New beginnings always start with endings.
Letting go starts with loosening the tight grip we have on our lives.
I’m realizing that the only one who holds me back from my dreams is myself. It’s like that story about the man who prays and prays to win the lottery and but never buys a ticket.
I dream about making a big impact, about traveling and changing the world, about going beyond my wildest dreams everyday and tapping into the “magical nectar of the universe.” But often I’ve found myself frozen in self-doubt, questioning, “who am I to make a difference?”
There are millions of people with different beliefs, values, and lifestyles. Sometimes life seems out of control, complete chaos. I find myself often looking to “make sense” of who we are, and why we act the way we do. I’m a “big picture” person, always looking at the bird’s eye view. In high school I took one of those Myer’s Briggs personality tests and I scored off the charts as intuitive. With the years as my teacher, I’m discovering more and more that life can only be understood from a distance. (Thank you Bette Midler!)
As an artist, some of my favorite (and most brilliant!) pieces are not planned out. They are intuitively inspired organic creations. I follow a similar process each time:
1) First I give myself a large surface, it is important for me to make large moves all at once and then fill in the details. I love large-scale. I work best that way.
2) I usually start off with a general intention or emotion and I find a color that aligns with this feeling, and I jump right in.
3) I open to grace.
4) I feel it out: this area needs some of this color, and I paint as a musician improvises with a band, listening with my gut as to the where color would best fill in the empty spaces.
5) In the midst of the swirls of color, motion, and details, when I step back and observe, I start to see the patterns, the rhythm, the cycles, a message begins to reveal itself to me.
6) Suddenly, the painting speaks to me. I see purpose in what I am painting. I know through the process what I am creating on multiple levels and I feel tuned in, turned on, alive & filled with joy. I am able to channel something greater than what I could even comprehend.
7) Step back and marvel.
8) Give thanks.
I share this with you because I’m realizing I tend to follow a similar process this with my life. I kind of “feel it out,” jumping in with a gut knowing, and then allow the process itself to unfold its grand design. I’m a “fly by the seat of my pants girl”. This has gotten me into my fair share of trouble through the years, but I am honestly happiest when I’m free to dabble, to doodle, to play.
I’m embarking on a month and a half long road trip, following some intuitive signs that pointed me to the southwest. It may not “make sense,” logically, and that is the reasoning that initially held me back from leaving. merge is the restaurant, art gallery, music venue, bar, and café my sister, Sarah, and I dreamt up and created over the last three years. It is a living, breathing testament that with dedication, support from community, family, and a deep sense of purpose, those crazy dreams can come to life. merge offers me a much needed anchor, keeping me from completely drifting off into the clouds. It has given me a foundation for understanding people, business, and community.
With my anchor firmly set in place in Buffalo, I feel freer to drift, to flow, to explore my place in the world as an artist, as a see-er of patterns, harmonies, rhythms. I am willing and able to guide myself onto a different type of project. I got an Artvoice horoscope a while back that said, “make your life your greatest work of art.” So that’s what I’m doing. And I’m using my own artist recipe as follows:
1) I’ve given myself a large surface, pretty much all of America (f*ck yeah!) I know the rough outline of this trip, and I’ll fill in the details as I go.
2) I’m starting off with a general intention: To explore conscious food, art, music, and businesses, and share that with my community in Buffalo, and further expand my connections.
3) Open to grace. Grace is what I call the guiding intuitive force that flows through the universe activating and emanating life. Being open just means simply trusting that where you are is where you’re meant to be, and that while it may not make sense right now, there is always a deeper purpose.
4) I will “feel it out” and improvise. I’m jumping in with both feet, and I even have a couple friends along for the ride.
5) The fear of not knowing where to begin often held me back, but I know that I need to spend some time in Arizona, California, Colorado, and hopefully Oregon and Utah. Once I started diving in, things started working out, revealing me to again, “holy cr*p, I CAN do this.”
6) I know that this is what I need to be doing, where I need to go. I feel alive, inspired, and full of purpose. I am going to write about my experiences, speak my truth, and channel something greater than I can even comprehend.
7) I will step back and admire, marveling at the joy of creation itself.
8) Give thanks. I’ve been amazed at how supportive family and friends are to me taking this trip and following my wild and crazy dreams when they might not make perfect financial or logical sense. Just a quick shout out to my sister, Sarah, and our chef Kate for taking on more responsibility at merge, and allowing me the freedom to keep following my heart.
To close this first entry, I want to re-post this quote I “just came across” from my friend Brad of cowabunga life:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
– Melody Beaty
While visiting Hawaii earlier this year, I learned the deeper meaning of aloha. To quote; “Aloha is being a part of all, and all being a part of me. When there is pain – it is my pain. When there is joy – it is also mine. I respect all that is as part of the Creator and part of me. I will not willfully harm anyone or anything. When food is needed I will take only my need and explain why it is being taken. The earth, the sky, the sea are mine to care for, to cherish and to protect.”
I know the this journey is one we all share. My quest is also yours. I send blessings to you, and gratitude for sharing your journey with me. I look forward to updating you from the road!
Namaste, aloha, welcome.