Monday, March 19, 2012

A Significant Aha: Gifts from the Wise Self

 My home is my haven. My art is my joy. My wise self...she's my guardian.

A couple of days ago, I enjoyed lunch with a friend/colleague.  During the course of our, cool, rainy afternoon get-together, she asked me if I was still writing.  I responded affirmatively; adding that I was also doing lots of art journaling as of late.  She then said something that totally struck a chord within me, “Tina, I am convinced that your artsy side comes from having a job where you have very little room for creative thinking.”  Although I had never given this matter consideration, her statement is, pretty much, true. 

For at least 40 hours a week, I serve as a public grants administrator in the charming, little town college town where I live.  And, even sans the creativity aspect, I feel fortunate to have this opportunity.  This job has taken me to new levels both professionally and personally.  Being responsible for the successful administration of literally millions of federal funds, each year, has made me more decisive, independent, left-brain skilled and, quite frankly, empowered…fulfilled, too, as the programming I oversee all benefits local persons with low and moderate incomes.  This job challenges me daily, and (I believe) keeps my mind relatively sharp.  Much of my actions are mandated, however, by concrete principles (federal regulations); which means there is very little room (aside from my leadership and management styles) to exercise creativity on the 9 to 5.

As a child, I had always been creative.  I loved to draw, paint, write and do crafts (The painting above is one I rendered at the age of 10.).  Art was most definitely a part of my daily life.  Somewhere along the way, though, I lost my art…gave it less focus, actually.  Sure, I’d write a bit, do something crafty every now and again, or begin journaling—all sporadically.  But, seeking to live each day artistically; well, that was no longer present. 

Even though (for some number of years) my day-to-day focus on an art-filled life was missing, there still continued to be some level of creative expression in my life.  Every job I’ve held prior to this time was in volunteer management which lent itself to a decent level of daily creativity (deciding volunteers’ assignments, developing orientation workshops, conducting program marketing, etc.). 

Something quite remarkable happened to me about a year into my present job as a grants administrator (about six years ago).  Like an ignited spark, my world suddenly became illuminated by my own creative undertakings: writing, journaling, crafting art, seeing beauty everywhere, etc., etc., etc. 

After a bit of reflection, my sage friend’s comment became one which took on a deeper meaning.  It provided a likely explanation for my reclaimed creative spirit.  Seeing the gross imbalance my current job created in my life, I truly believe that my wise self understood the important role creativity plays in my life, silently took the reigns and gained control.  Aha!

I’ve had many aha moments throughout my life, but this one honestly speaks volumes to me:  My wise self, she is my protector.  She is authentically me; inherently knowing what I want and need in order to live a healthy, happy, well-lived life.  And, when I allow her to do so, she makes good things happen.  Therefore, I should always seek her counsel and trust her wisdom as its sole purpose is to enrich my life.  Aha, again!

What’s your wise self’s greatest contribution to your life?    T.