Tell Me She Said... What Is Your WHY?
In my coaching program and in many of the books I have read about success and life purpose, the question that leads to the path of fulfillment is "What is Your WHY?"
What is it that makes you get up in the morning ready to go, happy to approach the day, stoked to begin working on the projects and to-do lists of the week. For too many of us, the Monday blues are too frequent a beginning to the week. We may feel contracted and unmotivated to start a new week.
Whenever I begin a new painting or an art journal page, and I am feeling expanded and ready to paint, sketch, stamp, layer, collage... I explore my favorite books by art journal bloggers and artists, listen to inspiring music, move & stretch to open the door to imagination. I may take some photos from nature and get a feeling of being connected to the earth.
The most inspiring art journaling activities are begun when I create several different pages at a time, starting with backgrounds and a multitude of techniques. While they dry, I cut and create words and phrases that inspire me and hopefully urge my readers and viewers to ponder as well. As layers are added, I try to keep the rules and techniques as tools rather than steps to the next layer. It is important to allow what arrives at the door of my imagination to appear on the page, vs the next logical step of the process.
What does this have to do with My WHY?
I approach My WHY in much the same manner. There are many layers to what motivates me in doing the work to which I am called. I have to let the rules of success be a tool rather than the next step. I have always felt a calling to be an artist. It has been part of me since I was able to create at a young age. Always curious to learn how to "make things" - I taught myself to sew, to put things together, to decorate my room by reading, watching, exploring, and focusing on what is pleasing to my eyes.
I always have known I would be an artist. There has never been a question. I have let the questions of how to make a living and generate income get in the way too many times. I have let those issues carry me away from My Why at times. But the question still remains... Why? Why do I create? Why do I design? Why do I approach each action in my life with an eye for beauty and perspective?
In answering this question, I recall reading a book many years ago by Anthony De Mello. Written by a Jesuit priest, The Way to Love is a series of short writings about learning the true way to universal love. This small book gave me a new lens to view art, my life and my life's work. I realized my purpose in this life is to love. I may be an artist, but my purpose is love. It has became more and more revealing that my work is a expression of my love. To find that place inside of me through which I can allow that love to flow through my work to those who experience it. It may be beautiful, thought provoking, difficult to understand, unattractive, or abhorant. If I do not express the images, color, sketches, sculptures or environments which I create, it will be lost. Whether sounding like a clanging cymbal or a resounding gong, as if my work would create a spark, I do not know. But without creating my work, it will be lost, whatever the small contribution. If each of us were to be told our purpose, either singularly or broadly, and if it were to be one small thing so insignificant or so overwhelmingly grand, with an impact for only one or for many, could we fail to do it?
Over 15 years ago, I discovered the writings of a man named Thomas Leonard and a concept called coaching. It touched a place deep inside me which I knew I should explore. Finding what makes someone else come alive, what encourages them to shine, to open up and bloom, to take a direction that will change them forever is what I yearn to do. To create a plan, take an idea and make it come to fruition, to guide someone toward their purpose is also mine. I create art to inspire and guide. I teach techniques to those who want to design their own life, search deeply within and help guide them to their own Why. I believe we all need to find our own gift, our life purpose, our Why. My art has lead me to know what my purpose is through vision boards, expressive art classes, coaching education, and the love of seeing what is inside someone and helping them to see it themselves.
Along this path of self-discovery, I have found kindred souls who have held my hand and my heart. My business partner, Karen, is one of those souls. We met taking art classes in college at Mary Washington, became fellow artists and roommates, and have kept in touch over the years. Most recently we began a coaching program called The Ultimate Game. For the past year and a half, we have communicated every week by email, Skype, texts and soon will be working together to bring to fruition our dream of creating art retreats and creative workshops together. Each week we hold each other accountable for accomplishing the small steps toward the bigger goal of our WHY. Dare to Create will launch in the coming months and bring our passions, our art, our teachings, and our wisdom together and inspire others to dare to live their WHY.
And along the way, I am living each day in gratitude and anticipation of what is next... I create. I design. I paint, draw, decorate, write, sing, play music with passion. I love, laugh, cry, and express many emotions with passion. I seek the golden nugget encased in the heart of those who I coach and with whom I volunteer. I pursue my WHY. I can do no less.
I am an artist and I am here to love.
That is my WHY.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild & precious Life?" ~Mary Oliver
If you would like more information on future creative retreats and workshops, comment below and I will contact you. ~Hobby