04 February 2009

Secret #3: Following Your Fascinations

"Ask yourself, 'How long am I going to work to make my dreams come true?'
I suggest you answer, 'As long as it takes.' "
~Jim Rohn

I find it interesting that the first header in this chapter is "Taking Courageous Risks."

So, I got to thinking...Are there un-courageous risks?

A risk by definition is the possibility of loss or injury; someone or something that suggests a hazard. Tell me...how can you not be courageous when faced with peril?

Today I need courage.
To face my fears.
To get out of my comfort zone.
To determine how and when to take the risk. If at all.

"And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." ~ Erica Jong

So what is it that I risk if I don't follow my fascinations?

I risk being true to myself.
I risk my health and my sanity.
I risk my happiness. And my family's happiness.
I risk my integrity as an artist if I only say and never do.
I risk depression and anxiety and a sense of helplessness in my present situation.

You know how when you go through a break-up, every single song on the radio seems to be torn straight from your heart? It is more likely that you are overly sensitive and highly receptive to the voices around you, but it still feels as if the universe has placed a spotlight on your very soul and you take every phrase to have personal meaning. Well, that is how this book is speaking to me.

I was very taken by the story of Pam Moore in this chapter. The path to her true calling is one that I can relate to as well. I found the phrase "intuitive U-turn" to be very significant. Which made me think about what intuitive U-turns I have had in my life, and where I might be experiencing one right now.

"It takes courage to admit we're on the wrong train and risk disapproval or possibly looking foolish."

Have I been in a state of denial about my creativity? Or would it hve taken me this long to recognize my talents and bear creative fruit?

I have a new friend, an artist named Vanessa Valencia, who has told me that she has been making and selling her art since she was about 14 years old. She comes from a very supportive family who allowed her the room to be self-expressive. She has led a life that seems somewhat enchanted to me in that she has been making art and doing what she loves for more than half of her lifetime. So why did it take me this long to find my creative niche and even longer to follow that fascination?

And now that I have opened my heart to the universe, how can I make sure that I don't waste another minute following where those fascinations lead?

Ms. Moore seemed to know that she was on the right path when the signs were all around her. I imagine if I were to find a tiny ad in the local newspaper that said, "Looking for creative people" I wouldn't hesitate a second to apply, no matter for what position. To be able to be seen as a creative person and have that label be a positive, a title that would also entail making money...well, sign me up!

I just love the phrase that "her face glows with joy" when she speaks about the thing that she loves to do. That is the way I feel about creating and being connected to creatives.

"What inspires me is an incredibly profound belief that I'm not only creative but that I can help others discover their own creativity." ~ Pam Moore


That is the biggest fascination for me. Yes, I play with beads and I make beautiful things, but my real passion, my fascination is to inspire creativity in others.
That is precisely why I started this blog.
That is the path that never existed to me before but that is where I am headed.

I had been asked in the past to start a blog. I resisted for a long time. I feared that a potential risk would be that not one person would ever read this blog but me. I see Treasures Found as a very interesting way to reach out to the world (if anyone is actually reading), but I didn't see myself as a part of it. Frankly, there is a lot of self-serving attitudes out there. Or plugs for product. But not much worth reading, nor commenting on. So I actively started seeking the good that is all around the blog-world, determined to find one blog or website a day that would inspire me. And the most amazing thing happened...I liked what I was finding. I realized that there are others out there who were seeking the same type of creative souls that they were and that all they really wanted was to be inspired. To believe in the magic within. To find a sense of whimsy and playfulness and gratefulness and love. We all seem to be seeking a community to share our art, to grow in our creative cycles and just to enjoy each others' company.

The revelation to me is that I have connected, personally, to people who are in other time zones and even halfway around the world. Only one of my public followers is a person I know and love and see every week. That is powerful. And that fascinates me. If you have commented [thank you! I love comments!] I will attempt to get in touch with you [preferably through a direct email] to make that personal connection. Because when we recognize the impact that our words and our experiences have on people no matter where in the world they reside, it helps remind us that we are all in this together and we can buoy each other up by collectively raising the sea level of creativity and encouraging others to join us on the journey.

I have always believed that God made us all to be creative beings. I don't agree with those who say that only certain people can be creative, but not them. We are all called to be creative. But like Ms. Moore states we have "stopped using that muscle" and need to reawaken and flex it again.

Yes, even I forget how to flex my creativity sometimes.

My family and I have been enjoying Art Village USA for a number of years. A few years ago I even took my first oil painting class there, replicating a "Master's" artwork. I chose a Van Gogh. (Of course. What could be simpler?) My 10 year old son was fascinated by watching the regular pottery ladies on the wheels and would ask me if he could take a class. Now, you have to know that my son is a sports fanatic. If he isn't playing with a ball, he is thinking about it, or watching it on TV. He is a regular sports ticker [are you listening ESPN? He looks good in a suit, can talk endlessly about all sports, with authority, and would be a fine addition to your broadcast team in say...15 years.]

I wanted to allow Sport-o to follow that fascination, so for his Christmas present he received a 25 pound block of clay. I am sure that he was expecting a Wii. I knew that it would be either a win or lose, but no draw. Luckily, he peered into the heavy box at the handmade certificate inviting the two of us to take the 6 week course and said, "Sweet!"

{Score one for Mom.}

A giant block of clay is one thing. Actually sticking it out in the class is another.

Things come naturally to him. He is good in all sports. He is a fine student. He doesn't have to try very hard to make things work out well. So this whole pottery wheel class could have conceivably come to a screeching halt with the first pot he attempted, and then it would be a very expensive lesson [for both of us] to learn.

I am proud to say that we have been through half the class together and not only have we had moderate success by making a combined total of 10 pots. Actually, our instructor Kristin has been praising the natural aptitude that he has shown. But we are learning so much more than how to throw a pot on a wheel.

We are learning patience. And humility.
We are learning to accept our mistakes. And to learn from them.
We are learning to slow down and appreciate the process.
We are learning that we can be each others' greatest cheerleaders.
We are learning a great deal of respect for one another.
[I am learning that it is okay to have your hands covered in mud. Ugh!]

We are learning that no matter what the outcome, no matter how many pots we actually end up with, there is a joy in the ability to flex our creative muscles and try new things.

Encouraging my son to follow his fascination has opened the doors of opportunity for him. His life can be more than just sports. He may not become a world famous potter.

But then again, he might.

My son was the winner of the school spelling bee in 2007 as a 3rd grader. He ended up placing 8th in the regional bee against 5th-8th graders. So the movie Akeelah and the Bee is one of our favorites and truly shows how following your fascinations can lead to great success. This quote, taken from Marianne Williamson, is a rallying cry for living your dream:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

Check It Out::http://www.oneprettything.com/

Enjoy the day!


Jenners said...

You always have such though-provoking posts ... so much to think about. I love that you gave your son a huge block of clay for Christmas (instead of a Wii) and it went over well! That is awesome! And I love that you are working on creating things from that block of clay together. That is very inspiring! : )

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Aww, thanks so much! This totally makes my day! I can tell how much thought and positive energy you put into each of your inspiring posts!

Pearl Maple said...

Beautiful post on our 12 secrets theme. Thanks for sharing.

Fascinations are so much more fun than the saboteurs, between moving house and changing jobs, not sure if that is my copout or the reality that we need to work around.

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

This my darling friend, is the most beautiful post I have ever read. I almost fell off my chair when I saw my name ;) too.

So may questions and ideas fluttering in our minds...

I think if anyone does, you have the perfect soul and self to inspire others and support their creative endeavors...

I can feel it!!! This might very well be your calling!! A Passion waiting to run free...

But, wait, it is already running free.

RIght here... The path is weaving its way - to your greatest dreams...



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