What do you love?

In hopes of finding solace and healing for all that was ailing her, a woman sought help from a wise elder. She sits on her knees and tells the wise one all about her physical pains, her fears for her children, her worries about the world.

THe wise one listened to the stories and great pains with eyes deeply fastened on the woman’s.

there is a long pause.

“Ah yes,” says the wise one, “But tell me beloved, what do you love?”

Paraphrased from Sarah Blondin meditation on Insight Timer

What do you love?

Make a list. It helps, it really does.

I love cats. Hot cider in the snow. My boys. Laughing with friends over food. Deep and meaningful conversations. Intimacy. The beach. Bike rides. Travel. Pasta. Handmade pottery (currently obsessed with the ‘fake’ pottery in The Duchess.) Bali. Yoga. Yoga in Bali. Mojitos. Mojitos in Bali. Thai food. Apples. Art museums. Sunset sessions playlists. My family, Going to the cinema.

Repeat your list out loud. With you hand on your heart.

If tears come, welcome them.

It’s so easy these days to get bogged down in what’s wrong.

What’s wrong in life.

What’s wrong in the world.

Just this practice of reminding ourselves what it is we love, what we would fight for, is life-affirming.

Then actually getting more of those things in our lives – BOOM! That’s golden.

Even if that’s as simple as learning how to make your fave dish if a restaurant is out of the question. Or cruising Pinterest for glorious pics of your future travel destinations.

Or cute puppies.

Or maybe doing something for someone else. I love the BUZZ I get from helping, boosting, or encouraging another artist or writer. One of my fave things to do is to share posts on Insta helping to introduce indie authors and artists to a new audience. This costs me nothing AT ALL and while it more often than not goes unnoticed by the original poster, sometimes they say thanks and occasionally they reciprocate which is a bonus.

Often I think people are suspicious of someone who helps. There are so many scammers and predators online.

There are so many positive loving things we can do to brighten another person’s day. I’ve had a few rough days over the past couple of months, just like everyone has, and I have learnt now to instantly lift my spirits by doing something nice and random for someone else.

I signed up to the 21st Century Creative Foundation course. The first lesson is What do you want to ‘do?’. What’s your ambition for yourself?

I want to be a writer. Okay, I’m a writer. I’ve published a couple of novels, nearly 1000000 words on this blog, thousands of posts on my Socials… But what more do I want from it?

I want more from this than just calling myself a writer because a writer is ‘one who writes.’ Check!

What does success look like to me?

This can be a really tricky thing to pin down so we can start by asking questions like:

What do I do well?

What do we do well as an artist, writer, poet, ceramicist…whatever. Broadening this out to what do I do well in other areas of my life.

What do I do well as a mother? Father? Sister? Brother? Wife? Husband? Boss? Employee? For each role in life, drilling down or just picking one thing we do well in that area can be lovely…or triggering…or confronting…or an exercise in shadow work… but that’s a whole other blog post!

As a story teller, I think I have a knack for unique stories and I think I write strong female characters who are fleshed out and not too perfect.

I love research and try to get things factually correct in my stories.

I am committed to learning the craft of writing.

I’m supportive of other creatives and encourage everyone to try something different, to show their work.

In India, there is an ancient saying: “Better to fail in your own destiny then succeed in someone else’s.” If your chosen path is a safe bet, then it’s a safe bet it’s not your real ambition. You can aim higher than that.

The 21st Century Creative Foundation Course – Mark McGuinness

Feature Photo by Keegan Houser on Unsplash