Last night, my 6-year-old daughter bounced out of her room and excitedly ran up to me.
"Mom!", she said, "Guess what I just learned?"
"What?", I inquired.
"When you trip, you can just start dancing. And then you don't trip - you just dance!"
We all have those times when we feel like we are tripping over countless challenges. All too often, we spend our time blaming the challenges, the obstacles, trying to find out who put them there and pointing fingers.
As a mother and as an artist, my daily work and my world work is to observe those challenges without judgment, to become aware of the fascinating landscape and engage with it....to realize that this is not a stumble, rather, a dance.
Every parent knows this terrain. Every parent has stumbled. There is no one answer to how you respond to a child who won't sleep, nor what you do when your young one comes home in tears over a social meltdown at school.
Being a parent - a mother - means learning alongside your children. It means providing guidance based off your own learning - but not relying solely on that. A mother (parent) must also remain open to the wisdom that this experience provides. It means not only learning how to dance, but actually dancing.
The path of an artist is a similar one. An artist can learn techniques and master them. She can know the dance - the paint strokes, the color palette, the ways of light and shadow. But if she stops there, the artist will only reproduce copies of what has been done. An artist must open to the ever-new experience of now, open to the process of creation itself.
Only then does the art - and the artist - come alive.
I am excited to continue to exploring some of the questions that all creatives ask at some point in their process.
We will be journeying into those questions...and inviting you along with us.
Each Friday, each of us will provide our unique perspective to that week's question on our own blogs.
- On Friday, December 6th, we will each ponder Connie's question: When the painting you are working on makes a “wrong” turn–what do you do?
- On Friday, December 13th, we will take a look at my question: How do you make space for your art, especially when life already feels so busy? (We'll make sure to ask my daughter and son for their wisdom...)
- On Friday, December 20th, we will address Hali's question: How do you know when an art journal page is complete?
- And on Friday, December 27th, we will offer a special replay for those who missed our initial gathering where we explored all kinds of creativity-related conundrums!
Each week from Dec. 6th - Dec. 20th, you will have an opportunity to WIN a spot in the 2014 21 Secrets Live!
Just visit that week's blog-hop host and play along!
Friday, December 6th: Connie at DirtyFootprints-Studio.com
Friday, December 13th: right here -- Lisa at BeingBreath.com
Friday, December 20th: Hali at HaliKarla.com
(And of course, you can always sign up for 21 Secrets now and gift a membership if you win!)
Want to know more about 21 Secrets Live!?
To all mothers, to all parents, to all artists and all creatives, to each person who finds themselves tripping from time to time -
please, take my hand.