Thursday, January 1, 2015

Instructions for Living a Life

Happy first day of 2015! 

I'm not one to look back wistfully or nostalgically on things, but in the spirit of the close the year being a time of reflection and assessment, I will say that 2014 was pretty dang good! I am healthy (probably more so than ever); I am growing spiritually, inwardly, and emotionally; I have the most genuine and down-to-earth friends around me that I have ever had; two jobs that I really love; and the freedom to live a creative life. 2014 was, actually, the first full year where I was an artist.
When I got back from traveling in Peru in Summer of 2013, I felt called (in much the same way as I felt called to go down there) to come back and create a different kind of life than the one I left- one that was richer, more authentic, more true to me. Any time we take a journey, we learn a lot about ourselves: more about who we really are, what our passions are, what we really crave to be doing and how we really desire to be living than is maybe made evident to us when we stay in one place, in one motion, in one routine.

So instead of trying to follow methodologies or move through life in a maybe 'socially conventional' way, I slowly began learning and seeing in 2013 that creativity would be a way of operating for me. 
And that would mean, ultimately, that my sense of place, purpose, identity, and passion wouldn't be tied to tasks or accomplishments outside of myself, but to whatever growth I was willing to make space for inside
It turned out to be a very big shift. Last year felt kind of like the year where the first little stem inside a seed came out. When you find subtle beauty not just in the world around you but in the places within yourself where you never thought it could be, life becomes astonishing. 
You start to see how you are actually connected to the whole, and the little journeys you take may awaken bigger things within you. And has to happen within, because there's no way for you to see your life from beginning to end. If you look outside to see how your life should go, things will be confusing. But if you look inside, you begin to trust more and believe more. You can actually live presently and in the moment because it becomes self-evident that that really is all that you have; worry and anxiety about the future do nothing.
When I say I'm not one to look back in nostalgia, I really mean that I've learned to look at life like a series of seasons. Some years seem good, and some seem bad, but- the important thing- both serve the same purpose: shaping your character. 

We lose the desire to quantify things with such black-and-white labels as 'good' and 'bad' when we focus on now. If we can't handle the present, we certainly won't be able to imagine the future; but if we are aware of the present, a funny thing happens: we trust that the future will take care of itself. Because when we know securely how to step through life now, nothing is missing

Sometimes it takes a journey to remind us, or a year, but when it happens, so does the life we were designed to live. Here's to more of that for everyone in 2015.

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