Dust Collectors – The Importance Of Letting Go

He was right. The guy from my university art class who said my final term project would end up in a box, forgotten.

He wanted to buy it from me, was persistent about it, but I kept turning him down. I had spent countless days and nights working in the studio, I wasn’t ready to let it go.

But he was right. I completed my fine arts degree and moved on to the education program, graduating in 2003, the year I also got married and was hired to teach second grade at a nearby school. Life continued while my art project sat in a box, stored in the basement at my parent’s house, collecting dust.

Fifteen years later, it’s still sitting in a box.

How did that happen?

Fifteen years ago I told him,

No, you’re wrong.

But he already knew something I didn’t. Part of creating is letting go. My work was done. I had poured myself into that piece, but it was done, and I needed to let it go.

I wonder what would’ve happened if I had sold it. Would I have defined myself differently? Would I have valued myself as an artist and not some imposter? Would my work have been seen, maybe to offer inspiration to another?

The gift of creating is to express, the gift of letting go is to trust.

It was never my job to decide the role my art would have in the world, it was only my job to create and let go.

But instead it sits, collecting dust.

This is a reoccurring lesson in my life, learning to let go of what no longer serves me, learning the gift is in the experience, the process, and the doing. Learning that holding on, when its time to let go only creates a shadow in our lives, disconnecting us from our true nature.

Related Post, Artists Wanted! Apply Within

These lessons show up in many ways. For me, it shows up as hesitation before I share my writing. It shows up in the stack of storage bins of old lesson plans and baby clothes. It shows up when the things I inherited from loved ones are forgotten in closets instead of passed on, displayed or used.

It fills our spaces under the pretence of dealing with it one day, a day that never seems to come. It fills our thoughts with feelings of incompetency.

It shows up, always to offer a choice, do I hold on or do I let go? It’s time to look for the dust collectors, it’s time to shine our light on the shadows and let go.

Dust Collectors - The Importance Of Letting Go

Artists Wanted! Apply Within

Artists Wanted! Apply Within

The planet does not need more ‘successful people.’ The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.

 –Dalai Lama-

This quote has stayed with me. The words read like a call to action, reminding me of an Uncle Sam recruitment poster stating in bold letters, WE WANT YOU!

Except the call is for artists and not soldiers.

It’s a powerful message in a culture hazed by marketing campaigns, all in the attempt to sell. Sell us a better life, a happier, more fulfilling life if only we achieve this or buy that.

Our culture has become one giant sales pitch.

But the flaw in all this happens to be a fundamental one. A happy, fulfilled life cannot be bought.

Research professor and author, Brene Brown recites a prayer to herself before going on stage to deliver a speech. Part of this prayer includes not having to hustle for her worthiness. This is a conscious effort on her part to stay centered in her work, a conscious effort not to participate in the ‘sell.’

And it struck me. We are a culture of hustlers, we are all hustling for our worthiness. 

Our definition of success is entirely messed up.

But where did this definition come from? And more importantly, why do we believe we have to ‘do’ anything to make ourselves worthy? Why don’t we believe we are already enough, just as we are?

Imagine if our definition of success was measured not by the number in our bank account, but in the moments we felt connected to something bigger than ourselves, where the focus was more on compassion and less on accumulation.

Imagine if our communities were full of peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds…

Where hustling for our worthiness was unheard of, where we inherently know our worth and the value we bring to the world just by being ourselves.

Imagine that.

Maybe it’s time to say our own little prayer, maybe it’s time to look for the artists.

Artists Wanted! Apply Within

 

Life Defining Moments – Reclaiming Your Power

I hung up the phone with the doctor. It was confirmed that yes, I did have another miscarriage and no, we don’t need you to come in for further testing, not until you’ve had three.

Three miscarriages. My heart was barely surviving two, how was I expected to get through another?

It was a moment that forever changed me.

Life Defining Moments - Reclaiming Your Power

I clearly saw myself on a path, breaking in two directions. One of which was the path I was currently walking and the other, a path I had never been on but somehow knew it was the only way forward for me.

As soon as I thought the thought, a weight lifted from my insides. I suddenly felt lighter…even a little hopeful.

But mostly I felt like I had taken my power back.

The power I had so absentmindedly given away to everyone else I believed to know better than me.

I had spent the better part of the year waiting on someone else to tell me if I was going to be okay, almost holding my breath in anticipation for the answers to make me whole again.

But the answer was already in me, waiting for me to pay attention.

A defining moment in my life.

The moment I decided to take a different path was the moment I said to the world around me, enough.

That’s enough.

And I walked away from everything that felt heavy.

Life began to slow down, in the way that life should slow down. My mind quieted, the pit in my stomach softened.

I woke up from the spell I was under and got to work healing myself, guided by my intuition, that wise inner voice I hadn’t listened to in a very long time.

And the more I slowed down, the louder my voice became.

Navigating life’s choices became a matter of feeling my way through, allowing my heart to lead.

Heavy or light?

Hopeless or hopeful?

Powerless or powerful?

All it takes is one choice. One moment in time where you say to the world, enough.

That’s enough.

So whatever it is for you, if you are giving your power away, I want you to look down at the path you are on and make a choice. You can choose to keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep going in the same direction you’ve always been going.

Or you can choose a different way. Look up and see where the path breaks, look for the one less travelled. And as you stand there, contemplating this new path, notice how you feel. Maybe a little lighter, a little hopeful.

Maybe even a little powerful.

Take that path.

We’re Not Here To Be June Cleaver And Then We Die

We're Not Here To Be June Cleaver And Then We Die

Have you had this moment? Thinking life would be easier if morphing into a 1950’s housewife felt right.

If staying home, raising kids, tailoring curtains to their desired length while whipping up meatloaf for dinner felt right?

And please, lets not forget our hair, which of course is flawlessly done in the latest up do while we scrub the toilet bowl… because, why not?

I feel like maybe I could rock that. Maybe my floors would be clean, my family photos would be in albums, and the pile of recycling would stop falling out whenever I open the cupboard.

Maybe this could be my life if only I put down my journal, or that book I’m reading. Or maybe if I quit writing. Or spend less time in the garden. Or stay home from that class I signed up for. Or just stop pursuing whatever it is that’s calling my name at the moment.

But I can’t do it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love staying home with my kids, I feel blessed to have that option.

But my job is not to play a role written for someone else.

Whether it’s a fictional 1950’s character or the millennial mom who appears to be the updated version of it.

That is not what I’m here for.

Hell no.

My job is to do it my way. To listen to my own voice. To that growing restlessness shaking up my insides, whispering, nudging, and sometimes shouting. It’s time.

The world doesn’t need another June Cleaver.

Been there. Done that.

The world needs original.

It craves original.

Quirks and all.

Because living life on your own terms feeds the fire of empowerment, giving the people around you permission to do the same…like your kids for example.

So take that step. And sometimes that means taking a step back.

From that thing you said you’d do.

Or that project you don’t want to finish.

Or that role you’ve been pretending to play.

It’s time.

Make space in your life.

If you have no clue where to start, start there.

Take a step back from all the distractions and make space for what’s been calling your name.

And that growing restlessness shaking up your insides will thank you.

This is why you’re here my friend. It’s time.

We're Not Here To Be June Cleaver & Then We Die - You Got This.

Wrapped Up In Stories

At the end of it all, what are we left with but our story? All of life’s moments wrapped up into one beautiful journey of love and loss, struggle and growth.

Create A Home That Celebrates Your Story

An invisible thread, transporting us instantaneously with something as simple as a smell, an object, or a song from the radio.

And just like any story we spend time with, parts are forgotten, their contents failing to resonate, while others stay with us, imprinted on the very depths of who we are.

It’s our stories that are left. The tales of loved ones who walked before us, parts carried forward, parts let go.

It’s a choice we make, being the creators of our lives. We hold the pencils, choosing the direction our stories will go in. Choosing the words we share with our children, the recipes we cook, the photographs we keep. 

It’s pausing for a moment when the scent of a tea towel reminds you of your grandmother’s kitchen.

It’s slowing down in the garden when you see your child working beside you.

It’s in the simplicity of these moments that write the heart of our story. That weaves the invisible thread between generations, speaking to the depths of who we are.

Let us be intentional with our stories. Let us write more about love and growth, and less on loss and struggle.

Let our homes be filled with what matters most, our family, our friends and the things that connect us.

Let the art on the walls make you smile. And if it doesn’t, change it.

Sharpen your pencil and start over.

You are a storyteller.  We are all storytellers; it’s who we are.

Our history runs deep in the stories of our ancestors.

And will continue on after we are gone.

Because at the end of it all, what are we left with but our story? All of life’s moments wrapped up into one beautiful journey.