When I think about "IT"/The Element - Ken Robinson's concepts that I hve been sharing, I have tended to go into a black/white dichotomy - either you find your Element or go through life without passion. I have been thinking that there needs to be ONE driving factor in my life that is the be all and the end all that makes me want to spend indeterminant hours pursuing. The past day has given me pause to step back and look at me, somewhat as an outside observer. When we went to Meadowbrook Garden/Nursery yesterday, I totally found my heart dancing with glee as we drove up and saw the amazing wildflower garden - planted with care yet a riot of flowers and colors. I had to get right out of the car with my camera and go close - stop to smell the flowers and see their riot of colors. There is a passion!
There were lillies - over 6 feet tall - awesome and stunning. We decided to go and see what was for sale to bring home - found this Stargazer with her friend the black swallowtail. Jodie, the garden guru, shared that this flower was the favorite of this butterfly. Guess the butterfly has found its Element?!? Still thinking, do I have to settle for one passion??
Bill took the time to stop and smell the flower. Gave me pause again to realize that this is what life in retirement is all about. Giving ourselves the joy and yes the permission to go out and see what the world has to offer us without a time schedule that causes us to be frantic and/or stressed. (Good thing, because the traffic getting to and fro Abington,PA is abysmal).
During the day, I got a text from friend, Lillian about the tomatoes from our garden and the food I had prepared for our shared dinner. She said that she could feel my energy in the food! I thought about that too - it's another passion - food and nutrition - discovering what ingredients are healthy and how to prepare them. This too is a BE STILL moment - preparing food takes conscious thought and a loving heart. Then we are nurtured by it and life is good. When we rush and pick up the processed 'stuff', well, it's pretty dead energy. Thanks for the insight.
There is yet another insight...my photography and how I do it. Last night, Friend Bob was one of the artists at a local gallery with photos on exhibit. Bill and I joined the group of supporters and got to see so many expressions of people's visions. For me, it started me thinking about the "being good enough" theme. Oh how did I compare with what they were all doing? I could see my work and relate it to what they did. I felt good about that. I even talked to Ed, the gallery owner, about putting some of my work in the show next month. He said, "Sure I have been hearing about you from Bob!" In conversation, Bob and another guy, shared info about another photographer who does the flowers/nature/macro work that I love best. I came home and looked him up. UH OH...the comparison/good enough demon showed his ugly head again. Then I had a talk with self...IF I had the arm long list of equipment that he had - including a few dozen software programs used to manipulate pictures, then maybe - oh maybe my work would look like his. Then, well, it wouldn't be mine would it?? So I am coming to think about who I am and what matters most to me about my photography. It is still the BEING STILL and seeing - nature that brings joy to my heart. This morning I said to Bill that I wondered if I had to learn some software programs so I could 'play in the sandbox". Bless my husband, this is how he responded - and I leave you with his thought - so fits with my be your own unique individual..... I have to paraphrase...
MAYBE YOU HAVE TO FIND YOUR OWN SANDBOX TO PLAY IN!!
Stop and reflect on that - be your own individual - fiind your own sandbox...be a purist and present yourself as you choose - the goal is not to enter contests and be chosen for prizes by the 'experts' - the goal - the Element is to do what briings JOY and FREE SPIRITED Exuberance to my heart and to live each day to the fullest. IF I compare myself to others, there is always the chance tht I won't feel good about SELF and life is to short to dwell there. So happy day...I am going to discover how to make a wonderful wheat free bread that tastes good. It's a passion - nurturing ourselves with goodness - BODY, MIND and SPIRIT!!