You and I know this feeling very well and often run away from it. We sense it in our throats, sometimes our chests and sometimes our shoulders. When we feel it, our instinctual response is to turn around and run away from whatever is causing this feeling. As living creatures, this feeling is one of our greatest teachers. It can teach us discernment, it can sharpen our moral compass and even show us where we need to move forward.
The feeling I’m referring to is fear. When we feel it, we instinctually want to run away. Like when we were kids, we were encouraged by our mothers and fathers to turn the other way when we felt fear. Fear is an instinctual response that has kept us alive for, well, up until now. Fear has served us well, letting us know when predators are approching and when we are lacking vital necessities, like food and shelter.
Perhaps, though, not all fear can be treated equal. Perhaps, the fear that we were once trained to run from isn’t the same kind we should embrace and move towards. But is there such a thing as fear that’s worth moving towards? Am I supposed to tell my kids not to run away from a stranger who’s coming towards them? No, of course not. In that situation, there is an actual threat. That’s the kind of fear that’s worth running away from. But what about the other kind of fear, the kind that arises when we do something different, when we change a pattern or have the opportunity to go deeper into something. For example, going deeper into ourselves. This piece of writing is just as much for you, the reader, as it is for me, the writer. I notice how often I feel fear and how easy it is to be controlled by my instinctual response to it. Sometimes, I run in the other direction before I differentiate which fear is present. When I ask which fear is present, I realize I’m often dealing with the kind that is showing me where I need to move forward. Fear was what made me realize I needed to let that relationship go. Fear was the feeling that told me to leave Portland to travel to Peru. Fear was the feeling that encouraged me to go on that date. Now, fear is what’s telling me to go deeper into myself. So, perhaps, it’s not a matter of asking if we feel afraid, but about which kind of fear we’re dealing with. If we treated fear like a tool, one that shows us where to go, perhaps we could change our reaction to it and more easily go where we needed to. Instead of fleeing from everything that scares us, we could use fear as an indicator for change. We could celebrate when fear arrives to show us where to go.
I feel that an introduction is in order – Hello to the fans of J. Sander Photography and anyone else who may find their way here, my name is Kenna Allison. I am an artist based in Butte Montana who at the moment specializes in visual arts (Photography, Mixed Media, ect…). I co-own Krowned Clothing Co. with my boyfriend Kal. If you have been following John for some time now on any social platform I am sure you have run into our work from time to time.
John and I met my Freshman year of high school in our Montana History class, little did we know we would still be great friends 6 years later. John has been a continuous supporter of Kal and I’s work and is always there to cheer us on. For that we owe him great love and gratitude.
Today is Valentine’s Day, and while mostly overrated I do find joy in celebrating it anyways- is there really any bad excuse to celebrate love? Kal and I will be celebrating our fourth Valentines together this year, and it has me thinking a lot about what we have been through and the lessons learned. Being with someone who you share the same passions with is a special and very rare bond. There really isn’t much Kal and I do not do together, and for the last 4 years we have always been by each other’s side. I met Kal when I was 16 and he was a 19 year old college student who reached out to me about taking photos for his clothing company Krowned. As a budding photographer at the time I jumped at the opportunity but had absolutely no idea to the extent of what this partnership would blossom into at the time. We clicked instantly and after a few months of working together became inseparable. Today we live together in our dream first apartment with our cat Kouteh in what at times feels like a fantasy land of opportunity and bliss. Chasing our dreams side by side, creating the world we want to live in everyday.
Finding someone who you feel is your twin flame at such a young age and running wild with them, having your whole life ahead of you and dreams to be fulfilled may seem like a fairy tale. However, it takes much more work than what can be seen on the surface. It’s conflict in interest when working on a creative project. It’s struggling to hold each other up at times when dealing with your own mental war and theirs at the same time. It’s pain and sacrifice.
“Behind every beautiful thing there’s some kind of pain.”
– Bob Dylan
Through the hardships at the end of the day the good will always outweigh the bad. We learn and we live. Fall down and get back up again. Being creatives in love will always have its shadow aspects, but with dedication they are bonds that can never be broken.
My top ten lessons on being creative and in love:
Communication is the key to understanding. Understand, empathize, forgive, repeat.
Have solutions, not problems.
Finding balance in life will give you harmony
Practicing self care together is essential. Know each others needs. Take space when necessary.
Always be able to admit when you are wrong.
Honor each other.
Trust is found in action.
Tell your story together through your art and it will always be authentic.
Change is inevitable, embrace it.
Hold each other to a standard that accepts giving up is not an option.
Today, focus on love. Radiate it from your being and set the intention of continuing to radiate that same love everyday for the rest of your life. Practice self-care and remember that loving yourself is always first. If you too are in a relationship (especially a creative duo), get out of your comfort zone with your feelings. Tap into your creative abilities fueled by love, the best work tends to come from these places.
P.S. Never give up on what you are passionate about. Ever.