Whatever you vividly dream, ardently desire,
sincerely believe and enthusiastically ask for must inevitably come to pass.
– Mary Englebreit

On the surface what Ms Englebreit is saying sounds marvelous! But she needs to finish her thought by saying “…inevitably come to pass if you work diligently toward that dream.” Because, as I am learning, I can vividly dream all I want, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically ask for my dream to come true but without action, without forward momentum, without getting my butt off the couch and out of the chair, my dream will never be realized. Ms Englebreit is inviting me to stay inside my head when I need to get out of my chair. At least, that is how I see it.


I remembered this quote from a previous post and it seems appropriate here:

 

Let us, then, be up and doing

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

So I am up and doing, pondering and mulling, digging out what needs to go and replanting with what needs to be done. It is a labor of love for God and to myself. Whatever the challenge is I have the heart for any outcome because I am moving forward. I refuse to stand still any longer, I refuse to follow the advice of naysayers and I refuse to allow the critics in my head run my life any longer.

Now, I am not naïve enough to think these things will come easily or the Negative Nancys in my head will go willingly but I am okay with that – I’ve beaten them back before and I will again. Look at me – I am finally understanding these quotes I picked out so long ago for my musings!

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, thank you for your wisdom and that it only took almost two weeks of chewing on it before I fully understood what you meant when you said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

 

I'm up, dressed for battle, loins girded, ready to go! At least, I am today.
I’m up, dressed for battle, loins girded, ready to go! At least, I am today.
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the needle is stuck inside my head

Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas;
they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.
– Russell H. Conwell

The advice Mr. Conwell provides is not only well heeded but also repeated by other advice-givers. Think Frank L. Baum in the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”; and “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again I won’t look any further than my own backyard.” Or, think Jesus’ call to his disciples to bring the “Word” first to Jerusalem (their backyard) then to the world. There are other examples but I would have to Google them to find them and I don’t feel like doing that right now.


Anyway, what are  these advice-givers saying? On the surface they are telling us to seek what we are looking for around us, or more importantly, within us. It’s the same thing as you can have all the money in the world – you know the saying: “money can’t buy happiness” – but if your inner peace is missing then the money won’t do you any good in the long run. How many rich people have lived lives of tragedy and regret. Yes, they could buy anything they wanted but were never satisfied.


When I think about finding your treasures (or in my case my dream of being a self-sufficient artist) at home, even in your own backyard, one idea this leads me to is in my workroom. When I worked in retail I had a lot of money to spare and not being mature in financial matters I chose to spend a lot—and by a lot I mean A LOT—of money on scrapbooking materials. My family has always told me I make beautiful scrapbooks and that I should offer to either make scrapbooks for money or make blank scrapbook pages to sell.


And, while I have donated hundreds of dollars worth of paper, scrapbooks and stickers to thrift stores I still have more scrapbook paper than I will ever use on my own, in my lifetime if I scrapbooked everyday for the rest of my life.

 So why don’t I take my family’s advice and make some money off of it? Because I am stubborn and have only begun recently (as recently as less than a month ago) to realize this is folly.

 A simple statement from a woman I admired, loved and wanted to emulate, my beloved grandmother, Mama B,  created such a trench in my brain it is the biggest stumbling block I have to being a self-sufficient artist. In a conversation with my father, who wanted her to sell her floral arrangements to supplement her social security income, said, “If I made any money with what I love to do I wouldn’t love it anymore.”

That statement, bless my grandmother, has been in my head since I was a teenager. If you are old enough to remember vinyl records, remember how when you played them over and over and over a rut would begin to wear and the needle would skip when it came to the same place every time the record was played? And yet you kept on playing it until the rut got so deep the music wouldn’t move beyond that point until you had to  manually push the needle back into the track.

That is what that statement does inside my brain. Every time I think about money and art the needle gets stuck on that spot, on that statement about not loving what you do any more because you have made money from it. Right now I am manually pushing the needle back into the track. Over and over and over again. Hopefully one day soon I will discard the old record and create a new one.

 

trying to figure out what to do, how to get there, and what to do when i get there
trying to figure out what to do, how to get there, and what to do when i get there

dreams are no good without action

Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the action stems the dream again;
and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.
– Anais Nin

For any dream to come to pass, one must perform an action. If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter movies/books like I am then you’ll remember the scene in the first movie/book where Harry finds the Mirror of Erised.  After many nights of gazing into the mirror at his long dead mom and dad, Dumbledore finally shows up and tells Harry that “it does not good to dwell on dreams and to forget to live.” Basically I think he is saying that dreams aren’t any good if you don’t put any action behind them.


To that end, I must put action behind my dream, which, in effect, is what I am doing by writing about it so much. I am working through the idea of making money off my art and the much more terrifying task of marketing myself.

It really takes a while for me to make any type of decision. I think about it consciously for a while, then let my unconscious mull over it for an unspecified period of time; then as it floats to the surface again, I run it through various scenarios until, eventually, I am ready to make the decision. And when I do, it seems on the surface like a quick, unthinking decision but it isn’t.


For instance, I purchased a new car this year. I had been driving in my old car for almost 19 years! The idea of a new car had been whirling around in my brain for almost two years and when I finally decided to do it, I purchased the first car I tried out because it was a perfect fit. My mom asked me if I didn’t want to do some more shopping. I said no because I was ready and it happened; she wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing because she didn’t know the decision had been two years in the making!


I don’t know how long it will take me to make the major decision to market my art. But as long as I am taking action toward it, exploring options, thinking about it and thinking about it some more, then when the time is right God will show me how to make my dream – the one He gave me – come true.

 

i am a dreamer of dreams, a thinker of thoughts, a seer of visions - now i need to take action
i am a dreamer of dreams, a thinker of thoughts, a seer of visions – now, i need to take action