AKA Joining Heaven and Earth
Yesterday and today David Nichtern’s class Creativity, Spirituality and Making a Buck is the soundtrack to my workday. This beats the crap out of Reuters and MSNBC if you ask me. I know! It’s an odd response for someone whose day job is in finance.
And though I love the relationships I’ve developed with my clients and firmly believe in the necessity of financial wellbeing this is not where my passion lives. As witnessed daily on my blog, my creative canvas voiced.The calling of my siren’s song rising; my intuitive mind longing for self-expression.
Last October I participated in David’s meditation workshop on CreativeLive (my favorite guilty pleasure). I’ve meditated for 15 plus years. Honoring my consciousness is a regular part of my daily routine and foundational spiritual practice. David describes Shamatha or mindfulness meditation as “an organic practice…based on noticing the moment when our awareness connects with our present situation, and actually deliberately cultivating that kind of simple awareness. The benefit is we become more synchronized in body and mind and begin to relate to our world in a less distracted and more wakeful way.”
Now David himself is inspiring. His laugh is joyously infectious. He invites me to yearn for more, to dream bigger in fact then I dared to myself. Seems kismet being this week’s Dungeon Writing Prompt is Dreaming Big. Something I’ve been hesitant to do as of late. A dear friend expressed her surprise at my reticence to jump without a safety net. I seem paralyzed, so contrary to the fire she sees inside my soul’s expression. I’ve noticed this too lately.
But here is a class combining my passions- meditation, spirituality and creativity. ”how we cultivate and integrate our creative energy, our sense of personal strength and well-being, and actually manifest our vision in the world.” David tells us the drive to create is personal- the part of you seeking expression. The trick is balancing Heaven and Earth- Our vision to current reality.
Creativity is my pulse. It is my susurrus soul yearning to be birthed into the world. It is the part of me that knows its “connection with everything around us and particularly with the magic, sparkly quality of imagination”. It is my beloved and sometimes dreaded muse, my hallow heart.
Inside creativity, connection, and community I have the honor to reflect self with another and receive beauty in return. And to think my roommate doesn’t believe you can be an introvert and a people person. Oh Contraire! I am indeed both.
As I said I have a strong meditation practice. And recently through my illness have come to know further the depths of my own inner strength. I am tapped into my spirituality and creativity. But now, what to do with them?
This is where David pushes further. He asks is your art a hobby or a profession? Right now it is my hobby. One I want to bloom into a profession. But for an idea to become a business we must have a vision statement, a strategic overview and an operating plan. It must make sense on paper. As David reminds us “paper is a great mirror” (perhaps why I love writing as much as I do).
Do the numbers add up? For me the idea of making a buck from my art, the Offering is where I get challenged. My Oy to the Vey!
Our offering requires we serve a market or audience. As artists we must be aware of the needs of others. What do you want to design and project to the world? He asks.
I was reminded today that my name is a Pali term meaning spontaneous generosity of the heart. It is the offering/donation made to teachers. Perhaps I should focus on that when determining my worth, making the ask.
I recently told a friend “what do I have to write that is worth telling, that people haven’t heard a million times already, that a thousand better artists haven’t already expressed?” I thought she was going to lop my head off. This insidious thought runs along with what will my legacy be? What can I give towards the betterment of humanity? These deeper questions accompany cancer (at least it did mine).
I am not alone in knowing what it feels like to simply survive. Life’s challenges thrust us into a process undeniably bound for growth. It serves as the base of who we have become, a faint shadow of our past self, and the essence of our new being. Our transformation is not visible on the outside it is internal….eternal.
The Kabbalah states that not only can man transform, but he must in order to fulfill the purpose of creation. The butterfly must fight its way out of the cocoon. Break its way into the light, come to find its own strength or it will never be able to fly.
Over coffee with a friend he confessed his desire to have his midlife crisis crowd funded. The second half of his life spent creating and expressing his voice, his platform, raging against the dying of the light. My Punk Rock Pornstar Activist friend has a legacy far more established then mine that he wishes to imprint on the world. Not sure the world is ready for it, but that intense passion is glorious to behold.
I imagined a collective of artists. Like a giant creative think tank living on the beach in California spending days on end or nights as would be my case in the pursuit of creative genius, the freedom of self-expression. Oh that I were a millionaire to fund such a glorious endeavor. We would edit one another’s works, collaborate on lyrics for musical notes, create dialogue over dinner, shoot movies, and inspiration for art and dance. Are there any art collectives that incorporate meditation and spiritual practice encouraging collaboration and community? I think that would be the big dream for me.
David’s teacher told him “the first thought is the best thought”. Well my first project was my magnetic croquis drawing tool, croquis book and iPad drawing app. But David makes me want to be the muse. A creative coach perhaps! That friend who randomly reminds you to write, demands a love letter, in calligraphy of course, and stokes your creative fire. That pushes your whims to their edges, coaxing the caterpillar from its cocoon.
“Muse for Hire”. Collaborator. Co-conspirator. Confidante and Companion.
Blast from This Blogs Past
- 2012: Photo Pair ~ Blue Light
- 2012: Runway Beat #7 ~ The Men
- 2013: Monday Meditation ~ Elegance Via Coco
The Weekend Reading List
- Rediscovering the Male Bond ~ Cody has written another great post. Run to not walk over to his site and read.
- A Bit Coquettish is reviewing lingerie lines. First read feu de vénus and then l’agent by agent provocateur. Agent Provocateur has some of the best packaging concepts I’ve ever seen. I was introduced to their genius when teaching fashion design. One of my student was doing lingerie.
- All of Nothing ~ Learning to see truth
- Here We Go Again- Novel Drafting ~
- Why We Love Beautiful Things ~
Stay the Night ~ Zedd ft Hayley Williams
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Love your ideas. That seems worthy a big dream, your community of artists. Meditation seems necessary for every artist to tap real self-expression, though most may have other methods of it and may not be thinking of it as meditation, but you can’t deeply express yourself without truly understanding yourself, and that peeling the layers starts with meditation. Nice post.
Meditation has been the foundation of my life. The practice that keeps me grounded. I often say my spiritual teacher taught me how to make my life work.
You said it perfectly. I agree you can’t “deeply express yourself without truly understanding yourself.” And mediation in any form is a terrific tool to achieve that. One that has transformed how I live my life.
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