Taking Creative Risks

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin

A while back, when I was making the decision to take a leave from a job of more than ten years to pursue studies in aesthetic and holistic education, I received a letter.  The quote above was embedded in the letterhead.  It seemed to be telling me to have the courage to leave what was safe and familiar, and consider the possibility that life had further good, if different, experiences in store for me. I was weighing the benefits of playing it safe against taking a chance on an unknown future.  I concluded that the cost of not taking chances that could lead to personal growth, new opportunities and moving forward was rather a high price to pay for opting to stand still.

And so I chose to take the leave, to do the studies and trust that the universe would open doors for me.  As a farewell gift, a child gave me a portrait she had drawn of me.  I love this portrait, which shows me floating, feet off the floor and brandishing my seashell sword of power, ready to face whatever challenge awaits me. Yet another sign, telling me I had chosen the right path. I unearthed this portrait recently while going through some of my “teacher stuff” and it brought back many fond memories.  Perhaps it is a bit dramatic to make such a big deal out of returning to school, and to read so much into quotes and
children’s drawings.  But I have never regretted trusting what I thought these things were telling me, or the choice to better understand my own creative impulses so I could do a better job of nurturing those impulses in the children I teach and care for.

I will soon be enjoying a new beginning.  It’s a funny thing for me because I value the
processes of learning, exploring and personal evolution so very much, but I find it challenging to cope with the change that comes with being in new places, with new people, even knowing that change can be good.  Still as I have gotten older, I have come to understand that time is better invested in the experiences that give you personal satisfaction, and which allow you to see the positive impact you are having on others, rather than wasted on situations that rob you of your creativity and make you unhappy.  I am truly looking forward to my new beginning, and I dedicate this blog post to anyone reading it who is contemplating a creative change in their life, whatever it might be.  To quote the late Nora Ephron, “You do get to a certain point in life where you have to
realistically, I think, understand that the days are getting shorter, and you can’t put things off thinking you’ll get to them someday. If you really want to do them, you better do them. There are simply too many people getting sick, and sooner or later you will. So I’m very much a believer in knowing what it is that you love doing so you can do a great deal of it.”

If it’s possible for you to do something creative that you truly want to do, then take a chance and just do it! What’s holding you back?

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