I am sitting here at a waffle house in Utah waiting on the Gods while eating the best and only avocado topped waffle I've ever had. Anyone else think they would be wiser at 37? I've spent the greater part of a week with some of the most astonishing women I have ever met. They are brave, compassionate, open and intentional. Art angels funny as hell. I have to rethink everything from why I do what I do to which feminine products speak to my inner lady parts. That's a lot for one veggie-like fruit topped waffle to cope with. It's gotten so overwhelming that my poor brain does what all brains do for survival. Find the nearest bubble bath. As stripping down in my corner of the waffle house is going to produce a public indecency charge a lot faster than a magical bathtub I'll settle for being uncomfortable in my thoughts. And man I am so grateful for being uncomfortable. I was interviewed for a podcast yesterday and my dear friend/interviewer asked me the greatest question. What do you sacrifice for your art? I sacrifice comfort. I do, everyday. I told her I could easily choose to be 90- years old one day and be like "sweet, I finally figured out how to make bread." Now, if you are reading this thinking you would be fulfilled in this scenario, bravo. Be you. I just know that for me it would mean that I spent my whole wonderful life hiding.
Instead I am learning to embrace being stretched and scared and feeling my way through dark hallways. Because I can't answer my questions all at once I can at least lean on a set of my own rules. Be Brave Good things happen when I put on my brave pants. I don't think this would extend to petting lions in the wild or eating maple flavored sausage but in general I am learning to choose how fear effects my choices. This is what I tell myself: The more scared I am of something that has nothing to do with large teeth or edible tree blood, the more important an experience I am going to have. It's an interesting way to walk through my days. I am in effect telling my scaredy brain "thank you for letting me know that great things are coming and it's okay that this feels uncomfortable." Essentially it takes hiding in my closet with my latest failed loaf of bread off the viable options menu. Be Open Walking with intention and intuition is soooo important. I used to think that they were on two sides of a spectrum (one is deliberate, one is flitting about) but I am realizing that they are sisters. Living with intention opens your intuition. When I am thinking about my life and goals and beliefs I am inviting the universe in. I say yes to new adventures, to new people and to new ideas. I love to see where they lead and I am finding that when I expect my world to expand it always does. It can be uncomfortable to open yourself up to possibilities that challenge your own norm. Be Flexible Legos are great toys. My kids have quite a few sets that came in organized boxes. It only takes a few days before the star wars fighter planes and medieval castle pieces are all part of one glorious collective. I am getting used to the idea that my beliefs are a pile of legos. What I choose to believe about myself, about God, about people, about my art. I gather pieces that have my name on it as I go through life and continually have to pull down my lego house and rebuild to find the form that fits my truth. Sometimes that means letting go of pieces entirely, sometimes it means waiting to see how others will fit down the road. Sometimes my lego house is solid and sometimes it is in state that makes my lego neighbors stare. Either way it is healthy and unavoidable. Changing my norm happens every time I attend a workshop. I spend several days painting like my teacher, doing what he or she asks, absorbing every scrape of information I can. I take all of those pieces of information home. I then stand in front a blank canvas feeling like I have never painted a day in my life. Suddenly I can't remember how I did things before and can't figure out how it relates to everything I just learned. It takes some deconstructing of my old ways to make room for some of the new. When it all starts taking shape it is something improved and something that belongs to me alone. The question, no matter what I am trying to create, is "What beliefs/approaches are working for me?" and it won't look like what my neighbor builds. And if it does I am not being honest enough. Be big I am an introvert. I can be charming and funny when I need to be and love people more than anything. But I have to gear up. I have to be intentional about being heard and seen in a social situation. Otherwise I am the girl in the corner who looks unapproachable. I don't believe God wants me to be quiet. I don't think they want me to stand in line or stay in my lane. Be hidden, be small. I was made for a big, full, unexpected life if I am willing to step up to it. I believe in that. I believe it is a choice to do big, great, wonderful things. People who change the world do so because they stand up when it is easier to sit. So I will stand up and move when the people next to me rest. I will expect big things. I will not walk behind fear, but fear can come along for the ride. I don't know what it all means- ideas that swirl and images that flicker. Life isn't about having it all figured out. The magic is in the journey, the struggle, the art of the fully-lived life.