For the last 6 weeks I have been doing this journaling program called the “Artist Way” and it is amazing. I have always been big into journaling, I have my third grade teacher, Mrs. Wilsey-Brewer to thank for that. It has been an outlet for me for a very long time. A fellow blogger brought this program to my attention, so I asked for the workbook and book for Christmas last year and just recently was able to get into it since I have a “lighter” semester of school right now.
You do not have to be a writer or an “artist” to reap the benefits of this program. The idea behind the whole thing is that when we were younger, we were all artists. We had vivid imaginations. We weren’t afraid to try anything new. We had great big dreams. Our minds were open. Then at some point, whether it is through the education system or just from another adult who is “wiser and knows better” our inner-artist was muffled and squashed. “You can’t make a living doing that” “That is silly” “Being good at Math will get you farther” and so on…
It is not that these adults were trying to crush us, most of the time adults say things like this is because THEY had their inner artist crushed too- so they know no other way. This is how life is to most. You leave your dreams and passions by the way side and settle for something that is more “responsible”. Because we all have to grow up at some point right? Wrong. The older I get, the more I realize adults are really just kids with a filter. For the most part we all have the same personalities, desires, funny quirks as our 8 year old selves- we are just a little more mature. So why do we muffle those awesome parts of ourselves?
I am fortunate to have all the journals I wrote in growing up and it is so cool to look back at them and read what I wrote about. One that I read recently was from my 8 year old self ( I swear I can not even make this up- but I did correct the spelling so that you could understand it ;)…
“If I had a million dollars I would buy all the Sour Patch Kids in whole world so that I could have them all to myself. I would also open a puppy shelter and have a big house in the woods, I love trees. I would also give lots of money to people who don’t have lots of stuff, because I have too much I think- especially stuffed animals. God wants us to help other people so we always should. I like making other people feel happy.”
20 years later….and that sentence above is 100% totally still me, even the sour patch kids part. What part of your inner child or inner artist are you ignoring? Don’t ignore it any longer. Usually the things you are passionate about and put on this earth to do- are the things you enjoyed as a child. Even if those particular things are not your career choice right now- doing those things for fun will open up your mind and your heart to so many other cool opportunities. I used to LOVE writing. I spent so much of my life doing it, for the longest time I wanted to be an author “when I grew up” but I let a few criticisms convince me that I was not a good writer. So, I just kept it to myself. When I started this blog, it was really me just trying to do something that I love and enjoy. I was nervous people would think it was stupid. I was nervous people would say criticize every little thing, every little mis-pelled word. Guess what? They did. But I didn’t care. I love writing. And if people don’t like it, they don’t have to click on the link to read 🙂 Often times when people go out of their way to judge you- it is because they have dreams of their own they wish they could pursue and are insecure. Don’t get mad at those people. Help them find THEIR inner artist.
Everyday I see students who get their dreams squashed and I try my best to encourage them to follow their heart and what THEY want to do, not what they SHOULD do. People will ALWAYS say “Oh, there is no money in that” “Oh, it’s not a good time to get into Education” “Is that even a job?” Don’t listen to any of that. You were given certain talents for a reason, don’t let them go to waste. The opportunities will follow…in abundance. Just trust me.