Friday, January 15, 2016

daily devotional

Ah, it's ten a.m. on a frigid Friday morning, but I am happily tucking into my second breakfast of the day. (Which makes me sound rather like a Hobbit ... but my seconds is a raisin muffin with blueberry/honey jam & a fresh cup of spiced chai; first breakfast was the leftovers of Cowgirl's oatmeal fortified with bits of apple that didn't fit into her lunch box and some yogurt, consumed hours ago) I have no agenda for this day; instead there are many activities that fall under the happy category Things I Want to Do

This is how Winter is for me: slowly exercising my creative muscles (a little writing, a little knitting, a schmidge of sewing, and a splurge of drawing), feeding my spiritual practice while keeping curiosity alive and growing through new pursuits. Ever the apprentice, I am slowly understanding how this is my way ... step, step, stop, spiral down and in, spiral up and out, stop, step, step ...

A long time ago I had a flash of understanding that rather than coercing my creativity into supporting me, I was to meant to support it. So reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic ("a good bathroom book" one friend called it; yes, well some of my happiest moments happen in that solitary space of the home communal) I was pumping my fist in the air when I read the following: 

I never wanted to burden my writing with the responsibility of paying for my life ... I've seen artists drive themselves broke and crazy because of this instance that they are not legitimate creators unless they can exclusively live off their creativity. And when their creativity fails them (meaning: it doesn't pay the rent), they descend into resentment, anxiety, or even bankruptcy. Worst of all, they often quit creating at all.
To this I would add: not asking my creativity to support me doesn't mean I am choosing the path of meekness; that I am giving up on my dreams or failing to live life fearlessly. There is this notion, pervasive as the smog haze of Los Angeles, that Bigness - or fully exploring and embracing one's potential = career. I believe everything I do I can infuse with Love but I don't have to necessarily love -wildly, passionately, open and intimately - all that I do. 

Or more precisely ... if I am not fully in love with my work, that doesn't mean I failed - myself, my potential, my Bigness -  or that I've given up on living a life infused by passion. I call bullshit on all of that. My life - and by extension, my value -  is not defined solely by what I am paid. It just means I've prioritized things according to what matters to me. 

I value curiosity, I value play, I value ... devotion. All of which I know, for me, cannot be associated with a paycheck. Now, some will argue that I am cutting myself off here, that I am placing energetic roadblocks in the way of making money off of my art. Perhaps. But I know myself, I know I have sticky places with money that maybe I will fully resolve one day but for now, well, this girl just wants to have fun. And fun (and play and devotion) take me into a place of deep engagement that is soul-nourishing for me in ways that a bundle of money cannot come close to equaling. For me, my creative freedom does not have a price tag.

Each day what I seek is to live my life from a place of devotion. How can I show my devotion, my affection for creative play? My actions are the prayers that open up a channel of communication with That-Something-Or-Someone-Greater. There is where I taste, touch, and know my Bigness. Which isn't really mine as much as I am a part of It. 

You might spend your whole life following your curiosity and have absolutely nothing to show for it at the end - except one thing. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you passed your entire existence in devotion to the noble human virtue of inquisitiveness. And that should be more than enough for anyone to say that they lived a rich and splendid life.
(from Big Magic)

My tea is cold ... my day spreads out before me ... time for some devotional play. 

my first two cards in my Air Alchemy deck; my third deck created through Mindy Tsonas's offering Inner Alchemy Cards

Splendid, indeed!

This week marks the beginning of a blog-hop through the teachers of 2016 Spectrum: Holistic Creativity Workshops. Each day there will be two blogs offering a seat for the new Spectrum offering - that's 30 chances to win! Visit here for the all the details and links. I will be sharing more in a week's time.  

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