Truly Powerful People (202)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I am 18 years old and all I’ve ever wanted to be is an artist, a painter. I am in my first year of college and I am dismayed to discover that my art classes bore me. I can barely sit still. I don’t know why, this makes no sense to me, I feel as if I am suffocating every time I go to class. And, I can’t stay away from the theatre. I’m there everyday. I take the class available to a non-major. I audition and play minor roles in plays.

The next year I jump to a new school and a new degree. I am studying acting and know deep down that I will never be an actor – there is something more beyond this study but I can’t see it (yet) and I expend massive amounts of energy and anxiety – again – wondering what I am doing and hiding the feeling that I am pursuing something without knowing what it is. It is an imperative yet makes no sense; I’m chasing a phantom and feel like I am lying to my teachers because I’m still under the illusion that most people know what they want and have a clear sight on what it is (so, I feel like I am lacking somehow).

In the next several years I direct plays, I consult with schools, I paint paintings, I coach and for a while these feel like different actions – energy in opposition. I tell myself that when I am in rehearsal I’m not painting so I’m not growing. And, if I am painting, I am not growing as a director. I am at war within myself and neither side can win.

The surrender comes when I recognize that painting and directing and consulting are forms; and beneath the form there is an intention. Alan calls this a soul mission – when you recognize that what is yours-to-do can take many shapes. I am a particularly adept chameleon; mine-to-do is to open stories for people, to illuminate paths to self-knowledge (it is what an artist does).

Ana-the-wise busted my chops the other day when I was whining that I didn’t know what form I wanted my work to take. I said, “What do I want to create for myself?” She said, “You will always be confused until you ask a different question. It is not what you want to create for yourself, the question is what do you want to bring to this world.”

Amen. And bring it!

One Response

  1. ah thanks Ana-the-wise and David the giving for the great question.

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