What Do You Love?
It’s a million dollar question, isn’t it?
And it’s one I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. Do I absolutely LOVE what I’m doing? I mean, am I absolutely, madly, can’t wait to jump out of bed, passionate about how I spend my time every day?
And the more I asked the question, the more undone I became, because you see, the answer that surfaced was no.
Do I LIKE what I do? Yes! Without a doubt. I love the creative aspect of my job and the freedom and flexibility it gives me. I love being geographically free and there’s no greater feeling than being your own boss!
And the money is not bad, either… Plus, I LOVE helping other people get what they want. That really turns me on and lights me up!
But there was a part of me that felt incongruent; like I wasn’t living my life’s purpose and passion.
And it wouldn’t quit nagging at me. To add insult to injury, I was scared to admit it. I without a doubt, did not want to say out loud that I wasn’t loving the business I’d spent the past 5 years working to build; the business I’d left my profitable real estate career to pursue.
Consequently, there were accompanying feelings of guilt and irresponsibility… I MEAN, I can clearly remember my parents telling me as a child how incredibly difficult supporting yourself as an artist was… Hence the term; starving artist. I felt as if it were a silly pipedream.
The weight of the “SHOULDS” I was carrying around was breaking my back! After all, I have commitments and responsibilities to my kids… to my clients… to my friends and family… The list goes on and on…
But don’t I also have those same commitments and responsibilities to myself?
And if I can’t be my authentic self and own everything that that entails, then how can I be an inspiration for those around me; particularly and specifically, for my boys???
A couple of weeks ago, I was getting a quote for blinds in my master bedroom and when the rep came over to my house for measurements, she commented on the art on the walls (most of it mine) and asked me if I was an artist.
And I responded, without hesitation, “Yes”.
Believe it or not, I stunned myself. I was floored that I said it so unabashedly and I was even more astounded by the lack of latency in which I said it.
This was profound (for me, at least) in two major ways… First and foremost because that simple, two word statement had everything to do with ownership and identity. Secondly because I’ve always thought of myself as artistic, but never as an artist. I guess for me, the word artist was defined as the occupation; as the income producer, rather than the individual involved in the activity.
While I’ve been painting since I was a teenager, I’ve never thought of myself as an artist.
(and i think i’ve always wanted to…)
SO, I dug deep into my pocket of bravery and decided that what I most needed was to be true to myself. That I would
commit to taking a year and consciously step off of the hamster wheel that is my “business” and spend some time focused introspectively…
(TRANSLATION: no new clients for one whole year.)
Scary, huh? That means no income as well…
Fortunately, I’ve got some resources to float the boat, so I’m lucky enough to be able to take this time and really explore what makes my heart sing, (Believe me, I am well aware of the blessings and abundance in my life and that not everyone is as fortunate.)
So, here’s what I’ve decided to do… For starters I plan to:
- get on the mat and practice yoga
- honor and love my body
and whatever else I encounter along the way…
Basically, I plan on doing the things that nurture me and feed my soul, so that I’ll not only feel like I’m living my life honestly and authentically, but ultimately to have more to give to others.
I’ve got two amazing gals helping me stay accountable; both to myself as well as to this dedicated time. I’m grateful to Deborah Razo and Heather Fatzinger for loving and supporting me through this journey. In our weekly chats, they love, accept and meet me where I’m at, encouraging me to grow and expand while holding empathy and space for me to feel safe and unjudged.
Additionally, I’ve just (like yesterday) joined another group of lovely, local ladies going through the book “The Artist Way” by Julia Cameron. Stay tuned to see what this opens and uncovers. I’ve heard great things from people who have taken the time to do the work.
Finally, I’m committed to embracing whatever the wind blows my way… I’m committed to saying YES. Yes to the opportunities that show up… Yes to being open to everything… And most importantly, YES TO BEING HONEST. I will honor the need to express myself artistically.
And I am committed to sharing it along the way… Which, if I’m being honest, I will tell you scares me the most.
SO, I promise to share the good, the bad and the ugly… The ups and downs of this journey with you, right here on this blog… All of the joys, setbacks, wins, loves, frustrations and fears… The art, the expression, and the creation of what this year will bring.
Care to join me?