Let it be no secret! I love doing this:
….Yes, I love it when we honor our sincere wish to make life count, and when we use creativity as a tool to make that happen.
That is why I, in the beginning of every year, work with my visions in words and pictures. That is why I create Vision boards. And that´s why I love teaching Workshops using that and other creative tools.
This year, however, it seemed like an uphill process. At least at first; no inspiration, no joy. No feelings of anticipation when trying to catch my visions for 2015.
That´s when a group of ladies asked me to make a workshop and help them create their vision boards for 2015. “Oh no”, I thought, “I haven´t even created my own yet, and I honestly feel a bit stuck”. But that is the trick with these or any process. They DO work, but only if we DO them! And I had been stalling in “no action land”, which is exactly what so easily happens when what we need the most is to simply begin. And keep going with small steps. We humans can help each other so much, and sometimes asking someone for help might be the very thing that will help that person too. Good to remember!
So, inspired by the request I gave it a go with my own visions. It helped. I found out several things that I had not seen, that explained the resistance I felt. I saw that I needed to give myself permission to search for new ways – with business and with other areas of life – to really ask again from scratch what route it I wanted to take, and to be willing to make some changes. To say more boldly NO to things that no longer fits, even if it looks like it will generate an immediate income. To insist on working from a core of joy and service, rather than pushing myself into areas that clearly steals my energy. To dare not meeting expectations, my own and others. To dare listen, every day, to my intuition, which has proven over and over again to be a most trustworthy tool.
Slowly but steadily the fog lifted, and I began feeling that childish anticipation again. If I can, I know you can too! You can read more about creating a vision board RIGHT HERE.
Or, if you live nearby (Sjælland, Danmark), you can join my New years Vision workshop on saturday the 24th of january. A FULL day of diving into you own visions, using some wonderful creative tools like writing, movement and “Vision Boarding”. Sounds good, right? So, if you live in Denmark, this might be for you, I would love to meet you there:
Till soon, love from Lise.
If you are in any way like me, you had a hard time learning how to make things happen in this world. I know some people are born as “action-people”. (If you are one of them, know that I admire you deeply!) I never understood how they made things happen so easily. With “things”, I mean everything in life, from creating a beaming home or a fulfilling work life to a blossoming social life or any other thing you want that takes ongoing action. I did all those things, but not really with full boost. I knew how to feel my way ahead and find my own inspiration which is also incredibly important qualities in life. I just didn´t get the concept of how ideas became reality on a bigger scale.
But over the last 10 years I began, very slowly at first and later with more juice and speed, to understand the concept of how to create something that I really wanted in this world. I am still learning, and I still have days where I feel like an elephant aiming to learn to dance ballet = it seems heavy and impossible. But I now know that it isn´t. And that makes a BIG difference. And one of the secrets is this:
Creativity + focus + actions (even the smallest tiniest ones) = making things happen. Quite simple actually, but only if you DO it.
I know that first we must set our heart´s compass for things that bring us joy and begin pursuing some of them with our creativity. And then add focus, over and over again. And when we have done that even just a bit, begin to take some of the many tiny actions steps that automatically will reveal themselves as possibilities when we work with our joy and creativity. Then things begin to happen.
Yes! Here it is: Creativity and focus. Added tiny actions. And things begin to happen.
They WILL happen. Not always as we imagined, but things happen when we make such an attractive cocktail. It is as if life itself supports it when we’re working that way. I know it because I’ve tried it myself. And I’ve also tried what doesn´t work, but I can tell you more about another day …
This spring I will begin teaching a course here in Denmark together with a wonderful coach and storyteller, Marianne, about how to find your vision, stay focused and begin making actions in that direction. And it´s all evolving around a…..wonderful creative scrapbook! So, danish people or adventurers from around the globe, the invite is here and it begins 18th january. Are you in? Would love to journey with you! And if you live too far away and still would love to work with these things, I am very open for international invitations, just saying! So, you are warmly invited and there are still open spots!
Invite for Vision 2014 course taking place 4 saturdays and a friday evening in Denmark, 2014
Creating Vision maps during a workshop
PS: if you are interested, here are some posts about my journey into doing more, with more passion in life: https://lisemeijer.dk/treats/my-creative-journey/
(“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!