â€œThere is no feeling better
you are living the life you want to live.â€
~ Maikeâ€™s Marvels
Itâ€™s not Thanksgiving yet, but I am filled with gratitude every day. The beauty of blogging is that it provides a chronicle of oneâ€™s life, and looking back through the pages I realize how full and rich and blessed my life has beenâ€”especially this year! There has been a tremendous momentum that ties back to letting go of planning and just going with the flow.
Last summer I was desperate to craft a business plan, to form a roadmap of what my artistic life would look like, and yet I kept getting stuck doing the exercises. So finally I just ditched the writing (while thoughts are still mulling in my head) and started creating wall decor and responding to calls for art. From each exhibit I gained confidence, and with each show came another opportunity, a new connection, another idea, and more support.
Rather than decipher market demographics for a target customer, it has proven more beneficial (for now) to just be out in my community, to pick a few groups to be active in, and to let those relationships build over time.
The funny thing is that I didnâ€™t set out to gain customers or show opportunities that way. I was just seeking to improve myself and contribute my energy to a good cause or event. But somehow in having that intent of support, I have received an exponential amount of encouragement back.
“Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.
Don’t put limitations on yourself.
Other people will do that for you…
failure has to be an option
in art and exploration because it’s a leap of faith.Â â€¦
In whatever you’re doing,
failure is an option, but fear is not.
~ James Cameron discussing Avatar at TED 2010
One key element has been openness: to saying yes instead of â€œIâ€™ll think about it (and talk myself out of it)â€, to giving something a whirl even if it doesnâ€™t have an aspect of â€˜profitabilityâ€™ attached to it, to allowing my intuition to weigh in, to learning new things and re-learning what I thought I already knew (but learned more about).
There has been growth on many levels. There is more spontaneity in my life, and more â€˜out-going-nessâ€™. I no longer tremble at clicking â€˜sendâ€™ for an art show submission. I do want to be accepted, but a rejection doesnâ€™t come with a sense of â€˜discreditâ€™ anymore. Each workshop Iâ€™ve attended in the past year has introduced me to new techniques and ideasâ€”many of which I yet need to implementâ€”that have fed my creativity and are helping my art develop. I know that my business is growing too, even if I canâ€™t show big numbers for it like the â€˜overnightâ€™ success stories touted in the media. For my current operation, slow and steady is the way to go.
What I am most grateful for is the relationships, however. This year I am truly connecting, meeting people who are intelligent, worldly, and have an understanding and interest in art, who have high aspirations and who have giving souls. There is a depth to these connections, souls meeting and marveling at the kindredness of spirit. It started a few years ago, but I feel this year my network has expanded quite a bit, like a warm group hug.
Whatever is going on this year, it is making me happy. And from that bliss more momentum and opportunities will spring forth, with targeted strategizing, intention setting and thoughtfulness, but also simply by being, embracing the moment, and just trying things out.
â€Ž”There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening,
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one you in all time, this expression is unique.
And, if you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
~ Martha Graham via David Bromstad’s Facebook page