in·spi·ra·tion noun \ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shən, -(ˌ)spi-\ .
Last weekend as I was sitting in church I kept thinking how fortunate I am to be living in North America, where I have the opportunity to not only survive but to thrive. We get to pick and choose what it is we do daily, to select the food we get to eat, the clothes we get to wear, and yet the human condition is that we all struggle. If not for just basic survival, then to find our place in this world. To discover that thing that makes our hearts sing.
I had the most wonderful conversation yesterday, about empowerment and how that comes from taking a small step, sometimes by just being brave enough to ask a simple question. Two years ago when I submitted a query to Cloth Paper Scissors magazine I really didn't expect immediate acceptance, and yet from that stemmed several other articles until the most recent request to write for Artful Blogging magazine, which has already led to two more articles. And I realized, that this has nothing to do with marketing or selling myself but rather to do with following that thing inside that leads me to create art and to write about it. It just clicks for me.
Words and art have both always been important to me. I remember when I was growing up I never felt like I had anything to contribute but my art and English teachers felt otherwise...thank goodness for the encouragement of those teachers. But I also often felt that painting felt like a selfish act - I wasn't creating something that could physically help someone else.
Thankfully, that feeling has shifted as I hear from patrons who live with what I create and I learn how much my work affects them, inspires them, and touches them deeply. And I hope that the articles I write will inspire someone to create something for themselves or to share with others because what I get to do is such a blessing for me, it heals me, and hearing from others inspires me, too.
The word, inspiration, comes from the Latin root inspiro meaning 'breath of God'. It's how I feel every time I pick up a paintbrush or pencil. I'm often surprised by the results and though I know my work isn't like someone else's, which really is a good thing but I sometimes get caught up in comparison, I am so grateful for daily inspiration.
So as I face challenges in other areas of my life, I know how wonderful it is to spend time in my studio or outdoors and to breath in inspiration. To allow experimentation and play and to breath out any anxiety. It really is a good idea.