Partnering For Success – Hummingbird Honeys Creative Support Group

Since my mom passed away, it’s been pretty tough to get back on track with editing the content for The SpokenCoast Project. I didn’t expect her passing to derail me from the project so severely. Honestly, I often have moments where I wonder if I’ll ever finish it at all.

During my daily meditation, I’ve been casting out to the universe the ability to get the work done, in whatever way the universe wants to provide the resources. Whether it’s help editing, or money for traveling next Summer, or whatever, I just need help.

Ask, and you shall receive. (Yes, it’s cheeseball, but it really applies here!)

Lo & behold, my dear friend Deirdre Donovan contacted me about a project she is working on through a school program, and wanted to extend it out to a project we would also work on together, to mutually support each other in our creative processes. Wow! What a cool opportunity!

We created the group Hummingbird Honeys! The name came from all the incredible hummingbirds that visit me outside my window while sitting at my desk in Colorado, and on the deck, and dive bomb the bamboo wind chimes thinking their flowers. There are tons around here, and while in the Great Outdoors, they sounds like the insect equivalent of the B-52 bomber when flyig nearby. In mystic circles, according to the Spirit Animal website, Hummingbird “…symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being. Those who have the hummingbird as a totem are invited to enjoy the sweetness of life, lift up negativity wherever it creeps in and express love more fully in their daily endeavors. By affinity with the hummingbird, those who have this bird as totem may be encouraged to develop their adaptability and resiliency while keeping a playful and optimistic outlook.” 

And, according to the entry, Hummingbird offers those who have it as a totem, “swiftness & flexibility”. There’s hope for me yet!

Deirdre & I each committed to certain goals on a weekly & monthly basis. Each week we check in for 10-20 minutes by phone to let each other know what’s going on & examine blocks to success, and offer support & wisdom. Then we also meet once per month by Skype to review creative material & offer feedback.

So far, the meetings have been great! Notice I’m blogging more, it’s because of Hummingbird Honeys! Notice there are new photo albums on the site? Hummingbird Honeys again!

It’s been really amazing to be “on the hook” every week, to someone who won’t scold me or berate me like nuns in Catholic School, but who will actually offer insight & tips/tricks to overcome my mental blocks around creative content. What I’ve noticed in our calls is 99.9% of the blocks Deirdre & I experience are mental or emotional in nature. Time management really isn’t the issue, neither is capability nor talent. It’s really simply about _believing_ we can do it!

It never dawned on me that only cheerleading myself would be so hard, especially after so much loss. Folks in “woo woo” holistic circles often say it’s easier to help someone else than to help yourself. Definitely true for me. So, what Hummingbird Honeys does is “trick” my mind into believing I’m “helping” someone (which truly I am!) in such a way that I also help myself in return. The mind is a terrible thing to taste, but sample I must.

Since starting with Hummingbird Honeys, I’ve gotten incredibly organized around blogs & goals, and really was driving forward on many accomplishments. Then, my brother Mickey’s birthday hit yesterday. Plus, an ankle sprain & wrist injuries. This is what happens when I try to run from my grief. Also, there’s been another thing on my mind that’s eaten up a lot of space. I had a therapist tell me once “How come you’re renting out space in your mind for free? You’re not even collecting the rent!”. I miss her.

So, beware of renting out space in your mind to something because it may lead you to slipping & falling on hard stones like me, or a minor traffic accident, or accidently stapling your thumb or some other such perfectly avoidable nonsense. Staying present is the key to avoiding bodily harm.

Even though I’ve done a tremendous amount of loafing these last days, avoiding my grief, icing my ankle, etc., I still managed to pull this blog together. This is the power of mutual support. This is why support groups from AA to Nose-pickers Anonymous are everywhere around the world. Coming together for a mutual cause to offer help to others really works! Even in cases of creativity.

If two artsy fartsy broads like Deirdre & I can pull together something like this, so can you! It doesn’t have to be super formal. We crafted our own guidelines, and mutually committed to them. We set our own format & agreed on days/times that worked for us. All it takes is willingness! Just give it a try, knowing that absolutely nothing is set in stone. Everything is negotiable! If something isn’t working out for any member of the group, then adjustments can be made to satisfy all members’ needs. Sometimes group dynamics can get messy, but just roll with it. With dedicated minds & hearts, things have a tendency to work themselves out.

Let me know in the comments if you’re part of any kind of creative or work-related support group, how it’s going for you, what it’s like, format, etc. I’d love to hear your experiences!

Hip hip hooray for Hummingbird Honeys!

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4 Responses to Partnering For Success – Hummingbird Honeys Creative Support Group

  1. Lew Tobin Nome Rotary says:

    i was sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. i lost my mom in May this year and was amazed at how much it affected me. Even at ages above 60 it is hard to become orphaned, even when you are expecting it.

    I like the questions about how we are renting out our mind to stray thoughts. it is hard to stop. Esepcially about 3 AM.

    • marissa says:

      So sorry to hear that, Lew! Yeah, losing Mom is a hard thing, no matter the age. It’s almost like there’s some terrific bond because physically we were in her womb or something.

      I agree about the 3AM part! My mind especially has a hard time when I’m tired.

      Hope Summer in Nome is glorious! You’ll be in my thoughts & prayers these coming months as the grieving process unfolds for you.

  2. Interesting you have just posted this. A friend of mine (another freelance writer) and I were just discussing the idea of coaching each other through the creative process – from the business and choices we make as writers, to pitches, first drafts – whatever! I look forward to exploring this, since I have never been part of a writers coop or guild (much too small a town for that!). Glad to hear you have some new motivation.

    • marissa says:

      That’s a great coincidence, Meghan! I definitely recommend it. Dierdre & I have explored all different areas of our lives, as it relates to our “blocks” on creativity. When we created a safe & supportive space to share about those blocks, it freed us up to be more creative. It’s been so amazing to make suggestions to her & have them work out well & be useful. It’s an incredible feeling to impact someone’s life so directly! Let me know how it goes for you!

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