Spiritual Talk: Suddenly September

Ack! It’s September! When did you get here? This year went by so fast like every other year and I must confess, I THINK I accomplished what I wanted for this year. I’m not sure. I thought I had New Year’s Resolutions but to be honest I don’t remember doing it. But I do remember wanted to start this year all extra fresh.

Like last year, I made a commitment to work on myself by being mindful of my time, embrace better money management, and I guess you can say, get my life together. Another thing I was focused on was doing more of what made me feel alive and being honest with myself about what does without overthinking if I would ever make money off it. During this walk, someone told me to stop looking at the big picture and make those small steps daily. Now, I know this person was not telling me to stop dreaming big but this person recognized how much stress I was putting on myself for the little things. I think of the Bible verse that says “do not despise meager beginnings” and to be honest the last years had been full of meager beginnings which could be frustrating for someone who wants to make the most out of life.
The Word says that God will never leave you or forsake you…it’s taking some time but it’s becoming more and more true in my life. In journaling, I recognized that God is a comforter and omniscient. He knew every situation I was in. There has been a worship night I attended a few months back. A woman around my age walked up to me. She placed my hand on my shoulder and prayed everything that I’ve been praying for weeks in my private time with God. I was moved because at that moment I remember that God is with me and He hears me.
It’s suddenly September. The leaves are changing color and my life is changing. I’m in a much better place than I’ve been in years. I sense myself becoming my best friend and drawing closer to God, which is always a hope for me each year. Well, not actually becoming my best friend because for the longest time I was hard on myself for not being “normal” or like everyone else.
I became fascinated with people who got up and did things. That looked at something, though it was cool and kept doing it until the finances flowed or their name became great or until they became highly connected. That’s what I hope for in this journey. Someone told me that, “I’m always looking.” I guess, but I want to change that to “I’m always experiencing.”
One of my current favorite cartoons, Steven Universe, had an episode when Steven and his “best friend” (future girlfriend but I digress), Connie fused into one being. The being was named Stevonnie. Stevonnie was filled with excitement. They ran to meet the gems and one, in particular, told them, “You are an experience.” For me, that almost gave me permission to just experience.
One day last year I was mediating asking God about my situation. I heard the words, “I want you to be more present.” From then on I’ve been striving to be more present. It’s been a beautiful journey.
So going back to New Year’s Resolutions, perhaps it was to be more present, experience more and learn what it means to live life fully and abundantly. This time it means to be free. This time it means to cherish and be grateful for every moment. It means to be honest with God and myself.

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When I think about “Big Magic”…

This summer I read “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I heard about it from my two favorite podcasters Rana Campbell of Dreams in Drive and Aileen Xu of Lavendaire Lifestyle. When I began reading it, I thought it started off really slow. But then I quickly became inspired and hooked. The two ideas that stuck with me since I returned the book to the library was that one, not to make your work your baby and two, creativity is like a spirit.

I was surprised when I read that we shouldn’t make our work our baby. Most of the time, in order to encourage ourselves to not neglect but work patiently on our crafts we remind each other that the work is our “baby”. My brand, blog, projects are all my babies screaming for milk, getting into everything, need a bath, desperate for love. No, Elizabeth Gilbert told me (well she didn’t know she did), my brand, blog and projects were just that- brand, blog and projects. Yes, they do need attention, however, making them your baby would make you too attached to them. The worry that they would be criticized would one, make you take things to personally  and two, it would aid in procrastination. It was a confusing yet liberating thought for me. It encouraged me to just “do it” whether it be writing, making that phone call or making that breakfast.  No my brand, blog and projects are not screaming in the middle of the night because they are teething but it is in fact waiting patiently at the front door for me to get my car keys. These plans and dreams are just waiting for me to put the effort to show them the world and the world and meet with them.

 

Creativity is a spirit who knocks on the door of your mind and asks for permission to partner with you. This is what I’ve understood from Gilbert’s writing. As I thought about it deeper I couldn’t agree more. She tells a story of an idea she had for a book about a woman who goes to Brazil. Admittedly, I don’t remember the details (I returned that book a few months ago) however, I do remember that after doing so much research on it and forgetting about it for a while because of family issues, she felt as though the idea left her. She couldn’t explain it- yes, all her notes were there- but, the idea, that spirit wasn’t. So she met with a friend and as they talked her friend mentioned an idea that she was excited about. After the friend explained the story in detail it was almost exactly like Gilbert’s idea! She never told her, nor did the friend see her notes.  The differences were only slight. After reading that section of the story it made me more excited about my ideas. Yet, I became more urgent. I knew that if I didn’t complete a certain project someone else will. Shout out to Mordecai telling his niece, Queen Esther, to get her life and defend her country!

 

I would certainly recommend Big Magic to anyone. It’s thought provoking and makes you look at creativity was an energy not a burden. So get the struggling artist notion out your head!