Last week my Artist’s Way class had their graduation celebration. I want to share with you something that came out of that which feels vital for us all.
The celebration, on Zoom, was beautiful, moving and joyful, with deep reflection and sharing of art work that the students had made. We did virtual studio tours, taking one another through our creative spaces via our computers and cell phones. We played silly games and wore fun hats. There was laughter and communing, deep feeling and honoring of the unique creativity in each of us.
But I also saw some students comparing what they had to show unfavorably against the others, feeling less than or that maybe they should be farther along. They were neglecting a vital truth.
As one students said, her life is her art.
That’s the heart of it. The heart of what I teach and seek to live.
The art work that students shared was beautiful, striking, imaginative, wonderful. And we so need art in our world. Art exists for the sheer joy of making and the need to express deep and subtle truths, feelings, intuitions, experiences. It builds bridges and brings beauty, truth, wonder, surprise, growthful confrontation, vision and transformation into our world.
Yet, beyond that is the making of an artful, soulful life.
All of what the students shared, as they walked us through their homes, showed us the herbal potions they make, the garden they were creating, the stones they lovingly collect and arrange, or the way they decorate their homes, all of what they shared in their honest words, in their courage and vulnerability and care for others, all of it is art. All of it is creative living.
And it is this, to make our lives a work of art, to live artfully, to have our life be our art and our art be our lives, that I seek to bring to others.
This is the way I seek to open for you, to encourage you to walk. And for you to know that what you do from your delight, curiosity, fascinations, passions, deep need, your wild imagination, is a gift to all beings.
Regardless of whether you share your creations with many others or keep them to yourself. Regardless of whether you are a maestro or a beginner or intermediate level. Regardless of whether what you do is art in the traditional sense or something else, like river-rafting or being a grandmother.
By following your path of heart you light the world.
And you don’t have to turn those pursuits into careers or hard work or big, serious projects in order to validate them. You may feel called to do that out of a longing in your soul, and that’s wonderful. But if you don’t feel that, you don’t have to.
You can have hobbies. You can do something you enjoy for a little while and then move onto something else. Or you can do it occasionally and not make a serious pursuit of it. You can experiment and discover. You can play.
If you are following your joy and what’s true for you, then your gifts will open up, you will find your unique path, and bring great blessing to our world. Just by being who you truly are and taking care of that unique self.
So, let yourself play. Let yourself follow what you love. Be curious. Try new things. Be a beginner, make messes, fall down, switch horses mid-stream. Follow your delight, your joy, your heart, your curiosity, your longing. It will take you where you need to go.
Let your life be your art. Make of your life a work of art.
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