Less is more. –unknown
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. -Confucius
Life is complex, not complicated. –Patti Digh
Simplify, declutter, BREATHE.
I know these things, but it seems I forget again and again, and learn again and again. I have been making my life, and even more so my work, far more complicated than need be.
I wrote last week about information overload, and that is only part of it. Too much information, too much stuff, too many channels, kinds of cereal, and cat food…too much. So why am I trying to complicate the one area of my life that is easy and fills me up, my art? I told myself art was not good enough on its own. I need to help people, save the planet, save the animals, put an end to war! No wonder I can’t make any progress rebuilding my website. I have made the act of doing what I love be some monumental chore where I can’t possibly succeed.
I have lied to myself and that saves no one.
My down time at the beach woke me up along with a few simple messages. The first day at the beach I announced, “Well, it’s just like I remember it,” and my cousin replied, “Yes the waves roll in and then they roll out.” In and out again and again, like breathing. No wonder we find it so soothing and life affirming. The act of creating, like the flow of the ocean, is easy and life affirming and that is enough if I allow it to be.
This does not mean that my environmental concerns and tree planting goals are not good and valid, but they should not complicate what I already have to offer. I was telling myself that entrepreneurs are about helping people and service. What if my art is just that? Art whether made by humans or nature has the ability to delight and inspire.
Yesterday, before leaving for home, we took a walk to the end of the island, past the wildlife preserve where it is quiet and not crowded with people. It is a great place to gather shells, watch the water, and just be. Always in treasure gathering mode, I scoured the beach for something special. I spotted this pretty opalescent shell and scooped it up only to find this little guy had already claimed it. What a delightful surprise! The waves roll in, the waves roll out, but not everything is as it seems. My new friend reminded me that while there is much to be concerned with in this world there is also so much to take joy in.
Do what you love, the rest will follow
Old news, right? Maybe so, but I seem to be brilliant at forgetting what I believe. I spent the first day of our vacation complaining to my cousin Patti how hard it is not to know what my purpose is. How I am struggling to find a way to make my work more meaningful and make a difference in the world. I talked about garbage patches in the ocean, and the evils of factory farming, and how I have to do something about it!!!
Two days later Patti said she’d been thinking about my dilemma and stated the above. “I believe this,” she told me, and I remembered I believe this, too. While we walked on the beach and discovered the crab, I remembered that what I love more than anything is going exploring with my camera and finding the images I work with. Surely I’ll remember this time.
That’s it this week, short and simple but I do have a question: