discovering courage and vulnerability… at the craft fair


Even though the walls in my apartment are almost totally covered, I’ve been really wanting to find some great new pieces by local artists to add to my art collection. So this weekend I went to a mini version of the Renegade Craft Fair here in Chicago to see what I could discover.

Before I get to the juice of my post, here are just a few of my favorite things from the market:

renegade favoritesClockwise from top left: Evermore Paper Co.; Mr. City Printing; Milkhaus Design; Loft Studios; Maven Collection; Rebecca Mir Grady; Oceanne

There wasn’t really any art for the walls this weekend, but as I wandered the booths I was really in awe of all of the magnificent creativity surrounding me. Here are all these people, marching to the beat of their own drum, following their passions and creating so many different and amazing things. I was really admiring the variety and the craftsmanship… but even more than that, the courage and vulnerability that it takes to be able to create something and put it out there in the world.

Maybe I just hadn’t thought about it so specifically before… but to really trust yourself, your intuition, your vision… and take the first step forward to bring your dream to life is both courageous and vulnerable all at once. And those are two things I wouldn’t normally peg as cohabitants. Really, this concept is true in pretty much any area of our lives… the more we want something, or care about it, the more of our energy and emotion is put into the value of the outcome… what we want seems too big.. too much… too impossible to come true or even ask for. It can seem safer, and smarter, to not put ourselves out there at all and risk the pain of not getting our seemingly impossible dream.

But here’s the thing… look at some of the big successes out there.. they were courageous and vulnerable… and we often forget that they all had a process. They didn’t totally succeed, or totally fail, overnight… there were many of both along the way. Just a few off the top of my head:

The Wright Brothers – imagine how much doubt and judgement they handled while they worked to realize their dream… how easy would it have been for them to just stop trying when their first few attempts didn’t work…

Oprah Winfrey – she didn’t go to bed one night in obscurity and wake up the next morning one of the most powerful people in the world with her own Chai tea blend at Starbucks… speaking of…

Howard Schultz – whether you dig the brew or not – Starbucks.

Steve Jobs – do I need to post a photo of the first apple computer? process people…

Walt Disney – talk about being in tune with your creative energy

Ray Crock – I might not be a fan of McDonald’s, but this dude had a vision of what something could be and he went for it.

These are by no means the ‘best’ or the biggest examples, just a few quickie’s to illustrate a point.

They weren’t smashing successes overnight… but they took a first step, they trusted their intuition… and their hearts… and said, what I want is worth it enough to be vulnerable and risk failing….

This video was making the rounds on the internet recently and I really loved it – it’s a clip from a commencement speech given by Jim Carey and pretty much sums up exactly what I’m describing here. It’s only about a minute long and it really hit home for me. You can fail at playing it safe just as easily as you can fail at going after your dream, so why not just go after your dream?

I think in every area of our lives… house, job, love… everything, it’s totally worth having the courage to be vulnerable to really be able to get the amazing dreams we have for our lives. The scary vulnerable feeling we have to endure when we are really putting ourselves out there just makes getting that amazing thing we want so much feel that much more awesome.



  1. Catherine

    Thanks Nancy- I always enjoy reading your posts; they always start out one way and then evolve into expressing some greater, deeper life meaning.

    1. Thanks so much Catherine, that’s so sweet!

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