Hopefully, this blog post inspires someone to take that next step in achieving their own grateness.Read More
We all can listen to the podcasts. We can all watch the same free online content about how to make your dream life happen. We all love hearing about the things we need to do, but very seldom to we take action on those very things to better our own lives. Are we content with what we have?
I have been working with Wesley Chapman with A Human Project and my experience has been a roller coaster. It was just last week that I had a 'lightbulb moment' and all things seemed to come together in this Big Bang.
I have always wanted to do good things with and for people. This was my gift and my curse. I had unconditional love but my love had conditions. I would do things that would have these unmentioned attachments. Some of these attachments, I wasn't aware of consciously. So, for the past several months, I have been working on this trait of unconditional love that I thought I had mastered so long ago. We all do this with our partners, parents, children, co-workers and anyone that we come into contact with. I started to realize that I had no idea what unconditional love was at all, but I screamed from the mountain tops that I was unconditional love.
Breaking apart every failed human relationship I have had in my past made me realize my fault and the part I played in the downfall of that relationship. It is only now that I can look at these people and truly forgive them while finding a way to erase the guilt from my own heart. The time of forgiving myself has come and gone. Moving to a country where I know no one has made me realize that, in this world and for it to work, we all need each other. Every one of us is a support to one another.
I look at the reason why people hate on each other and want to hide my head in shame. This world is a cruel place and we wonder why suicide is looked at as the only option for some. You have to know love to know hate. You have to know wrong to know forgiveness. You have to know a superhero to know a villain.
There are three reasons that you have negative feelings towards a person:
- They have something you want (a lifestyle, a talent, etc)
- They bring out something dark or negative that you possess (a person that is late, a person that fails to keep commitments, etc)
- They failed to meet an expectation that you set (Most likely, you didn't tell them that expectation.)
I don't bring these things up because I am pointing a finger at anyone but myself. I do have people that hate me, my life and my very being. How do I let my haters affect me? I don't. People hate some of societies most valued figures. As we approach Republic Day in India, I am reminded that even Ghandi, the leader of the independence of India, was shot dead because someone hated him. He promoted peace and freedom.
I can't speak for others, but I can speak for my own actions. Have I always done proud by my parents? No. Have I let people down? Yes. Do I regret any of it? No. Everything I have done in my life has lead to a lesson in some way. Have people been hurt by my actions? Yes. Have I burnt many bridges? Yes. Again, do I regret any of it? No. The stage in my life where I have started letting all this go has begun.
Life really is as simple as we want to make it. We need more kindness in the world. We need more compassion. We need more change. The world is already changing all around us everyday. Are you part of that change? - or - Are you leading the change in your own life?
If your answer is no to both of those questions, it's time for your own life to start. Unfortunately, in reality, no one is going to kick start your life for you. The time is now.
Today has been a rough day. My dreams of working as an artist are slow moving. It's odd but, honestly, I wish there was some sort of fast track. I have the talent and experience. I need the opportunity.
This morning my day started with this ad titled, 'Learn how to make money doing what you love to do!' I had seen these a million times before and reacted the hopeful way a person does when they buy a lottery ticket. All of the amazing things that you will do with all that money flash in front of your eyes. People that market that garbage know that is how you will react.
Long story short, I watched the video ad that never disclosed what product you would sell but guaranteed you would be making huge comissions within weeks. There were three testimonials. I think this is some sort of standard for these kinds of ads. All of them seemed phony.
I caught myself talking back to the ad with, 'Yeah, right' or 'Oh, you are going to discount the price you are going to charge me to make money?' Then, I started getting frustrated - then, angry. I let my reaction of this video dictate my entire day.
To make matters worse, I started setting up my Shopify Store today as an effort to be able to have my artwork on many platforms. While trying to learn I had another ad pop up on Instagram telling me, 'Learn how to set up your Shopify Store and make real money.' Hell yes. That's what I came here to do.
I started watching the live webinar and started getting more frustrated. The gentleman conducting this 'live' webinar was faceless and never appeared in the video. The best part... This was an ad to start 'Dropshipping' products to consumers from China. There has to be something said for someone that creates their own products, right? Needless to say, this video was my last straw. Almost two hours of my day were completely wasted. Then, I started to see the silver lining.
I didn't waste two hours of my time. I learned a valuable lesson: If I'm going to make money doing what I love, it won't be easy and there is no video or manual that is going to show me how to do it. See, this journey is mapped only by me.
Is it frustrating to know that I have done everything that I was supposed to set myself for a great future and still don't have this amazing success story to share with you? Yes.
Does it feel good to know that there are people that would completely buy and LOVE my art but I just haven't found them yet? No.
Is all of the discouragement of this long boring highway in the middle of my journey going to keep me from working? Most certainly not.
While, yes, today was a bump in the road. I have went over it and survived. Not only did I survive and stick to routine, I learned a valuable lesson today. The journey is long. The roads sometimes have no scenic view for distraction. And, sometimes, it rains. The clouds do go away and the view becomes clean and clear again. Regardless if the reward comes or not, I have to keep working because it is who I am that is driving me.
So, with that said, today was a win.
Photo: Jeremy Eaton
While many of us think of a job as a means to an end, many others are looking at a job as the thing we were born to do. I remember being in high school and taking a career assessment test. My assessment came back saying that my career path would be best suited for engineering. While, at times, I can be innovative and a very stealthy problem solver, I wanted to be famous.
I wanted to be famous. I had no idea what fame was other than everyone would know my name and life would be easy. I had dreams of being on Broadway because my community theatre and high school experience granted me such dream. I wanted to be a famous singer. Although, now, I am not sure what type of fame that would have entailed. Then, in college, I wanted to be a famous artist. I knew what that looked like. I would be called to be in all of these galleries and I could just create art all day long in my studio.
Now, in reality, I spent so much time wanting to be famous that I didn't take the time to just create because everything I did was going to create this fame. My art was good and my ego was way too strong. Wanting fame not only made me feel like I was missing out on something, it made me miss out on the whole part of becoming famous. I would even say that because I didn't achieve this fame, I was worth nothing.
Go back to the times before social media where you didn't have endless platforms to put yourself out on. This is before YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Are we able to remember such a time? This was before the smart phone. So, last night after watching the Apple Event which they unveiled the iPhone X, I thought about Steve Jobs. Many people know about Steve Jobs, but many more people know about the iPhone. It would be safe to say that the iPhone won the fame game. was Steve Jobs ever jealous of his creation's fame?
As I started creating my InstaStory today, I thought about how this need for fame has diminished. The need has been replaced with pure creation. I am not creating for someone to notice me. I'm not singing so someone will book me for a show. I'm not taking endless photographs for a gallery to pick me up and sell my art. I do all these things because I have. I have to because it's who I am. I am a creator. I find inspiration in things people don't ordinarily pay attention to. Creativity is like air to me. Without creativity, I have serious issues.
When I dissect this idea of fame, I have to say I am famous in my own way. I am brave. I have performed in some amazing spaces including Carnegie Hall. I have shown my artwork on the campus of Google itself in Mountain View, CA. I have served my community with my talents. I guess you could say - Fame comes from within. I create because that's who I am.
Trying to be famous is like going to the casino and saying I'm going to win $1,000,000. It rarely happens, but, every now and then, you win $60 on a slot machine called Kitty Glitter.
In India, I have needed very little compared to the things I thought important in the United States. An abundance of clothing, a refrigerator and cabinets full of food and all sorts of material possessions were necessities. I have realized that all of those things are not needed for happiness or even security.
Soon, I will be taking a voyage with just a camping pack to multiple countries. That is all I will have for an entire month. I have been thinking very hard about what I will fill that bag with. What is completely necessary?
Is underwear completely needed? If so, how many pairs do you pack for an entire month? Do I leave room to collect things along the way on my trip? How many Apple chargers do I need to bring? Do I pack shorts or pants?
I find the people here fastinating because of their need for less stuff. They don't even need more space. 500 sq ft is considered a nice-sized apartment. This takes me back to my days of living in California where my first apartment was the same size. However, the population of San Francisco is far less.
After looking at all these questions that flooded my mind, I came to the realization that I need none of these things. Yes, I do need clothes but not a different outfit for every day of the week. There will be places to do laundry. Also, as I have learned during my stays in Goa, clothes wash in the sink too. Do I need to pack underwear at all? No.
When you strip away all these things that we think we 'need', you come to know that you don't really need any of these things at all. In this day and age, there are stores where you can get what you forgot or need on the road or the train. Some items are available on the train itself or in an airport.
Ok, a toothbrush and toothpaste are two items that I know for sure I will be tagging along with me. I can't stand fuzzy teeth. It must be known that I find it pointless to wear deodorant in India. I am a sweat-er and it doesn't matter how much deodorant you wear something always smells worse and more overpowering than you do. Poor Doug.
So, in my upcoming trip in October/November, I will be doing a series of blogs about what we actually need on many levels. In this journey, I hope to explore, photographically and through words, the absurdity that we call needs.
This blog series will begin October 4th, 2017.
Since graduating The Academy of Art University in 2011, I had all but given up on a career that I had dreamed of since my younger days of creating art and getting paid for it. I had excelled in all art forms - music, theatre and visual art. Even after graduating with distinction from The Academy of Art University from the Fine Arts department, I hadn’t landed gallery representation or been noticed by that one person that would make me famous.
At this time, rent in San Francisco, CA was starting to skyrocket. I was working three jobs to pay for my room/residence and my studio at Art Explosion Studios. I was a barista in the financial district, a bartender/server in the mission and an artist. The ladder was becoming less affordable regardless of my resourcefulness. I did the routine for a year. I was exhausted, broke and, honestly, hungry.
With that said, my artist career was going to look different moving back to the Midwest. In St Joseph, MO there was no resembalance of what I knew of as an art community. In San Francisco, art was like yoga. You had drawing workshops, gallery openings and even classes on marketing yourself as an artist any given time or day. I packed up my belongs, loaded all my unsold artwork in trailer and I made the best of it that I could. I began Marketing for a family business and emerged myself in the community I loved and missed so much. I started to forget - “I am an artist.”
I created less. I went into depression. I started taking antidepressants and seeing a counselor. I look in retrospect and maybe I could have been an artist in that environment. The more I am honest with myself, it becomes obvious that because where I was didn’t meet my expectations, I gave up. Environment is essential as an artist. I should have left. And, that’s exactly what I did.
Now, fast forward to the present, I am living in one of the largest cities in the world, Mumbai, India. There is literally creativity everywhere. There is art in every way of life here. I have started creating again. I have started living again! I have an iPhone7+, an Instagram account, Facebook Pages, a Twitter, a Redbubble Store, a Pinterest wall, a LinkedIn account, a yoga teachers certificate, a Squarespace website and a blog. I am ready now, right?
While, at the time, I tried to blame people, money and time, I had no one to blame but myself for my lack of inspiration and creation. In that truth, there is freedom. In that statement, there is creation and possibility. In my journey, I’m learning all the times that my expectation caused me to make choices that actually took my dreams away from myself. I was and am the holder of that key. So, ready, set, create.