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Juicy Journaling with SARK
SARK Interview : Page 2 of 4

Succulent Bestselling Author & Artist SARK

By Molly Anderson-Childers

continued from page 1

SARK's Fabulous Friendship FestivalM: Yes. I've been trying to embrace that. It's so hard if you have tendencies towards perfectionism, which you've talked a lot about. The painting or the poem or whatever — it's not quite good enough — maybe if I could tweak it a little. "It's not good enough, because I'm not good enough," and it comes from the same feeling or experience, I think.

SARK: Yes. I've written about this, of course, and the words the perfectionist in us uses is, "not yet."

M: Right. It's never ready.

SARK: It's never ready.

M: I can't read this to anyone; I can't let this out. Maybe if I just change the color, this one word, then it will be perfect. Like you just spoke to, that feeling of denying people our energy — that's what we deny them there; the work, and our creativity in that imperfect stage. To just show it with the blisters and the band-aids on, and the bad hair day.

SARK: Right — and that's what everyone wants to see anyway. They want to see whole picture. We persist in thinking that people want to see our best, most shiny selves — we're forgetting that we're most lovable for being the most wrinkled, dented, tiny, fragile, crawling parts of yourselves, and that's what people love about us, literally. We go around thinking, my hair looks really good today, that's good…

M: (Laughing) What is it with hair?

SARK: Or my pants are finally the right length, oh I just feel so good. And that's not what people are noticing at all. That's why we're drawn to the children, because we know they're just seeing our essence.

M: Yes, I work with kids — that's the best part of my job. They'll actually take the time to see when someone is sad and give them a hug. And a lot of adults don't have the time, or don't make the time, they don't know how, or think that it wouldn't be appropriate — something stops us. Kids just run up and hug you.

SARK: Yes. I think they don't know how. They're not taught how to do this, and they don't know how. I just had an incident the other night. We were at a restaurant watching the Chinese New Year Parade and the server dumped a tray on my friend. She tripped and the pizza just turned upside down on my friend's lap. Luckily, she didn't get burned, but she had pizza all over her. It kind of deflected and bounced off, but the waitress was mortified, and apologized profusely, "I'm so sorry, we'll make you another pizza right away. Please let us buy a carafe of wine for the table to make up for it." My friend told her, "It's really okay."

I had a chance to talk with the waitress later. When she apologized again, I said, "Are you aware that we have all let go of it?"

"Yeah, but I haven't," she said.

I asked, "Are you going to later think about this, and feel badly?"

And she said, "Yeah."

I said, "Can I dare you to do something? I dare you to let this go." She drew her breath in real quickly and said, "I don't know, maybe I could do that." And I said, "Yes. You can. You make amends, you sincerely apologized, you cleaned up the mess. All of us have let go of it, so for you to carry it further had nothing to do with the incident itself." And I could feel her shift into a new place.

M: That's great!

SARK: Yes. And may we all do that, may we all shift with our stories into new places. Instead of, "Oh my God, I tripped, I spilled a pizza — you wouldn't believe it — I've had a terrible night!"

M: Otherwise the whole night becomes about the pizza.

SARK: Right. And my friend asked me later, "How could you tell all of that about her?" I said, "I just had to look at her face, it was all right there."

"But she didn't look like she was even disturbed."

"If you look beneath her face you could see it right there, if you took a minute to feel the energy you could see how ashamed she was." We can all learn to do that, and practice doing that, and helping each other.

M: That's a skill I wish I would have had as a waitress, actually. (Laughing together) I wanted to talk to you a little about your new book. I've heard a lot of great things about your new book, "Fabulous Friendship Festival." Can you tell us what inspired you to create this new work?

SARK: My friends are my family of choice. They are the biggest emotional and spiritual support network I have. I also wanted to write about friendship with myself. I'm learning to be my own dearest friend. Because I'm learning a lot about that and practicing that now, and I know a lot of other people are practicing that too. And I also found that so many friendship books are about either the joys of friendship, or the difficulties of friendship. I wanted to write a book that included both the joys and the difficulties, and ways to integrate the two. To practice integration. It's a huge book, you may have noticed.The book is totally in full color, full of photographs, totally handwritten, full of ideas — it's literally bursting with ideas. I loved the idea of friendships expanding and growing, and people expanding and growing their friendships with this book.

It's about learning about what hurts and what works well, and how do we navigate all these places in friendship, and how do we navigate the friendship with ourselves?

M: That seems to be the most difficult piece for a lot of people.

SARK: Which?

M: Being your own best friend.

SARK: Absolutely. Again, we're not taught to do it.

M: That's why I was so excited to check out this book. It seems so different from what's out there. Usually when you see books about friendship, it's a coffee-table book full of photos of happy girlfriends, or… you know what I'm talking about? Either a puff piece or a self help book, and I don't really go for that, so I was very excited to see this new take on it.

SARK: Thank you.

M: I think especially for creative people — it can be especially tough to be your own best friend. It's a little more difficult if you're working on a novel or a painting. Do you have any insight into that?

SARK: Can you say more about why it might be difficult for you?

M: A lot of myself is caught up in my work. In certain aspects of that, I'm afraid to truly speak, to be honest for fear that honesty or that work will be rejected. When you create something, it's so personal. It's not like I'm doing your taxes, it's personal. I file it, you pay me, we're done. But, with a painting or a collage, that's a piece of your soul that's going out, to be hung up on the wall, or to be judged.

SARK: So, link that back for me. How does that relate to self-friendship?

M: When you're afraid or blocked creatively, you're also dealing with that issue of not being a good friend to yourself, and you're definitely not being a good friend to or honoring the part of yourself that's creative. If you're having a block with one, then you're having a block with the other.

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