GUEST POST BY CHRISTINA LYONS
Sitting on my front porch on a wooden glider, there is a cool light breeze that feels like spring on my skin, and I can hear the birds singing songs to one another. In the distance, someone is mowing their lawn, and across the street, my sweet elderly neighbor's grandchildren are laughing while they play.
I could write for hours about life in a setting like this. The memories of the better moments of my childhood come rushing back, and I feel joy roll over my skin. Thinking up new, fun, and creative blog posts comes easily when I am relaxed, and the setting brings back so many joyful memories.
This is where inspiration teases us all, and we fall head over heels in love with who we are created to be.
Inspiration has long wispy fingers that play with the passion barred within us and with one kiss sets it on fire to guide us when times get dark and walls go up.
Creating space to develop my craft hasn’t been easy. I am talking about that space that is deep down in the pit of my soul and the space that is between my thoughts and my memories.
I usually have to start with the physical space right in front of me. I have a hard time working with the laundry piled up next to my desk, or when the kids are knocking at my door telling me I forgot to get groceries and they want a snack. So, I start there, but that is not where the real work has to be done.
The real development of my work comes from creating my routine and recognizing when that routine is no longer serving me, and then changing it. I have been getting up at 6:00 am for a couple of years now. I drink coffee and read. I write and write and write and write. I recently added yoga and meditation to my routine because I hurt my back and felt caged up in my body.
Then about two weeks ago I stopped waking up. I don’t know why, but I suddenly started sleeping through my alarms. I don’t know if this shift in my sleeping habits will last long, but I feel it is important to continue to develop my skills as a writer. I know how important that practice is when one is in the beginning stages of listening to inspiration.
So, for now, I spend my afternoons with my fingers wrapped around a pen or dancing across my keyboard.
I read once that an artist should practice his or her desired skill at least one million times.
Once you have reached such a significant number of dedicated moments to yourself, you forget that you are practicing and you begin to just work through life, side by side with inspiration.
So, I write. You create art, websites, and jewelry. Maybe you work with clients that don’t see the world in color like you do, and you dance through their business with passion, bringing what they love to life.
DO IT A MILLION TIMES; PRACTICE UNTIL YOU LOSE COUNT.
Some days are dark; winter sets into the project in front of me and I have to search for passion’s flame. You’ve been there, you know.
Inspiration feels far away, but you still know why you are here.
Why you are more desperate for all this nothing than for someone else’s so much something. You find yourself stuck but not miserable.
Physically, when I find myself in this place, I do yoga or take a walk. I watch Doctor Who with my children or a put on some music and get moving. Spiritually, I go looking for joy. I usually find her when I shift my perspective or while accepting what I cannot change. I find her laughing, I never know at what, but her laughter spreads, and I come alive.
The space in-between my thoughts and my memories needs to be freshened up.
Developing my skills and pursuing my dream comes at the cost of cleaning out what isn’t useful anymore and knowing the difference between the two. Creating a space for calm to take up residence, so I can find it when my thoughts run away with my heart, has been a saving grace.
Some days I walk away. I have written many chapters that have or will be deleted. Blog posts that don’t make sense and artwork that just isn’t right. I am learning to let them be and to stop asking them to be anything more than what they are.
When I started on my journey, I wanted my efforts to produce exceptional work every time. I needed my words to reach out and come alive. I asked too much of them, and many of them fell flat. I have written this article a couple of times already, and I will start over if inspirations whispers, “Look from over here. Come, see what I see.”
Don’t be scared to look at your hands and say, “Thank you for what you have created today, but I think we can do it differently tomorrow, and I can’t wait.”
I can’t wait to see what we as a collective will do with the world in front of us. Knowing you belong, and believing that you are unique and needed, yet still understanding that we are just one of a million here to serve the world is more powerful than I can handle sometimes.
BUT, WE ARE.
No one can tell you how to become a better you.
I can only say just practice until you forget about it. Then one day you will wake up, and you won't have to remind yourself to create. You just will, and it will be more than you ever hoped it would be because you will be the perfectly imperfect version of yourself that you are desperate to find right now, at this moment.
May you find the space between your thoughts and memories to be soothing and the realm of possibilities just under the layer of constant practice.
Christina spends her days living out life with her three children and lumberjack of a husband. Amongst the day to day, Christina co-owns a tattoo studio in central Oklahoma with her husband, Caleb. He tattoo's and she writes. She writes because it feels like breathing and life come alive. Christina is currently working on her first creative non-fiction book, a true story of a young mother learning to live life after a tragic loss.