My writing begins in my head and the mental draft for this entry started as “Stir what you’ve got”. My head writing focused on recent studio work using only materials already in my possession. So eco-friendly, so fun, and so ordinary to extraordinary. I love starting where I am and working with what I have. Here are a few pictures I took with this post in mind.
But before opening a fresh post page I flitted about my internet world. I checked out Facebook and ended up skimming articles on Huffington Post. Next I replied to comments on my last entry here. While working through email messages I read Chris Guillebeau’s last update that included a link to a video recap of his 2012 World Domination Summit. Postponing my writing task just a few minutes longer, I clicked the link. At the end of the clip Chris challenges his listeners to,
start a project…invest in someone else. All in support of the theme of community, adventure, and service.”
His words routed all the pre-writing in my head. Poof. Gone.
I started thinking about my life and work in terms of the theme Chris promoted.
I value community. Using what I have and working with non-toxic materials is just one way my art benefits community. Doing work that inspires and excites and makes me happy benefits others. How? I deeply believe that
each joyful human being on the planet brings positive energy to everyone else she comes in contact with.
Consider: do you have more or less patience with your roommate/neighbor/employee/mother/partner when you move through the day filled with a sense of joy and purpose? For me, the side effects of doing what I love include more patience and compassion — for myself and for others. Beyond the tangible things I create the intangibles like patience and compassion benefit my community.
I value adventure. Don’t you? This value grows more and more as I’ve shed my fears and my need for control. What daring exercise helps me shed my fears and need for control?
What is my secret for opening up to a life of adventure?
Reading. Books have long been my drug of choice but in the last few years I’ve come to see reading as one form of salvation in my life. I know some brave, amazing, adventurous people. But reading and re-reading the words of bold, vulnerable strangers gets me at a different level. On my personal adventure of life as a self-employed artist, writer, speaker, these books encourage me, even save my life:
Chris Guillebeau’s book The Art of Non-Conformity gave me some gems as well. Ready to embrace more adventure? Dust off your library card, cruise the shelves at a brick and mortar shop, fire up your Nook. Read stuff that challenges your thinking.
I value service. This value took time to embrace. In my journey from a scarcity mind-set to one of abundance I traveled through a patch of self-care that precluded reaching out beyond the handful of darlings who live with me. Eventually that season of recovery passed. I came out on the other side of that tunnel into warm sunlight. Now life floods me with so much goodness that the desires to share, give, and serve through my work sing in harmony with my longing to explore and create.
“Making this brings me so much joy. Who else will see it as their joy button?”
Service loops right back to community. I experienced this loop on my trip to Ethiopia this past spring.
The more I think about Chris’ three-part theme the more I see how they overlap. I also see that what I do reflects these values. I feel pretty certain your work and life do too.
How did Chris Guillebeau’s words resonate with you? Which of these values pops up naturally in your life? What helps you let go of fear and step into adventure?
Start where you are and work with what you have. Let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you.