Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How To Figure Out What Would Be Exciting To Do Even If I Wasn't Paid

It seems like it should be easy to answer this commonly asked question, and perhaps for some individuals it is. For me, it has always been hard and I haven't really been sure why. Although as I sat down to write with this prompt today, I think I finally understand why. My first inclination was always to give an answer that was actually not that authentic.  When considering this question, I would feel a strange internal pressure to answer with "make art!" I have been an artist since I was a little child. It's a calling I have always had and have spent plenty of time doing it, both with and without getting paid. It's funny, but I think I didn't know myself well enough to feel the real answer to this. Creating art must be what my great passion in life is, right? Nobody on planet earth could argue with it. Artists through the centuries have always been admired for their great passion to create, to sacrifice their time, sometimes their own health and often other aspects of their life.

What I have actually spent more time and energy on than art has been healing from deep and traumatic abuse from my early life. I can't say it's been exciting to do, although whenever I had a big insight or shift in my inner self that gave me freedom and inner space to be myself, that was very exciting. Sometimes when there has been a big healing shift, I have wanted to share it with everyone.....but I did not want to share the back story. So I have kept this big part of my life a secret. Still, I always thought that the things I have learned and continue to learn through years and years of reading and studying many teachings and healing methods could help people so much! I also knew deep down that most people wouldn't put as much effort as I did into this deep work that I've done. Not even a fraction of the effort. This may sound cynical. Perhaps it's just a way that my inner self is being protective of still vulnerable parts of myself.

At any rate, I feel that a more genuine answer to this question is to say that I really enjoy helping people. More specifically, helping them get a bigger perspective on things when they are stuck in their paradigms. I have always had another gift, but this one has rarely been recognized. (although when it is, it is always exciting) That is, I have very keen observation abilities. I notice things that others don't notice. It could be an emotion that a person thinks they are hiding. Or some slight signal that indicates there is more going on in a situation than meets the eye. This is a gift that got me into serious trouble as a child. I mean,seriously punished for it. Even though I didn't even know what I was doing. There have been a small number of occasions as an adult when I allowed myself to honor this gift and said some small thing to another person that ended up giving them some relief. And while it all sounds very small - small gesture, small result - it actually had a quality of being huge. Like a small cork being removed so the tank of stagnant water can empty and be refilled with fresh water. Maybe I do that with my art too. Since I like to paint inspiring quotes, it creates a new way of looking at an a painting. I have been acknowledged, and thanked, by individuals who felt that the quote came along at just the right time and that it gave them a boost that they really needed. And this has mostly happened through the emails I send to people on my list. I don't get financially paid for it, but I get a great deal of satisfaction from hearing that people have been moved by the choice of quote and my written thoughts about it. Beneath the gratification I get from creating art, is a fuller gratification of touching people that helps them heal, if only in that moment.

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