Monday, January 5, 2009

Called to be creative!

I am rereading the book, The Creative Call, by Janice Elsheimer. I first read this book when it was published in 2001.  It spoke to me then about possibilities, and about which comments from my past I actually listened to and have built my limitations upon. (I am sure we all have those negative voices which have influenced our self-perceptions!)

Back in 2001-2002 , I was in a position to move forward in one of several directions, and I chose the one which seemed to be the right one for that time and place. Choosing that course has given me some truly amazing experiences over the last 7 years or so, and has brought me to the space and place I am currently in. 

This is the start of a new year, full of potential and new decisions to make. Since having my brain surgery almost 4 months ago now, I have been doing a lot of thinking (LOL - using my brain!) and dreaming.  Picking up this book has been one of the things that is pulling me along in the process of thinking deeply about my life - about purpose and direction.  I am actually highlighting phrases and sentences which resonate with me, and which speak louder than the "common-sense" voices from my childhood and past. I have been journaling for years, but I have determined that this year will be different. My journals will also include dreams of my heart, goals to aspire to, and possibilities and outcomes recorded in one place to encourage me when life seems to be difficult. 

Although I am only a third of the way through the book, here are a few of the phrases which have become "gold":

  • Caution and fear of failure kept me (the author of The Creative Call) from believing 
  • Creative people know that not only are they missing something important when they aren't exercising their creative gifts, but they are also shrinking from the responsibility they have to develop those gifts.
  • ... practicing one's art is a spiritual matter
  • ... the flow of creative ideas is much more constant and insistent in creative, divergent thinkers
  • When we try to live without exercising our artistic gifts, we may feel restless and empty. Life lacks fullness. Something buried deep within longs to emerge.
I have been reminded that being creative is a "calling". I don't know what that word might mean to you, but for me, it is a very powerful word, and has many concepts attached to it. It requires courage to answer your calling in life - no matter when it comes, and no matter what form it takes! So my focus this year will be to be "strong and courageous". If you know me at all, you know that for me to take risks, to move into unknown waters (ie. unsafe, untested, may be filled with crocodiles) I need to be courageous!!! I guess we will see where this takes me, and what adventures will happen along the way.

The first adventure this year is that my husband and I are leaving tomorrow morning to fly to Vancouver Island, and then take a ferry to Salt Spring Island to spend 5 days on an island next to the ocean in winter. I am taking my camera, and the hopes of getting some excellent pictures - both for painting and for my photography portfolio. We debated going to some place warmer (like Mazatlan, Mexico), but we only have a few days, and limited finances, so this is the compromise. I am also taking my new Moleskine sketch book and my traveling watercolors, with the hope of filling some of the pages. It will be wonderful to be away from everything, and be able to work out some more ideas as to the future direction of our lives. I will be setting some 2009 goals - things to work toward, but not be bound by - all with the overarching idea of being strong and courageous.

Of course, since we will be away from "everything" (including computers, phones, TV, etc.)  that means no posting for a week or more. I will catch you up as soon as I can once we are home.

Till then, I wish you all many wonderful experiences,  enjoying your calling in 2009.


Michelle said...

Heee! SO EXCITING! You will have a fabulous time and I know that you will come home with all sorts of artistic gems and inspirations. Have a wonderful time!

One thing about you - you might *feel* like you need to be courageous.... you come across as being completely courageous.

I'm excited to see the direction you head in during this new year!

Alvin Richard said...

My sentiments exactly on all those statements in the book. My greatest fear before starting a painting is failure. To have spent a lot of time,and for it not to work. I should know better by now because I have never not finished a painting and felt some sort of accomplishment......but I never seem to remember. Bon Voyage in the land of Robert Bateman. You will only learn more about yourself in any decision you make when taking the road less travelled.

artbyakiko said...

Joanne, thanks for visiting my blog! Have a wonderful trip! I will be back to see your beautiful pictures and paintings.

emm said...

Joanne, I just spent some time on your website, viewing your slideshow and then I came a read your post. Your body of work shows a woman who is paying attention to every beautiful detail and living life to it's fullest. I feel as though I have stepped into your life when I look at your paintings. I love that-

Jean Victory said...

Your book sounds interesting...the statements so true! You're a source of inspiration to us all. Congrats on getting your photography published! You've got to be so proud! Have fun on your vacation.

theresamillerwatercolors said...

Hi Joanne! I loved reading your past entries, the ones that I missed while I was gone, CONGRATULATIONS! So exciting to see your work published! I also love the photos of the birds - brilliant! Lastly, thank you so much for stopping by my blog and your nice comments - they mean loads to me. Enjoy your quiet time in the wilderness... Warm hugs to you!