The key to any creative pursuit, whether it’s writing the artist’s prayer or parenting, is willingness to make a commitment. It’s critical to give undivided attention. In his Tips for Writing Fiction, Kurt Vonnegut advises: “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” Raising a child is like writing a book for one reader — yourself.
In Mastering Life’s Energies, Maria Nemeth, Ph. D. suggests that our brains collect evidence to support conclusions, not the other way around where conclusions are based on the evidence gathered! Well, this means that our reality can be interpreted precisely the way we choose.
I believe that nurturing my kids’ creativity has salubriously given me a chance to focus on and correct my own issues. Having a purpose helped me gain a sense of belonging. To love my children completely, I had to learn to love myself completely, to believe that I am enough.
Thanks to motherhood, I acquired confidence. Excavated self-awareness transformed my life just in time to offer handpicked data back to the children with findings to serve us all!
Tending to my kids has taught me to live by design, rather than by chance. As a result, I started telling my daughters that everyone is a hero on their path. They laughed. But I was relentless. I insisted. And after awhile they got it! Mother Teresa imagined that she is touching the body of Christ while washing sick people — it is in our power to see what we want to see.
I told them that we can interact with a “troubled” human being while regarding him or her as someone courageous. And that, possibly, could be the biggest contribution we can make in the life of that person! Just by shifting from making a judgment to a new angle of encouragement and empathy, we can gather all the evidence necessary to bolster our conclusion or our way of seeing, which in turn will inform and define our experience.
No wonder I decided to provide online architectural services and call myself “architect on demand” — I’ve always been pretty good at listening and at offering support sincerely. On the other hand, the child in me never wanted to bother anyone with personal problems or ask for help. Until one day, the day I realized that as a mother, I can love myself unconditionally. I had to. While bolstering my kids’ creativity, I began to acknowledge my own.
I grew up in the Soviet Union, an atheist society. Being Jewish meant having a certain nationality, not faith. Spirituality was an unfamiliar concept. I read Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way in my forties. Not only did I read it more than once or twice, I diligently completed the exercises in the book.
I embraced collage making as a system of verbalizing intended direction as well as formalizing and asserting my individuality. I discovered the power of “owning” cutout slogans and well-crafted phrases that glared at me from magazine pages. Another potent revelation had to do with completing the assignment of writing the artist’s prayer. A prayer… Speaking of an unfamiliar concept!
I embraced the practice of “morning pages.” Here’s an entry I made six years ago, but it still rings true: ”As my children are getting ready to leave the nest, I embrace humility searching for the meaning within. They are following their instinct, while I am following their lead, learning to fly. I organize my own universe, striving to become whole and complete on my own terms. I define my purpose, setting goals of my own.”
Every morning I write my affirmations: “I am willing to be a successful architect. I am willing to be an adventurer. I am willing to be an effective coach. I am willing to be spiritually developing.” It’s a sacred practice.
As I create and listen, I am led. I focus on the productive day ahead and provide an excellent example of self-motivation to my offspring at the same time. Here is my prayer:
trusting that you reveal your divine plan of goodness for me
– I am led
trusting that you inspire my creativity
– I am spiritual
trusting that you guide my awareness
– I am proactive
trusting that you nurture my growth
– I am unfolding
trusting that you encourage me to treat myself as a precious human being
– I am strong
trusting that you empower me to reach for my goals
– I am abundant
trusting that you allow me to be your instrument
– I am creating in your name
Thank you, GOD