Each day my life contains many lessons, particularly when I look at any incident as though it were a dream.  Thinking of each object, action, and interactions as symbolic, I can uncover the hidden message.  It is as though I am pretending that any incident is a daydream, that has the potential to symbolically communicate something.  Often that something answers a creative question.

One beautiful summer day I was walking on the beach looking for a conch shell. After a half hour I was frustrated, for even though I had seen them here before, they were now totally absent.  On top of that disappointment, the weather was cloudy.  I had hoped for little more sunshine.  Despite the threatening clouds, I risked it, and walked a bit further.  My persistence was rewarded when I came upon a beautiful piece of fan coral, woven together with a artful array of pinks and purples.  I was ecstatic.  I had never found such a beautiful piece.  My search felt fruitful -- not in the way I had originally expected, but in a way that felt symbolic.  (See the resultant macro photograph above.)

My experience on the beach symbolically reminded me to keep an open mind and look for possibilities.  Sometimes when I am searching for a creative answer to a question -- in my artwork, or my life -- I mistakenly look one type of answer, forgetting to watch for something new.  Not only must I be patient, (something I am still not very good at) but I need to keep an open mind, for too often I limit myself by believing only one type of answer will suffice

This happened to me when I wrote the Art of Awakening Spirit.  My original question was, "Who will publish my book?", but I couldn't find a publisher.  Because not-publishing my book was unacceptable, I had to watch for other options. That's when I became curious about self-publishing -- although this was many years before self-publishing was the norm.  After researching and interviewing printing companies, I successfully self-published my book.  Once the book sold out, I segued my interests into writing and illustrating forty articles for "Pathways", a local publication.  I never would have considered writing these articles, had I not self-published my book.

It's exhilarating to let curiosity take me down one path, but frustrating when that initial path leads nowhere.  I have to remember to keep an open mind, so that if I don't immediately get the outcome I desire, I will keep searching.  Something else always shows up, inevitably teaching me important lessons.  Although it often requires patience, I must remember to keep my eyes wide open. 

What incident have you experienced lately that felt powerfully symbolic? 

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