Thursday, June 2, 2011
It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?
I have more than a few beliefs that keep me rather set apart from my friends and the people that are close to me. For one, I am a vegetarian in a meat eater's world. I believe in living my conviction that it is wrong to torture or injure another living creature for our monetary gain or otherwise. In short, it is wrong to exploit. I will not willing take part in the cruel exploitation of animals. I am an animal lover and have spent a decade of my life trying to help and heal animals. I also own several pets and administer daily to their comfort and needs. How could I then support a system that does the opposite of this? A system that hurts, maims, tortures and kills animals before their time. I could not. Not when it is unreasonable to do so and not when there are other choices.
The other belief I have, and this strikes me more deeply, is the belief that I must, (note, not would prefer to, not would like to) but MUST succeed at my craft of Art and Writing. I have done both all my life, from a very young age.
When I was five years old, my ambition was to write the dictionary. I began to copy out the Richard Scary version, until my Dad told me I couldn't do that, it wasn't legal and that I had to make up my own stories. Once I learned that, I began to write my own stories. I wrote stories to read to my family and baby brother at bed time. I wrote reams and reams of poems. I read poems in church, I entered contests, and won. I wrote articles for the web and for magazines. I wrote short stories and then novels and never stopped from that day to this.
Also when I was five, I decided that I would sell paintings to make money. I painted up a bunch and went door to door selling them for five and ten cents each. I received my first commission at that age; a lady who told me that my abstracts were of "nothing" and if I really wanted to sell her a painting I would go home and painting something like a house and come back and sell that. I did and satisfied, she bought it. As with my writing, I went on to paint and paint, entering and winning contests, having exhibitions, having my art published in school annuals and when I move on to adulthood, having my work sold around the world and put in many galleries.
For me, the fact that I needed to be a writer and needed to be a painter were my earliest core beliefs. They are a part of me, like a fingerprint or a hair folicle. Something that one carries with them all their life that never alters. I know many writers and painters that are content to paint and write and nothing more. They might sell a painting at a local art fair or to a friend but that isn't what motivates them. They might write a story for fun or to get something off their chest but being published isn't a necessity. For me, being known world wide IS a necessity. Being widely published IS a necessity. It is a passion. And I know it will be a chief pursuit til my dying day.
I believe this is what sets me apart from my friends. I know of no one else of my close friends or family that devotes as many hours to the pursuit of their passion as I do. Granted, I am extremely lucky that I do have the means to be able to pursue this. I am supported by my hubby who holds down a full time job so I can write and paint and focus on selling my work. We've had to make sacrifices too so that I can. I don't take vacations or drive fancy cars. We have one family car and live in a townhouse not a big house with a yard like I've always dreamed. But there are dreams and then there are passions, and the passions have a soul that takes over everything else. When you let your passions rule, it's more powerful than any dream you can have of owning this or that. It is a fulfillment of the soul. It is magical. It is godlike. I will gladly give up a few frivolous dreams here and there to live fully in my passion. There is nothing else like it. It is mighty. It is powerful. And in the end, I believe it will take you where you need to go. Even if you have to go there alone.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Liz Danzico – Today
Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tracks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.
Here is my response.
Today is a composite of the energy, trust, love, attitude, compassion and forgiveness you bring to it; each minute of it is your ever-renewed chance to create magnificence.