They say that when you are about to get married, you need to plan for a marriage, not just a wedding. The same applies when it comes to your creative life.
Whatever work you choose to devote yourself to, you are going to be spending a lot of time and energy on it. It will be your close companion for a very long time. So make sure you truly want it, all of it, the actual work, the day to day doing, the LIVING of this creative life, not just the completion – the potential rewards.
Women in this western culture are encouraged to desire such strange things. Most of them have to do with looks, money and approval. We are rarely encouraged to go deep with our desires, to find out what delicate and wildly powerful beings we truly are, and what the landscapes that truly fit our souls look like.
So when asked that question, what do you want, our answers often come from the surface level.
Those surface level answers are based on what we have decided – consciously or unconsciously – is possible for us or not, what we are allowed to do, what our parents and peers would approve of, what we’ve seen other people do, what we think the ”market” wants, what would look good, or simply what feels safe.
But I want us to leave all of that aside for a bit. Let’s take a step back from external validation, from the shoulds and the oughts, and turn all attention towards your own deep desires. Because listening to and acting on them is the only way to create a life that actually feels like your own, that fits you like a glove.
It is also how you, step by step, inevitably grow into your true creative work.
But it’s not going to happen unless you give yourself permission to choose what your heart is asking you to choose. You must dare trust yourself on this one. Dare choose your own path.
The thing is, you cannot copy someone else’s path anyway. Not without loosing yourself in the process. You will not find true success by following in someone else’s footsteps, however successful they have been on that path. And by true success I mean the kind of success that doesn’t just look like success from the outside, but actually feels like success as well.
So don’t waste time trying to mimic someone else. Learn from those ahead of you, by all means, but make sure you have your compass securely fixed on your own true north.
You are unique. Your dreams and visions are unique. Whatever roadmap you decide to follow must reflect that uniqueness or it will surely lead you astray. The good news is that you don’t have to try and make that roadmap up all by yourself. There’s plenty of help to be had.
Some wise person said “Pain pushes until vision pulls.” The first time I heard that, it shook me to the core. Because in my work – even in my creative work – I had always been pushed and motivated by fear. Fear of not being enough, of not making it, of not getting what I needed and wanted. I had been running all my life to get away from all that I feared would happen, should I not make it.
In a brief moment of insight, I felt how utterly exhausting it was, and also, what a bliss that other alternative would be. Vision pulls.
Instead of being pushed – often unconsciously – by fear, to turn towards my vision, my deep desire, and let the magnetic power of that vision pull me towards it. Instead of grabbing and grasping, to just turn towards what I want and ask it to come create with me, come work with me, come play with me.
To rely not only on my own, limited power, but the creative powers of this universe. The power of a vision that wants to be born into this world, and that seeks me to accomplish it.
I could instinctively sense the enormous power in that kind of co-creation, and I also understood that in order to access that power, the vision needed to be true. Not some compromised, half-assed version of it. Not “well, I actually want to be a poet, but no one reads poetry, so I’ll become a journalist instead.” No. Your true desire.
Over time, I learned that the most powerful pull did not come from the vision that I thought up or figured out, but from the one that just came to me once I learned to listen deeply.
I will repeat that: the most powerful pull did not come from the vision that I thought up or figured out, but from the one that just came to me once I learned to listen deeply.
This is key.
So when I ask the question what do you want? I don’t want your quick, surface answer. I want you to pass that question on to some deeper aspect of yourself, and see what truths rise to the surface in response. Those truths will make up the most crucial part of your roadmap.