23 January 2009

Secret #2: Honoring Your Inspirations

"Inspirations are precious seedlings awaiting nurturance."

So begins Secret #2...

We each have a creative capacity of limitless proporations. We each have the tools given by God to be creative. The challenge is that we have forgotten how to access our creativity and unlock it's potential.

Everyone is creative. I won't have you tell me otherwise.

I am struck by the fact that the women in this book all have a profound sense of self that is cultivated by being receptive to the world around them. In short, they see that inspiration is everywhere. And since that is the subtitle to my own blog, I feel right at home with all of them, and all the other seekers I have encountered along the way.

Creativity is an energy, a force. It permeates our very beings. We are at our best when we allow that energy to bring us into harmony with our true selves. And when we are creative it is no wonder that it energizes us, drives us to create more. But finding that balance is a struggle for me and other women-who-do-too-much like me. (You know who you are.)

"Time is absolutely vital to the creative process. We have to figure out how to take it and give it to ourselves. Only when we realize the kind of attention we need to be creative, do we realize the value of our time." ~ Alice Aspen March

The Challenge in this chapter is about carving out time for yourself to tap those creative energies. Great idea in theory. Often unattainable in practice. I find that I don't have nearly enough time to just sit and be with me. With a full time job (in complete overdrive due to pressing deadlines right now), two kids (with a variety of activities that find me chauffeuring almost every day of the week), a husband (who passes like a ship in the night only to "collide" on the occasional Friday night), the pull of meaningful volunteer opportunities and my 9p to midnight passion to fuel...how do I carve that time for me out?

This is a particular struggle for me.

Do I work best at my art when it is late at night because I am a night owl and that is when my creativity is sparked? Or is it becasue that is the only time that I can explore when the world is hushed and my family are snug in bed? All this late night creating is endlessly tiring and doesn't do a thing for the bags under my eyes. Still, at this time that is what I can commit. Perhaps that might change in time.

"The doors of opportunity are opening around us every day. We have to have the courage to walk through them and the vision to see where they may lead us in order to take that step toward greatness." ~ Erin Prais-Hintz

That is a quote of my own that I am fond of reciting to others. It is something that I truly believe. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today, standing on the threshold of something great, if I didn't live that sentiment. Yet there is something holding me back. I am holding me back.

One of the first steps for me is to find a way to pull out of my day job. And while I have had a lot of encouragement to that end, and I am usually known to jump right into a decision without thinking the consequences through completely, this challenge is different. I have been considering this for several years. With the economy the way it is, is it really the right time to walk away from a well paying, stable position to face such uncertainty and risk? So I reason that I have to work a little harder and a little longer to make my dreams come true.

What do I need to let go of? What is keeping me on the threshold looking in?

I am afraid of what this would mean to my family. Lost income is but one of the worries. But I also consider what it would mean to me to have DAYLIGHT hours to create, to pursue other opportunities that are eluding me. There are things I cannot, will not do in the wee hours simply because they could be dangerous. Things like soldering, or working with hot tools. Not the thing one should be working with at midnight. There are publications I would like to pursue, but I don't have the time to fully investigate. There are classes and workshops and shows that I would attend and perhaps even exhibit at if I but had the time to prepare. It is sometimes hard to honor my inspirations when I am so weary. But with hope alive in my heart I know it will be the right time one day, and I know that I will be ready to step across that threshold and walk confidently into my destiny.

I talk confidently with my keyboard, but translating my words into actions terrifies me. Yet, I don't really think that anyone who knows me would be all that surprised if I did follow where this path is most certainly leading me. I feel that I may have wasted too much time already in my 40 years. I don't have time to waste another 40. My time is now.

"Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties."
~ Gail Sheehy

Honoring my inspirations, my creative visions, my artful passions all brings my "seedlings" to life. It is not work. It is not a chore. It is exploration and discovery and, yes, play. I make it up as I go. And there are no rules. Now if I can just believe what my true self is saying to me....

Enjoy the day!


Stacey said...

I printed your quote and will hang it in my studio - beacuse obviously it is so right on - now to just remind myself daily - I HAVE to have the courage.
I hope that some how some way - balance will come to you.

L'Adelaide said...

Thank you for an inspiring and powerful post....I am also a night owl creator...I have come to realize in my 57 years on the planet that some things one cannot change, and I cannot change that about me! I was before I had 3 kids and now they are grown, and I still feel that itch to paint or do SOMETHING beginning about 9pm, regardless of what the day to come looks like...do I always go ahead ? mostly yes, I do, but not always...I have had to learn the meaning of pacing myself, to keep my energy levels even, to work with illness and fatigue that can really play havoc with creativity ANY time of the day, if I am not responsible to ME....that is my point. It is definitely a choice made only by the person who feels the fire, the need to be creative, to create-nobody really understands it unless they feel it.

thank you for this post as it is an important one about so many things women face everyday, if they are artists at heart....I wish you clarity of mind to know what is best for you and your life, and the time you need to pursue your dreams!

http://afancifultwist.typepad.com said...

Hello you lovely!! I hung on your every word here!! My goodness, your blog and you and your words are a beauty...

Well, from the mouth of someone who quit her real paying day job to be an artist full time, I'd say... Maybe you can make a "drop out of your job date," for when the economy gets a tad better?

Like give yourslef a window of time... When things start to brighten up in the economy...

Although, there is so much to think about because - then, are you "wasting" more creative time waiting for a better day... Or are you being prudent? I ask myself these questions all of the time...

The one thing I don't want is to ever be stressed about money for quiting my real job, which in turns, takes away my creativity, due to worry...

BUT, I like you have a strong faith. I was raisied in a loving Catholic home, and I believe everything is going ot be okay...

So, again, tons of food for thought...

I guess I am no help, hee heeeee ;)

All I can say is I want to hang in this corrider of words for the rest of the weekend and beyond...

"Creativity is an energy, a force. It permeates our very beings. We are at our best when we allow that energy to bring us into harmony with our true selves. And when we are creative it is no wonder that it energizes us, drives us to create more."

xoxo, Vanessa

Maree Jones said...

I admire your honesty. I can say that reading your post makes it seem like you really do know that leaving your day job is the right path for you. I too know the difference between confidently stating things in words and then worrying that I can't follow them up or don't know how. I hope you achieve your dream - I'm cheering for you!

Unknown said...

You wrote:

Everyone is creative. I won't have you tell me otherwise.

(oPPS, I hit the caps ha!)

I believe that saying that everyone can create to be very true. It may take more effort for some and come easy for others but none the less I think we all can create too...

Have a great hair day! Becci

Melanie Margaret said...

My children are home sick from school resting quietly (litterally) by my sides ~ I am finally getting a chance to browse through some 12 chapter blogs.

I have enjoyed reading yours and scrolling through some of your archives.

I like the lay out of your blog. It is pretty.

and I always like meeting other moms who are trying to create in the midst of life.

Keep at it!

Genie Sea said...

By talking with your keyboard, you are setting a plan in your mind. A seedling that one day will grow. For now you are carving time for yourself. Maybe soon, you won't have to carve that time anymore :) The fuel is in the drive :)

Lisa said...

The eternal struggle! You'll find your way tho, maybe a little sleepy, but still ... Bags under your eyes are not that noticable if your eyes are shining because you created something ;)

Jenners said...

I'm just back from vacation and catching up on your blog. I just love reading your blog and following you on your journey. I see so much of myself in you!

For years I've had a dream of having my own business (organizing) and writing professionally about things I'm actually interested in, but I've never had the courage to pursue it. There is something too practical about me to give up steady pay and health-care benefits to pursue a dream. (Plus I tend to not think things through too much like you mentioned).

But now I am in a weird position in that I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past 4 years -- relying on someone else to do the earning and secure the health care. It was an interesting transition to make. I know it is a burden on my husband and I want to help ease the burden (soon ... I know I have about 1 more year of this "freedom") but I don't want to rush back into jobs that I hated, which I did for 15 years.

This time, I want to find something that actually feeds my soul. I'm so glad to have found blogging as it really helps to fill some of the gaps within me. And funnily enough, I've come to actually enjoy "keeping a house." I always thought being a homemaker was something to "run away" from -- I needed to be a career woman, not a homemaker -- was how I was raised to think. But when I think of the words "home maker" -- really what could be more creative or important if you let it be? I've tried to keep this in mind, and there is something quite satisfying about keeping a nice home. As with all jobs, there is the drudgery but really, it can be done in fun ways. I can't blast my iPod at the office but I can while cleaning the bathroom.

So I'm very interested in reading along with you as you begin this journey. As for time to be creative, well, that is the challenge isn't it?

And if you've never read it, I've always enjoyed Sarah Ban Breathnach's books on finding your authentic self. It sounds kind of along the same lines.

http://afancifultwist.typepad.com said...

Hello lovely.

I have lots to say - but first, I think the e-mail munchkins are against us!!

I am trying to get to you too, for days, and they keep bouncing back... (e-mails)

Do you have a secondrary e-mail? xoxo

Magdalena M. said...

Thank you for encouraging words and quotes, it helps a lot. I'm saying warm hello from Poland! :-)


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