Search
  • Lana Gendlin Brooks

Creative Courage: Strength in the Face of Pain or Grief

Updated: Mar 21, 2019


This is the story of creative courage and how one night changed my life -- straight from the heart.


I don’t know what life has in store for me and for my new business, HeARTs Work Consulting. Perhaps it’s not the smartest idea to be blogging about how new my business venture is. After all, fake it ‘til you make it, right?


Well, in 2019, I made a commitment to myself to speak my truth. I know what it feels like to be “muzzled” in the corporate world and in the workplace. Talk about a great way to kill someone’s creative ideas! I wish this on nobody, as it leaves feelings of shame, self-defeat and overall hurt.


So here we go…


Creators Space, a new concept for a co-working space for creatives, was a vision and project that I was fortunate enough to be involved in very shortly it was conceived.  After Creators Space had to close its doors in early December of 2018, after only six months of being fully operational, I was in a state of shock, sadness and panic. Creators Space was a part of me. While it still is - and always will be - at the time it felt like the magic carpet I was riding had been ripped from underneath my feet and I was doing somersaults across the Earth. How could this happen overnight!? We tried SO hard to build the idea in its physical form, to ignite it with the people and community that was starting to form, and we were ready to take it to the next level.


Sometimes, the universe has other plans for us.  


After Creators Space had to shut its doors to the public, we had to lay off our entire staff, including myself. For about two weeks, I probably had PTSD. ;-) I was out of a job and had no backup plan.


Then I started thinking...what can I do? What can I offer? What knowledge and wisdom have I been fortunate enough to absorb in my lifetime that I can share with the world? How can I help others and still feel fulfilled in my work?  I summoned my creative courage.


At Creators Space, I had devised a “creativity plan” for new members. My idea for a creativity plan was similar to that of a fitness plan that one might work on with a personal trainer when joining a gym. I’d sit with new members and ask a series of questions about their goals and reasons for joining our community. This was one of my favorite aspects of my job. I had the honor to sit and listen to bright-eyed, creative people from all walks of life, as they shared their dreams, ideas and goals with me. I always left these meetings feeling inspired and amazed at all of the ideas and talents that people have. During this process, I would take notes and offer up strategies of how to move forward. I’d offer to make connections with my own personal network or those within the Creators Space community. I helped make the connections that people needed to bring their ideas to life, and I loved every minute of it. We’d also talk about the ways in which all of the tools and resources at Creators Space could be utilized to assist new members in their pursuits. Then, I’d tailor their plan and send it back to them.


So I started thinking, geez... maybe I could offer these services on my own, along with a few more?? Ideas were starting to take shape.


Then one snowy winter night (December 23 to be exact), I was simply jotting down ideas in my journal. I wrote for a couple of hours. I tried to go to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. Ideas just kept coming! I wrote and sketched and wrote. Then I’d put my journal down, but more ideas kept flowing. It was like my brain and body were downloading information from the ethers. Anyone who has read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert will understand. If you haven’t read this book, you should.  And it kept on going this way until about 5 am.

And that is how HeARTs Work Consulting was conceived. I had thought of the mission for my business, the vision, the name, the services that I’d provide, which audiences I wanted to begin serving, their personas and how I’d like to begin marketing my services.


Now perhaps you’re a creative person and this experience is familiar. For me, this was the first time in my life that I’d had an experience this vivid and impactful. It was a call to action from the universe that I could not ignore, and it was overwhelmingly invigorating. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience… like I was high on something (and rest assured, I was not). It was awesome!  


Over the course of the last two years, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned about being entrepreneurial;  about the importance of practicing creative wellness, whatever that means for you; about what it really feels like to find my creative flow, about love and loss (a subject that is all too familiar). Most importantly, I’ve learned to speak MY truth and to believe in myself again. People and circumstances in my life have knocked me down hard, more than a few times. If I can do this, anyone can do this!!



29 views

HeARTs Work Consulting, LLC

www.heartsworkconsulting.com

lana@heartsworkconsulting.com

202.536.7795