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.

Advertisement

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 🙂

Mie’s Gone – A Poem

Mie's Gone - A poem

Credit – Pixabay Commons

Mie’s Gone – A Poem
by Ama Danesi

Mie’s gone before
the rising of the dreaded moon
Into your wide open belly, I dive.
I sink in the underlying
dose of blues.
Overhead only radicals fly,
Mie’s gone but
You soothe me –
with fingers soft as waves.

Inspiration: Without Mie scattering at sunset and sunrise, the sky along the horizon has only a dull-reddish appearance, while the rest of the sky remains mostly blue and sometimes green.
This picture of the romantic coastline of Cinqueterre in Italy  by Babel photography captures the absence of  Mie scattering just before sunset. Beautiful huh?

Activating The Domino Effect in Life

domino-163523_640

The domino effect is a chain reaction that comes from a small change or action taken. The process of activating the domino effect in life starts by asking the right questions or by having the correct response to opportunities.

Isn’t it crazy how we never deal with one problem at a time? Domino tiles are also called bones and if anyone is surviving, bare-knuckled and holding on by desperate measures from one crisis situation to another, it’s time to check how many things we juggle and check the quality of our game tiles.  Beware of grasping at shadows and overcrowding.

Self knowledge is critical to ascertaining our path — For example, I struggle with team activities and I often wondered why, because I love people. So I went back an reviewed an extensive personality test I took years ago, it clearly stated that my strengths are with Activities and not People…AHA!

I try not to miss watching the Power for Living program by Bishop Dale Bronner and his precise and exceptional teaching . Here are his principles of the activating the domino effect:

1. You must have dominoes – (duh?!) be curious about what strategy you should be playing and don’t play with another person’s pieces.
2. Align them up properly – don’t get out of alignment of the common good. No cheating, crooked or twisted thinking.  As a man thinks, so is he.  A lack of character moves you out of alignment.
3. Push the first domino in the RIGHT direction.  A tile pushed in the wrong direction has no effect.
4. After the first domino falls, be READY for the rest of the tiles to fall…because they will.

“What’s Taking So Long? “What you’re waiting on is not following you, it is waiting for you in a place called obedience.” – Bishop Dale C. Bronner

If you have lived long enough and through some seasons, you’ve gathered a set of dominoes  – your interests or passion, education, temperament, life experiences, family, friends, your sensory vault, that song/movie that inspires you, that strange workshop you enrolled in on a whim, the book you bought at the airport that was clearly written for you, a clean record – even though you should have had a ticket or two (now you can tell I’m talking about me) and if you do not have a clean record, that’s also a piece of your game.

hand-36759_640 - Activating The Domino Effect

All things work together, no experience is ever wasted, but you want to minimize how many of your pieces fall sideways, wasting valuable time or delaying your arrival.  Like a fist, FOCUS as you align the pieces of your life, get them in sync with your calling, ready for that knockout punch to the first door and trigger your breakthrough!

Here are some domino effect activation prayers or questions suggested by Bishop Bronner to unleash the power of the ONE thing:
Lord, show me the one thing that I can do better this week to align my life for greatness / What is the one thing that can unlock all the other frustrating areas in my life ?/ What is the one thing I can do about my child/health/business etc.?

Join me in declaring an end to dead works and boldly ask for light to illuminate each right step. Fist bump…Game on!

All images Credit: Pixabay

A Real Legacy – Passing on The Joy of Learning

 Joy of Learning girl-148866_640

“When you have a question… you look in a book.” SuperWhy

I enjoy an AHA moment as much as the next person or Oprah Winfrey fan,  so I’m most happy learning something new. I know we want to pass on a legacy and a real inheritance to our children, but imagine a world where we also pass on the simple joy of learning and discovery. When I watch my son get a kick from being a smart, nerdy boy or see him curled up with a book, far away in another milieu, my heart swells up with joy !

“There’s joy and every other human emotion possible between the pages of a book, if only you’ll look” AD

There is no denying the influence of media on our lives and world view. Shows like Sesame Street, Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, The Reading Rainbow, The Electric Company and *Tales by Moonlight, ignited our curiously and taught us morals, kindness etc. It ingrained in our psyche and minds things we learned in the classroom or from our parents, simply because they were visually stimulating, fun and sometimes, school just wasn’t. Our brains thinks in pictures and loves being tickled!

Joy of LearningEven with the distraction of countless cable channels, technology and video games, I made sure he knows that books are essential. A friend who I haven’t seen in a while, walked into my son’s bedroom and stopped short in amazement.

“Wait…na your son dey read all these books?!” she exclaimed in pidgin english (Nigerian slang english)

I burst out laughing, my son has caught the “bug” and in all fairness, I have to thank  SuperWhy and his crew – Princess Presto, Wonder Red, Alpha Pig and Woofster for splashing aerosol on the little spark I tried to light by reading with him as a toddler. As he grew up on shows like SuperWhy, he had exciting adventures with his friends and learned to LOVE reading.

What we watch and consider acceptable on our TV screens or in our tech-savvy mediums of tablets, smartphones and visual social platforms is critical to the society and culture we create.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” Anaïs Nin

These SuperWhy Readers live in a magical world created by  Angela Santomero –  The Storybook Village decked out with an amazing Book Club. She is a television executive producer and co-creator of the long-running Nickelodeon children’s television program Blue’s Clues, as well as the PBS children’s shows Super Why, Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodPeep and the Big Wide WorldThe WotWots and The Octonauts .

Her creative and intuitive shows on children’s television come from her extensive background in developmental psychology, instructional technology and education and even more from her desire to engage our kids while stimulating the brainiac in them. (Thanks Angela!)

“I became fascinated with the idea that if television could have a powerful negative effect on kids, it could have an equally powerful positive effect on them…” Angela Santomero

Here is a clip below of her interviewing Linda Simensky, Vice President of PBS Kids programming. I’m naturally curious, so I did some research and read about these creative minds behind some of  the popular kid shows – I bet you didn’t know about these champions of educational shows for our kids. They believe in TV shows with “a sense of purpose, clever humor, great characters and interesting story lines.”  These powerful women and  others like them are the real ROCK STARS in my book. 

They are instrumental to helping me pass on a real legacy to my son…the incredible joy and thrill of learning. He is on the right path (with his nose buried in a book…)  and that gives me JOY!

* Tales By Moonlight – A drama series shown on the Nigerian Television Authority based on stories inspired by different ethic folklores with lessons on morals and traditional values for children.

Daily Prompt: Happy, Joy – What does “happiness or joy” look like to you?