- Mental Health
Hopes, Dreams and Ambitions
I have some questions for you: What are your hopes, dreams and ambitions? And what are your passions and desires? Are you so caught up in the pursuit of survival and shaking the money tree that you have forgotten them? It is not your fault. To go inward, when the world is pulling you outward, is not easy to do. But, that is where you will find those forgotten dreams. And this brings me to my tale and source of query.
Once, at an Art museum where I worked as a gallery attendant, I stood in front of a bust of Edgar Degas. It was a beautiful work of art. It had been cast in iron by another artist. As I stood there contemplating how the artist had captured the sensitive, aware and observant expression that Degas must have had... clear as a bell, I heard, "Find your Desire!" within my mind. It took me by surprise and I quickly walked away to continue scanning the crowd for thieves about to steal valuable paintings off the walls.
Later, I contemplated the message I had telepathically received from none other than Edgar Degas! I noted that he did not say "pursue your desires." He said, "FIND your desire." Was it a message for me in particular or for any one? I decided it was both. In order to pursue a desire, one needs to find it first, I reasoned. Tuning into our desires requires going within to the origins of who we really are on a level that is usually ignored by our very own beings. Our very own awarenesses. Our very own consciousnesses. Our very own selves. Also, he did not say desires in plural, but in singular. Perhaps we can only tune into and find one desire at a time. So, first we need to locate the desire and then we need to focus on the desire. Is this easier said than done? I do not think so.
For instance in scouring the notebooks of Degas, I came across notes which he wrote to himself:
"Draw a lot, Oh! the beauty of drawing! Think about a treatise on ornament for or on women, according to their way of observing, combining, sensing, the way they dress and everything else.- Every day they compare a thousand more visible things with one another than a man does..." "Draw all kinds of everyday objects placed, accompanied in such a way that they have in them the life of the man or woman..." "Series on instruments and instrumentalists, their forms, the twisting of the hands, and arms, and neck of a violinist; for example swelling out and hollowing of the cheeks of the bassoonists..." "Do a series on mourning, different blacks - black veils of deep mourning floating on the face - black gloves - mourning carriages, undertakers' vehicles -carriages like venetian gondolas..." "On smoke- smokers, smoke, pipes, cigarettes, cigars, smoke form locomotives, from tall factory chimneys, from steam boats, etc. Smoke compressed under bridges - steam." 1 etc. Thus, his notebooks reveal his deep passion to reveal the awesome beauty of the world around him through drawing.
And we all come to earth with a purpose or an intention to experience the physical plane. Most parents observe that their four year olds seem to have particular interests within the environment. It is this author's belief that these early manifestations of innate and intrinsic motivations are proof of reincarnation... (that we have been here before.) Furthermore, it can be reasoned, we choose or are drawn to parents who also have our particular passions and talents or have particular advantages, enabling us to pursue self-chosen destinies.
Some souls come to feel the power of having a body. You will find them in Gold's Gym or the local Y pumping iron while observing their own bulging muscles in the weight room mirror. Some have a passion for increasing endurance and stamina and you will find them in the Marines, Army or Navy. Some want to jump higher or beat records and you will watch them leaping, running and swimming in the Olympics.
Others want to create beauty. They love colors and light. They love shadows and shapes. Their joy is in revealing the beauty they observe in the world surrounding them, as Degas did. They want to express what they see or know in their own unique way. You will see their works in art galleries. Writers also love to express themselves, but on an intellectual level. They love using their minds to reveal what they are aware of. Their works are found in libraries or book stores. Artists and writers both come to observe planet earth and share their unique views and observations of the kaleidoscope of different aspects of this weird and wonderful planet.
Some come to care for others. They love the people they have in their lives and they live to see their loved ones' happiness. These people pray for others and are sensitive to the physical and mental needs of others. Their joy is to provide for others' needs and desires. These people willingly choose to become mothers, fathers, nurses, doctors and teachers. Some choose the destiny of becoming husbands or wives in order to facilitate the ambitions of one who would become an important leader or president of his country.
Only on the physical plane are these actions do-able! For example, I love to swim. I enjoy swimming in any body of water I can find, whether it be, pool, water park, river, lake or ocean. But on the astral plane, where we existed before incarnating into our physical bodies, there are no bodies of water! I also have the desire to paint. I know I came to earth to be able to bring forth images onto a two dimensional plane. I have a passion for visualizing space and creating something to put in it. In other words I like to create illusion. In this sense, I have the power of a god and it is really fun. But, on the astral plane, can I draw images, assemble canvas matrices and take a brush loaded with beautiful rich colors and attempt to produce a masterpiece? No! So, I come to earth looking, looking for parents who will buy me fine art painting supplies.
And I am certainly not alone. There are millions of artists now in the population. Many of these artists are working in the field of movies and computer games! And they are the lucky ones who get to pursue their passion AND earn a living at the same time! A passion-driven career is the ideal. And that is where we are headed in the coming new era. These people never lost touch with their passion for creating illusion. They are the lucky ones. (Whether they know it or not.)
But, some of us... yes me included, find it hard to stay focused on our passions even though we have stayed in touch with them. How do we stay focused and increase the focus of our self-chosen purpose/passion?
I have discovered that,
1) You must exercise your will in the direction of your interest even if it is for only a half hour a day. My son taught himself computer programming by forcing himself to sit down at his desk even if he was not in the mood. He found that he would eventually get to it after playing around with easy stuff at his desk. He has, in two years, created three functioning websites for various business and political debate purposes. Some people erroneously believe they should wait for inspiration. This does not work. I am still waiting for an electric guitar playing-songwriter I know, (plays like Hendrix or Trower) to create a CD. He uses this "wait-for-inspiration" technique and after ten years still hasn't produced the promised CD. (It is a pity too, because he completely figured out how to operate ProTools.)
2) You must make a conscious decision to pursue your interest at least a half hour a day until it does become a passion which you are willing and able to pursue, even as a career.
3) You must take control over your life and have your environment organized to suit your daily routines, in order to facilitate getting those required duties done quickly. (Here is where a maid or that devotion-type spouse comes in handy.)
4) You must be be honest with what you are willing to do during your day. For instance,
* You might have to let your friends know that you are now an author-illustrator and that you are busy working on your children's book. You have to officially inform them that you will not be available for the usual activities, (which merely take you away from pursing your passions.)
5) You must create an environment conducive toward working toward your goal. For instance,
* Create a writing space or room which includes your typewriter or PC, and well stocked desk, (folders, stapler, filing cabinets, printer, etc.)
* Arrange a music corner or room for your keyboard and Radio Shack cassete tape recorder or your upright piano, Fender guitar and Marshall amp, or your baby grand and cello, or your PC and ProTools recording system or your i Mac / Garage band.
* Find an art studio space (for all the supplies you have accumulated throughout the years,) which hopefully features northern light. etc. (When I was 14, I created my oil painting studio outside in my father's cold cluttery work room. It had no heat but it did have a large already stained sink...heaven!
5) You must be patient with yourself and allow yourself to experiment and explore. If you pretend that you are profesisional, you will lose the sense of Being Here Now. Enjoy the process and just be in the moment. In your mind, don't think "Produce." Instead, think "Experiment." Think Fun and Play, but also Work. Your job, as you follow your heart and fine tune your talent, is to sense, feel, express, reveal and create something really amazing for yourself and others.
6. You must also find like-minded people who will share and inspire your enthusiasm. Consider how the Impressionists inspired each other, hanging out at the Parisian cafes. David Boyle in his book titled Impressionist Art explained,"It was Manet's fault. He moved into an apartment at 34 boulevard Des Batignolles, in the suburb squeezed between Montmartre and Les Ternes, and found himself the neighbor of Bazille, Baudelaire, Fantin-Latour, Pissarro, and Renoir. He liked to spend his evenings loudly addressing his friends around a cafe table.
By 1866 they favored the Cafe Guerbois at 11 rue des Batignolles--especially on Thursdays. Soon they were joined by Cezanne, Zola, and a range of other art critics. It was high octane conversation, angry, intellectual and sometimes violent, because Manet didn't like to be contradicted." 2 . Unfortunately, in 1870 war broke out and separated this group of similar passions, interests, and concerns. You too will come across comrades and spiritual compatriots in Junior Colleges, Universities, Trade Schools, Online groups, Starbucks, etc.
Ultimately, perhaps, God created earth as a playground for us. He had created us as creative gods like Himself. And it must have been a blast for Him, as he created each one of us, including everything else in the universe that He has come up with! There is an Imagineer for you!
Kapos, Martha, ed. The Impressionists, A Retrospective, Hugh Lautner Levin Associates, Inc. London,1991.
Boyle, David. Impressionist Art, A Crash Course. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2001
1 The Impressionists, A Retrospective, (75).
2 Impressionist Art, A Crash Course, (56-57).