Life Lessons Art has Taught Me (Part 2)

To Leave the Beaten Path. Art allows me to leave the usual path. I could paint what everybody else is painting, I can do the popular thing. But how will I make my mark as an imitator? How will I be different? Leaving the beaten path allows me to discover new ways to create, allows me to take risks and to learn new things about myself. When I am on the road not travelled, I am alone and have only my own creative thoughts to depend on.

To have an open mind. To leave the well travelled road, forces me to have an open mind. I carve out my own style. I paint the subjects I want to paint. I experiment with different paints and use various found objects in my work. Opening my mind leaves me available and open to new things which will enrich my mind, my art and my life.

To let go. If I am going to have an open mind, I have to let go. It’s much easier to do this in art than in life. But as I said, I am using one to inform the other. We all have perceptions that we hold dear; we are slaves to our culture, our family, our friends, our ancestors and we could go on. We are all colouring within the line but what if we coloured outside of it? What would we discover within ourselves and within our world?

All I need to do is start. I don’t need to be intimidated by a blank canvas. The empty space is waiting on me to make my mark. The canvas is yearning for me to use it to bring a story to life. I don’t always know what I will paint but I stand before the canvas and I think about what I can create that will be impactful. As soon as I start, the path starts to reveal itself. The reveal is not always quick but if I persist it becomes sure.

There is always another way. If I start and I realize that my creation is not going the way I envisioned it, I can change midstream.  I have created works that I did not like. I gesso them over and create something new. These paintings are always the better ones because they have been through the fire of failure and came out popping. There are many ways to fill an empty canvas – different colours, different textures, more pop. This is the reason we should not be afraid to start. We have the ability to adjust.

To surround myself with people who understand my dreams and encourage it. This is the final one and it is a big one. The business of art is already challenging so I do not surround myself with naysayers who sap my energy and diminish my creativity with negative thoughts. I sever any cord that would tie me to discord, to anything that will let me lose focus, to anyone that feed self doubt. Self doubt can mean death to a creative. I surround myself with light; with people who encourage and help me to find my path. This is a very important life lesson – hold fast to dream builders; let go of dream killers. Light in; darkness out.

Journaling About Dreams and Goals

We all have dreams and goals. As human beings we aspire to achieve the dreams that we have for ourselves, we aspire to self actualization. Until we do something about our dreams they remain just that – dreams – fleeting and distant. Dreams are meant to be chased. We need to take them from the conceptions in our heads to action and physical reality.

So we need to not only talk about the dream but we need to write them down. This is action on paper that can lead to a self fulfilling prophecy because the written word is a powerful spiritual tool. Our journals then become the facilitator of not only our thoughts but the ways in which we intend to achieve our dreams. When we write our dreams down they gain weight and become more real. The act of writing is a call to commitment. We have said to ourselves that we can do this, and we will do this.

On paper, in black and white, we have put our dreams out into the universe. The universe has a funny way of giving us what we ask for. Simply writing down our dreams does not mean that’s all we have to do. We have to work hard. However, writing them down means that we have taken ourselves seriously enough to give our dreams energy that will lead to more cooperation from the universe.

A dream written down is a dream that is more likely to be manifested so write them down.

Remember there is nothing like words in black and white to help you see where you are and where you are going.

Sheryl A. Keen
Author “Journal According to John.”
www.sherylkeen.com
http://personaljournaling.wordpress.com
http://authors.aalbc.com/sheryl.htm

Journaling About Poems, Quotes and Songs

“I bid him look into the lives of men as though into a mirror, and from others to take an example for himself.”
Publius Terentius Afer

Our journals are usually about us and the world around us. We write down our own words to describe and sometimes analyze what’s going on in our lives. But our journals do not always have to contain only our words. There are poems, quotes and songs that are special to us in some ways.

We can write down these poems, quotes and songs in our journals and analyze their value to us and why they make us feel the way they do. Perhaps they are inspirational or motivational; perhaps they speak to us about facing our fears; perhaps they spur us on to find inner strength and perhaps they speak to us about going after our dreams. Whatever the reason, they speak to our inner selves.

It’s possible that something that we are trying to say is worded and captured better by someone else. It’s also possible that there are times when we need a constant source of motivation. When we write down something that is powerful and valuable to us, we can go to it repeatedly for a motivational boost. Thus, other people’s words are helpful to us because they are meaningful to us.

In addition to all this, somebody else’s words may give us a different view on a challenge that we are facing. This alternative way of thinking may be just the thing we are looking for or the very thing we need. Other people’s words have much to teach us about our own lives but also about other ways that we could be living our lives.

Remember there is nothing like words in black and white to help you see where you are and where you are going.

Sheryl A. Keen
Author “Journal According to John.”
www.sherylkeen.com
http://personaljournaling.wordpress.com
http://authors.aalbc.com/sheryl.htm