Most recently I have joined what I call a course for mentoring your passion. Before I get into it and sing it’s praises thus far, here is the link https://www.udemy.com/the-art-of-meaning-make-your-life-matter/ check it out and see the content for yourself.
I have had a few assignments and a 1 to 1 Skype session with course facilitator Chris Paradox, which has all blown me right out the water so far. My first assignment funnily enough I wanted to do before I had even heard of and joined this course and that was to write my life story in the form of a fairy tale. Such a valuable exercise which helps me see clearer than ever the chapters that took place in my life and why they were so important to get me to the point where i am now.
I hope to share this life story assignment with you on my blog in a little while.
We also had to imagine our own funeral in detail and write eulogies on behalf of 3 people that would speak about us and our lives. A hugely moving and tear jerking experience in and of itself.
Within these processes we are declaring what our lives have amounted to, thus far in our own opinions and what we would like to imagine them having amounted to up to our own deaths. This included considering all the achievements and feats of life yet to be lived, which meant declaring our most huge unashamed visions and dreams and sharing them within the group which has a way of concreting it and putting all your vulnerabilities to air at the same time. Fear of ridicule that your dreams and aspirations are far too far fetched that we are not up to the bars we set i.e. addressing possible failure etc…
Shish! Then comes the one to one… I will try to do the eloquence of Mr Christopher Paradox’s mentoring. It went something like this.
Mee: “ Wow Chris, the homework assignments left em feeling pretty exposed and vulnerable and I had a breakdown this weekend, because it came to my attention just how far removed i was from my wildest dreams from happening….bla bla blu bla”
Chris: “Well let’s get something straightened out right form the off, you didn’t have a break down, you had a “Renewal Phase”. I’ll explain it further so you can welcome this new label into your life.
Like many unrealised artists, going through the school system, unfortunately there is no careers officer and workshop in school give you the option of being an artist and validating it as a valid and achievable career choice. If they did offer it as a choice, here’s what the job criteria would sound like….
ARTIST: ‘ Looking for a highly self motivated individual, with an insatiable thirst for self educating in all things humanitarian. An individual that can make choices following their heart not their head, which often leads them into challenging relationships and situations forcing them to experience the human experience to an extreme, through a great trauma.
Achieving Mastery as an Artist, requires a twist of activism. A drive to contribute and change the world for the better, while still remain gin at peace with it moment to moment. This includes finding it in themselves to forgive all human beings and themselves, find peace compassion in the most torturous situation life can conjure for that individuals soul to endure and then to add extra pressure, bare their soul for all to see through their chosen form of art. Strip down their guard and defences and share their own personal stories so as too give other humans the tools to learn from their own experience. Thus the artist proves that the collective need is greater than that of their own egotistical protection, by constantly challenging their own embarrassment, their own take of failure and possible ridicule.
A raw place to be in at the best of times let alone when one is wounded, suffering and on the edge. This on the edge human experience, is sometimes labelled bi-polar, depression, imbalance, extreme highs and low swings, but how else is an artist able to fully comprehend the human experience unless in the realm of extremes. Have we ever come across an artist who has stood the test of time in expressing life’s mediocre middle of the road safe path, I don’t think so, the path less trodden is the path that exhilarates the art lover, in painting, story, song and dance. Burning a new path and forging ahead where no human has gone before takes extreme vision, applied focus and huge self drive. To achieve this state of being one must shun one’s own deepest fears to the side and deny them a voice for a time, daring greatly to be bold and try something new. With great vision and powerful positive intent
It is in times of inaction, when emails are not responded to, phone calls aren’t answered, people do not want to engage in a project, that is when isolation comes flooding back and with it all out washed up denied fears and worst case scenarios and nightmares. These times are necessary too, the opposite extreme, is to acknowledge a human’s or worldly worst fears, nightmares and failures, it is in these deep dark times that we recoil and go within finding even greater reason and even more motivation and strength to spring back with renewed vigour.
These times are called RENEWAL PHASES, not depression, not imbalance, not failure but Renewal and should be recognised as such. Recognising and living through these phases and swings are the attributes of a greta artist/activist.”
I hope I did Chris justice there, that’s certainly what I took from his pep talk it hugely comforted and reassured me that I am not alone, even though intellectually I know I am not, in periods of darkness, I can forget I belong to a collective called the human race which all shares human emotion and trials and tribulations. The higher achiever and drowning in darkness experience can create the greatest sense of isolation and being alone in the world. This in itself is a great test, for we are never truly alone and we must go within to explore what that actually means, finding a source or something to connect to.
In my mind and heart, the definition of an artist is someone who, risks doing what they love doing, even though it may not bring them wealth, or recognition, even though it may not gain approval, even though it may bring up all their worst feelings and thoughts…It is someone who lives through all that and tries and tries again, through knock downs and set backs and keeps going and does it anyway. Someone who invents new ways of being, thinking, feeling for themselves, someone who is always trying to improve and better themselves. Someone who cares above all other things, to focus on Love and all living things.
ARTISTs are pioneer, front line freedom fighters, out there on the leading edge!
It’s a community of support and reinvention.
See you there.