Follow Your Bliss
While I was off to an artist's retreat in Texas at Laity Lodge, my friendly book club buddies at High Calling Blogs were finishing up Make the Impossible Possible. I was sorry to have to race through the end of the book to catch up. Even now, I'm panting.
Ironically, or maybe fittingly, the final chapters were about the experience I was actually having: following my bliss, embracing a sense of 'flow' in my life, stepping towards dreams. I used to be a graphic artist. I don't want that career again. But I knew I belonged at this artist's retreat. Why? I still can't tell you for sure. But a few things Strickland says are the beginning of an explanation...
...someone wise once said that luck favors the prepared mind....
...[we] need to trust the small, transcendent experiences of [our lives]...to explore [our] passions and draw from them the inspirational fire and fuel that make extraordinary achievements possible...
...flow... is any experience in which you become absorbed so completely into what you're doing that the world fades away and nothing else seems to matter...
... he took his dreams seriously and lived his life in a way that prepared him for the day when opportunity might favor him. When it did, [he] was ready...
...A dream is about building something— relationships, identity, quality of experience. Because dreams rise out of genuine human needs, they feed the spirit in a profoundly satisfying way. A genuine dream brings direction, conviction, substance, and satisfaction to your life the moment you commit yourself to it.
What Strickland doesn't say is how amorphous the beginning of a dream can be. We feel something, that sense of 'flow' and we feel we're at a cusp. The way he first felt when he touched clay in that classroom long ago. Hunched over intently, digging in, shaping, did he envision an arts center that would profoundly alter the lives of the poor? Did he envision a music hall that would bring music to their ears? A greenhouse growing orchids so frail they'd re-ignite the hardened souls who'd tend them? No. But he put his hands to the clay.
Like I said, I don't know what clay I put my hands to this past week. But the coolness of it, the smoothness, the way it is sticking to my fingers feels right. And for now it's enough to follow that bliss.
TOTAL ASIDE (well, maybe):
Speaking of not knowing where our dreams will take us, Stone Crossings is going to be translated into Korean. I'm a little dazed at the thought. But happy, of course.
High Calling Blogs Final Chapters: Tell Your Story
Laura's Tell His Story
LL's LL and Lauren (But Not Jim) at Laity Lodge
High Calling Blogs RAP: Surprised by Words (see post for our NEW POETRY PROMPT)
Ann’s Meeting Words
Erica’s Random Acts of Poetry: Petals
LL’s daughters’Ballads, Grasses and Bliss
Brian’s The Anatomy of a Gift
Laure’s In Itself, To Serve You
Monica’s Gratitude, Carpool and Cubicle
Barbara’s The Dance of Pandora
Marcus's Christ is Risen, But
Cindy's Spring Clean
Crystal's Uneven Exchange
The Unknown Contributor's Anyday