Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inspirational Tips: Signs May Be Unreliable So Be Sure to Bring a Compass

Hello everyone! I've been thinking of you and hope that you all had a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day weekend :)

As working artists and writers we have many jobs but none may be as frightening and simultaneously exhilarating as carving our own path. When you pursue a career as a lawyer or a doctor, there is a more concrete trail to follow. A certain amount of schooling that is needed and, within the field itself, people often share in achieving similar milestones and/or overcoming comparable hurdles. Becoming an artist does not provide such a set path. To become an artist who creates and sells their wares, one must begin by standing before a thick forest.

As I move toward the soaring trees, I use my heart, mind, spirit, passion, and signs to guide me. Yes, I am a sign seeker; my use of said signs is completely subjective however. Amid the forest, I stop to look for the connections in things, connections provided by the Universe that illuminate the path my life should follow. The connections could be as random as hearing a specific song on the radio.

“Oh,” I think to myself, “I haven’t heard this in forever. Wow, I was jst thinkinhg about so and so, so this must mean that they are thinking about me.”

Or the ones where someone randomly mentions something about an idea I’ve quietly been thinking about and I think, “That means I should go after that particular dream.”

I find it funny that the signs are always positive in telling me I should go after something; they never seem to be negative. Why is that? If I had to guess I'd say that it's because I use “signs” as a way to convince myself to do something I already know I want to do but am simply too unsure or scared to go after. Signs are the accessory of my personal kindergarten teacher.

I won’t lie, on the really tough days there have been times that I wished the signs would lead me to that spot in the forest where someone would step out from behind a tall tree, take my hand and lead me down a more readily traversed path. In fact, I hoped that person had a little red wagon I could sit in so that they could just pull me along the suddenly well paved road I’d somehow overlooked. That someone, my personal kindergarten teacher, would explain what is expected of me and then spell out in a step-by-step fashion exactly what I should do to get where I want to be. But right in the middle of that thought, I lose the comfort of my little wagon and begin to feel the pressure of shackles on my arms and wrists.

It is not a sign or a teacher or a leader that I need, it is trust. I need enough inner trust to say to myself, “Natasha, you’re on the right path. Don’t give up.” That one sentence gives me the power I need to fight.

The freedom of wandering, carving my own path, creating things that never existed before they leaped out of my imagination, propels me out of my wagon and sets my soul on fire. I run through the forest ignoring “signs” all around me. Instead, I use the sound of my own inner compass to guide me. When I finally stop look around, I find that the world around me is filled with luscious color and the sounds of creatures I’ve never seen before building and playing. If I’d taken any other way, if I'd blindly followed a ready-made trail, I’d never have stumbled across this beauty or learned from others. In that moment I feel whole and my heart beats one sentence over and over again, “You are on the right path. Trust yourself.”

Despite the lack of a road before me, I believe in what I am doing and where I am going - the unveiling of the children’s TST and Participant Choice themes solidified that for me. This weekend, I brainstormed some new ideas that will be taking shape and I realized that I love this forest and all its magical creatures. I’m so very glad I jumped out of that wagon, stopped fearing the unknown and stopped looking for someone to hold my hand and lead me forward. I’ve become my own forest ranger and as find my way, I find myself.

There is a forest. Lucky are we who get to wander around in it without a set course. Armed with heart, mind, soul, passion, and an inner compass we walk toward those soaring trees with our heads held high and ready ourselves for the adventure of a lifetime.


Amanda (Blake) Fall said...

Natasha, you are often MY sign. Thank you for that.

I'm grateful, also, for this entire post. Some days I wake up with a knot in my stomach, wondering if I'm headed in the right direction or just spinning my wheels. Deep down, though, I know I'm doing what I am meant to... even if there are no sales to prove it! :)

Hang in there, everybody... :)

Natasha said...

Amanda - thank you for that...I hope I am reliable as your sign ;) But you should totally trust that inner instinct..that inner compass because you are 100% on the right path ... just wait, you'll see Hang in there kiddo...you are an inspiration to me

Frenzy23 said...

Beautiful post. I agree, rather than following signs, we have to dare to trust our gut instinct and see where it takes us. It would be nice if it worked that way, but we can't just wait for someone to tell us to do.

Rose Works Jewelry said...

This is a fantastic post :) Sorry I haven't been around as much! I got overwhelmed by life and stuff for awhile - but I plan to be around more in the future!

Jenjen © GottaLoveMom said...

My friend, your timing is just impeccable!
I was just writing something about it earlier today because it seems like I"m going nowhere..
You see..
I always get lost when I drive my kids anywhere - and in my own/personal roadmap.

Just like driving my kids around when I get lost, I do enjoy the process because I get to spend more time with then in the car BUT then sometimes its annoying because it is taking forever to get to our destination. And so is true with what I planned out to do and to be.

I am enjoying the process but it just seems like its taking different pathways..and now, I'm not even close to what I originally planned to complete.

But I really have to get to the right path soon...

Natasha, thanks for the inspiration (as always!)

Amanda, I believe that you are doing what you're meant to do. It's just that our country is in such financial uncertainty that people are not really spending anything... Hang-in there =D

jodi said...

I think sometimes the signs are right there and you can see them or feel them, but if you aren't ready or have the support you need, you ignore them. Sometimes trusting myself or my instincts is the hardest part. Actually making the decision to head down a new path is a huge accomplishment.

Natasha, I salut you that you've started a new path and you've invited us a long for the journey. The fun thing for the rest of us is to see the changes in you from the beginning of this blog project. We get to learn from you and you from us. Thanks for sharing this post today.

K said...

Thank you! Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the signs and start to doubt my own feelings. Now I can just stop by and read this for a soul boost!

*chuckles* I kept seeing road signs popping up in unlikely places :) Very inspirational!

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...


The signs can be a guide however, if you trust yourself enough to follow them. The Universe will often send nudges to let you know you are on the right path. :-)

Following blindly, and waiting passively for signs, I agree - not the best way to go. But for feedback, they can be great if you allow them to be. :-)

Awesome post as ever, Natasha! :-)
BB & GF! :-)

PS - Captcha = slottinc. A sign to be careful of slotting our lives away by excessive compartmentalization? :-D -B! :bird

lisianblue said...

Interesting -
I was enjoying working on my butterfly theme item, and a couple of butterfly stained glass suncatchers that I had drawn last night, I know for the most part, I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.
But, I almost put my shop in vacation mode and about to put "on vacation" on flickr and a few other places today.
Sales are just not happening! Question pricing? wording, ????
- and
I think, it is the economy, and I don't want to just halt everything with as much work as I have put into it all - But, I know I need to limit my computer time and set up a schedule perhaps for each venue so I'm not wandering around looking for tidbits and then getting caught up in the web.
I do find items that are much less than mine selling, some more expensive - just not as much..........and of course the bead suppliers always sell -
now - does this determine what I do? Do sales or lack of sales determine what I do? To some extent, yes. and I think that this may just turn into a blog - on my page - not sure when tho!

So, if you aren't getting sales - do you keep creating, and adding items or?????