Art. When I think of art and being an artist, the first things to come to mind are painters, musicians, photographers and dancers. The funny thing is that I used to be both a musician and dancer. I used to play the flute, back when my arms weren’t even long enough for a full-length flute, so I had to use one that was “J” shaped. You probably didn’t even know there was such a flute did you? Yep, and I played it. I also used to dance. I did ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, modern/lyrical, just about everything for 10 years. I was a die hard tapper, and more than once seriously considered trying to go “pro.”
I know you may think a career as a tap dancer is kind of weird. I don’t blame you. When most people think of tap dancers, they think of Savion Glover, Sammy Davis Jr., Gregory Hines or even Gene Kelley’s famous tap dancing scene in “Singin in the Rain.” But there have been few other times in my life when I feel as if I’m using my God-given talent to it’s fullest potential as when I have my tap shoes on, dancing to a big band song. Not trying to toot my own horn, but back in the day I actually was pretty good. My beloved tap teacher, Betsy, who was a fantastic tap dancer herself, told me I could be the “next big thing” in tap at her studio. But life happened and I’m no longer a tap dancer. So now what?
I recently joined an online book club called “Bloom,” and we’re reading the book, “A Million Little Ways.” It is completely transforming my definitions of “art” and “artist.” I don’t need to be Picaso to be an artist. I don’t need to be Savion Glover to be an artist. (As much as I’d LOVE his talent.) I don’t need to be able to capture the most artistic, Instagram-worthy picture. Art is all about doing what you’re passionate about to its fullest potential. I love this quote from the book:
“Being an artist has something to do with being brave enough to move toward what makes you come alive. Art means believing that the God who created the world with words alone creates with words still, through us- whether it be on a stage to thousands or in a corner with one. Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are.”
Last month I shared that I was going to begin a healthier lifestyle. I needed to work on my physical health. This month I’m going to work on my soul. Figure out who I am at the core of ME. I may no longer be a tap dancer, glorifying God in the way I move across a floor to music, but that doesn’t mean my art ended.
And one of the best ways to figure out your art is to look right where you are. You don’t need to pull an Elizabeth Gilbert and travel to Italy, India or Bali to figure out your art. (I mean if I had the time and/or money I’d be ALL about that…but let’s be real.) The book talks all about uncovering your art. It’s already there, it just may be hidden by fear. Fear of failure or even fear of success, finally figuring out what makes your soul come alive, and what it’ll take to go after it. Thoughts may flood in like “what if I look inside my soul and there isn’t anything worth offering?” But what if there is?
As I’ve been thinking about what makes me come alive some of the things I wrote down are:
- Relationships: I love getting to know people on a deeper level, figuring out who they are at their core, and what makes them tick. I love encouraging my friends, and loving on people.
- Writing: I’ve LOVED writing this blog, allowing God to speak through me, and hearing how others are blessed by what they read. I love being real about my struggles, my life and my God. I also love writing personal notes and letters to friends and family. There’s something so special and intimate about snail mail.
- Cooking: if either of my parents are reading this their eyes probably just popped out of their heads. But I’ve actually really enjoyed figuring out how to cook, how to make my favorite meals healthier, and finding some easy basics to make often.
- Photography: let’s be real, my photography skills begin with my iPhone and end with Instagram. But I really do enjoy capturing God’s creation (along with my favorite nail polish color, my dog Stella, and a selfie or two…)
Over the next month I want to begin a journey to figure out my art. I want to intentionally spend time in the four areas I listed above, as well as discover any other passions that need to be uncovered. Maybe I’ll even put my tap shoes back on and spend some time dancing around for fun. And maybe I’ll realize that God gave me that passion for a time, and right now He’s showing me different passions.
I want my life to be art, because that’s what I was created for. I’d love for you to join me on this journey! I think it’s going to be so fun, and I’d love some company :) Leave me a comment if you want to join me, and we’ll walk through this time together! I’ll continue to post about my journey throughout the month, and I’d love to hear how you’re discovering your art too. (I’m going to be using the hashtag #mygrandart when posting on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, feel free to post your own picture/status/tweet and use that hashtag so I can follow along!)
“Wake up to your unique calling and live in the truth of who Christ is and who you are in Him.
Uncover the art you were born to make.
Release the art you were made to live.
This is the gospel, the good news, the new way.”
(Taken from “a million little ways.”)