Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined! As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
-Henry David Thoreau
I’ve pulled out The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron again. I read the book and did the exercises over twenty years ago now, not long after the book came out. I always wanted to be a writer, even though I had a busy career in affordable housing and finance. It was corporate. Structured. On the surface, not particularly creative.
Yet, I managed to feed my creative nature, though it took a bit of doing: I developed programs that helped people bring their dream of creating a safe haven for themselves or their families to reality. My work felt right, though I longed for the day I would write, and be an “artist”.
When ever I had the chance to read a book about writing, or, better yet, use a workbook like the Artist’s Way; anything with self exploration, anything that might bring me closer to the life I really wanted to be living, I was there. Each week, I dutifully did the exercises in the Artist’s Way and occasionally wrote an essay or made a little piece of art. Mostly, I journaled and worked through my inner demons.
It would be a good twenty plus years before I would start Sharing a Journey in earnest. Now, I write most mornings, whether the work is immediately posted, or set aside, words come out onto paper or on to a computer screen. Roger and I make images to go with the writing; we go on adventures, we talk and explore…a lot. My heart soars as I see my deepest longings come to life.
As Roger and I plan and carry out my vision, I find myself living the life of my dreams, the life I imagined all those years. It flows like water…it feels like love…it cuts like a knife. I pace the floor, I sit, looking out the window worrying that nothing is getting done. I write. I dance with the divine, I find peace and accept the mundane.
There are always barriers standing in the way of our dreams. No one is immune; the difference between those who push through and those who don’t is in one’s courage, perseverance and ability to focus. Oh, and doing the work. You have to do the work…every. day.
Distractions…Cruel words… Not enough money… Not enough time…Not having the right tools…Feeling stuck…Fear…Wrestling…Obsessing…Worrying about what others might think…these thoughts and many others converge and circle as I sit to write.
I focus on my breath. I give myself over. Time disappears, words and images flow, I am drawn forward. At the end, I discover “something” before me; a painting, a poem, a plan, direction…inspiration.
Crossing through becomes less painful and more a part of the process. I accept the discomfort. I am most uncomfortable when I don’t heed my “voice”; when I don’t step forward or when I am called off my work to do something that isn’t in alignment with my vision.
What ever comes my way when I start to work is what I am working with that day, be it inspiration, resistance, anxiety or a list of mundane chores.
No matter your vision, Dear Friend, go forth confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined. The road may be bumpy and call you to be bigger and stronger than you you believe you can be. Go with it anyway. I’ve found stepping forward is far less painful than living in silent desperation, wallowing in jealousy, or wrestling with soul that wants to soar. A full life, the one you dream of, is there for you. Waiting.