for who I ought to be
and waiting for the world to say
what should become of me
was the day I looked with my heart,
and what I saw was me.
That day I listened with my heart,
and what I heard was me.
It was then I created with my heart
and created me.
And on that day, I first saw
what had been there all along:
myself in the making,
right in front of me.
The day I called myself an artist wasn’t the day I quit my job and moved to the beach to write by the sea and paint in the breeze. It wasn’t the day I sold a masterpiece or wrote a bestseller. Or the day I got an MFA. Or was featured on the news.
The day I called myself an artist wasn’t even the day I thought what I created was good enough to be called “art.”
The truth is, I live in Arizona. I write and draw at the kitchen table before work and school. I have a PhD in clinical psychology. The only time I was ever in the news was when I made Texas All-State band…20 years ago.
And my writing and sketches are a long way from where I know they will eventually be.
None of that changes the truth of who I am.
There were always words and pictures in my heart, but I hadn’t yet learned to see and hear them for myself. Not really. My ego had a way of getting in there and translating them into something more formal or academic or mainstream.
But…the day I called myself an artist was the day I chose to look, listen, and create with my heart. That day was an experiment to see how it even felt, and it was only then, after I said it, that I started making sense. That was the day that all the little pieces started coming together, the hints of myself that were whispering to me all along. It was the day I gave myself permission to be me.
Now, I’m focused on authentic expansion over productivity, resonance over reach. I spend enough time being professional and academic, what my spirit needs more of is time spent being honest.
So, the day I called myself an artist was the day I followed what felt true even before I knew what the truth was.
And wouldn’t you know it? That was the day the words started flowing more freely and the pictures in my mind became more vivid. And faster than I could have predicted, I had a book on my hands.
That book is There, I Might Find Peace. It’s a collection of poetry and prose, mantras and meditations for peace, love, and strength.
I guess all of this is to say that you don’t need to wait for someone to tell you who you are or until you’ve accomplished the big goal. You don’t need to wait for proof of anything. Just courage – even the kind of courage mixed with fear and indecision will work (and that’s the only kind there really is).
Creating yourself, finding and following your calling, and making magic, whatever that looks like to you, begin with the courage to follow what feels true – even if it’s just a whisper right now. And wouldn’t you know it? That’s when all the little pieces start to fit together and make perfect sense. First comes courage, then comes clarity.
How about you? When you look, listen, and create with your heart, what do you see? What do you hear? Who do you allow yourself to become?