This is me. As a little girl. Sitting in a Spring forest in Finland, holding a bunch of wood anemones. I drew this piece when I was just 16. I was full of dreams, dreams reaching far beyond the Finnish shores and the landscapes I held so dear. Since I was young, nature and art were two of my most favourite things. Many many years later, they still are.
I am showing you this picture because it touches me on many levels. It shows the time when I was a child by all definitions, probably about six years old. It shows the place I enjoyed most, forest and outdoors. It depicts Spring, which is still one of my favourite seasons, the magic overflowing in everything, and me looking at it with eyes wide open, as if for the very first time, even though I have now reached the age of 43.
The childlike wonder in this picture is captured by me at my youth, when drawing was my true obsession. I would supposedly say goodnight to my parents and go to bed in the weekends, just to get up in the middle of the night, turn the bedside light on, get my drawing pencils out and work for hours, until my eyes could see no more, until my mind would scramble to think straight and I would fall asleep, tired but happy, just when the sun's rays were starting to peek shyly through the bedroom curtains.
Even as a teenager, I really wanted to be an artist but I didn't know any artists - and I had no idea if anyone could live and work as one. Most people thought this wasn't possible, it could only ever be a hobby. But all I knew is that I truly loved creating. And wanted to keep going. Few years later, I applied to a university course in Finland, to study graphic design. It wasn't truly the direction I was interested in but I couldn't find anything that fully matched my interest - all I wanted was to draw. I didn't get in and I started doubting whether I would ever be 'good enough', whether I could ever perfect my drawing - it was so full of technical flaws. Surely I had no hope of becoming a real artist.
In hindsight I am grateful I never got accepted on that course. Because over twenty years later, I understand that my imperfections and 'experiments' are what make my work stand out from the crowd. Imperfection means 'incomplete, unfinished'. This is what life is - and what we are - why would we strive for completion in anything when our purpose on this planet is to learn, to experience, to expand and to understand. Life to me is symbolised by a spiral, which slowly expands on a path like a natural fractal, yet never returns to exactly the same place, even when we think we are treading the same water. The things that teach us most are things that we didn't necessarily plan out, want to do or think we needed. Things that are outside our control and comfort zone. Our best, though often most painful, teachers. Those unexpected events which make our spiral create a new shoot, sprout a new frond.
There is no perfection, only perception. In a creative mind, in a creative life, this concept can help to overcome blocks and give space and value to those ideas and thoughts, which we hardly dare to dream out of fear of never completing or achieving them. Those craziest and wildest of dreams. Those we have as a child, when we still dare (or don't care). When we still dream every single day, also when we are awake, and particularly then.
It is a journey. Life is painful at times. And a lot of patience is needed to understand that we are never complete and nothing is certain. But we have a lot of inner power and understanding, always, if we bother to look inside. Normally however, we ask advice from someone else, or read a book, or go to a psychic. That's all okay, they are all ways to learn - yet I think we have the best guidance system inside of us, and that is our heart; created by our intuition, nourished by our intention.
So, do not despair if you are on your creative journey and feel stuck. We all get stuck sometimes. I have been stuck more times than I care to remember. Yet I am still doing what I love and which is my true calling - and I do know I am on the right path, because my heart tells me so - and weeps when I think about giving up (yes, I have those days too).
Look out for that little girl or boy inside. The one who had wild dreams that many grown ups would be scornful about. Only because they had misplaced their own inside an old box in the attic and forgotten to write what's inside. Sometimes I wish someone had told me to 'go for it', to really go for it, despite of all the odds, regardless if it seemed impossible. It would have made it a bit easier to believe in myself and avoid times of despair. Yet, I do believe each part join together to make a story, your story.
Your story is what is unique to you, as are your dreams and aspirations. As long as you let go of the ideas of perfection and comparison, you will do fine. You will be able to free your mind and create from your bountiful self. We all want to see that, or at least a facet of that. We need more unique ideas in this world, those that are a bit wild and crazy, unfiltered by our 'educated', rationalised mind. When you create from a world of childlike wonder, there is no tomorrow, there is only now. And the now will be full of meaning because it is full of heart and intention. That is why childhood is so precious and our dreams more precious still.
Each one of us need to find their special magic pool inside, which will complete our transformation from a person just living one's life to a person gaining wings and fulfilling their amazing potential.
DIP YOUR TOES IN THE MAGICAL POOL OF IMAGINATION AND DISCOVER YOUR WINGS.