Entries tagged with “Walking in this World”.


by Beth Lee-Browning

One of my favorite bands in high school was REO Speedwagon. They are no longer in my music collection, but to this day I crank the radio and  sing “It’s time for me to fly” at the top of my lungs whenever I hear the unexpected hit from the album You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can’t Tuna Fish.  I always feel a bit nostalgic as the lyrics take me back a few hundred years (Okay, only a few more than thirty, give or take).

I remember as a teenager being amazed at how the lyrics of many of my favorite songs from a variety of bands seemed to be written just for me, and I marveled at how the poems set to music expressed what was in my heart but I couldn’t find the words to say.  I would lay awake in bed listening to Dan Folgelberg sing of “Hymns filled with early delight” and “Acceptance of life,” [Netherlands] and I hoped and I prayed that one day I would find myself and my way.

As an adult I still find myself latching on to a particular song and playing it over and over because it speaks to me.  I find that music has a special way of helping me to understand that I’m not alone; it entertains and motivates me, it cheers me up and at times it calms me down, it inspires me.  More often than not I think it provides a medicinal backdrop that we aren’t even aware of as we go about the routine of our day.  No matter what the genre is, there are songs of love and heartbreak, anger and victory, being lost and then found, songs of hope and faith.

“Art is a vocation, a calling, and if no one hears the call as loudly as we do, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there, that doesn’t mean we don’t hear it, and that doesn’t mean we don’t need to answer when it calls.”

I began the twelfth and final chapter of Walking in This World [Julia Cameron] with mixed feelings.  The past few months have been packed with an intensity of personal change and growth that surpasses any other time in my life and I felt ready for a break, ready to get back to being “normal,” although normal now has a whole new meaning. On the other hand the book had become a guide, leading me through each week and I wasn’t sure that I was ready to do it on my own and I wondered what was next.

The final chapter is entitled Discovering a Sense of Dignity, and Julia introduces it with a philosophy:  “The key to a successful creative life is the commitment to make things and in so doing make something better of ourselves and our world.  Creativity is an act of faith…Our graceful ability to encompass difficulty rests in our ability to be faithful.”

I’ve always thought about the creative process as the logistics of coming up with an idea and using the tools of the trade whether it be a notebook, a canvas, a flowerbed, or an orchestra to bring a piece of art to life.  I also thought that if you had a day job you couldn’t be an artist first, that you weren’t a “true artist” until you reached a certain level of notoriety or fame and that the fame must be accompanied by money or it wasn’t real.  Julia has set me straight on this notion more than once, “Art is a vocation, a calling, and if no one hears the call as loudly as we do, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there, that doesn’t mean we don’t hear it, and that doesn’t mean we don’t need to answer when it calls.”

I think she’s right when she says we sometimes shy away from letting our true colors show and we tuck away our creative desires into corners and steal a few minutes here and there because we want people to think we are “normal.”  In reality, we need to express ourselves to our families and friends and help them understand that our creative calling is real and it’s not “just a hobby,” it’s who we are.  That’s not to say we can or should cast aside the responsibilities of being a parent, a partner, or provider, it is saying that if we don’t communicate our needs, if we don’t set aside time to write, paint, sing, dance, cook- to create, we may find ourselves ultimately frustrated and resenting the very necessary and important roles we play outside of our artists world.

I think the author is saying that first we need to become aware of ourselves and learn what it is we need.  Do we need an hour each morning or one after work?  Is it an occasional Saturday escape from the “real” world that we need to be an artist?  We must learn to understand and recognize that emotions like anxiety and doubt, fear and anger, love and happiness fuel our art and we have the power to choose resiliency over defeat and depression.  We owe it to ourselves and our most trusted friends and family to share what we’ve discovered.

…we need to express ourselves to our families and friends and help them understand that our creative calling is real and it’s not “just a hobby,” it’s who we are… if we don’t communicate our needs, if we don’t set aside time to write, paint, sing, dance, cook- to create, we may find ourselves ultimately frustrated and resenting the very necessary and important roles we play outside of our artists world.

I have a notepad on my refrigerator which says “Masquerading as a Normal Person Day After Day is Exhausting,” and I smile at its truth every time I read it.  But it occurs to me that maybe if we let those closest to us in on our “secret” maybe it doesn’t have to be quite so exhausting.

When I took my first writing class two years ago it was a distraction from some upheaval and turmoil in my everyday life.  As my interest grew it became a passion and a dream.  I dreamed of being a writer, of being published, which I equated with money and it being a full time endeavor with no need for a “day job.”  Time and time again, Julia has turned my thoughts upside down and inside out, and the final section called Service was no different.

We tend to equate art and culture, using Merriam Webster to define it first as “acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science” and forget that maybe more importantly it is also defined by Merriam as “the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.”

Julia struck a chord when she said, “We have very strange notions about art in our culture.  We have made it the cult of the individual rather than what it always has been, a human aspiration aimed at communicating and community.  We “commune” through art…”  I felt like it was one of the chance happenings she often refers to when I experienced a Moment of Magic and community through music on the day I finished the book.

My reasons for writing have changed; I’ve come to realize that it’s not about me.  Art, whatever form it takes, is not intended to serve the artist, it’s meant to serve the community. Its purpose is to entertain and motivate, provide optimism and solace, its purpose is to inspire.  I struggle with the notion that I have a “gift,” it seems conceited to say so.  Do I still hope to make money as a result of my writing? Absolutely.   Will I quit writing if I don’t?  Absolutely not.

Gifts are for giving and I think that translates to our personal talents as well.  By reaching out to others, sharing what we’ve learned through our experiences, putting  our egos aside, and making our contributions not about us but about our community I believe we can and will experience greater personal  joy and the world will be a better place.

I’m sad that the book is over and I’m more than a little scared to be without my “guide,” but I know it’s time…

“It’s time for me to fly.”

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Beth Lee-Browning lives outside of Philadelphia, is a transplanted Midwesterner, and a mid-life woman who is discovering the joy of living life to its fullest and under her own rules. She chronicles her adventures from the ordinary to the unusual with keen and thought provoking observations, a unique wit, sensitivity and an underlying theme that “everything is going to be all right.”

Read Beth’s blog at it’s a whole new world.

Beth Lee-BrowningThis is part of an intermittent series about Julia Cameron’s Walking in This World.

by Beth Lee-Browning

Second to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, my favorite childhood movie is The Wizard of Oz.  Back in the days before On Demand, Netflix, Redbox, and hundreds of cable stations playing the same movie over and over again were the days of anticipation and excitement. I looked forward to the special night when I could watch a movie while eating dinner and I cried when they ended because I wanted them to go on forever.

As a child I thought that Dorothy’s companions were the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man. As an adult I’ve come to realize that the foursome was really worry accompanied by fear, insecurity, and doubt.  In spite of the anxieties and feelings of panic, Dorothy and her friends survive danger, conquer the enemy and emerge from their journey triumphant.

In week nine of Walking in this World (Julia Cameron) the author defines negative emotions and explains how they can play a positive role in life if they are kept in their proper perspective.  I wondered if Julia had somehow read my journal before she wrote the chapter Discovering a Sense of Resiliency. The first section is entitled Worry (which is my middle name) and she introduced me to the chapter with a gentle but firm reminder, “No artist is immune to negative emotions…As the week focuses on the inner trials faced by artists, it assures us that while the dark night of the soul comes to all of us, by accepting this we are able to move through it.”

Merriam Webster defines worry as “mental distress or agitation resulting from concern usually for something impending or anticipated: anxiety.”   Julia describes worry as obsessive and “a kind of emotional anteater” and says that “[w]orry is the imagination’s negative stepsister.  Instead of making things, we make trouble.”  Worry is often accompanied by panic and fear.  Panic is the immobilizing certainty that we know just where we want to go but no idea how we are going to get there.  Fear can take a small worry and translate it into “paralyzing inertia.”  She also pronounces fear as both “positive and useful,” and further explains that we should not give into our fears but we should pay attention to them, admit them, and be open to help.

Too often we pretend we are not scared, we feign bravery and we begin to feel isolated, helpless and not good enough.  When we ignore the message fear is sending us, when we hold ourselves to blame, “we blind ourselves to the possibility that there might, in fact, be someone or something wrong in our environment” and we may miss the opportunity to change something wrong into something right.

I took heart when she said, “If we are to expand our lives, we must be open to positive possibilities and outcomes as well as negative ones.  By learning to embrace our worried energy, we are able to translate it from fear into fuel…This is a learned process.”  I think I have a lot of learning yet to do.

Lately I’ve been feeling restless and out of sorts.  According to Julia “restlessness is a good omen” and it means destiny is getting ready to knock, prayers will soon be answered, and that “[i]nner malcontent actually triggers outer change – if we are willing to listen to our malcontent with an open mind and listen to what will feel like a wave of irrational promptings.”  I had never thought about feeling agitated or discontented in this way, but as I jotted down a list of major breakthroughs in my life creatively, personally, and professionally I had to admit there may be something to what she was saying.  Maybe fate is asking me if I want to dance.

Maybe things do happen for a reason, and maybe that reason is because we finally acknowledge our fears as well as our dreams and in doing so we quit clinging to Plan A and we become open to Plan B or C or even Z.

I think most people are insecure and as human beings and especially as artists we tend to focus on how we compare to others rather than being content with who we are.  We lack patience and hold ourselves to a standard of perfection that has little to do with actual criteria, instead we feel bad because we’re not as good as we think we should be. We negate our own value by wishing we were as good as what’s his name rather than being proud of our accomplishments. That’s not to say we shouldn’t try and improve ourselves, but it is saying that we need to accept ourselves for who we are and we need to guard against allowing our insecurities to keep us from following our dreams.  In the task Exactly the Way I Am Julia asked me to list fifty specific things that I like about myself. After completing the list I realized that there is a lot to like.  “By counting our blessings we can come to see that we are blessed and that we need not compare ourselves to anyone.”

Julia has a way of turning things on their head for me and her take on doubt is certainly one of them.  “Doubt is a signal of the creative process.  It is a signal that you are doing something right – not that you are doing something wrong or crazy or stupid.” I thought my doubts about my writing meant that I was self-aware and realistic and that the essay I had just written really did deserve to be deleted because it wasn’t any good.  It turns out that doubt and self-appraisal are not one in the same.  Doubt plagues us at night when we’re alone and vulnerable and tells you that you can’t while self-appraisal arrives in broad daylight and helps you adjust your course.  Doubt is something to be waited out without giving into behaviors that are self-destructive.

There is an underlying theme woven throughout the lessons. Although we will encounter negative emotions and unsavory characters along our own version of the yellow brick road, we can combat them, wait them out, and use them to our creative advantage, but most importantly self-acceptance and self-respect will lead us safely home.

 

This is a reprint from Beth Lee-Browning’s personal blog, it’s a whole new world,  originally posted  December 11, 2010. Other reprints from this series are available here at FFC: Going the Distance Without “Rests,”  Music Would just be NoiseStar Light, Star Bright…I Wish I May, I Wish I Might…A Spoonful of SugarFaith, Trust, and Pixie Dust, Mirror, Mirror on the WallIn Living Color: Summoning the MuseThrough the Looking Glassand I Could Have Had A V-8!

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Beth Lee-Browning lives outside of Philadelphia, is a transplanted Midwesterner, and a mid-life woman who is discovering the joy of living life to its fullest and under her own rules. She chronicles her adventures from the ordinary to the unusual with keen and thought provoking observations, a unique wit, sensitivity and an underlying theme that “everything is going to be all right.”  Read Beth’s blog at it’s a whole new world.

 

 

Beth Lee BrowningThis is part of an intermittent series about Julia Cameron’s Walking in This World.

by Beth Lee-Browning

A while ago I expressed my love for the classic Disney films and the recurring theme of wishes and dreams being fulfilled. Characters overcome obstacles, find courage and beauty from within, and learn that wishes really can come true.

Week eight of Walking in This World (Julia Cameron) is entitled Discovering a Sense of Discernment and the author begins the chapter with a challenge, “Are we actually able to go the distance?”

As I thought about the challenge and the phrase, “go the distance,” it occurred to me that there is another underlying theme woven into my all-time favorites; from Hercules to Mulan, the characters slay dragons and conquer evil forces along their journey to fulfill their dream and find the place in life where they belong.

It took me two weeks to complete this lesson; I needed additional time to process the message and to complete the final task.  The author begins with an analogy, “For many artists, fame is a trigger food, or can be.” She explains the pitfalls of chasing fame rather than staying focused on making art.  When we strive to please the public eye we forget that “[s]elf-respect lies in the writing and the playing, not in the reviews.” If we focus our efforts on ‘making it’ rather than making art we are vulnerable to depression and frustration because we’re not ‘making it’ fast enough.”

I have to admit I am guilty of this. Although I understand Julia’s advice about the value of my day job as a source of creative fuel in addition to providing an income; I still spend more time than I should wondering what I can write that will be my lucky break, my springboard to fame and freedom.  Julia reminded me that being a writer is not synonymous with recognition. She also pointed out, “When we are focused on making a career in the arts, we often forget that our artful nature is a gift we can bring to the personal as well as the professional realm.”  I hadn’t thought about using my gift as a way to express my love and appreciation to the important people in my life.  I wonder if my family and friends would mind if I wrote them birthday gifts next year.

We are all faced with changes in direction and unexpected events in our life. When they come we are faced with both opportunities and diversions, the author defines them as “useful things and opportunities to be used.”

“As we become brighter and stronger as artists, others are attracted by that clarity and glow.  Some of them will help us on our way, while others will try to help themselves, diverting our creative light to their own path.”

Unfortunately, the world is full of people who position themselves as mentors, fans, and supporters; who in reality use any means at their disposal to execute their own agenda and advance themselves at your expense.  One of the critical elements of ‘going the distance’ is the ability to discern between the opportunities and the diversions and to discover and extract ourselves from the influence of the opportunists and creative saboteurs.

This may mean slaying dragons, exorcising demons, or making difficult decisions. It means we must be alert to the consequences of our decisions and be able to distinguish between what seemed to be a lucky break and is in reality an unlucky choice and take appropriate action.  It’s also important to evaluate which risks are worth taking and which are not.  Discernment combines following your instincts with gathering information and facts to come to the right conclusion.

I thought her description of opportunity and opportunists was brilliant: “Opportunity knocks with a Christmas-morning feeling…a hushed sense of awe as an opportunity slides into place…Opportunists, by contrast, have more of a pressured feeling of last-minute shopping, the kind of impulse buy where you know you shouldn’t but you do.”  I think this will become one of my guideposts.

Often our insecurities cause us to accept help from people who are looking out for themselves or to believe input from “creative saboteurs.” A creative saboteur is someone who attempts to crush our dreams with confusion, dissuasion, and presumed superiority; they will have a million reasons why an idea can’t or won’t work. Creative saboteurs are like snakes or rodents, unpleasant and impossible to avoid completely. The challenge is to identify them and protect ourselves as best we can.

Julia provided me with a smile and a sense of perspective when she presented the cast of characters and their bios in a playful but meaningful way; they included the Wet Blanket Matador, the Amateur Expert, and the Bad News Fairy.  She compared surviving a creative saboteur to surviving a snakebite and stressed the importance of doing our best to recognize and avoid them. If bitten by one, step away as quickly and judiciously as you can, and find ways to use the injury as creative fuel and put it to good use.

We all have baggage, or what I call demons, things from our past that we haven’t reconciled and that keep us from going the distance.  They’re the voices in our head, the whispers that say you can’t, you shouldn’t, and your ideas are no good.  Some are real, and others may be imagined but they’re there and they hold us back.

The final task was designed to help with the healing process from the snakebites of the past, she asked me to find a way to address and face those voices. I had finished my collage from week seven, but hadn’t framed it yet. Although I had completed the task, it didn’t feel ‘done.’  It started with a photo of me surrounded by words and images that represent the vision of my future self.

It now also contains music notes, a sketch I drew, and a few pictures I’ve taken: things that represent the artist emerging within me.  I framed it and when I look at it I see the future not the past, I see myself going the distance.

 

This is a reprint from Beth Lee-Browning’s personal blog, it’s a whole new world,  originally posted November 21, 2011. Other reprints from this series are available here at FFC: Without “Rests,” Music Would just be NoiseStar Light, Star Bright…I Wish I May, I Wish I Might…A Spoonful of SugarFaith, Trust, and Pixie Dust, Mirror, Mirror on the WallIn Living Color: Summoning the MuseThrough the Looking Glass, and I Could Have Had A V-8!

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Beth Lee-Browning lives outside of Philadelphia, is a transplanted Midwesterner, and a mid-life woman who is discovering the joy of living life to its fullest and under her own rules. She chronicles her adventures from the ordinary to the unusual with keen and thought provoking observations, a unique wit, sensitivity and an underlying theme that “everything is going to be all right.”  Read Beth’s blog at it’s a whole new world.

 

Beth Lee-BrowningThis is part of a continuing series.

by Beth Lee- Browning

For the past six weeks I’ve woken up on Saturday morning, made a pot of coffee, written in my journal, and raced to my laptop to write about the previous week’s lesson. That was not the case this week; I started and stopped more times than I can count. I suppose it’s ironic that week seven of Walking in This World  by Julia Cameron is entitled Discovering a Sense of Momentum and she introduces it by saying “Creativity thrives on small, do-able actions. This week dismantles procrastination as a major creative block.” Apparently I needed to do a bit more dismantling.

I flipped through my notes for the umpteenth time and I found myself coming back to the task Easy Does it but Do it. It dawned on me that while I had completed the task, I hadn’t experienced the lesson.  I read the words and thought I understood what Julia was saying as she explained that ideas, like emotions can cause anxiety and make you to feel as if you are going to explode if they are kept bottled up. She described it as a “creative logjam” resulting from too many, not too few, ideas and spoke about the concept of taking small positive actions to keep the creative momentum flowing forward. “The truer the dream, the more creative pressure it has, and the more important it is to begin with small actions to keep them from getting frozen up. Don’t just talk. Do.”

I had to admit to myself that I had just gone through the motions when I followed the instructions to list five areas in my home that could benefit from some straightening up and in doing so I completely missed that the point was not to make a list and think about it, but to actually do it.

I looked at the laundry basket of clothes waiting to be put away and decided to take Julia’s advice, “If your head is awhirl and you ‘cannot think straight,’ then start by straightening something up. Fold your laundry. Sort your drawers….often, when we are engaged in such small, homely tasks, a sense of being ‘at home’ will steal over us. When we take the time to husband the details of our lives, we may encounter a sense of grace.”

One thing led to another and a few hours later, I had a clean house, an organized writing space, a clear head, and a fresh perspective. I was surprised to find that I was ready to write.

In the midst of it all I had a minor meltdown, but perhaps the author is right and it wasn’t a meltdown as much as it was a break through. “When we have creative breakthroughs, they may look and even be experienced as break downs. Our normal, ordinary way of seeing ourselves and the world suddenly goes on tilt, and as it does, a new way of seeing and looking at things comes toward us.”

These days my world feels turned upside down and when I look in the mirror I’m not entirely sure who is looking back at me. I see myself with what Julia refers to as “Strobe-light clarity. We look so different, so impossibly possible to ourselves that we are caught off guard.” I see my future, not through rose colored glasses, but with frightening precision and at the same time disturbing vagueness. My destiny has changed and so have my dreams. I don’t know how it will be achieved, but I know it will be.

The chapter ended with the ever so practical advice, Finish Something. Surprisingly, the “something” wasn’t about finishing a piece of poetry, an essay, or a painting, it was just about “finishing.” I found myself thoroughly engaged by the story of a young composer who bounced from project to project, full of energy and “promise,” but could never quite deliver.

His close friend and mentor advised him to clean up his arranging room, to organize his mess. He resisted and dawdled, and if not for the gentle prodding of his friend he would have quit. When he was done he “felt determination,” and moved beyond having “promise” to completing projects and feeling productive. The author didn’t say so, but I suspect he also felt peace.

We often stop before we start, afraid to try something new. We forget that we’ve encountered and mastered things we never thought we could. The learning curve isn’t easy, in fact can be downright scary, but it’s also exciting and mysterious and the destination is well worth the trip.

 

This article was originally published on November 7, 2011 at it’s a whole new world.

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 Beth Lee-Browning lives outside of Philadelphia, is a transplanted Midwesterner, and a mid-life woman who is discovering the joy of living life to its fullest and under her own rules. She chronicles her adventures from the ordinary to the unusual with keen and thought provoking observations, a unique wit, sensitivity and an underlying theme that “everything is going to be all right.”

Read Beth’s blog at it’s a whole new world.

 

Beth Lee-Browningby Beth Lee-Browning

For years I was baffled as I watched the opening credits of the television show Bewitched.  It featured an animated version of the main character played by Elizabeth Montgomery, sweep through a black sky and twinkling white stars and loop through the air to draw the B in the title Bewitched with her broom, followed by the caption, “Now in Living Color.” If it was ‘now in living color,’ why did I see it only in black and white?

I think we’re all fascinated by magic. I still wish I could wiggle my nose like Samantha or cross my arms, blink my eyes, and swing my pony tail with a head bob like Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie and make my dreams come true.  Who hasn’t wanted to fly, wished upon a star, or squeezed their eyes really tight while blowing out candles on a birthday cake, all the while hoping that somehow our secret desires would come true.

Week Six of Walking in This World by Julia Cameron is called “Discovering a Sense of Boundaries,” and the focus is on how to “interact with the world in ways that minimize negativity and maximize productive stimulation.”

I’m fascinated by Tarot Cards, so I was intrigued by the opening reference to the author’s favorite Tarot card, the Magician.  “He stands alone, holding one arm aloft, summoning the power of the heavens.  He has no audience.  His power – and our own – lies in our connection, personal and private, to the divine.”

In some ways, art is a like magic. We often associate the word magic with the supernatural, but according to Merriam-Webster, it can also be defined as “something that seems to cast a spell: Enchantment.”  I think it can be said that art, whether it is music, painting, writing, or any other form casts a spell and entrances us, even if it’s only for a moment.  Like a good sleight of hand, the creative ingredients of a piece of art are as invisible as the magicians well-kept secrets.

As I read the section called “Containment,” I began to understand what Julia Cameron means when she writes, “As artists, we must learn to practice containment.  Our ideas are valuable.”  If we share our ideas before they are ready, while they are still incubating, we run the risk of allowing someone who is not insightful or forward-thinking to influence us into tossing those kernels of inspiration aside rather than pursuing them.  We run the same risk as a magician who performs a new trick in public before he has perfected it.  When the audience laughs or even worse yawns with boredom, chances are good that the trick may be tossed aside and if it happens often enough, the magician may stop performing completely.

I’ve always been a believer in bouncing ideas off of people and it seemed counter-intuitive to me to keep my ideas to myself until they have taken more of a complete form.  After all, why bother pursuing an idea if it doesn’t make sense to others? As I read, however, I realized there are many projects and ideas I’ve tossed aside because I let them out before they were ready.  I abandoned some because they were not well received and others because they were; I became paralyzed at the thought of not being able to fulfill their promise.  Perhaps Julia is right when she says, “One of the most useful creative laws I know is this: ‘The first rule of magic is containment.’”  It’s not that we shouldn’t share our ideas at all, but that we need to trust our instincts and protect our ideas; we need to limit the risk of abandoning our dreams because we shared them too soon or with the wrong people.

The discussion about containment led to the section entitled “Inflow,” in which Julia describes how in our over-stimulating world of cell phones, radios, jobs, friends, family, media, finances, internet, bosses, coworkers, and more, we often find ourselves feeling like we are shouldering the weight of the world and life becomes “too much.”  We wonder how long we can continue acting “normal.”

In order to create, we need to find ways to manage the inflows and expectations; we need to find time for solitude, and focus.  We must learn to protect our creative energy and use it wisely. She explained that this may involve setting boundaries, something I’m not comfortable with.  I’ve always associated setting limits with saying “no,” perceiving  a risk of rejection within a relationship, not living up to expectations, or  hurting someone I love.

I never realized that by being honest and gentle with myself and others, boundaries aren’t barriers and honesty and self-respect can serve as catalysts to communication and better relationships. We can all find “a room of our own,” a half hour of privacy in some very simple ways.  We can turn off the phone, the computer or the television, and we can say no, not now, but later.  And when later comes, our heart and mind will be focused on helping friends and solving problems rather than resenting the interruption and going through the motions. “Setting even such small boundaries is a huge step toward self-care–which leads to the self in self-expression.”

Recently a friend asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?  What’s your dream?”

“I want to leave Corporate America behind and be a full time writer; I’d love to be able to just write. My day job used to define me, but I’ve grown past it. It’s no longer me,” I replied.

Julia knocked the wind out of my sails and in the same instant gave me something to consider.  She writes,  “A day job is not something to ‘outgrow.’ It is something to consider…As artists, we need life or our art is lifeless.”

I think we’re both right. I have grown beyond being defined by my day job, but I do need to pay the rent, and I have to admit that my days are full of inspiration and characters, they are full of life.  I think her point is that we aren’t meant to live in isolation we are meant to thrive in community and when we embrace living our art will shine.

 

Reprinted from Beth Lee-Browning’s Blog, it’s a whole new world on October 30, 2011.

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Beth Lee-Browning is originally from the Midwest and currently lives in Pennsylvania.  She is a proud mother of three, a full time professional, and an aspiring writer.  Read Beth’s blog at it’s a whole new world.