Clare loved to sew, but somehow never got around to doing much of it… because there was always something more ‘important’ to do.
Janice longed to paint, and often talked about how much she used to enjoy whiling away a couple of hours, brush in hand… until ‘real’ life got in the way.
Mike had the knack of digging out saleable items at yard sales and second hand shops, but it was just a bit of a hobby… nothing to take seriously.
Moira loved to clean; she could whip through a grubby, disorganised house in record time, leaving everything gleaming and inviting… and she would often pitch in to help the lazy, or the overwhelmed – absolutely free of charge.
Every single human being on this planet has a gift, something that absorbs them, something that produces a sense of satisfaction. However, society has programmed us to believe that our gifts are valueless, and that we shouldn’t waste time on anything that doesn’t automatically add to our financial security. Oh, we believe that some people have a real gift, the kind that will make them a fortune… people who are not like us, and who don’t have our restrictions and problems… the chosen few. And so we deprive ourselves of the joy, of the sense of achievement, that comes from embracing and appreciating our own unique skills and talents. If it isn’t huge, if it doesn’t make us rich, if we aren’t immediately the best, then what’s the point? We think that we’re being smart and realistic, by putting one foot in front of the other, and investing all of our time and energy into everyday security and survival.
You may consider yourself to be the most average, lowly, ordinary human being on the planet… and that will absolutely not be true. You ARE good at something in particular; there IS something that produces a feeling of pleasure and enthusiasm within you; you DO have something precious and worthwhile about you. And if you say, “well, the trouble is, I don’t have any confidence”, I would say, “of course you don’t – you have to do that thing again and again until you become confident!” And also, you have to be willing to commit a consistent amount of time and energy to your gift, even if it is only a couple of hours a week – but it has to be week in, week out, month in, month out. Eventually you will hit your stride, and you will be open to expansion and improvement… and you will want to strive to take it to the next level.
You might also say, “but I am afraid to fail”, and I would respond with,”okay, but what’s so precious and fragile about you that you can’t mess up or go back to the drawing board, every now and then?” When we say we are afraid of failure, we usually mean that we don’t want to be judged, or laughed at, or seen as too full of ourselves. We also mean that we are afraid of what we will have to do or change, in order to make room for our gift, in our everyday life. And we are afraid that we aren’t as good as we’d ideally like to be. But what if we’re right, and all of this actually came to pass? Would the world come to an end? Would we be asked to permanently remove ourselves, and our nearest and dearest, from planet Earth? No. Nothing would happen… except that we could choose to close off from the thing that is special to us, in favour of just doing what needs to be done… in the ‘real’ world.
You may be someone’s child, sibling, parent, partner, or friend. But you are still you, an individual soul, a shard of the great creative force of life… and I wish for you that you could feel the essence of yourself, like silk or sand, pouring through your fingers. And yes, some people may not believe in your hopes and dreams (because they are far too clever to waste time on anything that isn’t part of the ‘real’ world), but you don’t have to listen to them, even if you love them. Creative people have to create, and can often make a bit of money along the way, with a little insight and self-belief. And creativity isn’t just about painting or writing… it is about energy, ideas, and vision. You might come up with an organisational system that is so much more productive than the old one; you might put together a little recipe book for the struggling cook, or those on a tight budget; you might be great at motivating others, or calming angry people down; you might have a voice that is soothing, and would be ideal for audio books; you might have the capacity to take pieces of old, unloved furniture, transforming them into attractive and desirable items; you might know just how to update discarded, second hand clothes, giving them a gorgeous new lease of life… or one of a billion other wonderful possibilities.
Life should be about forward movement, and the journey is actually more important than the destination (although without a destination, the journey is likely to be a bit scattered!). This sounds like an old cliche, I know, but think about it… isn’t Christmas Eve more exciting than Christmas Day, and isn’t New Year’s Eve more vibrant than New Year’s Day? It is all about the anticipation, the build up… the effort! Don’t sell yourself short, ever, be it through your thoughts, beliefs, or behaviour; don’t believe that your happiness is completely dependent upon outside circumstances, and other people’s opinions or beliefs about you. You CAN continue to become an even more expanded version of your unique self, and those who come after you can follow in your footsteps… and the doubters and the critics can go screw themselves up!