I entered the New Year believing that 2013 would be my year to DARE. At first it was exciting. I copied all kinds of daring quotes into my art journal. I thought about all the opportunities I would seek out to challenge myself. I imagined myself living a bold, adventurous life.
But quickly I began feeling uncomfortable with DARE. I chalked it up to fear and my generally risk-averse nature. As days passed, DARE felt like a pair of shoes that don't quite fit. I felt pinched and trapped. I worried that DARE would lead me down paths that weren't right--that I would say "yes" to things out of a desire to be daring rather than from an intention to be true.
I thought about DARE as a word and what meanings it held for me. As a child of the 80's, the ultimate daredevil was Evel Knievel. But somehow jumping a motorcycle over a river while wearing a spangled jumpsuit wasn't the role model I was seeking. And then there is that famous Helen Keller quote, "Life is a daring adventure, or nothing." That always seemed horribly unfair to me to because a simple life can be profoundly beautiful.
So I turned the question around. I asked myself "How do I want to feel at the end of 2013? When I look back over the year, what do I want to see?" The answer was clear: I wanted to make a lot of art. I wanted to take risks and be bold with my art. I wanted to inspire and motivate and teach people to discover their own creative hearts. I wanted to create a beautifully simple home. I wanted to live a life of art.
I was reading Free Play by Stephen Nachmanovitch and came across this quote:
We have no art. Everything we do is art.
In my heart I felt a single word float into place: ART.
ART will be my guide, my intention, and my constant companion. I will practice awareness and seek beauty. I'll challenge myself go deeper, express more, and live with honesty. I'll carry my sketchbook everywhere, dive into my studio whenever possible, and share my work with the world. I'll create with an open heart. I'll love abundantly. To be fair, that sounds like a daring life to me, but the difference is that it is daring on my terms with deep intention.