Warning…this post could have consequences.


There is no reality except the one contained within us.  That’s why so many people live an unreal life.  They take images outside of them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.              Herman Hesse

That quote from Herman Hesse is a special one to me. 

I am a Christian woman, who believes strongly that I have a power that resides inside my soul that is unbreakable, unchangeable, and eternal.

This power is the source of my strength, my joy, it is my lifeline.

I read a study once that attempted to prove that no two people experience reality the same way.

They showed color cards to 200 people and had them describe the color to them.

As would be expected…the color blue was not seen the same way twice. They all identified it as being blue, but that is where the similaritys ended. When asked to further describe the color, the answers were varied amongst the participants.

The truth is, we are all unique.

We even see the color blue in our own unique way.

So based on the findings of this study, why would you ever try to conform to someone elses idea of who you should be?

When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I was content with being part of the “Herd” so to speak.

I did what everyone else did.

I wore what everyone else wore.

I went to church where everyone else went.

and…

I was suffocating in my own life.

For those of you who know me personally, I have a HUGE personality. I can walk into a room full of people, (and if I want to be) I can be the center of attention in under 5 minutes.

In fact, that is actually my comfort zone… the center of attention. 

(Ya, I am one of those people…;) )

But for over 10 years, I had allowed that part of me to lie dormant. To all but disappear.

But when my husband left us, I had no choice but dig deep within to find the strength and courage to raise my family alone. 

He forced me to go inside…to find my power.

That is why I strongly believe that even in the darkest hours, we are held up, sustained and supported by a power that is beyond our human comprehension.

And that power is not going to be found outside of yourself.

It is an invisible force that requires a quiet mind and heart to communicate to.

It requires Faith.

I don’t know if it even matters what name you call this inner power. I think that a true, honest and genuine connection with it goes beyond it needing a name, or assigning any religious beliefs to it.

It simply requires an act of faith that God really is there. That he has always been there, and always will be, no matter what.

My personality is stronger than ever now. I am back to being the person I was in my childhood. But I am no longer a child.

I am a woman.

I am a mother.

I am an artist.

Even with a life that includes new love, art, and true vocation I must continue to choose, as I did in my youth to rage against mediocrity.

To dare to dream the unreasonable dream.

To dedicate my life each and every morning to the Lord.

To give him permission to move “ME” out-of-the-way so that his work can be fulfilled in my life.

So that I can be a light that shines through the darkness that surrounds me every day.

I choose every day, to take up my stand against the settling in, settling down, being normal, and even concepts like ‘doing my best’.

Can we talk about the tryant knows as, ” Doing our best” a minute?

I didn’t, and don’t want to do my best nor shall I promise it to anyone.

More than winning or besting, I wanted to discover and be me.

This is a very different feeling quest than ‘best’.

What does BEST even mean?

Who is the person that defined BEST anyway?

It is not easy for any of us, as you know, to discover our own true holy meaning of self in the best of circumstances.

But when you add to this quest  the pressure of other people’s ideas of greatness you are setting yourself up for pain and failure.

This is a system of living that I want NO PART of.

I only want greatness that is specific to my own gifts.

This life is not about giving my best, which is usually someone else’s interpretation of what a good job is.

The work of becoming unique at first doesn’t appear outwardly to others as ‘doing one’s best’.

But ‘best’ isn’t performance based when…you are an artist on the inside.

I have created many paintings that to someone else may have appeared to be  haphazard or messy or not of service to anyone but my own soul.

But when they were completed, I was also a more complete person.

So for me they were extremely powerful, and they were absolutely PERFECT.

Becoming yourself is messy work (at best) and others looking in might wonder if you have gone mad.

If you don’t appear to have lost yourself in order to find yourself you might need a new shovel. 
 
First let me say…
If we do not choose to fall in love with life,
to be AWAKE to the awe and beauty that surrounds us daily…
Then  I am afraid the temptation to go to sleep and give in to ‘comfort’ will be to great.
And falling asleep in the middle of this incredible journey would be a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions.
What are the ways one can keep themselves truly alert and engaged?
My breakthrough last night was about paintings, and the innate power of creation.
I was painting a heart that a customer had ordered for Valentines when it hit me…
Besides “service work” where I am giving to others the gift of my talent… Painting is also one of the ways I can FEEL and stay connected to myself.
Much of the time we are numb,
hardly feeling,
grateful to cry,
pissed off at the ‘system,
(but not pissed enough to cause a revolution.)
We are tired.
I am no exception,
that is the reason I choose to fight it with fists and brushes.
Here is my breakthrough:
We can CHOOSE to walk the blade of life…
or…
We can really be brave and walk our own personal edge. 
So why is this a breakthrough?
 Because usually trauma and life circumstance force us to the edge and then we have to walk it.
BUT we can CHOOSE it consciously,
but you have to be willing to be extremely uncomfortable in the process.
This is what I have witnessed hundreds of times.
When I am painting,  I am brought to the very edge of misery and pleasure by own brush.
There is an awareness that happens right there as I sit in front of the canvas working to manifest a vision I genuinely want to see come alive.
 And yet usually, it won’t…
(not the way I want it to look anyway.)
So I am forced to walk to that edge of being challenged…
literally brought to the point of tears sometimes,
confronting myself and my insecurities,
my demons,
my skills or lack of skills, (whichever the case may be)
And that is when I begin my battle with the canvas.
I close my eyes tightly, willing the picture to life with my thoughts.
I persist until the picture emerges, fully and completely alive with vivid colors and its own personality.
I am once again victorious.
 
That is why  Intentional Creativity, is such a powerful agent of transformation.
It brings you to your personal edge.
It is like years of therapy coming to head at the tip of your own brush.
It is wild to say the least.
Even as a very creative and active person, I have to choose this aliveness – I choose daily to move away from the gradual deadening of mediocrity.
 I know painting, poetry and prayer have something to do with staying awake – and the paradox is that this kind of awareness is also very nourishing for the “rest-parched soul”.

The surest cure for deadness is to discover how to fall in love with everything.

To let everything touch you.
To be intimate with the universe.
I am not saying this is easy.
Talking to trees and getting something out of it is not as easy as it sounds. There has to be a fair degree of insanity, and desire, coupled with surrender if one is to listen to trees. 😉

In the most basic way – mediocrity can be fought with creativity.

So go get creative, and fall in love with your life this weekend!
Falling In Love detail
Have you had any breakthroughs that you want to share..feel free to share in the comment section below.
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