Many of you read my recent post about continuing to swim, despite the challenges, working hard and never giving up.
I feel like I've continued to choose to not give up, but having a hard time making any real progress.
I have been putting the effort in.
It's never been about the effort.
It's about the rewards and what is being produced from all the effort. That is where my frustration lies.
In the past, a little effort has pushed the a business a long way. Right now it feels more like sprinting on a treadmill. No matter how much effort I put in, I'm not going anywhere.
So last week I spent some time wondering how I can be more productive. See more rewards with the same amount of effort.
As always, nature had the answer.
Recently, I've been letting such negative energy enter my space. Negative thoughts about myself and my abilities.
Words and ideas that are far too harsh for anyone to be having.
And then I realized, when a seed is planted in such harsh, infertile ground very little will grow.
Just like poor soil, I was planting my ideas and putting all my energy into growing in a bad pasture.
My negative energy and thoughts were smothering any good ideas I was having. And no matter how much energy I was putting in, now matter how hard I was trying, growing something in that type of environment rarely reaps rewards.
To benefit from a bountiful harvest, I needed to be planting my seeds in a nutrient rich and fertile ground. Planting here, will set me up for success. My energy and effort will not be wasted, and the chances of growing something beautiful surrounded by good and positive energy are astounding.
And so I cleaned....
... literally and figuratively.
I spent the weekend in my studio cleaning and organizing every square inch. Getting rid of any unwanted or old stuff that I no longer use, and made a ton of space for new work and tools. Now when an idea comes, I can be much more productive.
In the same way, I gave myself some breathing room.
I cleared out all the negative thoughts and energy I was having.
I gave each idea one last glance, and then let them go.
By clearing out old baggage, I cultivated space for new things.
New life, new ideas, new positive energy.
These earrings were born from this idea.
Large hoop like earrings. I resisted the urge to fill the void in the middle with anything.
You may see an empty hole in the middle,
but I see space for goodness to be planted.
May you too clear out any negative energy, and only make room for good.
My whole life, creativity has been on the sidelines.
Not even the sidelines, the water boy.
It was always a small part of my team, but I never had the confidence to make it a major player.
I remember facing my college years, and wondering where to go.
On one side of me, I had a love for the earth, for nature, for biology.
I always have and I always will.
On the other side of me, I had this urge to create. To make things and be artistic.
I stood at the top of the stairwell, on the Northern Arizona campus, and looked down on the art department. I shook as I slowly walked down the stairs.
I wondered if I was good enough. Because art was always on the sidelines, I never made the effort to develop my skills or abilities. I couldn't draw. I could barely take a picture.
What the heck was I doing there?
Could I hack it?
After my 30 minute tour I felt alive. I wanted nothing more than to be a part of that. Whatever magic was happening there. Where students were making, and building, and bringing to life wonderful things.
But instead I ran.
The story goes that I let the self doubt take over.
I choose a biology degree over art thinking I would go into medicine or some other well known career.
I loved bio. I loved studying it and learning. I still do.
But it wasn't enough. It will never be enough.
I was looking for more.
A part of me wasn't fulfilled.
I wasn't happy.
After a few failed attempts in the biology field. I realized art and making was missing.
I had to let my creativity be a major player.
It demanded it.
And so I changed life paths. I dropped the biology craze and I started the jewelry business.
I was happy.
Just a few weeks ago, I sat down with a friend. And I told her, I know what I'm supposed to be when I grow up.
I'm a maker.
Plain and simple. A short, but powerful word. I am supposed to bring beauty in this world. In whatever form it may bring at the time.
I need to work with my hands.
With my heart.
With my soul.
anything and everything.
But this career path isn't for everyone. In many ways, the stable life of a surgeon would have been much simpler.
There are days when I feel as though I'm back looking at colleges and wondering if I can make it in this artistic world.
There are days where I'll put my everything into a piece and it still not be good enough.
So here I stand, on the verge of letting the doubt take over once again.
Looking for an easy way out.
And I ask myself,
"Will I sink? or will I swim?"
I CHOOSE TO SWIM.
I CHOOSE TO SWIM.
I CHOOSE TO SWIM.
I will not give up.
I will push harder.
I will dig deeper.
I will do whatever it takes.
This is me.
I am a maker.
May you too, choose to swim when an unfriendly current comes your way.
I woke up in the middle of the night with a faint idea in my head.
My best ideas always seem to arise when I'm sleepy.
A blurry image of a circle of life. A basic idea introduced in elementary school, but the details of the concept are also very complex. My dreamy mind can barely wrap my head around it.
As I come into consciousness, the idea develops. A predators and prey. A wolf, the top most predator of the forest and his prey.
As I blink my eyes open a few times, the desire to create it grows stronger and more details be come clear.
The layout and final images appear before me.
I know I can't ignore the pull. I must answer it's call.
My body is tired, but it surrenders to the creative spirit.
I'm out of bed now, and find myself bundling up as I head down to the studio. Toting with me nourishment and tea.
As I saw away I find my mind drifting back. To my childhood, to my young adulthood.
I was always terrified of death. Something about the loss of life. The last few moments, and the finality of being. Death always tortured me. Friends, pets, wildlife that have passed flashed before my eyes.
I feel my shoulder stoop lower.
My posture loosen.
My head hang.
I am consumed by the death before me.
As I continue sawing rabbit, then hawk, then wolf, I came to an epic realization.
IN THE SANCTITY OF NATURE,
LIFE IS ALWAYS PRESERVED.
No matter the prey, the being is providing life to the next. An energy transfer if you will. The life itself cannot be taken. It cannot be created nor destroyed in this moment.
Instead one soul feeds the next.
No small drop, no tiny piece is forgotten. All is used in nature.
Consumed by a predator or detritivore.
As life pours from one being to the next, no drops are lost.
If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed these amazing nature inspired almost mandala pictures. I've been really into creating them. I'm loving every aspect of them, from collecting the elements to setting them up to photographing them.
The emotional release of the imagery is almost cathartic.
Recently I got one of my crazy ideas.
To video the set up, stop-motion style.
Not only did it work, but the idea grew into something so much more amazing than I could have ever hoped for.
I got the opportunity to include work from an amazing, local singer/songwriter. We've been admiring each other's work for years, and this opportunity to include Allison Preisinger's work couldn't be passed up.
My inspiration cup is overflowing and it seems that all the coffee in the world wouldn't be enough right now. I'd love to stay and chat with you, but at times like this, I have to keep moving, keep working in hopes that I get it all out before I lose focus.
Here's a few things I've posted over the last few days. Stay tuned because there is more to come!
Proud doesn't begin to describe how I felt the past few days.
About a week ago, as we approached Kaleb's 7th birthday, I asked him what his goals were, what he wanted to be when he grew up, anything he wanted to accomplish over the next year.
His immediate response was, "I want to parachute."
And so, because we will do anything to make his dreams come true, we took him indoor skydiving.
He was the youngest one there by far, yet his fearlessness put him years beyond anyone in his group. I was amazed by his ability to go with the flow, follow instructions, and do something new on his own.
As a parent, you hope that they flourish in this crazy life. The things I've seen from him in the past few weeks have blown me away. He'll go so far, and I'm so grateful to be able to stand by him on this journey.