“Every artist was first an amateur.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I recently had the pleasure of hearing young performers on stage and observed some amazing talent. In our fast paced world of competition that flaunts adult makeup on toddlers with tiaras, it’s refreshing to see raw talent being showcased in a casual setting. I did, however, make a few observations about human nature. You can tell when someone younger has already had their “natural” gifts manipulated by well meaning adults. The training is meant to improve and sharpen skills, but sometimes the “edge” is just too sharp and it’s hard to see what is really under all the “grooming” that has taken place. In contrast, now and then there is a “diamond in the rough” that shines through all the man-made glitter. Talent that is unassuming, authentic and giving. Sometimes you can actually observe someone using their gift and working to develop it without any agenda other than to make it better as they go along. I heard someone remark that one performer had a presence about them that felt like they weren’t trying to get the audience to love them, but instead they were giving love to the audience. That comment really stuck with me and seemed to represent the difference in raw talent verses manufactured performance. It also represents life in general. What are we trying to gain and what are we actually trying to give? It’s human nature to be creative and we all find ways to express ourselves. The pure joy of doing that and expanding our level of expression is what being an artist is really all about. Everyone has God given talent to use to some degree that inspires them and gives them fulfillment. My wish for all individuals is to search and discover your own raw talent, then allow the time to develop and express it at your own pace, so you can evolve and be true to yourself. Other well meaning folks can’t figure it out for you, so listen and learn, then take what you need and keep moving ahead in the direction of your goal. God speed.
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. ” ~ Erma Bombeck
Butterflies stop to absorb energy from the sun. Likewise, I find myself stopping to rest and renew my own energy now and then. The whole concept of energy applies to so many aspects of life. The energy waiting to come through a light switch is directed when you turn it on or off. The same goes for personal energy that is waiting to be directed by the actions we take.
In a recent article by Jesse Jennings, he mentions that thoughts surround feeling to form beliefs, beliefs inform words and actions, and we stay informed with this process as it happens from the inside out. Everything is laid out for us in potential, and that becomes the clay we shape into the qualities of experience that we prefer.
Daily life is directed by schedules, appointments and routine habits that we have decided to experience, but there is also “free time” to make use of for ourselves and others. How do you spend your time and energy? What choices did you make to experience the life you are now living? What will be the next choices that you make?
I personally strive to live an artistic and creative life in general and I enjoy “free time” by following my instincts to just enjoy the moments however I decide. I have made the choice to “design my life” in a way that allows me the freedom to be spontaneous. I still work and keep schedules, but their is less stress because I have unscheduled time, too. Whatever works, right? It sure helps keep the good energy flowing and makes for a healthier lifestyle. Everyone has to find the right balance that works for them. So, take a moment and plan to do something nice for yourself that will renew your “energy.”
“Opportunity is everywhere; give it life by your actions.” Sister Jennie Lehtenberg
“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
I recently heard this quote used in the dialogue for a commercial about a new TV drama series and looked it up on the Internet. I guess I had heard it before, but didn’t realize it came from and Indian elder. If you’ve never heard this quote, it might be worth thinking about.
I’ve noticed for a long time that there are many negative news reports and media headlines aimed at “fear.” I’ve also heard many others agree that we are over-exposed to negative news. Of course, most people can see through the media hype and feeding frenzy that goes along with the latest scandal or tragic loss. I admit that my ears perk up when I hear dramatic news, but sometimes it just gets to be too much. What are they putting in the food that causes the BIG NEGATIVE dogs to get everything?
When I think of dogs, I think of their unconditional nature and how they seem to “fit in” with their surroundings. I also think about how they live in the moment and seem to follow their instincts. Words like playful, loving and companion come to mind. And what about the the rescue dogs, seeing eye dogs and visitation dogs that help the sick and elderly feel better just being in the room next to them? Does anyone take time to feed the dogs that make the world a better place to live?
So, there’s good & bad fighting it out…wanting to be fed. Which one do I feed? I think I’ll have to take a “commercial break” and meditate on that one.
“Sometimes I wonder if the semi-conscious agenda of the media is to get between people and their souls. It is the the soul with its myriad tiny nerve endings that notices the neglected pathos, poignancy and practicality that lies at the heart of life. It’s as if the media are somehow irritated and envious that anonymous people should have the quiet brilliance of their rich and sustainable inner lives…” ~ Michael Leunig
I have been traveling the first part of the new year and it’s fun to stay busy! Hope everyone is having a good year, so far, and making lots of plans for the months ahead. It’s a good time to think about what you want to accomplish this year and put new ideas in motion.
Travel is one thing that helps move me out of my ”comfort zone” and around interactions with many different people. It’s always a good exercise in patience and consideration of others.
Decisions for a Libra can take longer to find balance, but I’m getting better and faster at making choices. Even moment to moment activity choices have me wondering sometimes, but I have learned that making the effort to be thoughtful about it is very empowering overall.
How do you start your day? What do you eat to promote your own good health? How much sleep and how much exercise makes you feel your best? There are so many choices to make and the questions arise constantly about how to make the most of your time each day.
Because choices are constant, I am finding that I can actually live “by design” to the degree that I decide how to run my daily activities. I am fascinated by the realm of “possibilities” that are open to each individual and how everyone decides to make certain choices for themselves.
I am realizing that the life I live has more potential, if I really think about it and live “on purpose.” The many “possibilities” will become actual experiences when I make the choice that is best for me at any given moment. I can be more authentic and true to my nature, but also open to learning something new. Keeping a “childlike” open mind is fresh, free and fun! I am determined to stay in the frame of mind that welcomes “possibilities” and actually makes an honest choice based on living in the moment. I want to “live out loud” in my own way and appreciate the life I am living “by design.”
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
As the new year begins like a wave coming towards the shore, it seems like anything is possible. That concept opens up opportunities to start something new with confidence and conviction to put time and energy into something you’ve always wanted to do. Everyone has their own thoughts about what inspires them and gives them joy, so now is the perfect time to consider taking real action to make something your own reality.
In a recent article by Ken Gordon, I found a few words that seemed worth sharing. Gordon writes that individually and as a society, we have trapped ourselves in our past. Our preconceptions of the world and of our lives, our expectations, our certainties, and our grounded beliefs appearing so real keep us from beginning anew. He goes on to ask what if we released the preconceptions, restrictions and limitations that we have embraced from our past as the only way to do something and continue to ask ourselves the question again and again “Why not?”
According to Gordon’s article, he continues to write that it is time for humanity to rise above childhood and claim a new experience. It is time for us to leave the comfort of old ideas and become the authority in our own lives. We must realize that our future is not dependent upon the past, but dependent upon our own vision.
As the new year starts, each life is “beginning” again with new options for experience and growth. What a great opportunity to open the mind and the door to discover some new adventures.
I am always amazed by the stories of people working toward their goals and achieving results even greater than they imagined. They look a leap of faith and marched to their own drummer. It all must start with an inspiring idea and the willingness to jump into a new “BEGINNING.”
“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
I really wanted to write a new post on this special day. They say a day like 12.12.12 won’t come around again for 89 years! Can you imagine having your 12th birthday on this day? Maybe invite a dozen friends to help celebrate!!
It’s also a very special day to give back. A huge concert is taking place on this night to help people still struggling from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Legendary musicians and many well known celebraties are gathering together to raise as much money as possible. Products are also available to support this cause, plus donations can be made online at www.121212concert.org
You can almost feel the community spirit of this day and the efforts to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. If you have the opportunity to join in, this might be a wonderful way to help someone else feel “more blessed than stressed.” I plan to make a contribution and share the love!
A single act of kindess throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. ~ George Eliot
I can think of at least five or six Facebook friends who often post comments that entertain me! No matter what the subject, they just have a certain take on life that makes me laugh. Do they know they have writing talent and a gift of words?
My own brother has a talent for comedy that is “one-of-a-kind”. There are artists in the family saying they feel “stuck” and it makes me wonder how many other people are holding back talents they could be sharing. Does fear of failure play into it or fear of success? Why bother… or why not?
Life is just too short to worry about failure. We all make mistakes…so what? In the words of one talented friend I like to use the phrase, ”Toughen up soldier.” After all, doesn’t it seem more rewarding to embrace a dream and do what you love with the time you have? I’m sure someone else can always do something better, but it’s never quite the same as someone else’s version and that’s what being original is all about.
“Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself.” ~ James Stephens
No, I’m not talking about indigestion from eating spicey foods! It’s all about shaking up your life a little bit and making a choice to get excited about doing something you have always wanted to do! That’s what creates energy and a real sense of purpose.
You probably know deep down what makes you happy. You’ve probably had ideas for projects that you just can’t seem to get out of your mind. Something always brings you back to thoughts of taking action to move in a certain direction. Do it!! There is an inner voice trying to guide you down a particular path! Follow it!!
At least, explore your options and entertain the idea of taking action. If things seem to flow easily, you’re probably on the right track. As the year begins to roll into the holidays, there will be a period of transition into the new year. It’s a perfect time to evaluate your surroundings and think about “designing your life”.
Some people allow themselves to burn out from stress at the end of the year, but it could be a turning point to start preparing for better things ahead in the coming year. Rest, relax and renew… or even reinvent yourself. YOU can decide and get excited about the potential you are creating for yourself. Light a “fire in your belly” and see what you can do!!
“There is no planet, sun, or star could hold you if you but knew what you are.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
For my birthday this past Saturday, Wesley and I took the whole day and “played” all over Nashville! There are so many things to see and do all around town. If you live in Nashville or visit now and then, you can find a great list of things to do on the website: www.nowplayingnashville.com
The website above includes many events, music, sports and more, plus lots of ways to explore the city and have fun for FREE! How great is that?
Wesley and I participated in a community art project called “Paint A Tree” by artist Beth Inglish. Participants are helping paint a huge mural on the wall of Nashville’s only roof top organic garden. Several people showed up to help with the project which is also part of events taking place during “Artober” here in town.
Every town has its qualities that make it special, but there always seems to be a “creative vibe” in Nashville that I can feel when driving in from other places. This town just seems to vibrate with art, music, fashion, health & wellness, plus sports and more.
Wherever you happen to live, it’s worth checking out the opportunities to get involved in your community! There are so many ways to participate and every town has something unique to offer. Life is full of choices and I’m thinking I will continue to get out more and get involved. As they say…just do it!
Some people think they are in community, but they are only in proximity. True community requires commitment and openess. It is a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know the other.” ~ David Spangler
If you missed the Derby Day Book Signing, you have another chance on Saturday, Oct. 6 to meet my Mother, Linda Swift, and four other authors in one place! This is a great opportunity to buy gifts for the special people on your holiday list. This particular location in Paducah, KY is a popular coffee shop and there will also be live keyboard music provided during the signing by my Dad. How fun is that? For more details you can visit the link below to get the official promotion info. www.facebook.com/kayepryor
While organizing the event, my Mother invited authors she admires to share the event with her and promote their books. It will be a fun gathering for all, so I want to invite you to attend and please spread the word to anyone else you think would enjoy it. See you there! For a closer look at my Mother’s books, you can visit her website: www.lindaswift.net
Creativity is trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work. ~ Rita Mae Brown