share your email. Only awesome alchemical things I want to share sent directly from me to you!
This is my commitment to discovering, making, and sharing ART & TRANSFORMATION in SERVICE to others.
I have discovered that one of the best ways to illuminate oneself and others is to SHARE. It is through people and shared experience that we find inspiration, consolation, healing, growth and transformation.
When we share something that has authentically touched, moved, or inspired us something magical happens. It not only transforms those we are sharing with, it transforms us.
The full disclosure is that I don’t really know what the iterations of Alchemized will be. This here is the first one. And I’ve already revised it over 50 times… No joke! Learn by doing & incremental improvement are KEY.
The whole point of this is to start something while allowing myself to sit in AMBIGUITY. And then to let the whole thing evolve into whatever it decides to be.
My initial guess is that it will be some sort of email of several things that I have recently found particularly transformative in some aspect. They will likely be things I have created, discovered, learned, found fun, fascinating, growth-inducing, transformational, soul-soothing, and maybe even lit my spirit on fire. All of this in the SPIRIT of SERVICE, ILLUMINATION, and TRANSFORMATION. My own and others…
And who knows what this will become. I am definitely the one most anticipating the unfolding of this. Nonetheless, I am deeply appreciative for all who join me in this journey! 😀
This whole project and concept both scares the hell out of me and is at the same time incredibly exciting. The line between excitement and fear is often almost impossible to find.
Regardless of what Alchemized becomes my commitment is that it will be in service to alchemical transformation.
The goal of the Alchemized is to be a renewable resource of potential catalysts. I firmly believe that we should interact with catalysts of awe, wonder, fascination, magic, growth, healing, and transformation each day.
LifesRake and the Alchemized are all about ALCHEMY — the seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, and combination.
Sometimes we discover one small catalyst and a whole aspect of our life literally transforms… I aim to be a lantern-bearer & a bridge for others in discovering those catalysts.
The main vision of this inaugural Alchemized is to to share the scariness, vulnerability, and transformational power of creating and starting something that calls to you. And sharing it even if it isn’t finished. By no means is this easy. And we often have to forgive ourselves for holding ourselves back before we even begin. Or begin again… I am constantly forgiving myself for holding myself back…
…And then we have to have the courage to let go of “what we think other people will think.” [this article explores this concept]
In this newsletter are three videos I created in July of 2015 all about starting before you are ready [see version 1 at the top and version 2 & 3 at the bottom – FYI: these are far from the first few versions – I filmed this a TON of times (30+)…]. These are three versions of the same filming. I filmed this concept over and over. And still I lamented over the belief that none of them were good enough to share. It has taken me 6 months to gather the courage to post these. Half a year to embrace the unnerving fear of judgement, both from within and without. Over 180 days of being too scared to share my art and connect.
(Work on La Sagrada Familia, one of Spain’s most famous and epic pieces of art, began in 1882. Over 130 years later and it is still not completed. They are still working on it. I used to live right next to this mesmerizing piece of growing artistic magic. Every day I even glimpsed this living piece of art I was blessed with creative sustenance. I cannot even quantify the loss of life experience for myself or others if Antoni Gaudí, the architect behind this, had chosen to wait until it was finished to share it with the world. Imagine how much less grand and less awe-inspiring this world would be if we were only allowed to view completed creative works of art? I am not laying claim to this level of art, but how much more compassionate, inspiring, and inspired would this world be if none of us were afraid to show our creative work in progress?)
To be crystal clear — at the time I compiled this post I had little-to-no experience writing, blogging, filming, recording audio, and have just barely started to learn how to edit any of these. I am sharing all of this because I am tired of hiding my creative process. Tired of trying to be perfect. And I am tired of treating imperfection and vulnerability as an excuse not to create art and share it. I now harness my imperfections and vulnerability and show it to the world and connect. I now use my authenticity and vulnerability as a source of empowerment for myself and others by sharing it.
I also want to highlight and remember that we all start with little-to-no knowledge, experience, or expertise. We are always in a state of becoming. Let us always remember this. So the next time we feel the call of something and the fear of starting rises to challenge us… we embrace the fear. Deeply knowing & understanding that FEAR is often our best guide for UNLEASHING our most AUTHENTIC, POWERFUL, & HIGHEST-SELF. It is also often our WAY-FINDER to living a life of PASSION & PURPOSE.
Or in other words, a life worth living…
My inspiration & alchemical discovery that lead to this idea (Alchemized) being actualized:
THIS BOOK–>The Icarus Deception
It goes perfectly along with the vision of the Alchemized. It’s a book all about embracing your fear and creating art. It will awaken your inner artist. And if you don’t think you are an artist this book will change your mind about that too. It is the book that was the final catalyst I needed to birth Alchemized. Even if you would never consider yourself an artist this book will catalyze some area of your life — career, relationships, life, etc. If you are an ENTREPRENEUR in any way this is a MUST READ.
Please join me in this mission to let people see and understand that IT IS OKAY TO FEEL LIKE YOU ARE NOT READY. It is okay to SUCK. It is okay to be SCARED. It is okay to have no clue what you are doing…
But we must do it anyway… Because the fear shows us our higher callings…
So far in my life it seems like fear and feeling like you’re not ready are always front & center anytime you are doing anything that you are really deeply desire and/or are destined to do…
The paradox of surrendering to fear is rarely easy in practice (at least for me so far). But…
Maybe even try what I am doing & just jump in and learn and grow along the way. That is exactly what I am doing with this newsletter, my blog, my writing, my filming and all of my creative work.
I am starting with the faith that I will become something by doing. I will discover, learn, and maybe even that something will be great. But really, who knows and who cares…
Let us live for the journey! The magic always & forever lives in the adventure (not in some final destination).
And before I end, some suggestions for getting the most out of the Alchemized:
- Try what grabs your attention.
- Keep what works for you.
- Share what you personally like.
- And leave the rest.
THANK YOU for being a part of the birth of the Alchemized! It is always through others that we manifest, realize, actualize, and LIVE our VISION & DREAMS. Because YOU have taken the time and energy to view this (and maybe even share it) I am living my vision & dream of being a transformation artist & leader. And for this I will always & forever be grateful to you. Even if we never meet. You are still a part of my journey because we shared this creative work together.
In the following newsletters I will continuously optimize for form, function, and resources that you can harness for all aspects of the alchemical journey of life.
In gratitude & service,
Justin David Carl
P.S. Please forward this to anyone who may find it useful. That would mean the world to me!
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.” –Neil Gaiman
If any of this any of this moved, touched, or inspired you please join my newsletter here:
*I will never send spam or share your email. Only awesome alchemical things I want to share sent directly from me to you.
(Another take of “Starting Before You’re Ready” — still a mess. But finding incremental improvement by DOING. And I am learning to embrace my own fear by sharing my unfinished creative mess.)
(And a third version… confidence & flow on film is improving, filming angle & setup improving, and then the camera overheats and shuts down before I finish…FML… Oh, the irony of learning by doing and incremental improvement…)
Messy beautiful art…
It doesn’t matter…
It still touches something inside of me…
It still lights my creative spirit on FIRE.