So I started counting my blessings. Those always add up fast.
How blessed I am! I am in an intermediate painting class at a HUGE university.
I have a wonderful job.
I have three really close and wonderful friends here with me.
My family is wonderful!
I write and paint almost everyday!
Then I realized how far I had come since March of this year. I've read about three books this year that have really made an impact on my life. All three of these books were not about being anything except a better "you." Through these books I have learned, or re-learned a lot about myself and my goals as a person.
Although I'm still a few chapters away from finishing, I want to take this opportunity to plug an amazing book. I've actually given a few copies away to friends and family, but they never seem as excited about things as I am.
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. The book was on a recommended but not required reading list for one of my online summer classes. I never order the recommended but not required books for classes, but this was caught my eye because its subtitle is "A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity." I had personally related creativity to spirituality often, but never heard anyone else connect the two, much less write a book over it. So I bought it and I am a stronger individual for having read and worked through the book.
As I recommend this book to people I have to quote my disclaimer. This is not a book you sit down and read all the way through. It's not a book you just carry around with you and read it when you can. I like to think of it as more of a quiet time supplement. It is part book-part workbook. Each chapter is short, rich and invigorating, but the best part is the challenges after the chapter. These seemingly random tasks range everywhere from taking a walk to buying a sticker. The point is to nurture your inner-child, the one who creates and lives without fear of judgement.
The entire book speaks to the soul of each individual's inner-artist. I especially loved the exercises towards the beginning of the book that challenged the reader to write down a list of things they would do if money, fame and success were no object. After making the list the reader is then challenged to take small steps towards executing these dreams.
In the grand scheme of things you are learning to take the big huge life-long dreams that seem impossible, and turn them into day by day steps that help you achieve your definition of success and happiness.
The tasks are so small that I haven't really realized my growth until I stop to look back. When I pause and reflect I see how much this book has helped me learn about myself and where I'm going as I end my college career and enter a new stage in life.
No matter what age or stage you are, it is always a good idea to get in touch with yourself better. God created each of us in a unique and special way.
We all have dreams that look distinctive from those of others.
When we love ourselves and nourish ourselves, we can more easily love and nourish others.
God blesses us with gifts, treasures, talents, desires...when we aren't using what he created we are being bad stewards. If God designed you to dance ballet, then you should do it. Do what worships the Lord and brings praise to your lips.
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord."