Saturday, May 15, 2010

One Year Anniversary : The Meanng of Life

It is not quite a year since I quit my day job and just slightly more than a year since this blog was started. Many of my friends, so they say, are envious of my leaving work, but we all are too well aware of the hazards of not being steadily employed. All in all it has been a smart move, the bank account is still dwindling, but there is steady income albeit a fraction of my IT salary. This Fall maybe a bit overwhelming with teaching engagements almost every day of the week including weekends.

My Designs For Good adventures have changed direction over time. Initially when I was still employed and the bank account was fat, I gave products and services away because that was what I wanted to do, I could afford to do so, and it was good marketing. Over time as I began to expect and need some kind of compensation in return the direction of Designs For Good began to change.

Have Kiln Will Travel was my solution for a sustainable way of using my talents to provide my income while helping nonprofit and charitable organizations raise funds. The fused glass event/class which is the basis of  HKWT has been very successful, more so than I ever thought. My greatest surprise however has been how much I enjoy teaching, and how it feels a natural thing for me to do.

My life long measure of what activities are appropriate for me has been very simple... Does the activity drain me or give me energy. Funny... I remember very early in life how I learned this guiding principle. At the end of summer kids get tired and bored in the autumn heat. Having played their hearts out over the summer the various games just don't seem exciting anymore. I recall sitting in the yard with some friends, and I began to pull out my matchbox car collection which we would regularly play with for long hours in our imaginary city of made up businesses and adventures. My friends looked at me with disapproval and said they just didn't want to play with the cars. My reply, having seen this in myself more than once was - if we just start playing then it will BECOME fun. After playing for ten minutes or so one of them looked up at me and said... hey, you were right!

Watching the ebb and flow of energy in my life has made me what I am. I react to it as it directs my actions. I believe that this sensitivity to one's rise, fall, and realignment of energy is the answer to the age old question of (and hopefully not sounding pretentious) the meaning of life. There are many spiraling deeper meanings and levels to what I just said, but on the most basic level.... if you just start playing.... it will become fun.

Of course having fun isn't the measure of all things. Life is more complex than that. However, the sensitivity to and your ability to be guided by your energy flow is an ever deepening connection between who you are and your potentiality. That is, your ability to become something richer than you are now by bending your will to the energy that you are, and can more completely embody. Hmmmm... Embody is a very appropriate word here.

HKWT has not been wildly successful in fund raising thus far. I have only started that journey however, a journey that will require me to seek out and to work with governing boards of the organizations which I want to help. What HKWT has done - to me - has changed my direction entirely.

When I quit my job I was toying with a half dozen ideas. Photography was one of them. I love picture making and could sit endlessly playing with my digital darkroom. I did nonprofit work by shooting events and providing free prints, my time, and helping with marketing. However, because I was looking for a sustainable relationship many of my ideas didn't pan out once I actually started working on them. You can give things away endlessly, or, what I should say is.... professionally you can't give things away endlessly, and in the end those you work with must value your work, and yes, compensate you for it.

But that's the rub for everyone isn't it. How do you do what you enjoy and get paid for it?

There is no magic formula of course, and the path will look different for everyone. That is why so few find, and more importantly, stay on the path. No one, save yourself, can direct you. The refinement and balance of your energy with the realities of your life is the magic, and a trick you must relearn and perform every day of your life.

I've never been a morning person, and maybe will never be, but lately I've been playing with and somewhat succeeding at getting up early. Why bother? The answer is that the quality of my alertness and sense o f well being is enhanced if I get to bed earlier and don't stay up late drinking beer and watching reruns.  It is a calculated trade off. I enjoy staying up latter and totally unwinding from the day, but that has to be compared to the quality of being in the morning when I get to be earlier. Right now, I'm siding with getting to bed early. Every event, task, and interaction presents an opportunity for realignment.

I still don't know where I'm going, and that's a good thing. For now, I have refinements to make for HKWT, and because of that path I am now becoming a very good teacher.... so they are telling me. I have hopes of being able to pay the bills here forward, and look forward to wider horizons as I mature on this new path. I will remain vigilant towards the necessity of meeting the bills and then growing back my savings.... but dare I say that is only a goal, and not a directing principle which has control of my life.

Strictly from the fun point of view, aka where my highest energy level and excitement is.... I have started a series of glass powder paintings which will be the most grand works I've done so far... at least in my mind's eye, because thus far they have not 'gone to glass' yet. The digital art studies for these can be seen at my main web site. I'm still in process of abstracting the photos. They will become richer in color and more dramatic as I play with the sense of light and color contrasts. I will then take them to full scale pastels, then finally to glass.

Maybe these will open new doors, new departures points, or, maybe they too well be a completion and resolution. It is hard to say until they too have become embodied as their energy embodies me.

Happy Trails To You!

No comments:

Post a Comment