It is very hard to fly when you’re stuck inside your birdhouse. Sorry if you missed my usual Sunday Beauty Board, but I’ve let the blog fall by the wayside for a couple of days. I’ve been trying to spread my wings a bit and had some crash landings.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m taking an e-course called Flying Lessons led by artist and motivator extraordinaire Kelly Rae Roberts. It is fantastic. If she offers the course again next year, I highly recommend it for any creative spirits out there looking to take their business and self-confidence to the next level. I love Kelly Rae’s art and energy, so I knew I’d love her approach. What I didn’t expect was the chance to connect with so many classmates who are artists and creative entrepreneurs all around the globe. I won’t bore you with the full story, but I saw and seized an opportunity to help everyone connect in greater depth on Facebook, so I quickly set up a private group (with Kelly Rae’s blessing). I already have a Choosing Beauty Facebook page, so I figured it would be easy-breezy to set this up, approve the members and let it fly.
Well, the universe had other plans. Guess it was time for me to learn a lesson about reckless driving flying. I was so eager to help my classmates connect and inspire each other that I didn’t take into account some really important logistical factors. For one thing, I hadn’t realized there are hundreds and hundreds of class participants; simply approving them got to be quite time-consuming. I hadn’t considered that many of them were not Facebook-savvy and needed lots of one-on-one help navigating the waters. I also had no way to confirm that people who requested to join the group were legitimate Flying Lessons students (which created a big ol’ wrinkle and, truth be told, a few stress-induced tears on my part). While I was attempting to fly, I got right in my own way.
And the stress of it got to me. I worried that I was letting Kelly Rae and my classmates down by making the process so complicated. I was kicking myself for spending so much time on this “little” side project instead of focusing on deadlines from people who actually pay me for my creative work. I wore myself out staying up super late several nights in a row, trying to help straighten it all out. I let all that self-imposed dread and drama get the best of me; it drained my creativity, positivity, and focus. And I’m sure my kids would probably tell you it made me a pretty cranky mama!
So, why not just shut down the group? I really felt like I needed to finish what I started and I could see the sparks of inspiration and connection already happening within the group. And now that things are settling down, it is a total joy to see how the group is connecting with each other, from Slovenia to Seattle. I am glad I did it and was happy to help anyone who asked for guidance; I just wish I’d taken the time to think it through in order to save myself and others time and stress.                     
  (illustration by Kelly Rae Roberts)
Kelly Rae has inspired us all to think bigger than before. She did not, however, suggest jumping out of the nest without a flight plan. Sometimes we jump into things without thinking, especially when that something makes our heart sing and lights us up inside. This project has become a great reminder for me that even when I’m following my heart and feel guided to do something, it’s still critical to create a map – even if it’s scribbled on the back of a napkin! A few minutes of brainstorming and planning before take-off will make my next flight go so much smoother. And I am so grateful to my fellow flyers for your messages of support and thanks along the way.
Beauty Tip: Reflect on the lessons you’ve learned from some of your most embarassing or trying moments. As long as we choose to learn from our mistakes, they’re all a worthwhile part of the journey.