Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Artist’s Way: Week Four, Post Four

I’ve put off posting about this week’s exercises because I had an odd experience with one, and I wasn’t sure how to word it so that people didn’t think I was losing it.

But, I wasn’t able to come up with anything, so I just wrote about it as I experienced it…

First, here’s an exercise that I loved and had fun with.

Exercise One—Describe your ideal environment (and then find a picture that matches)

This exercise was only supposed to be a paragraph, but I went on for a page. It was fun to imagine where I’d like to live, from the landscape to the weather, from the size of the town/city to the type of house. All in all, it was very enjoyable. And it was also fascinating to type into Google a few key words from my description and see what popped up.

[If you want to see what my ideal is, click here.]

Now, on to the exercise that I'm still thinking about…

Exercise Two—Imagine your 80 year-old self and have her write you a letter

To begin this one, I did a visualization technique that I semi-developed by morphing a number of techniques I’ve read in a few books and heard on tele-seminars. It was to help me get to a place (mentally/emotionally/spiritually) where I would be open to receiving information from my future self. [Don’t worry. I haven’t gone off the deep end into woo-woo-ville. It’s just a way to still the mind and really listen.] I wanted this experience to be from my heart, to flow naturally as if from another source. I didn’t want to stop and think “Now, what would I tell myself?” or “What would my real grandma say to me?” And in order for this type of divine writing to occur, you have to be in the proper mind-set.*

Anyway, once I got to that peaceful place and walked (in my mind) to the door that would open into 80 year-old Liz’s life (who by the way, lives in a quaint little cottage by a stream), I sat with her and asked her what she wanted to tell me. She handed me a letter, and I was surprised by what it said. Truly surprised (and a little bugged, to be honest).

What I wanted her to tell me was what I should do with my life. What path should I take? Should I switch careers? Move? Buy a Winnebago and hit the road collecting stories as I trade my paintings for sandwiches? Should I focus on my art? My writing? My 401k plan? What should I do?!?!?

Now, in an effort to be fully transparent and to have this journey documented for myself, I’m going to post the letter in its entirety. I also want to add that it was written without stopping my hand, without pausing to think, and without agreeing with all that it said. It took about 5 minutes and was a sort of surreal experience.

Dear Liz,

I know you are wondering what path to take. You’re interested in so many things that it can be overwhelming. Don’t let it paralyze you! Remember, you are already on your path. Right now you have to decide to go left, right, or straight. But guess what? Either way, it’s your path and God will provide for you exactly what you need.

We all have a calling. And that is to help others as we make our way back to God. If we focus on service, no matter what road we take, it will lead to the right place—a better you. I’m not saying that what you “do” as a job doesn’t matter. I’m only saying that it matters less than we think.

Do what you love, what brings love into the world, what makes others strive to be better and in turn, help more people. If you do what you love, (even if that changes over the years), and listen to God, you will be happy no matter where you are. And you will be guided to where you need to go next.

Use your resources wisely. Use your time wisely. You will never regret a skill you learn or a talent you develop. But you will regret the time you wasted on hollow things. Be gentle and kind to yourself, and those around you. You have much to give, so look for opportunities. There are more around you then you think.

Lastly, remember you will have a rewarding life, a fulfilling life, if you use what God has given you to help those around you. And you will be happy.


80-year-old Liz

Think of it what you will. I'm still figuring out what it means to me.

UP NEXT: My Artist's Date of Happiness!!!

*If you’re interested in this visualization technique, shoot me an email and I’ll give it to you. It’s been very helpful to me in various ways.


Andrea said...

80 y/o?!? And blogging good for you Liz! I love your theme. Hi thanks for the article I just started a mosaic blog I am trying to find similar blogs to comment on and leave my link. This was my sons suggestion and he did not say it would be this difficult lol. Well if you have a moment please give me a visit.

Rachel said...

Your 80 year old letter was inspired. And I mean that in the very real, spiritual, literal sense.

Hannah said...

Oh man 80 year old liz gave me CHILLS. I am so glad you posted your experience liz. Goregous.

Amanda said...

First of all, you need to move to Concord, MA. Have you ever been there? It is a dream and matches your pictures so well.
Second, your letter was wonderful! I agree with Rachel. Very inspired.
Love you. I loved the part about being kind to yourself! Hope you are doing that.