The quote I chose for today is “Every artist was first an amateur.” By Ralph Waldo Emerson – 1803-1882.
We are all magnificent artists of our own life! That includes work life, personal life, family and friend’s life, private life, spiritual life and every aspect of life.
I can’t believe that “I” am the one saying that we are all magnificent artists of our own lives! It wasn’t all that long ago that I would have said “bah humbug!” I knew that I had some talents and proclivities. Sometimes it worked out well. Life was a struggle. It was a struggle to get up. It was a struggle to slog through work, slog through the evening, slog through the weekend just trying to get the minimum essentials done. No, more!
Like you, I have all these dreams and aspirations. They seemed so far away. I would spend a few minutes or hours moving towards a dream only to put it down for a later time because so many other things seemed to be calling me.
True enough, work demands your attention for some, many hours a week. For me that would be in the neighborhood of 50-60 hours. There are family needs. People like to eat. That is predicated on having food in the house, because the shopping has been done and the meals get cooked and cleaned up. Family likes the house cleaned. Sometimes I did it and sometimes I would hire someone to clean for me (loved that for sure).
The spiritual stuff sometimes just makes the last page. Sigh, “Oh, well!” I’m getting much more regular with my spiritual practices, which is just fine.
How can I engage the artist within? What is this artist anyway? First off, just asking the question is powerful. That artist within, is our deepest self. It is the part of us aching to get out and flourish. Keep asking questions to flush out the deep “Wise Within…” (to quote a famous person, me!) Questions get you thinking of a variety of options. Once you start thinking about options, it becomes a door to open and explore. Have you ever gotten caught in “I couldn’t possibly do that because ___” thinking? I have. I have the list of “buts” like “too much time,” “I don’t know how,” “people with laugh,” “too expensive,” and more. What is on your list of “could, but….” We all have these “but” statements. I invite you to just pick one area in your life and try creating. Be the artist.
I worked as a nurse. Most of my career was divided between ICU, home health and hospice. I had a love-hate relationship with nursing. I loved my patients and families. I enjoyed the challenge of the work. I hated being over-worked which was most of the time. The demand placed on us by the healthcare bean counters was significant. I felt overworked, not enough time, most of my career. Part of that is my responsibility, including nebulous boundaries, my propensity to dilly-dally, and putting patients first before charting leading to overtime (paid and not paid). I want to be a healer. That doesn’t fit in the current medical paradigm. So, what to do. How can my artist craft my work life? It worked out like this. I studied energy healing. I went to NY University School of nursing for a workshop on Therapeutic Touch (TT) in 1983. I practiced TT frequently. After my boys were born, they each received TT and baby massage every day for most of their first year.
In 1989, at the local library, the book Hands of Light by Barbara Brennan fell into my hands. I read it that year and the next year. I wanted to go to that school but knew that it wasn’t time (happened later). In the early nineties, I heard about Healing Touch (HT). I went to Duke University School of Nursing in 1992 and started my journey in HT. I was lucky to experience HT Levels 1 & 2 in the same week.
Then I’m back at work in an ICU/CCU in Central PA. I asked every patient if I could practice Healing Touch. Every patient received a back rub (not part of care today) and a mini Healing Touch session. I have so many stories of great results, just from offering.
One story. I was meeting and assessing a patient at the start of an evening shift. During the previous night, she had chest pain and was admitted to ICU. She had labs drawn at that time. As a result of the needle stick, her arm was quite swollen, at least double in size. I don’t know why, no bruising, just swollen. I removed the now cold hot pack. I offered HT as I was wont to do and she agreed. I gave her 3 mini treatments that evening. When I went in for final assessment and to say good night, she showed me her arm. It was almost normal in size. Could that have happened because of the Healing Touch (HT) techniques?! She was very grateful, and I was spurred on to continue practicing.
Do you see how I allowed my artist to create in the medical paradigm? The simple willingness to put down my self-doubts, and try it anyway opened a huge door for me and my patients benefited greatly.
What is necessary for the internal artist to create and shine? Desire, Dream, Plan, Practice, Create
Desire! What is it you are dreaming? Dream big. Make it technicolor, moving, music and sound. See it, hear it, feel it and taste it. This will be the juice of your motivation when times get tough, because they will. Even if the dream is way out there, there is a piece available for you today. Dream big and fuel that desire.
Plan. Think about how you can achieve that desire. It may be simple or very complicated. Even a basic plan sets you up to achieve and live your dreams. My path has had a number of twist and turns, most unforeseen. That brings the richness to the journey and the depth of growth and development within me. Plan anyway. Know that there will be changes. So, what! You are on the path.
Now to put your plan into practice. Make a commitment to putting at least one thing into practice. Do it daily or weekly. Just do it. As you try these new skills, you begin to craft a new way to offer your skills. You differentiate your-self from your co-workers. I my case, my charge nurses would often pick the perfect patients who needed me as their nurse. I was told that multiple times over the years. This is because “Mary Pat the Nurse” is a very different nurse than the other “Jane Q Public nurses” out there. The same will happen for you in your industry. Trust me!
Part of the “practice” will require “readjustments.” It is the nature of the beast. Do your best with being OK with tweaking until it is just right!
As you fan your desire, plan, practice, you will be creating in your life. You can tailor any part of your life that you want. Let that internal artist out and create a fabulous life. It is there for you to discover, create and life. That new artist is an amateur. With attention and care you will create your life, your masterpiece as a master artist.