Sunday, November 7, 2010

Your Life Is Your Art (said Anais Nin)

I love Fall. I am sitting here with my laptop drinking a cup of tea, warmed by the roaring fire in the woodstove, surrounded on two sides by views of the trees, sun streaming through the windows, and I find myself in a strange place of both deep comfort and unsettledness. I am sitting with a significant decision I've made to near completely change my life over the next 7-9 months.

All of my life I have been making my life from found art. I have taken what the Universe drops in my path and made the most extraordinary beauty I could possibly muster from it. I have transformed tragedy into treasure, at times literally turning it into service, art and poetry that impacted other people's lives in positive ways. I made motherhood my art, attempting creative mastery at holding space for my children's conscious unfolding. I've chosen unsatisfying but secure administrative work that pays well in order to provide for my children, and have learned how to become a good leader and successfully run an organization with a fairly healthy and very loving culture because of my experience.

Whatever life hands me, no matter how dark, dirty or mundane, I will transform it into something remarkable.

All of my life I have also made myself visible by serving the needs of others. I had a revelation through an NLP session with Dave Berman at Manifest Positivity that I believe I earn my visibility to others through my generosity and service. If I was not giving, then I didn't believe I was visible or lovable. I believed that I had to justify or earn my existence and love from others.

I have never taken a significant life dream of my own and brought it into reality. I haven't actually spent much time dreaming, not really. One reason is that I haven't had the time for it because I am so busy serving other people's dreams, whether it's my children's dreams, or my partner's dreams (when I have one), or my employer's dream for their organization and the dreams of the people they serve, or the dreams of the Imps community (or whatever community I'm volunteering for).

Another reason I haven't dreamed much is because I didn't believe dreams could come true for me. In my early 20's, after having to make so many sacrifices of my own desires to meet my children's needs, I stopped believing that I could have anything different. They came first and then I tried to satisfy pieces of myself wherever I could find the space (making sculptures while watching movies with the family, late night writing after everyone was asleep, occasional weekend trips to the city, etc.).

It's not that I don't have dreams, I just haven't spent much time with them. I have dreams that live in the background of my heart. Since I was a teenager I have dreamed of being a writer who touches other people's lives in a positive way by sharing my stories and the insights into being human that they've unfolded in me. I've dreamt of creating community based multi-media art projects that bring healing to groups that are in conflict. I've dreamt of telling other people's stories through art and writing, stories of people who are different and need to be understood for who they are, or people who have survived terrible things that we need to change in the world but are too damn complacent because the realities don't touch us. I used to talk about searching for some kind of grant funding that would allow me to focus on creative work (but never really believed it would happen for me).

I have also dreamed a long time of being a counselor of some kind, helping people make sense of their life stories, offer experiences that facilitate healing, and support them in living consciously. At times I've thought about it through the lens of spiritual guidance. Now maybe I would call it sex positive spiritual guidance.

Two weeks ago I decided it's time to make my dreams come true. I am going to refocus my energy into creating the work of my heart. I am going to put my energy this winter into figuring out how to transition from my current work to the work I desire to be doing with people. Steps toward this will include working through the Fire Starter Sessions (which I purchased months ago but haven't spent any time with), changing my blog home and purpose, promoting my writing, participating in establishing a sex positive peer support group, and creating/facilitating a spiritual community of some kind.

I am also planning to relocate, probably to the Bay Area, next summer. I am dreaming of finding community that meets my needs spiritually and creatively and I've never really found it in Humboldt. There are many amazing people here and I am so incredibly grateful for their presence in my life, but I've never found resonance with other artists or spiritual communities here. I feel an urban area that draws a much wider diversity of creative and spiritual people might be a better fit for me.

Shifting my focus means that I am resigning immediately as a hostess (event coordinator) for the Impropriety Society. I don't know exactly that my relationship to the Imps will look like over the coming months, but it will be changing in significant ways to make space in my life for following my heart. While I love our community and love the impact the parties have on people's lives, I am not getting my needs for personal fulfillment met by big event production. I've been serving a need I see rather than serving in ways that bring me the most joy.

I look foward to witnessing how the Imps will continue to grow and thrive in my absence. I trust my partners and the people who have stepped into leadership to both carry forward the best of who are now and create new visions of who we could be. And perhaps I will carry the Imps into my new home in some way, bringing our vision for inclusive sex positive culture into a place that has allowed diversity to keep people apart.

Whatever role the Imps play in my life from here forward, it's time for me to craft my life into the masterpiece I know it can be and will allow me to serve in ways that bring me the most joy.

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