One of my favorite mentors stressed the fact that we need to share ourselves with the world. He pointed out that otherwise we are actually being selfish in holding back what we are passionate about. That it is not being pushy and that you are not forcing yourself on others, you are really sharing with them and enlightening their lives. To do your work and not share it is denying ones of the enjoyment they might get.
I had a hard time with that one. To be honest I still do. Putting yourself out there is hard, really hard and it is almost easier to...just not. And, then there is that little voice saying, what you do doesn't matter to everyone else, get real. But I think I am really acquiring an understanding of this a bit more, and now see it is important to share what is meaningful to us, to really push out of our comfort zone because it actually really helps others. What?
Have you ever admired something another person has done, or does and thought, man that is really so wonderful. You enjoy it with them, and feel that it is so special because they are so excited about it. What makes the beauty of others work, of their creations, of their pizzazz in doing things so exciting? The love that they put into it, the joy they get in doing it.
For if you see a beautiful garden, it is not just that site that makes it beautiful, it is the thought that went into it, the care of each and every one of the plants, the right mix of soil that they so carefully planned, the research and knowledge of what grows when and what makes each grow so beautifully, the weeding, the not so fun parts of it. It is putting love in it, the action of love. The labor of love. We could all go out and cultivate a garden, but would we have the patience, the love, the time necessary to make it a work of art? Would someone do what I do, would they really take the time to sand and prep a panel, to mix just the right colors, to put in the details in a painting? Only if it was meaningful to them. Otherwise, when going to make a beautiful garden, we realize the work involved, the time it takes to create it and say, nah I don't have time for that. We do have time, we are just not willing to invest it like they have. That is not what ignites us. BUT, what if they didn't choose to do what ignited them? Then we wouldn't get to experience that joy of the beautiful garden, the painting, the life they have created.
So what makes a piece of artwork special? A handmade gift a treasure? That garden so spectacular? The love and meaning that person put into it. Otherwise, it is just a drawing, a scribble. Paper and scraps, an assembled bunch of sticks and leaves and maybe some glitter. A place where weeds readily take over.
We all know what ignites the fire in us. It is what makes us truly happy. You know that feeling. To me that is painting. When I share what I am doing with my family or friends, they seem to get excited about it. Do they want to go out and paint to get that same feeling? Probably not. They feel that excitement I feel because that feeling is contagious. They are excited and happy because I am, because it makes me happy. My Greg gets excited about riding his motorcycle and playing hockey. I can't help but feel excitement when he talks about the windy road, or his short handed goal he made last night. I feel happy knowing it made him so happy.
It is a gift we can give others by being genuine to ourselves and living the life that is meaningful to us. No one can do things we do quite like us. That is pretty amazing and well...really pretty cool.
This motivates me to pursue things that are truly meaningful to me. To encourage my children to pursue things that are meaningful to them. This is not selfish at all. It is the magic. It encourages others, helps put a smile on the face of others. It enriches the lives of all. The things that we bring to this world do matter. So go for it! Do your "thang" and do it in your style. We all will be better people because of it. We will all get a taste of that joy, that excitement. That thing we would never take the time out of our day to do, via you, we can experience it, experience that joy, that beauty.