Manifesto for Growth…

This piece called ‘Imcomplete Manifesto for Growth’ by Carol Dubosch highlights what can be done with paper and ink. She has created a floor to ceiling list of ideas to live by, then elaborated in a smaller script the meaning behind each statement. Not only are the lettering and creativity amazing, the words provide great insights into what the artist believes. 

I have a nephew who is moving across the country for his first corporate job. The wonderful thing about moving away from home is that you figure out who you are, what you believe, and what you are willing to stand up for. Moving allows you to become you. There is no one to treat you like a child, a younger or older sibling, or remind you about what you did wrong when you were twelve. You have the joy of making your own way and making your own mistakes. You become you as you live and grow along your own path. And during this adventure called life, there are all sorts of things to absorb and learn about yourself and the world. Many, many, many people will tell you what is right or expected, or what you should do. Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one. When you move away life has a way of providing experiences and adventures to help you form your own opinions. 

If you had to write down your life lessons and beliefs, what would your manifesto say? What words do you live by, decide by, love by? And do the people around you know this about you or are they still guessing? What we believe eventually shows up in our decisions and our actions. What we have learned shows up in our integrity, our character, our joy. If you had a chance to talk to your twenty year old self, what would you say? What advice would you give? What comfort would you provide or hints would you lend to share or spare yourself along your early years? 

Do you know what you believe? Would you be able to explain it in short statements or sentences? Would other people benefit from your lessons and growth moments? I hope that this week you are able to share your wisdom with others – on paper, on a wall, or maybe just on a post it note. Know what you believe and pass it on. 

Finding Your Center

When you are working with watercolor, the center of your universe is your water bowl. It provides the foundation for all your interactions with the paint. Every tool you utilize eventually ends up somewhere around your water. How you handle the water, play with it, spread it, wash it, blend it makes your art your own. Learning to work with the water instead of fighting it can make all the difference in what you are able to accomplish. 

If you look at your life, there is something you have put at the center. It may be a place, a person, an activity, a belief, or some combination of all of those things. Everyone has something at the center of what they do. The question is, do you know what is your center and why? Have you made a conscious choice for that to be your center, or has it happened by default? Have your choices made something your center, or did you choose your center then build your world around it? Either way, if you look closely you will see it. 

If you are not sure, then check your calendar. Where you spend most of your time and energy is your center. For a lot of people that is work. Do you live for work or work to live? Might sound like a simple question, one we all must face at different times in our lives. It is a question you need to face, because those around you know where you spend your time…and if it is not with them, they may not stick around. Maybe your center is your activities, or your children’s activities? You fill your days going, doing, attending, being at some event or function. That’s cool, as long as you feel like you have a life not just a calendar of events. Or maybe your center is your church or community group? Your center may be where you spend most of your time. 

It is also possible that your center is where you spend your money. If you look into your back account, where does it all go? Are there patterns of things that absorb all your funds? Are you working longer and harder to pay things off? So debt has become your center? Or do you donate to multiple groups and giving is your spending focus? Or maybe spending on travel, or providing for your family? Or saving for the future? If you look into how you spend your time and how you spend your money, you will see what is important to you. 

Like the artist’s water bowl, eventually everything in your world will revolve or be located near your center. We each have limited resources and choices to make about how we spend those resources. Where we focus is our center. Maybe it is time to reflect and understand where you center lies…and if you don’t like it, rearrange your workspace and make what is really important to you the REAL focus of your world. 

The You of the Future is Worth Meeting

This beautiful work was created by Barbara Close, a professional calligrapher, author and teacher. I love the sentiment and the creative way she brings it to life.  

           All great achievement requires time. I believe everyone has talent. 

Sometimes we get impatient with what we want to accomplish and the amount if time we have to accomplish it. We are excited about an idea and want to see it come to life. So we begin thinking and planning and hoping that we will be able to accomplish it.  And then reality sets it. Maybe we are biting off more than we can chew. Maybe we are reaching to accomplish something beyond our current skill level. Maybe we are silly to think that we can do it and succeed. Or just maybe we are exactly the person to get this thing done, we just need more time. 

We need time to mature, learn and grow into the person who will accomplish this idea. Time is a gift and we need to be patient while it works its magic; the magic is the ability to turn us from who we are into who we are going to be. When I look back on my life I think about all the twists and turns that brought me to my current state – state of mind, state of being, state of purpose – and I would never have imagined that I would end up where I am today. I had hopes and dreams of course, but my current life has exceeded those expectations. I could not see the magic that time would complete over the years. I had to wait and see, be patient and learn all I could along the way. Each time I learned something new my dreams and expectations were broadened. Each time I accomplished something little I was able to expand my horizons, and that new horizon took me one step further. 

There is something you are working towards right now. Something you want to accomplish and fulfill, an idea, a change, a new direction. You may not have the exact skills you need to accomplish it right away, but if you let it time will help you get there. The person you are right now had the idea. That does not mean you are the person to get it done, maybe you need more time to become the person who will get it done. I think that is both exciting and frustrating at the same time. 

So give the you of today a break. Give yoruself more time, and keep dreaming big. The you of the future is worth meeting, you simply have to get through a few more days to get there.