Sometimes when I stare at the blank canvas I get a feeling of dread and this sort of overwhelming feeling of can I do it again? It starts in my heart and it bubbles up to my head. I’ll actually say a prayer, light a candle, take a deep breath, turn on some music and force myself to put paint to canvas. This happens almost every time. Once I get going it tends to dissipate with only momentary flickers of doubt.
After speaking to other creative folks and reading a bit about the creative process I now know that I am not alone. I know that many, most, if not all of us share this in common. It’s sort of having to prove to ourselves that whatever talent we have didn’t melt away and drift into never, never land while we were doing life, the laundry, grocery shopping, or taking out the trash.
It’s so easy to let that feeling take control and overwhelm you. However, I think I am starting fresh, once again, by allowing myself to embrace that feeling and to gently remind myself it’s just the old ego trying to take the lead. The ego is dreadfully afraid of failure and so she likes to poke her head into all kinds of places she doesn’t belong. I think I’ll keep a container with a strong locking lid on it and peel her off my back and plunk her inside and quickly seal her away whenever she threatens to take control.
I know I am stronger than her and I know that she is just a distraction. Another great reminder that yep, I am human, and this too, is part of the human experience. So what do you say, steel container anyone?
When I was at a crossroads in life, and looking to start a new career path, I was having a really hard time deciding which direction to go. I knew that I wanted to do something meaningful and I wanted a lot of variety due to my tendency to get bored easily. I felt compelled to work with girls and women to share life experiences that would hopefully be applicable if not inspirational to them. However, I really didn’t know which direction to go. My intellect told me MBA but my heart was telling me otherwise. My husband said two very powerful words, ‘just pick’. As the words tumbled out and into my ears I was struck by the simplicity and the freedom I felt. So, after more soul searching and really listening to my heart, mind and body I 'just chose' the MSW path.
Inaction is our greatest barrier. Hearing the simple words, ‘just pick’ served as the catalyst I needed to put the match to the fuse. Once I did this it was as if the Universe was saying YES, YES, right this way. I had so many “coincidences” encouraging me. It seemed every time I had a thought about my new goals, something would happen that I perceived as encouragement almost as if barriers were melting away.
During that summer nearly every time Chauncey, my dog, and I walked on the beach I would find heart-shaped stones. Eagerly, I snatched them up, brushed off the sand and rubbed the cool smoothness of my new found treasure all the way home. I kept them in a beautiful blue bowl right under the window with the lace curtains. I would enjoy the cool, billowy curtains with the moonlight glinting on the stones, as I’d contemplate their meaning, if any. Later that winter I met a woman who told me she was a psychic and followed that with, the heart shaped stones you’re collecting are gifts from your father (he’d passed when I was 15). I still get goose bumps today when I think about it and consider the likeliness of her authenticity and what that all means.
I don’t believe these are coincidences, I believe this is God and the miracles and the beauty of every day life. However, God can’t do His work unless we do ours. I needed to ‘just pick'. Complacency is a tough place to invite God into. Scripture says the lord helps those who help themselves. It’s almost as if momentum kicks in. I believe the same is true if you’ve chosen the wrong path as well. Signs from the universe come pouring in. You don't perform well at work, you're unable to excel in your personal life, and just about everything seems to go wrong. The message is, it’s time to hit the reset button and rethink your current course.
I think the best way to summarize all of this is to ask the question, are you listening to the whispers from the Universe? Are you living in your truth, your balance, and your harmony? If not, what can you change or even alter slightly to invite the grace in? Can you steal away 5 minutes in your day to indulge in meditation or prayer? If we take our cues from nature we can learn a lot. The apple tree takes what it needs so that in turn it bears an abundance of fruit. You not only deserve this but you require it for yourself and those around you. Are you bearing the abundance of fruit that God has planted in you? If not, what are you going to do about it?
Mia Moyad, LMSW