Friday, April 23, 2010

Got Success?

It has been a week since I last wrote, and I am determined to keep up with blogging this go round…with readers or not! This time it is less about others and more about cataloging my successes, and turning those ventures that fall short of successes into experiences that will make me better as a creative individual.

It’s amazing the inspiration that I find in the smallest of things. Although there was far less dancing than I thought there would be in the movie FAME (a different story altogether), I found a quote that was used about success to be quite inspiring. The quote went like this:

Success is not fame, money or power! Success is waking up in the morning so excited about what you have to do that you literally fly out the door. It’s getting to work with people you love. Success is connecting with the world and making people feel. It is finding a way to bind together people who have nothing in common but a dream. Success is falling asleep at night knowing you did the best you could. Success is joy, and freedom, and friendship. Success is love!

I am coming to understand that success is more grandiose than the small space I try to cram it in. And from this quote I recognized this:

  • Success is personal - Success to one individual is not success to another. It is not about keeping up with the Jones' (whoever they are). It is about personal bench marks that are set and met.

  • Success' drive is different for everyone - Success' purpose is multi-faceted. The thing that drives one individual could be the thing that totally disinterests the next. For some it is financial, for some it is emotional, for some it is spiritual, and for some it is just about finding joy in a seemingly dismal situation.

  • Success should ignite a sense of freedom within - There is something special about accomplishing something that you set out to do. The operative word here being you. It could be a small or large feat, but a triumph for you all the same.

So this week I was successful on my own terms!

I spent much needed time helping my niece with her school project. It was a shoebox craft that everyone was made to do as a young student at one time or another. I didn’t do much but paint the outside and paste the pre-printed cards (thanks to my sister) on the top. However, my niece appreciated it, and that was more than enough.

I managed to fix some jewelry for a friend that was surprisingly relaxing. It gave me some fresh ideas for jewelry designs of my own. I researched ideas and possibilities for a new project that I will be talking about real soon. I sketched in my journal more than ever, and I made some necessary calls to those that I love dearly.
None of what I did this week was anything that was going to make me a dollar, and nothing that was going to get me recognition with the outside world. However, it made me successful in my own right!

I will continue to rejoice in the small successes that I make. I will remember to give thanks to God for each step I take to fulfill my purpose, no matter how miniscule they may be.

Pearls of Wisdom:
Success was never meant to have control of the wheel, but sit nice and pretty and enjoy the ride. Are you driving success or are you allowing success to drive you?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Chance Encounter

Yesterday an encounter that almost failed to occur because of my sometimes (which I use loosely as most times I am fancy free) planned ways. A short note that consisted of five or six words sparked a light yet deep, joyous yet intellectual, insightful, and truly inspiring conversation. It was just what I needed to thrust me into the realm of getting back on track with some things that I had put on the back burner.

He was an artist (visual), lover of music, an avid reader, and a family man. Although I had known him only a short while, his character exuded integrity that is rare these days. There were no sexual overtones that so often occur with friendly banter that is exchanged between females and their male counterparts. It was truly conversation that really made me ponder more things than a few.

As I laid my head on my pillow to catch up on much needed beauty rest this morning, I thought about my work and its progress. And based upon our conversation, here are a few reminders and revelations that came forth:

  • Continual education is paramount. There should never be a point in life where I think that I have become the crème de la crème when it comes to my craft. It’s okay to be confident, but pride comes before the fall, and it is the lack of further educating myself that could point to the demise of that which I have been gifted to do.
  • It is my responsibility to get my work out there…to tell my story. I have a moral and social responsibility of finding that happy medium of being vulnerable enough to allow my audience to see the real me without taking them to a place of misunderstanding my point.
  • I create how I feel! I grow attached to my work, but am (and have been for some time) in the space where I am able to let it go. I have to be open for my audience to interpret my work as they may. I must allow them to have their own experience apart from what my connection has been with the piece.
  • I am a product of my environment, but I am also someone who creates the environment in which I choose to live. My parents genes were definitely passed down as they both were/are creative individuals. They gave/give me the space to be unique, and fostered/foster that uniqueness. My mother is my biggest advocate to this day! However, I am so wonderfully happy to be me apart from others. I make my own rules sometimes and often view life slightly skewed...chock full of optimism!
  • Last, but certainly not least, there are others that share my experiences with sometimes having a love/hate relationship with their craft. There are others that struggle daily to make room for their passion to create in the midst of their daily grind to make a living.

So there you have it my good people…the story behind a new beginning. A new beginning that is going to be marked by excellency and greatness! Not only because it is new, but because this time I welcome the journey instead of an expected end.

I tagged this blog as “Chance Encounters”, but in fact I don’t believe encounters are at all chance, but rather divine. They happen for reasons sometimes that are unable to be explained. Their purpose perhaps never to be understood fully (or at all), but making an impact far beyond our understanding.

To that gentleman, I pray that I continue to meet individuals that further ignite my passion for my craft, the arts, and life in general. Our divine encounter meant more than words could express. Thank you!

Pearls of Wisdom:

"Every day, you have the chance to do or say something that will cause ripples of influence that will wash against lives." ~ Pat Croce

Let us make a conscious decision to make beautiful waves where the crest connects with the trough to envelope and nurture others throughout this journey called life!

Be blessed!