This morning I asked my morning pages:
“What could I tell to explain how Vision boards and life visions work? What do people need to hear to know if it’s something they want to pursue?”
And then I went to make a cup of coffee. And as I stood there in my own thoughts, watching the espresso brewer (one of those Italian owns you put on a hotplate until the heat makes the water into steam which is forced up through the coffee) turn water and coffee beans to a wonderfully fragrant brew, this answer came to me:
“Tell them what you see here, in front of your eyes. Explain that it is possible to do the same with our lives. That just as it takes heat to make the water and beans into coffee, in the same way it takes passion, to make a person´s abilities and talents flourish in the world.
For you humans forget so easily that inspiration and passion are possible when you don´t have it, and you begin to think of life is an obstacle or a competition. And you continue until you become stressed or ill. So tell them, and yourself, that there is another way – so you will remember. ”
And that is true, and that is what I will do, I do know the other way. And I must regularly remind myself of it – and practice. For so much in this world makes me forget it.
ALL of us (yes, also YOU – I swear) has a unique combination of skills and talents. But to brew a wonderful life we need a sustained and steady amount of passion. Passion is like fire that burns and, like heat, it needs a good energy source.
And that energy source consists of several things, but a really important one is that we have visions. Clear, passionate, playful, thinking-out-of-the-box-and-the-lid-off-visions!
And then, it needs us to create actions from our visions, immediately! So the steam don´t go out. But not all at once – oh, no, just with small doable steps, so we don´t burn out.
Our life requires – much like coffee – a good amount of heat & passion to become a wonderful brew.
If you live in Denmark, I have a course just about that, all info HERE – last signup this friday!
And if you live abroad, here are some links you may enjoy, about how to keep that daily passion burning.
Love to you + your day from Lise.
PS: If you want to know more about morning pages, you may enjoy to read THIS
Image: “Pot of Inspiration” ON SALE right now. 20 % off everything in my webshop until coming sunday!!!
I write my morningpages most days. Some days it helps me be with the parts of me I would otherwise push under the carpet because it didn´t at first seem tempting to examine the feeling of fear, restlessness or sadness. Truth: they always hold a hidden gem, and morningpages is one way to uncover that. Other days it gives me a place and time to jump verbally with joy or count my blessings. In both cases, it´s like quietly stirring my inner pot of inspiration. It really is. I can almost feel the bubbles rising.
In my experience, Inspiration comes to visit when we make ourselves attractive to it. And, to Inspiration, attractive does not mean a perfect or always happy person. I find that what Inspiration seems to find most attractive is something I will call “Movement toward Joy”. When we dare to move – even with the smallest of steps – in the direction of our passion and joy and does so again and again, that´s when Inspiration decides to jump our train.
(Me, writing morningpages – yes, lefthanded!)
And “plop”, you have an idea that seemed to come from out of the blue. Or you suddenly SEE the solution of a certain problem. Or perhaps you just know that you have to begin taking that dancing class, for no seemingly logical reason. And when you do, even more inspiration begins to flow, which leads you in the direction of a more passionate and fulfilling life.
For me, writing morning pages (more about morningpages HERE) is the greatest help for inviting Inspiration as a daily companion. It keeps my inner pot brewing keeping up the temperature of my life passion without making me burn out. I highly recommend this tool, created and introduced by the blessed creativity coach, Julia Cameron.
I don´t think of it as luxury to live a life nourished by Inspiration. I think of it as a respectful and most fitting way of administering this marvelous life we have been given. May Inspiration quietly and steadily be bubbling in our lives every day. Perhaps hidden under the surface and not very feelable to ourselves on testing days. But all the time nourished by our quiet steadily Movement toward Joy!
“Dancing with Joy”, also part of the 20 % SALE this week!
(“You can fly”, print available here)
“I am in the cage, I know I have the wings but I am afraid to trust them and try flying. How did you find the courage to spread your wings and dare to fly?”
My eyes filled with tears as I read this line in my inbox one day. I was moved by the sincerity and trust behind the question. But more than that I was moved by the fact that someone would ask me about something I have been struggling so much with.
(Be gentle with yourself, available as A5 postcard here)
Before I say anything more, let me assure you: I still struggle with finding courage, trusting that the way ahead will be good and safe, feeling uncomfortable by all the insecure bits in this puzzle of creative worklife. And overwhelmed by all the new stuff this journey pushes me to learn, and learn fast. I often forget I have the wings, then remember it, and struggle till I find the courage to trust them again.
But I do know something about moving through those fears, doing it anyway whilst being gentle with myself. And I want to tell some stories from what I found to be important keys in that journey:
FIIRST, DARE TO MAKE A DECISION
5 years ago I decided to find out what I was passionate about in life, and step by step start making it a part of my career. I wanted to parttake more actively with what I had to offer in this life. And so I went on a deliberate search to find my passion, searching in books and writings to get some guidance on the way. I knew it would involve lots creativity. I just didn´t know exactly what it was I was supposed to do. One of the books I read talked about how you can have many passions in life. And live first one, then another. And at some point maybe even combine them. You never have to be stuck with just one chosen passion. What a relief!
The first passion I found was teaching Creative courses for adults.
(From the course “Creative everyday”, creating visionmaps)
I really don´t think it matters so much WHAT you set out to do. What matters is that you DECIDE to do something you feel to some degree inspired about, for a start. But do choose, decide to do it and begin taking the first small steps. There´s a key in deciding and sticking with it, with small actions in that direction. At least for a while till the next chapter reveals itself.
(The exercise “Walking with visions” from Creative Everyday course)
A POWERFUL TOOL: ACTION
I prepared my material for the course and then I hesitated. I was so afraid of inviting people for the first course, the fear kept me back and that went on for a whole year! One day, at the point of desperation, I talked to a friend who had a lot of experience in teaching creative singing classes, and she suggested we set up a course together. Brilliant, that was exactly the helping hand I needed to move through the fear.
(From Creative Everyday course: searching for images)
ACTION ALWAYS REVEALS THE NEXT STEP….
About a year later, after teaching my own courses and enjoying it tremendously, an underlying passion began to bubble it´s way to the surface. I was teaching people to find and follow their creative passion and integrate it in their life. And now my own unfulfilled dream began shouting: “What about me? Bla, bla, bla, you teach other people to follow their passion. And yet I am still here, un-lived. I want to paint and express myself creatively! I WANT TO GET DIRTY WITH PAINT ON REAL CANVAS!” The whispers had been there for many years, but it was only when I began acting in a decided, passionate direction that they became loud enough – or I became open enough – so I could finally listen. Acting on my first longings gave me the ability to hear the other dreams that had been buried so deep I didn´t even know if they were there anymore. The dream of painting was still there, and once I began it was as if we had never been apart.
NEW DECISION, NEW ACTIONS AND DARING VISIONS
I began painting again in a winterholiday 2 years ago. I had one week alone at home without husband and children. I wrote about that journey here. After that, I made the decicion to paint every week. I have been painting one sacred day every week since then.
(Finding oneself, print available here)
I loved painting so much that it filled me with a giggly courage and I began to utter the wildest things to my closest friends, like: I think I want to be an artist, or: I would not mind being known by the world just enough so that I could live off my art. Or even: I am dreaming of licencing my art and creating cards and posters with it!!! The small steps of action evoked more passion, which in turn created more courage, and an upward spiral had started.
WHEN YOU FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, BLISS WILL LOOK FOR YOU
Around that time, wonderful coincidences began to occur. It was like invisible hands in my back, often in the form of other humans. Helping hands that lifted me along in small and big ways. But this only happened after I had gone a part of the way “blindfolded”, with passion as my guide. And a faith that my urges to create was there for a reason. That my creativity had a place in this world. You may think that can happen for others but not for you. I firmly belive that if you take the steps I talk about in a passionate direction, and keep listening to corrections on the way, this not only can, but surely will happen to you too. Bliss. To you! Yes, you!
(First “exhibition” ever, in a street market in Præstø here in Denmark, summer 2011)
SHOWING UP = CREATING STRONG WINGS
Today I am building a life around my true life passions, doing my best, still listening to the guidance inside. And, very important: showing up at the canvas, computer or wherever I am needed. Like I told, I still get regular visits from doubt and all it´s cousins. I also know that the exact spot where I can win new land is when I show up and do my very best in spite of the doubts. And as long as this journey is filled with joy and a feeling of genuine inner richness, more than with struggle and despair, I know that I am on the right track. I continue to experience helping hands and happenings of joyful coincidences when I least expect it. I also still have periods where I don´t get any signs, and then I know: I will always be the one responsible for this journey, and there will always be first steps it´s up to me to take.
(“Old friends”, available as part of 6 pack A5 card series here)
I believe there are helpers around us who love when we act on our dreams. In my mind they clap their joyful hands when it happens. I imagine they are watching carefully when we set out in a direction: “Does she mean this seriously? Is she going to quit at the first obstacle? Do I dare invest some of my bright gems in her quest?” And then, when they feel that we are genuine, they find the most charming ways to help us. We don´t have to be perfect, not at all!!! But we do have to take the first small steps, not knowing the outcome.
I think that real courage is daring to be vulnerable enough to feel fear and doubt and do something anyway, building our own trust one small step after the other.
(My business card made me jump with joy when I got the first batch; another step in believing my dream)
If you are gathering the courage to carry something out in the world, I wish you all the passion, strength and help you could ever imagine to take that first tiny step!
“Slow down – let passion find you”, print available HERE.
When I want more passion in life, I know I´ll have to take the time to do things that are inviting for passion. And like a small child, passion will try to escape if I try to order it to play at a certain time and way. I may be looking for passion in life in general, in my worklife, in my friend-life or love-life. Passion needs to be courted, invited, tempted to come play. And one of the best ways I have found to invite passion is to slow down and let passion get a chance to find me….by doing something it can recognize, something simple that I love – perhaps going for a walk, bringing home spring branches to pop or taking a bath!
As part of inviting creative inspiration into my life, I make “Creative quickie” pages in a journal I keep just for that. The idea is to make something quick and fun, that doesn´t have to BE “anything”. I often end up loving these pages a lot, simply because no pressure were involved, only play!
The one above reads: “Slow down so that passion can join the train, and together you may go on a journey that will take you much further than if you travelled alone. Let passion join the journey!”
Yes, let´s allow passion to join the journey today by slowing down and doing one simple thing we love doing! I would love to know what your favourite slowing down activity is…..please!?
I would love to share the making of one recent “mixed media” painting with you:
First, glue different papers to the white canvas with Golden medium glue. I use the medium gel or soft gel, and choose semi gloss or gloss. Inspiration at this stage was very basic: a color scheme involving the yellowish papers. No big ideas yet.
After gluing, lightly go over the dry papers with some acrylic color on a sponge, “binding” the whole look a bit. I use golden fluid acrylics for that.
Then add more paper details…..
And begin sketching! For drawing the tree/ground I used Litho crayon, a black oily crayon. It can be wiped away until dry in about a day or so. At this stage my inspiration has boarded the project, I have a plan, a vision is emerging…..
I often use notes/ journal sketches while painting, helps me keep the overall focus when I´m lost in detail.
Adding more details, using molotow pens to draw dots and finer lines.
And finally, adding words. And it´s done:
“Nourish your seeds”
Somehow our move delayed a real good painting session forever. (House full of boxes, unsorted things, ill children and adults and ill children again…and again!!!). And of course I got frustrated and even scared if I would ever be able to paint again. But that´s part of the whole process, I guess any artist knows that feeling? When it comes, I know it´s not permanent, and never will be as long as I am alive. I wrote a post here about getting started when you really don´t feel like it. And the satisfaction when we push through that fear and become humble enough to simply try again is worth it all.
Hope you enjoyed!