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Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Desire Dragon

When the DESIRE DRAGON breathes her fire on me, igniting what I want in my mind's eye, (or think I want) I have to sit down in the heat, breathe in her breath for a while in stillness, no matter how excited, curious, and simultaneously terrified I feel by her lure. If I sit still in discernment, eventually, desire melts with her firey heat, and I can settle back into center, into the clarity of the moment. Learning this takes patience, endurance, a willingness to wait it out with courage. Then with small gentle steps, I mindfully tiptoe back to equanimity, back to where I feel safe, anxiety free (at least temporarily) and able to be with what IS.

This weekend a friend sent me a link to a scholarship opportunity for budding photographers. Part of the application process was to put together a video about who you are, why you love photography, why you need the scholarship and so on. It was due today, December 20th. I was SO EXCITED!!! I wanted the fancy cameras, I wanted the shmancy software, I wanted marketing advice and education! I got to work immediately on a video entry for the application. Rosie helped me for hours on Saturday putting it together. (I don't know anything about how to use movie maker software, but my 14 year old is a wiz at these things!)  And then when we were done, she went to bed. I started filling out the application. I felt an uncomfortable feeling inside. Hmmmm. I looked through the FAQ info provided on the website. I looked at the time commitment that was required for the lucky winners of this scholarship.

I looked deep within at the reality of my life! I decided that before I pushed a button and sent in my video and application I needed to sleep on this.

Sleeping on a concern, a question is good. I woke up clear with no doubts or anxiety in the morning, certain that while there was an exciting appeal to the possibility of winning this scholarship, it is NOT what I need to do right now. It is not what I CAN do in my life right now. I just don't have the energy or time to put into an intensive program. The more I investigated the website, the more I realized that NOW is not the time to dive in, not the midst of beginning to heal from this latest medical hurdle (toxicity to medication). 

Desire, was really messing with my mind's clarity. It was creating anxiety, having only two days to put together the video-which we did in six hours-and then fretting about the "what if's of winning." The good news is I can see what was happening in my mind. The good news is Rosie and I had a blast putting together the video Saturday.  The good news is I found this great resource that I didn't know existed until two days ago. The good news is, I KNOW that I can't do fast paced things, I must do things slowly, not just because of MS, but because that is who I am, that is how I learn, grow, experience life with depth and understanding. 

Of course I WANTED the camera equipment, the software, the marketing advice...(that's all assuming I would have been chosen as one of the lucky winners and there were many very deserving women in the group). This is an amazing opportunity for three women who will benefit from all that Me Ra Koh and her partners have to offer. But I have a family to focus on here; a child getting ready to go off to college in a year. She needs me so much. I do have Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coaching clients and some potential Spiritual Direction and Lev b'Lev SoulCollage® clients who have contacted me about working together after the holidays. I have some photos out in one studio for sale locally now.  And sold some already at a fundraiser. That's a start. A small step, but a step. 

I am in the midst of re-learning how to walk and regain strength and energy to be more functional in our home, as wife, mom, homemaker. I have to talk to contractors and work with them to make our house more accessible with a downstairs bedroom and bathroom. I have writing to do for my blog, and friends to connect with, a husband to love, a dog and two cats and a second daughter who also needs lots of attention. I have music to write and record. MY PLATE IS FULL!

Advertising has a way of waking up the desire dragon inside. I am so glad I didn't press that button. I am absolutely clear that I am NOT chickening out. This is not self sabotage, this is listening to my intuition, and trusting that I know what is right for my family and me. Who knows, a year from now, if they run the scholarship again, maybe I will apply. I kept saying to myself yesterday, "What do I have to lose, by just sending in a video?" Well after sleeping on it, I realized the IF I had been a lucky winner, I'd lose a lot of precious time to do other things I love, with people I love. I'm not planning a career outside the house as a photographer, in a studio, with clients. I'm a still life photographer of nature and objects in transition. A full on studio business is not what I want from my photography experience.  It is meditation for me. It is a spiritual practice. I do want to sell my work for others to enjoy, and bring in more income for my family. And I do want better equipment, but that will happen in time if it is meant to. Patience, is a deep wise soul quality I have worked hard to cultivate. I'm not going to discard what I have learned for the excitement of free "stuff."

I wish the best of luck to all of the courageous women who did apply. I hope with my whole heart that each and every one of them find ways to fulfill their dreams. I realize, that I am already living mine. I may not be able to walk gracefully but I am soaring on the wings of love, compassion, and gratitude!

Since Rosie and I worked so hard on the video, the least I can do is share it with YOU my beloved blog readers! I cannot thank my darling, talented daughter enough for the time and effort she put into this video for me. She is far more disappointed that I did not apply than I  am, for this "possible missed opportunity"...and that is understandable she is 14. She can't see the big picture the way I can. As I prepare this post (Sunday morning for Monday) there are tear stains on the bed next to me from where she sat when I broke the news to her on . The tears will dry, and I know her disappointment will evaporate soon enough too.


The sound is a little low, and I can't figure out how to bring up the level, so you will have to listen closely. AND it is 4 seconds too long to have been eligible for entry...go figure, I had too much to say.





30 comments:

  1. Oh, I had similar experience. I wanted to apply for Chinese scholarship two years ago, but I knew it wasn't the right time. When I did it this year, I felt much better when listened to my intuition.

    Can't open the video. No access to Youtube (if it's youtube). But I'm sure it's great one.

    Thank you so much for the encouraging words.

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  2. Thanks for letting my know Dani...it is not up on youtube...I will have my husband try it on his computer and see if we can trouble shoot.

    I'm so happy you are living out your dream in China this year. (even though sometimes you miss food from home;)

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  3. Beautiful video, photographs, words and most of all ... beautiful person.
    Judy

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  4. What an amazing process you went through here. I've had to learn, too, to sleep on things. To walk away and give them time. I love the idea of a desire dragon. It works perfectly for me.

    I love the video you and your daughter made. Although it's not serving its intended purpose, it is a huge gift and a thing of beauty. I am so happy to have gotten to hear your voice and to experience your spirit in this new way.

    Blessings to you my wise and wonderful friend.

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  5. Laura,
    You already soar. You are achieving so much right now, and you are an inspiration to so many.

    I enjoyed your video.

    Cheers

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  6. Oh, how I loved hearing your sweet voice and seeing your beautiful face in this video! (Not to mention the photos, some of which I haven't seen before.) You and Rosie did a marvelous job on it. You are wise to seek and know what is right for you and your family at this time. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..."

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  7. My favorite part of your beautiful video: "Slowing down has given me an opportunity to appreciate the blessings offered everyday."

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  8. aww, thanks everyone! So funny, this was recorded at one of those moments when my accent was almost non existent...it comes and goes...this was nearly my "normal" pre-ms-fas voice!!!

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  9. Congratulations Laura to you and your daughter Rosie,you made a beautiful video. I'm sure the experience of making it together brought you both pleasure and learned you things as well.I enjoyed watching it.
    Sometimes we have dreams and desires that can't become reality right now, life brings us other things. But the dream is there and that's beautiful.
    Take good care, x

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  10. What a WONDERFUL video! Your daughter did a superb editing job. I love what you have to say and I love seeing the slideshow of your photos! So many great ones -- but how about that heart shaped tree? Wow! And you're very wise not to take on more than you can actually handle. It's hard but necessary to know what we can and cannot manage at any particular moment.

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  11. Oh Laura...there is so much here that my heart just leaps with understanding and such joy that you have such a daughter that willingly and lovingly spent this time with you making such a great video of you.

    It was such a gift to see you and hear your voice. What a wonderful gift your daughter gave you and you gave her by including her in this process. As sad as it made her that you chose in the end to not enter the contest, I think of the great value of this lesson that you taught her in all of this. This lesson of listening to our hearts and waiting out things and doing them at the right time.

    With Christmas coming we have had the "I want Monster" visiting us which is in many ways similar to your desire dragon. I get very frustrated with this monster that gets in the way of joy and peace and trys to steal away that desire to think of others and their needs.

    I can relate to the desire dragon in so many ways. There are so many things I would like to do but because of pain and doing certain activities are completely out or make it worse. I envision myself doing these things and have such a passion for these things, yet when I stop and think it through I know these things are not even options for me.

    Recently, I was approached to clean house for someone one day a week and they would pay me very well. We could so use the money with my husbands surgury coming in early January. So at first I was like yes I can do this. Like you, I laid it all out and let it just sit for a time and reality stood in front of me. I cannot even keep up my own home and I am suppose to be starting 2 different therepies to help with my skull injury and one to help with the PTSD and haven't started because of daycare needs. How in the world would I fit in cleaning for this lady one whole day a week when I have a hard enough time figuring out how I am going to get to therepy? I have cried and cried over this...I know part of it is grieving over the loss of being able to "do" like I once did.

    I just spent much of the past 2 days bedridden because of such severe pain so now I clearly see how ironic it would be for me to take on another task. So reading your words today come once again as a gift to me. Thank you dear Laura.

    ((((Laura)))) Bless you and your loved ones. Bless your daughter for helping you. Happy Monday! XX

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  12. Oh Laura...there is so much here that my heart just leaps with understanding and such joy that you have such a daughter that willingly and lovingly spent this time with you making such a great video of you.

    It was such a gift to see you and hear your voice. What a wonderful gift your daughter gave you and you gave her by including her in this process. As sad as it made her that you chose in the end to not enter the contest, I think of the great value of this lesson that you taught her in all of this. This lesson of listening to our hearts and waiting out things and doing them at the right time.

    With Christmas coming we have had the "I want Monster" visiting us which is in many ways similar to your desire dragon. I get very frustrated with this monster that gets in the way of joy and peace and trys to steal away that desire to think of others and their needs.

    I can relate to the desire dragon in so many ways. There are so many things I would like to do but because of pain and doing certain activities are completely out or make it worse. I envision myself doing these things and have such a passion for these things, yet when I stop and think it through I know these things are not even options for me.

    Recently, I was approached to clean house for someone one day a week and they would pay me very well. We could so use the money with my husbands surgury coming in early January. So at first I was like yes I can do this. Like you, I laid it all out and let it just sit for a time and reality stood in front of me. I cannot even keep up my own home and I am suppose to be starting 2 different therepies to help with my skull injury and one to help with the PTSD and haven't started because of daycare needs. How in the world would I fit in cleaning for this lady one whole day a week when I have a hard enough time figuring out how I am going to get to therepy? I have cried and cried over this...I know part of it is grieving over the loss of being able to "do" like I once did.

    I just spent much of the past 2 days bedridden because of such severe pain so now I clearly see how ironic it would be for me to take on another task. So reading your words today come once again as a gift to me. Thank you dear Laura.

    ((((Laura)))) Bless you and your loved ones. Bless your daughter for helping you. Happy Monday! XX

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  13. Love you soooo much. Such a pleasure to witness your heart and its journey in this way...Can't wait till we meet in person. xo

    (Tell Rose she did great!)

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  14. was here earlier on ipod, not any video available to me. so i came back. You and your daughter should jsut team up and help make videos for people, its wonderful--what a witness.

    I began a project once of taking a photo of the same object for almost a year, the light and my perspective made it different. It mattered because although there is a huge world of vibrations and experiences out there, one object can become more known and witnessed as sacred, pondered upon it can flower into mind and speak many links. Just like we.

    Your daughters are beautiful, just photographing them would talk to the world. Your beauty, soul, shines!

    stay warm up there. I will be thinking about dragon desire and the joy of patience. A lovely image.

    thank you.

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  15. Rosie is a tremendous director/editor - what a beautiful video.

    You're right about sleeping on decisions - it's a great way to gain perspective and clarity. And you know the old saying, "when one door closes, another one opens"...

    Not only did you and Rosie spend quality time together, you taught her a very important and valuable life lesson, Laura.

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  16. It's a beautiful video, Laura. Rosie did a superb job editing it and your voice was both confident and soothing at the same time.

    This was a tough decision to make, but it's clearly the best one for you and all those you love.

    And out of it came this beautiful piece.

    Love to you.

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  17. This is beautiful Laura! Your photos are wonderful and instilled with the Holy....every single one!

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  18. This was a fabulous post, with so many profound insights. I liked how you said "Advertising has a way of waking up the desire dragon inside." And this is even more apparent this time of year, when my heart aches for those who are caught up in the fires of the Desire Dragon. I loved how you led me through your process so beautifully; a truly gentle reminder.

    (I couldn't see the video on my iMac ... I'll try it through VMWare Fusion or try to find a Windows computer and see if that makes a difference.)

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  19. Loved the video; so wonderful to hear your voice and feel your energy through a different medium...

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  20. So many generous comments...thank you everyone. I'm not sure why some can open the video and some can't, I'm sorry about that.

    xo

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  21. Laura - your plate is full..
    I have been through similar but different doors that might have opened. We always know in our heart what is the right thing to do.
    Then our peace is restored.
    You have a mature daughter at an early age. She is also beautiful inside and out.

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  22. I'm sure Rosie will understand soon why you didn't send in the application. I had a similar experience towards the end on CEGEP
    (a level of education, either two or three years long, between high school and university in Quebec)where I neraly became a flight attendant. I filled out the online application and sent it in, but the internet site crashed and it wouldn't go and when I went to send it again I had doubts and never got around to it. Well, the airline went bust about a year later and I got another job which has since turned into my career. Oh, the things I would have missed if I HAD become a flight attendant. Everything happens for a reason. I was attracted to the company by the dsire to travel and their offering a free leather coat and laptop to their flight attendants but hadn't really thought through the fact that I would have to move to another city 500 kms away from home and would travel so much that I would have very little time for anything other than work and when I really did think about it I realised that that kind of solitary existence was not what I really wanted.

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  23. what does it mean to soar..to open to flight, to glide on grace and beauty, to ride the waves of this life
    my sweet sweet friend, you have soared since the day i met you and your flight just gets more expansive as time goes by
    your processes are inspirational and in themselves enable others to soar
    may your eyes continue their deep witnessing
    may your ears continue be put to the ground of understanding
    may your mouth continue to utter praises of this life and world
    may your heart always be soft and open and strong
    may your soul soar through that body of yours now and always

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  24. Hi Laura--I love the ins and outs of your tale: "the dragon of desire". We used to call it "the desire train" when our kids were young. When they'd get on it, we'd start making train whistle sounds. The thing is, as you say, when it has its sway over you, it's like Circe and the sirens. I so appreciate describing your patience, discernment and acceptance of who and where you are. It's something I'm constantly working on myself.

    And--you've listed all the wonderful things that came out of your collaboration with Rosie-that sounds like a rich gift of the season.

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  25. p.s.--While I couldn't hear a soundtrack when I played this on my work computer, your voice came through quite clearly and audibly on my mac at home. It was lovely to hear your voice accompanying your photographs and the two were beautiful together.

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  26. Laura, I think you're amazing. It's great to know what is really important, even when something so tempting comes along.

    I really love the way you allow your spirit to guide you.

    (The youtube video is great.)

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  27. You and Rosie are a great team ~ the sound is clear and the video is seamless. This was a good experience for Rosie that she can continue to build on, and she may be able to use the video as a sample of her work [or even extra credit for school?] It's wonderful to see your photos tell a story. You have created something very special.

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  28. As I've told you before, I love hearing your voice! There is something that "recognizes" it within me and makes me happy. Everything worked out just the way it was supposed to, and it all turned out wonderfully. You and Rosie got to work together, learn together, share together to create a truly wonderful, engaging, attractive, wonderfully produced video. You got to explore an opportunity, get excited about it, consider it from all angles, and make a choice. Every choice we make involves a gain and a loss of some sort, doesn't it? Overall, the gains outweigh any loss. Everything is temporary anyway. Other opportunities that a better suited will come along. Perhaps more opportunities to create with Rosie. I love this post and all the richness within it!

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  29. I can see why your daughter felt disappointed because this is a wonderful video expressing your desire to become a better photographer. But I can also understand your need to focus on your family and on learning to walk. I hope 2011 is good to you, Laura!

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  30. I love that you did this and I love that you listened to your own heart and followed its wisdom. That was a beautiful video - exquisite images and such beautiful prose. xoxo

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