So, y’all, this weekend I got a tattoo. Me, 34 year old mother of two who drives a minivan and doesn’t even have my ears pierced got a tattoo. Who knew I was so cool! (Haha, just kidding!)
This year, for me, has been about creative expression as a spiritual practice. I believe that our creative gifts are innate within us and unfortunately many of us lose our connection with creativity as we grow older.
When I was young, in middle school and high school, I was an avid writer. I never went anywhere without a notebook that I filled with stories and poems. Somewhere in my late teens I lost part of myself. I stopped writing all together. Maybe it was the identity shift between being a teenage girl living at home to a college student living on her own, who really had no idea what she was going to do with her life. Perhaps it was the death of my grandmother, who was a writer and a huge inspiration to me, when I was 19. Whatever it was that made me move away from the creative inside of me, it was not a conscious decision.
Those years when I was disconnected from that inner creator were some of the most difficult in my life. I didn’t know my purpose and I held on to so much frustration and anger because I was not embracing my true self. I was trying to be the person everybody thought I should be. When asked, “Who are you?”, I genuinely had no idea.
For years I stayed inside that comfort zone of familiarity. I was miserable and unhappy but it was comfortable in a morbid sort of way. On the surface, my life looked perfect but inside I was hurting and felt so alone. Then the guilt would come...”My life is wonderful right? I have everything I need and more. What right do I have to be unhappy?”
Those years thinking that outside validation was the only way I could find happiness were sad and lonely times for me. I would allow dark times to overwhelm me. I didn’t have the knowledge or the tools to be able to pull myself out of the pit. About four years ago I was burned out. I questioned my purpose. I had always felt that I was destined to do something important but I had yet to find what that was. It was only when I journeyed inward and found happiness within, in my completeness, that my life truly began to shift.
Here I am now four years later and I feel like most days I embrace life. Yes, life has its challenges and some days I feel I’m doing a better job at living my best life than other days. And some days are just really really tough but at least now I know who I am and I know ups and downs are part of life but it’s not letting those tough times destroy you that leads to the greatest growth in life.
Direction, purpose and connection to something bigger has really propelled me towards how I feel today. Now I see challenges as opportunities for growth. I feel my purpose is to help serve others by helping them wake up to who they truly are.
We are all creators in one way or another. Think back to when you were young- did you have some sort of art form that helped you to express who were? Dance, painting, sketching, writing, music? I think most of us had something that we did to express ourselves until it was snuffed out by our peers, society or our families (most of the time with well meaning intentions). What was yours?
I think this disconnection from our true selves, from Spirit, is a big reason we feel so unfulfilled. It’s why we may dream big but live small for fear of upsetting the status quo. For living small is safe (or we perceive it that way)- it doesn’t require courage or vulnerability, but by living small we are denying the world, and ourselves our creative gifts and, in essence, denying who we truly are.
So I encourage you to reconnect with your creativity, in whatever form best expresses you. For me, it is writing. This blog, in a sense, is a spiritual practice for me. While I would love if others would find my words helpful or inspiring, ultimately this online journal is for my own growth as I embrace vulnerability and share a piece of my Soul with the world.
So, for me, my tattoo represents creative expression. It encourages me to not play it safe just because it’s comfortable and to do something that scares me if it means embracing my true nature.
You don’t have to go out and get a tattoo but I do encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. Reconnect with the child within you that loved to paint, or to sing or to dance. Allow your inner artist to emerge to help you connect back to your truest essence of Spirit.
I invite you to Awaken to the Truth of your Divine nature. You are love, you are loved and you are always enough.
**Make sure to sign up for our Artists Way 12 week course that starts October 1! It will be a combination of in person and online meet ups so anybody can join! Go to www.mindfulriding.com to sign up!