Welcome to day #9 of the 30 Day “One Question” Series. If you want to learn more about the series, be sure to check out the first interview.
“A human being is nothing but a story with skin around it.” - Fred Allen
My whole life I’ve been obsessed with stories. I was the kid happy to sit at the feet of my older relatives to listen (or, more often, lay in a dark corner, inconspicuous to eavesdrop on) the stories of their lives. Fictional or real, I knew in my core that stories held a certain kind of magic, and I’m always eager to experience that magic.
And that’s why I was delighted to discover Jolie Guillebeau’s work.
Jolie is a storyteller whose medium of choice just happens to be paint. Visit the gallery of her website and you’ll find 50 small paintings, a tiny sampling of the visual stories she captures each and every day.
Her practice of completing a painting each day is what initially inspired me to contact Jolie for an interview. And then I discovered her full story… the way she’s used and continues to use the practice of setting small challenges to help her overcome painful aspects of her past, to extend her understanding of what she’s capable of accomplishing, and to grow her spirit. She truly epitomizes the truth of this quote:
As you begin to pay attention to your own stories and what they say about you, you will enter into the exciting process of becoming, as you should be, the author of your own life, the creator of your own possibilities.
After reading her story, I knew exactly the question to ask her:
What advice would you give a person in selecting the right kind of challenge… one that actually addresses your core fears and/or stretches your creativity rather than something that acts as a temporary bandage to those fears?
I’d say pick the thing that terrifies you.
The thing that makes your eyes light up, but makes alarm bells go off in your head. Pick the thing that seems daunting. Because otherwise, you’ll get bored. And if for some reason those alarm bells turn out to be right (though they rarely are), you’ll still be better off.
You’ll be braver and stronger and wiser.
Granted, I don’t always follow my own advice, but I when I do, I’m glad I’ve done it.
I have a mantra that I repeat when I’m stepping out in to unknown territory. I’ll let you borrow it if you promise to actually use it. Here it is:
“I’ve never regretted being brave.”
Sometimes I find myself saying it over and over when I’m trying something new.
It always reminds me to stick my neck out
JUST – A – LITTLE – FARTHER.
Jolie Guillebeau uses paint to tell her stories and the stories of others around her. You can learn more about Jolie and her work by visiting her website, JolieGuillebeau.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Her fans would tell you to do yourself a big favor and sign up for her newsletter, where she shares a peak at her daily paintings and shares the stories behind them.
That wraps up this week’s interviews! We’ll start back up on Monday… in the meanwhile, here’s wishing you a wonderful Friday and a very enjoyable weekend.