The question this week is: How do you wish to shine?
It took awhile for a response to bubble up, but when it did I knew it was my inner sage whispering to me.
I wish to shine as my authentic self.
Now, let me explain. I have been simultaneously stimulated and overwhelmed to the point of despair by the wealth of inspiration available at my fingertips. As I wade back into the waters of creativity, I have found so much to delight and excite me in books, online, and in ecourses. At the same time, I also find it challenging not to fall into the mud puddle of comparison. I dip into the magnificent pool of images over on Shuttersisters and feel compelled to grab my camera and rush out into my subarctic landscape to snap away, wind chills and frostbite be damned! (Actually, now it is warmer out, so I could head outdoors without risk to life and limb, if not for the duties of house and motherhood that keep me busy inside.) But whose pictures am I trying to take? When does inspiration morph into emulation which in turn can easily slip into slavish aping?
I am trying to learn, to hone my craft as they say, so studying another's technique and trying it on for size is part of the learning process. I also am loving the variety of ways people enhance their lives through cooking, crafts and let's not forget those spiritually inspiring folks weaving it all together with doses of prosaic wisdom! But what happens too often is my measuring myself against another and finding myself woefully lacking. My pictures don't look like hers! I am not making by hand all of my child's clothes! I need a Bento box for Cowgirl's lunches (and an open account at Whole Foods for all the organic fare I ought to be serving!) Poetry! What happened to my writing poetry?! A Haiku a day?! Daily gratitude?!
If this all sounds a bit flippant, well it does not always feel that way. I beat myself up, speaking ill of myself, my art, my parenting, my home ... my life. But when I step back, I remember I am doing all these things because they feed my soul. They enrich my life by forcing me to slow down and notice the beauty and magic of my world, which in turn inspires me to do more. I have to gently remind myself, I am trying to find My Voice, My Eye. To look to others for inspiration is merely to try on new glasses, but it is my eyes that are looking through them, not another's. Comparing myself accomplishes nothing. Or rather, I can only compare myself, my work, to what is in my heart. That is my ultimate compass.
So I wish to shine by remembering myself and staying true to the Me I want to uncover. I may try on a few new things, but the clothes do not make the woman. I am still finding my way, so it is okay to get lost sometimes. But now I will remember where I've stored my GPS. It is only a whisper away.
As the song goes - Yeah we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun ...