On Becoming A Life Artist
By Michele McHall
Each one of us is born with a vibrant palette of talents and dreams, and when we choose to create our life from this palette, we become Life Artists living out our potential to create a personal unique masterpiece. A Life Artist is someone committed to enhancing the depth and dimension of their lives by actively honoring their values, choosing perspectives which enhance their growth and courageously opening their hearts to unknown places.
Unfortunately, our cultural messages don’t usually encourage us to freely explore our lives, like an artist in a studio. Rather there’s an expectation to join a cultural path devoted to the values of economic productivity, achievement and security. Before we know it the weed of fear has taken over the garden of our unique potential. We believe the chorus of collective, familial and inner voices that tell us our dream is not important enough, a waste of valuable time and won’t provide a living. Ultimately, life-giving energy is sacrificed for other responsibilities that are seemingly necessary to a successful lifestyle.
Many people find the words “talent” and “dream” intimidating expectations of mythic proportions and avoid discovering what they mean to them. While for others, they may begin to open the aperture of their life lens to the light of their dreams, but when reality is not as romantic as the fantasy — they give up. Many talents and dreams are literally left abandoned on the road of life, never to be cared for or expressed. As a result, we can feel a loss of mastery over our lives and even buy into the lie that freedom of expression and artistry are reserved for people either active in the “counter culture” or talented enough to become professional artists.
The irony is that people are longing for a life they love as well as for a meaningful purpose. It’s difficult to create one when we feel victimized by what we “should” do.
As technology exponentially increases our ability to access information and communicate more efficiently, the pressure to produce results faster than ever before has left many people feeling out of control, confused and energetically depleted. Stress-related illnesses are on the rise. More and more people are taking anti-depressants. The combination of abandoned dreams and an increasingly stressful lifestyle have created tremendous disimbalance in many people’s lives.
The effects of such stress can literally be a wake-up call such as a “heart attack.” Others begin to recognize their daily drive down the freeway repeating “is this all there is” epitomizing Thoreau’s “life of quiet desperation” and may be the root of what we now know as “road rage.” Does it have to be a crisis? What will it take for us to listen to our hearts?
If you are committed to creating a life you love, you must learn to take actions that create more dependable moments of joy. Like any great masterpiece, it all begins with the whisper of inspiration. When we choose to listen to our heart’s desire, we finally meet our Life Artist. The voice of our Life Artist tells us how we can choose with love rather than react in fear. This voice wants us to claim our own magnificence.
While the prospect of this may at first appear daunting and the unknown overwhelming, inspirations become masterpieces with the brushstrokes of our consistent choices. Most likely there will be both inner and outer voices of doubt attempting to sabotage our vision. Our palette could look muddy at times. The familiar ruts often feel more comfortable simply because we know them so well. However, the compelling vision may be lost in a sea of self-sabotage if we wait for any of the above challenges to go away.
It takes courage to keep showing up to our dream. As the romance fades, so can our excitement. The beginning stage undoubtedly tests our faith, the purpose of our desire and our willingness to grow. What makes it worth it? It has been my personal experience, as well as with clients, that when we live by our values and invest in our learning, we feel more alive. As this liberating life force grows, things happen somewhat magically at times and we find abundance where we never have before.
While becoming a Life Artist is a choice to create our lives, it is not a “members only” club for creative types. Everyone has the innate potential to be a Life Artist. While at times it may require a willingness to part with security, it doesn’t necessarily entail abandoning all our current goals and responsibilities. Most of all, what becoming a Life Artist affords us is the perspective that there is no right or wrong way to live a fulfilled life.
There are many ways of accomplishing what we want and often-times our belief systems keep us stuck in trying to do it right or in pleasing others. A Life Artist understands that there are no mistakes. Overcoming obstacles, making mistakes, failing, all move us forward despite our judgments of them. Ultimately they give our lives the dimension we long for and strengthen our self-esteem as we move through the challenges that are presented.
Being a Life Artist is an invitation to show up to the canvas of our lives with less expectation and to engage in becoming a more fully expressed individual. Everyone is more capable than they think of creating a life masterpiece. Begin yours now. It will be a gift to yourself and the world.
Michele McHall is a Life Coach and founder of the “Life Artist Playground”. She currently works with clients to discover their Life Artist through art, movement, theatre, poetry and unifying their mind, body and spirit toward creating a life they love. For more information call (310) 655-8854 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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