• Jessica James

Everyone Has An Artist In Them

I disclaim that the words written here, today, are coming out of the mouth of a 22 year old. A young women in this world who is still learning and growing. With every thought expressed, comes with a healthy dose of take what resonates and leave what does not. As I look back over the collection of writing I have kept from an honest age of 10, I only know one thing. I do not know anything. Only the acknowledgement of stories I choose to tell of this time and day.

Founder and spiritual director of the Agape International Spiritual Center Michael Beckwith recently reminded me (on Lewis Howes School Of Greatness Podcast) that the universe only wishes to be expressed through us, more and more. It wants us to be creating, it wants us engaging in life as the more we do, the more it gets to see itself through us. Therefore it does everything it can to drive us in the direction of maximum creation, also known as, our most happiest state of being.

Which is why, even when the ego tells us to stay small and safe, we never loose the quiet whisper of our soul suggesting, maybe we could just take one small step this way towards our truth. In taking that step we are rewarded in bountiful amounts. I receive confirmation of this as regularly as I take steps. The universe supports your courage, it supports your dreams, it supports any move you make in the direction of what your heart truly wants. But it involves us getting really quiet and the beginning gestures are never as grand as we think they are.

My most recent experience with this is that lately I have felt very stuck. But also totally ignoring a scary calling to do something different, I’ve been trying to pursue a logical, secure, safe pathway and I have had resistance. So much emotionally, physically. Manifesting as chaos in my life and body. It clearly is a pathway that I need turn around and walk towards the call, but I was scared. Scared because the next step away from the known path was so unclear. I would say, 'surely if I’m not supposed to be here, something better suited would pop up and redirect me'. Well, it doesn’t quite work like that. We have to take the first steps ourselves. For anyone who is looking to make a career change, I would strongly encourage staying in the uncomfortable ‘limbo’ stage for as long as you need to see the next step clearly.

For me, since early 2018 I have been absolutely obsessed with my drawing. Just dotting, all the time, so engrossed in the practice just wanting to do it all the time and I was finding a lot of support for the work I was making .People were intrigued and very kind. It was never about making art that others would enjoy though, it didnt start like that and its not what keeps me going. It is the connection with others through my practice that I feel so enamoured by. It’s the conversations and the sides of people they feel encourage to share through the work that brings me so much joy.

Everyone has an artist in them. I am so sure of this.

Everyone loves to create, they just might not have the same obsessive, compulsion to do it all the time. However this increasing fear bubbled up inside of me because the more I drew, the more I felt disconnected from the world I thought was everything to me. The harder it become to continue being in an environment that no longer understood this new world I was intoxicated by. Everyone takes every opportunity to be outside and plan adventures, my focus was on how can I draw more and this caused me a bit of strife.

The community I was so comfortable in, felt safe in, no longer felt like the place I needed to be. But where else would I go? Why couldn’t I just keep this a little side thing and still have a logical sensible career path here? I still don’t know.

So for months I have felt very lost and unhappy. Trying still to doing what I thought I should be doing. It wasn’t until one unique talk with a close friend of mine that something clicked. She has been riding this absolute wave of joy and happiness. Shooting rainbows out her butthole high on life trip, when I asked her, what do you think changed? Before this she was in a big slump. Somewhere I thought I now was. Well, she said, I just started doing whatever I made me happy and stopped thinking about what other people expected from me. I just went and did it. WOW. Of course! Of course! But that was the missing link for me, I was so scared to let people down, to make them think I was giving up, I was also scared to stop working for a company that guaranteed me an income but I was now at maximum capacity and things had to change. They had to.

I couldn’t stop ignoring the call to things that called me even though the deepest unknown was still, how would I pay my rent and living?

I wanted to be shown a way that I can do this whilst pursuing these creative endeavours that I feel are my gift to the world. I feel currently this is what I am supposed to be doing, visual communication. In the sense of the two words as separate and together. Words and story, art and design.

What I did not realise is that all I needed to do was take a step back from the thing that was burning me and causing the unrest… aka. If there is a fire and when you put your hand in it, it burns you… STOP PUTTING YOUR HAND IN THE FUCKING FIRE. Just stop. Stop and breathe and just be. Because in that space, in the stillness, the next step will be made obvious to you. Every closed door is also a step in the right direction. Closed doors help us just as much as open ones, no no no no yes. Ah okay. It makes the yes so much more obvious when we know no.

It did not all come together at once, but as one of my favourite quotes states ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears.’ Indeed this was true for me. As I let the idea of following art as a life-long pursuit, I let go. There was no need to make anymore decisions as the focus was now on the joy and exploration of my practice not just today but for many years to come. My fulfilment came from doing the art itself and growing my skills. I started to seek out education on artists and learn a few new techniques through online videos, but honestly I wasn’t that interested in focusing on improvement. I just wanted to create the art that I love!

I remember having the thought, it would be nice to have my own teacher or mentor to help me. I just want to increase the quality and value of the work I currently do.

Then one Sunday I took the day off just to wander. One of my favourite things to do. Just walk around the parks and coffee shops of my local area and just enjoy the beautiful city I live in. I always find something new and perplexingly beautiful people, places and objects to appreciate. That day it happened to be a piece of art that I unexpectedly purchased. That act, lead to a serious of synchronistic events that then put me in contact with a very successful artist whom openly offered his time and knowledge to assisting me with my art. I was speechless. He share with me invaluable advice about the art world, small changes and adjustments to paper and framing that would drastically improve the quality of my work.

Again. Speechless. I truly believe that mountains are moved to put us in connection with the right people at the right time. There has been an air of disbelief, shock and complete elation at the unfolding of all these events. The small fire inside my belly has been ignited to create. Meeting this man, despite our obvious physical differences, I saw myself in him. The way he spoke about life, his values, tendencies, perspective. It felt like coming home to me. His heart is so big and he FEELS the world first. Then sees, touches, tastes, creates etc. We spoke about the world through movement, sensing and heart. As we spoke, time could have stopped and I wouldn’t have minded so much.

So I guess to round all of that off… there are still many lessons I am learning and I have days where I wake up feeling completely destroyed and unsure why I continue in a world that has so much challenge and heartache. Then I drop into my heart and have visions of golden threads interconnecting us all, that we are kept in the hearts of so many we love. Our seperate entities as we see them are false illusions. Therefore, it is up to us to keep the ship running, but not our job to steer or navigate every part of the way. This whole life thing is a beautiful game, there are rules to how we play it and they are hypothetically quite simple. But when the choice is not clear to us yet, that’s okay. Patience, wait until the choice does become clear and trust that you will take the steps. Speak soon.

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©2020 by Jessica James.