Each new year many of us wake up with a thirst to make great things happen - in art and in life. We have great plans for the coming twelve months and really see that we have the opportunity to be focused, to share ourselves with the world, to create, to be better, and to really shine in our lives. At the same time that we are coming up with great plans, we also tend to remind ourselves that we have to be practical, pragmatic in our dreaming. We tell ourselves not to "boil the ocean" or to try to do too many things at once. We tell ourselves to remember how life can sweep us away without notice. We tell ourselves that the journey is the destination. And as we try to keep ourselves to "realistic and achievable" aspirations, we also try to keep our enthusiasm high, our dreams alive, our spirits engaged.
Managing all this dichotomy can sometimes actually dampen down inspiration if we aren't careful. Combine that with the normal days of a new year that pull and push and move us back into the "every day," and we can nearly lose our joy. Managing through the ups and downs of life while staying true to our artistic core is the challenge for every creative person.
Book Club recently chose a book - "My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey" by Jill Bolte Taylor." What a fascinating story. Though I am more a fan of reading escape literature, this true story kept me very interested. At age 37, Jill Taylor experienced a massive stroke. Blood vessels in the left hemisphere of her brain hemorrhaged and her brain was flooded with blood. All left brain functions were impacted and initially shut down. It took Jill eight years to fully recover from the stroke, and this book is about the stroke, what happened to her, her recovery, and what she learned about the left brain (which typically controls language, linear thought, logic, the ability to get along in the world, etc.) and right brain (creativity, emotion, empathy, joy) functions and the need we have to truly balance that focus - physically and emotionally - to be whole and to maximize our contribution and experience in the world.
Again, the emphasis on finding a way to balance - in our plans, in our creative joy, in our look at the new year, and even in our brains. Life becomes a juggling act in an even more fundamental way than just juggling picking up grand kids or making dinner. Thinking about all this can be overwhelming or delightfully amusing - maybe even inspiring. And I, for one, and constantly in search of the Elusive Inspiration, enjoying it wherever I can find it, teaching myself to hold on to it tightly and use it for every bit of creative juice I can.
As the thoughts of juggling everything to actually make things happen and enjoy them too run through my mind, I have also taken several practical steps to keeping inspiration firmly in front of me. First, I am participating in the "Sketchbook Challenge." Some of you may remember Sue Bleweiss. Sue is one of the leaders of this challenge, so you know it will be fascinating. I figure at a minimum this will keep my hand in something creative every month, and there is very little pressure. (Nice!) Second, I have decided to adopt laughter in every day moments. My animals (2 new puppies, 2 new kittens!) are helping out quite a bit here; however, this still takes a bit of reminding. I am already finding a kinder me for both myself and my family - and this way I am allowing the everyday moments to inspire.
Finally, I am regularly looking through the BBEST Team shops! We share some inspiring creations in our shops every day, to light the creative fires of everyone who sees them. Take a look -
Don't these beautiful items just make you want to get going and create?
Thanks to all our BBEST team for their inspiring creations, and here is to an inspired 2011 for each of us!