The class is over halfway filled, and I am ELATED by the group that has gathered so far. Each time someone signs up, I connect with that person on such a unique level. I imagine her (all women right now) looking through the description of the class, feeling that familiar creative pull I've felt so often, and hitting that "Pay Now" button with a bit of excitement mixed with fear.
I allow myself to embody not only the trust she is placing in me to guide her into this experience, but the source she is acknowledging in herself and the awe-inspiring permission she has given to that source to play and explore.
It might seem a bit over-dramatic for "just" an encaustics class. But this is how I feel about every one of my offerings to the world. When someone responds - whether it is through a heart-felt comment, hard-earned money, or any other offering - I am deeply aware that we are both making a commitment.
For this class, for six weeks, each of us has opened something up within ourselves that so many will never get the chance to experience. Yes, we're learning about the art form of encaustics and materials and techniques and so on. But we are also learning about so much more. We are learning about our creative potential. We are exploring what it means to create. We will spend time exploring that self that is creating...and make time to express that self through a luminescent artistic medium.
To journey in this life doing this, and to be blessed enough to have others alongside doing the same? THAT deserves respect. I am honored, humbled, and fulfilled.
When considering these things, I can't help but think of something that has caught my attention for the past year or so.
I tread into the next few sentences carefully.
There are many out there who are promoting the "six-figure lifestyle". They want to show us how they've done it and how WE can do it too! They give us photos of their beautiful lifestyle and tips on how we can have exactly the same thing. There seems to be something magical about a six-figure income. And there is definitely something attractive about all of the things they are offering.
There is nothing wrong with making money. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the hard work that has gone into earning that money, nor in appreciating the things that the money has made possible.
The trick is not falling into a trap that a six-figure income is the only way to succeed, or that it is even a way you want to succeed.
I'm not going to publicly declare it, but it isn't hard to figure out what I'm making from this class. And even thinking about it makes me giddy. Yes, money makes me happy. (*gasp*) But it is nowhere near six-figures (nor on track for that for the year).
And, if I break down all of the time I've put (and will put) into this class, I can promise you I will be making less than minimum wage.
I FEEL VERY SUCCESSFUL.
I feel successful because I began with awareness, not with expectation. I am aware of my own inner callings and sourcing my work from there. I am aware the world needs so much more than another financially-successful entrepreneur. I am aware that I NEED to be so much more than a financially-successful entrepreneur. I am aware that every woman and man needs a chance to know themselves and to express themselves. I am aware that, because I have this knowing, I have a responsibility to share it with the world.
I feel successful because I express THROUGH this awareness, not in spite or in ignorance of it.
I feel successful because, as I type, there are a group of women, spread across the world, who at this very moment are giving themselves the opportunity to experience this awareness as well. They are waking up to feed their children or picking up their keys to head out for errands or sitting perusing the internet.
And tomorrow, we will all open a bit more to what is possible. (By creating this class, I already have. By signing up, each of the participants already have.) On the surface, we might be learning "just encaustics".
But we are each learning so much more than that. We are learning how to reconnect with our creative selves. We are learning how to hear the thoughts that often chatter on unheard. We are learning how to take what we learn and express it into the world....including with and yet far beyond a bit of melted wax. We are learning to be successful because we are remembering how to live.
And you wonder why I'm excited.
p.s. And yes, registration is still open and there are a few spots left. If expression through encaustics isn't for you, or the timing isn't right, please know I'll be offering this class again in late fall AND will be offering a by-donation Awareness Arts class (expected to open in late August). In truth....you already know how to express yourself in the world. Go Do It.