Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What am I doing with my life?



I heard once that the truest form of who you are is conceived when you are around 7 years old. The things you love, the way you spend your time, and your dreams for your life are actually the clearest arrows pointing you to what will make you experience lasting joy.

I know I am not that old, but I have spent more years of my life ignoring my inner 7-year-old than listening to her. It wasn’t until last year that I began to hear her whispers and found myself leaning in to hear what she had to say.

When I was 7 I wanted to become an artist. I wanted to live on a farm, I wanted to be outside, and I wanted to influence people to do things that made them happier. It was so simple.

I have taken a lot of round-about paths to get here, but now I am starting to see that the Creator was always guiding me to the place where I was made to thrive. I chose 9 years ago to allow God to dictate my path and I am closer than ever to living the way my inner child dreamed of.

I have recently started my own business called, “Waked Up Studio”. Waked Up started here with this blog, as a space created for me to share practices that have changed my life for the better. As the years have passed, it became obvious that Waked Up was going to become more than just a blog spot.

Waked Up Studio is Waked Up Blog come to life. I know that I am called to teach and lead in person. I am creating classes, workshops and retreats to share these life practices in real time and in the physical community. I am developing curriculum and devotions, meditations and contemplations, and teaching faith practices from around the world to help make space for physical gestures that will bring about spiritual growth that can be shared in person and in a community. I am contracting myself to small groups, churches, schools and private groups to continue to effectively share these transformational gifts.

Waked Up Studio is also a space where I can meet with people one-on-one and practice Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Direction allows me to labor alongside a fellow seeker as they discover the ways that the Sacred is being revealed in their own lives. This is a space of holy listening, present contemplation, and mindful awareness, listening to the true Spirit’s presence in the moment. I am available to meet with directees and see folks in my own home or at various quiet and comfortable locations in town.

Waked Up Studio allows me to create and sell my artwork. My daily prayer practice is painting and creating art and this is the foundation that holds this business together. In order for me to teach, share and lead, I must be diligent about spending time with the Creator. This is something I do from my art table. Each painting I paint is a prayer, a meditation and an intention for the world, an idea or a person. I am creating all the time, for me, for friends, for people I don’t even know yet. I am also taking commissions for people and I pray for them or their loved ones as I paint. Each painting I create will have the prayer or intention written in a colorful envelope on the back, marrying image and intention.

For the moment, Waked Up Studio is being operated out of my home. I am being hired to come into schools, churches and homes to lead and teach. I am taking commissions and mailing them or delivering them as they are completed from my art table in our living room. Joyfully, the future is already calling. We have inherited my grandparents’ home which has an extra living room that is the perfect size for a classroom studio where I can teach and paint. It even has an outside entrance so that my workshops won’t disturb life in the rest of my house. This home is on several acres of land with woods and fields, a creek and a barn. We can have small livestock, a huge garden, and I have visions of building a Labyrinth and community gathering spaces as time goes on so that I can host a variety of workshops and topics.

Eventually, I would love to be able to host my own workshops and retreats right out of my studio and retreat rental spaces in NC. My hope is that folks would enjoy and benefit from what I can share so much that they would like to come to me. Then in time, I would like to start and run a Spiritual Retreat Center.

More immediately, I would like to start developing online workshops and tutorials that can be downloaded and watched as videos. I would love to have folks sign up for weekly classes and be able to share and teach people all over the world at the same time.
I have a lot of hope and my dreams are big. For now, I am taking one step at a time and living the way most small business owners do when they begin- in Faith.

I want you to know what I am dreaming and working towards because I could not have done this without your support and encouragement. And truly, I cannot move forward without your support and encouragement either. Thank you a million times over for all the ways that YOU, Waked Up readers, have inspired me. You have been a great breeze under my wings as I have finally had the courage to stretch them out and soar.

I have a long ways to go, but I go there dancing. Thank you for believing in me and continuing to journey with me as Waked Up Studio continues to evolve and grow. 
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