In Search for Passion and Meaning

Action Lady! Credit: Pixabay

Lady Action.  Images Credit: Pixabay

When did pelvic thrusts become the measure of excitement and passion? Emoji’s are facing stiff (puny, I know) competition from our need to express our approval with virtual grunts.

For most of us who work, our weekend schedule can reveal the road map to our passion – a football game, a writing workshop, a crafts hang-out, hanging out with the kids, volunteering at the food bank…you name it.  Spending our free time mindfully ignites a creative spark. If you do it once and feel the buzz, you’ll do it again.

I’m one of those with short bursts of artistic passion because come Monday, the mechanics and daily grind of life takes over, so I’m in awe of professional artists, creative geniuses and single parents. How do they do it? How do they sustain their imagination, excitement, energy and enthusiasm? Because they are eternally curious and never stop learning.

I want to be curious again, to look forward to something other than bills in my mailbox. I am working on being more consistent. Everyday, we have to give ourselves permission to be more spontaneous, follow the intuitions and hunches, break the habits that drag us away from our extraordinary core.

Image credit: Pixabay

The key is doing it daily, create new challenges and as Brené Brown advises, in her book Daring Greatly, quoting Theodore Roosevelt’s, Man in the Arena speech – “Don’t be the critic… be the one whose strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again…there is no effort without error and shortcoming (for) the one who spends himself in a worthy cause.”

We cultivate passion and meaning by scheduling time to be creative, showing up daily at the roll call. Success may result in fist pumps, pelvic thrusts or whatever rocks your halo, but even more important, is rising up after a failure, choosing to not retreat but live wholeheartedly.

I’ve done some passion-seeking work from the list below. You are welcome to share your ideas.

  • Take that course you’ve put off in art, music, writing, cooking, pottery, poetry, dancing etc. ( I’m taking one – Poetry in America : 1700-1850 )
  • Keep a journal – the wise number their days.
  • Ask your parents about an old photo, a family secret, the family history.
  • Introduce yourself to your community. Visit that trail, fishing camp, Japanese garden etc.
  • Run with an idea and ask for help.
  • Rediscover the wonder of your local library.
  • Sleep in with your kids on the weekend.
  • Apologize sincerely to someone you’ve hurt. ( I’m still working on this.)
  • Explore what your soul really needs.

There’s so much more, but here’s a good start in our search for passion and meaning. We are either dying slowly or living brilliantly. Chose life.

Visible as Dawn 2 – A Haiku

Another Haiku Friday…

Haiku Friday

Image Credit: Pixabay

Visible as Dawn 2

A Haiku by Ama Danesi

The dare of tight

coils and obstinate

springs, free as air.

Visible as dawn – A Haiku

Image Credit: Pixabay

Image Credit: Pixabay

I’m all for Haiku Fridays, so here’s mine.

Visible as dawn
by Ama Danesi

Pineapple on my head
unruly stalks, roots above
ground – visible as dawn.

 

Not a pretty sight but it makes getting dressed in the mornings easier.
Inspiration – Natural hair, as in kinks, roots and all. There is both strength and vulnerability in showing up in the world raw and natural, just as you are.

The Art of Solitude – Finding Your Creative Space

http://pixabay.com/en/wanderer-man-garda-bocca-larici-357640/

Credit: Pixabay Images

 

Can we create something meaningful and enduring from chaos?  In today’s social media hyped world – viral yes, enduring no. I find it easier to start outside then dive into the center and create from that space. That means finding the environment, the space, a ritual, an object that inspires, a scent, music that sets the atmosphere. Ease into that inner place then linger, you’ll be surprised by who shows up.

Maya Angelou was known for her eccentric writing habits. Every month, she books a local hotel room. No decorations or pictures on the wall. Her blank canvas. Locked away from 6.30am  to about 2pm with a Roget’s Thesaurus, a dictionary, and the King James Bible. She wears a head tie to keep from twisting her hair (one husband hated the twists).
Since the little mind needs to be occupied so the big mind can think deeply, she replaced the twisting with crossword puzzles and a deck of cards. She told the Daily Beast in an interview, “Will I write a sentence that will just float off the page? Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

Thomas Kinkade the controversial painter of light, also creates from what he calls  – an inner space that begins first thing in the morning, interacts with the world then returns to that nurturing centered solitude.  Meaning he wakes up, stays in bed meditating on a simple verse – The Lord is my shepherd…this is the day the Lord had made – then he goes to his private sun deck overlooking the foothills of Monte Sereno CA, where he has a wooden stand for his Bible, a notebook for ideas,  sketching tools and holds a “divine meeting.”

http://pixabay.com/en/bridge-japanese-garden-arch-53769/

Pixabay Images: Japanese Garden Arch

If you prefer to kick up your metabolism before your cerebral faculties, then go out in nature –  enjoy the sweet morning breeze, the melody of chirping birds, the scent and beauty of flowers during a quick run, a jog on the beach, sunrise gardening or even walking the dog. All excellent ways to get your creative juices flowing and clear your mind.

Ernest Hemingway, the master of dialog noted in his documents to the Wisdom Foundation in California, published in Playboy Jan. 1963, “I do most of my work in my head. I never begin to write until my ideas are in order. Frequently I recite passages of dialogue as it is being written; the ear is a good censor. I never set down a sentence on paper until I have it so expressed that it will be clear to anyone.” Hemingway called his style the Iceberg Theory: the facts float above water; the supporting structure and symbolism work out of sight. A concept  also called the Theory of Omission.

Roseanne Barr in judging a contestant in Last Comic Standing (NBC) after a bland routine, advised him to go “smoke something.” Writers, artists and even those listed here, have used alcohol in varying degrees, but that beast takes more than it gives. All I need is the sight of a mountain range. When I go to the library, I pick a seat looking out the windows. Good thing I live in a valley.

I’m drawn to those seemingly insurmountable peaks till I’m one with them, then I rise above. Because I know the answer to my mantra:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills,
where does my help come from?

 

 

The Making of a Craftsman or Artisan

http://pixabay.com/en/paint-art-image-artists-painting-198735/

Credit: Pixabay Images – An Artist

Whoever said creativity was easy, a buzz from the subconscious, has not been through the dark night of the soul. I have. I wept with my protagonist wondering, why…why am I doing this to myself?  So lately I’ve been spent. Drained by the sheer grit of finishing the first draft of my novel and now with trepidation, I’m commencing the rewrite process.

Erwin McManus of  MOSAIC said, “the person who steals is terrified of creating.” Now you know the reason for our overcrowded county jails. Creativity is soul-breaking hard work, demanding diligence, responsibility and a thick-skin to withstand inevitable criticism. Yes, Criticism. My retainers are proof that I can look at my reflection (cute as I am *-*) and still find fault. Nobody wears halos, visors maybe. 

Wikipedia Commons -  A Craftsman at work

Wikipedia Commons – A Craftsman at work

The craftsman shows up and plugs away, like someone possessed by the need to show themselves worthy of another sunrise. I must admit these last few weeks has been hard for me. I’m like a brow-beaten Lebron James, after losing 2014 NBA finals to the Spurs, soaking his weary muscles in a bathtub of epsom salts and reprimanding his kids, “I don’t want to hear anything about basketball.”

Here’s what I did today to avoid writing:

  1. Washed my hair and deep conditioned it twice.
  2. Created a head full of twists ( that accounted for 55 mins.)
  3. Browsed used car websites – Craigslist, CarGuru, KBB, Recycler , then Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills for a good deal on a Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS 550 Coupe, steel-gray body and ash-black leather interior.
  4. Searched online for a white gown (Service of songs; dress code – white) and  in the process, I was sorely tempted to buy ten pounds of  Kansas City steak from QVC and from HSN, Twiggy London’ s flag-inspired tee-shirts.
  5. Served myself two large scoops of vanilla bean ice-cream.
  6. Teared up as I went through three trunks of my native African clothes, reminiscing about each occasion that called for another gele* (African headgear)
  7. Read and deleted spam comments (Yep… Akismet obviously needs help)

Then something good happened. I decided I’d better write or feel guilty when I step on my scale tomorrow on account my creamy indulgence. Motivation can come from anywhere, as far as it works. As artists when we stay away from our craft, we experience an unsettling, a foreboding that time is slipping away and with it the miracle of chances.

If we wait too long, it’s so easy to slip into a dissatisfied and depressed state. Off-track we get moody and our words become wind – destructive, unkind – blowing restless in all direction of our lives. Now I’m learning to pray – Lord, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, can you please create through me today?

 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Eph. 4:28 (NKJV)

Art is everywhere. This  video shows Segun Gele, a Nigerian *gele artist profiled on CNN, reveling in the work of his hands.
If you haven’t…you’ve got to read  The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Fight the resistance. Be encouraged. Create something that makes you smile today 🙂