See the Dream to Seize it: Week 8 in Sow the Seeds & Seize the Dream Free Creative Course #MondayMotivation #SeizetheDream

Your vision is your ability to see clearly . . . while your dream is what you are focusing your clarity upon.

Hello Creatives and welcome to Week 8 of Sow the Seeds & Seize the Dream 12-Week Creative Course.

This week’s module is designed to help you see the Dream that you are on the journey to make a reality.

You might be thinking, ‘hey, what is the difference between seeing my dream and capturing my vision?’. Here is the simple answer.

Your vision is your ability to see clearly the direction you want to go while your dream is what you are focusing your clarity upon.

In Module 4, we asked ourselves the questions that led us to clearer vision; why are we on this creative journey aiming for this creative goal. We created our “Vision Affirmations.”

In Module 5, we took things a step further by bringing focus to the direction we are headed. We looked up artists or writers, designers or athletes (whatever your creative goal dictated) and we made our “Creative Statement,” which is the voice or sound we what to share with others through our creativity.  (Stay tuned for my Creative Statment and the Artist that inspire me in a later article.)

Continuing with those you admire: “CREATIVE STATEMENT GUIDE”

  • Select 3 to 7 artist, writers, or people within the creative field you admire.
  • Describe the feeling that their work evokes in you.
  • Taking the list of descriptions, compile one, solid, creative statement.
  • Using this “Creative Statement,” Select one piece (be it a recipe, architectural rendering, short story, painting) that you think best embodies the statement you’ve created.

In Module 6, we took stock of what we had on hand and compiled our creative arsenal.

Now, if you haven’t created your “Creative Statement,” or found the piece that best embodies that, no worries. There is still time. Remember, to work this journey at the pace that is best suited for you. But do hold yourself accountable so you don’t lose momentum.

Also, if you find that there isn’t one piece of work that captures the statement you’ve complied, no worries there either. You can always create your own!

WHAT IS IT TO DREAM?

Dream: A dream is compiled of images, a state of mind, and a cherished ideal or aspiration.

In this creative course, vision is the lens and to dream is the beginning action.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO DREAM

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. ~Habakkuk 2:2-3

Dreaming requires concentrated thought. It requires you to take the time and allow your ‘vision’ to be seen in a way that is specific, so much so that you can repeat the dream over and over again.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his famous speech, said: “I have a dream.” What I believe about that statement is that he took the time to be specific about his dream, and then he took the time to meditate upon it over and over again. By so doing, he was able to bring that dream to pass.

The Prophet Habakkuk had been given a dream and with that dream, he was instructed to write it down.

We, too, have to take the ideal image that we have for our goal, meditate on it often, and by all means, write it down!

CREATIVE FAITH IN ACTION

  • Look at your Creative Statement from Module 4. Begin to see in your mind (Dream) the ideal expression of what that would. Example: Are you seeing a series of romantic novellas? Are you seeing a series of paintings? Whatever it is, allow that dream to grow and do not hinder it.
  • Now, whatever you are seeing, WRITE IT DOWN! (Especially if you are feeling timid about what you are dreaming up, you must write it down so that you don’t psych yourself out about it.)
  • Create a Vision Board if writing is not what you need to do, or do both.
  • Continue to study the Creatives that inspired your “Creative Statement”. Refine things as the need arrives. The more you dream that more clarity you will have.

SCRIPTURE FOCUS

ADDITIONAL READING

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS

  • What does it mean to dream to you?
  • Are there any dreams that you’ve had in the past that you’ve given up on? Why?
  • What do you think God has to say about your dream(s)? Why do you feel that way?
  • What advice about taking hold of your dream would you give to a friend or your younger self?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THIS 12 WEEK JOURNEY, SEE Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Capturing Your Vision: Week 4 in Free Creative Course #SeizetheDream #Goals #MondayMotivation #CreativeMotivation

Welcome to Week 4 of Sow Seeds & Seize the Dream FREE 12-Week Creative Journey Course!

I hope you took the time to go over your journals, process and meditate over the answers that you gave to the previous week’s questions. Taking the occasional look in the rear-view mirrors of ours as we traverse our creative roads, enables us to stay fully engaged in the traveling process.

When we take the glance backward, we are able to be assured of our progress even as we move ahead. We are also reminded of why we set out in the first place.

Having little to no knowledge of your destination, flying by the seat of your pants, if you will, only leads to devastation at the most, and at the least, disappointment.

The week’s Module is all about harnessing your VISION. In order to go ‘somewhere,’ we have to have a destination in mind.

We’ve all heard the cliche story of having an open plan ticket, just being able to show up at the airport and just fly anywhere in the world. While that concept sounds great, the excitement and the thrill of the journey is minimized by the lack of ‘knowledge’ in regard to where you are headed.

Having little to no knowledge of your destination, flying by the seat of your pants, if you will, only leads to devastation at the most, and at the least, disappointment.

pexels-photo-352902But when we have taken the time to research our desired destination, make a plan/vision for the place we are headed, no matter the hiccups that may come along the way, we are still able to enjoy and get the most out of our journey’s because we prepared ourselves for the inevitable ‘what-ifs’ that come along in life. We are also able to avoid many pitfalls as well.

THE IMPORTANCE OF VISION AND KNOWLEDGE

To have KNOWLEDGE is to have a level of understanding and practical information about what you are about to do. It is a necessary item in your Creative Tool Box, used to best create a viable plan for your VISION which is the desired goal and destination for your journey.

The book of Proverbs gives us a very sobering warning about a world without vision. It tells us that people run unrestrained without vision. Some translations say the people perish. Think what happens when a river runs unrestrained. Devastation and sorrow are left in its wake. (Proverbs 29:18)

The Book of Hosea tells us the people perish for lack of knowledge as well (Hosea 4:6).

What this goes to show is that in order to be a success and to prosper in your life and goals you must have a vision and gainful knowledge.  You must take the time to use knowledge to set your course for your vision if you have any promise of achieving your desired destination (See Luke 14:28-32).

THE GIFT OF VISION

If you are wondering at this point if you even have a vision let alone the knowledge to pursue it, take heart! You absolutely do.

Proverbs 29:13 tells us that our Heavenly Father created all of us, rich and poor, with sight or vision. Ultimately, the choice to develop or discover our vision is up to us. But we all have them.

MAPPING OUT YOUR VISION

As mentioned in the Module titled Establishing (Read through the previous article for more detailed explanations of each step) there are 4 Ways steps we must take to map out our Vision and create a wise strategy for our creative journey.

  • Who we are: Before you set out, you must be confident in who you are. Obstacles will challenge you, try to push you into calling into question who you are and what you are doing. Being fully established in WHO you are will act as a shield against these assaults against your confidence.
  • Where we are: Acknowledging your current position, as well as the skills and tools you currently have on hand, will better prepare you for what you can begin to do now in order to start your creative process.
  • Where we are going: Having a destination in mind will enable you to properly prepare for what lies ahead. Don’t start out with an open ‘ticket’ and just dive without knowing how far you may have to fall. Set your course and plan accordingly. Do your research.
  • Declare WHY you are going to that destination in the first place: What is is that you are seeking in this place you have decided to journey? This is where you ‘declare’ your vision.
    • I am going _________________________ because I want ____________________________.

CREATIVE FAITH IN ACTION

(If you haven’t already answered these questions, now is a great time to do so)

  • What is it that you are seeking to do?/Why are you moved to do it?: WRITE THIS DOWN AND PLACE IT IN YOUR CREATIVE WORK SPACE.
  • Write down an affirmation about who you are using scriptures that resonate with you and build your confidence.
    • Keep this affirmation in your Creative Space
    • Read it out loud and Meditate on its truth daily

SCRIPTURE FOCUS

ADDITIONAL READING

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS

  • How has the process of trying to accomplish your goals without a clear vision or proper knowledge hindered you?
  • What have been some factors that have pushed you to start “building” your dream without the proper vision, knowledge or preparation?
  • What is your definition of Vision
  • What are some creative resources you have found that have helped you along your creative journey?
  • What are some things you would advise other Creatives to keep in mind while they are pursuing their Vision

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THIS 12 WEEK JOURNEY, SEE Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Establishing: Taking the Path to Vision, Voice, & Doing #SeizetheDream #MondayMotivation #CreativeEncouragment

*To see previous course encouragements see the Course Content Page.

Hello, again Friends! I am super excited to be diving into this part of the Sow Seeds & Seize the Dream Creative Course. My prayer is that the previous week’s assignments and questions have gotten your creative juices flowing as well as prompted you to take a deeper look into who you are as a Creative.

Discovering the courage to create, getting in touch with the core of our creative passion, requires us to go on a journey, not only through the mediums by which we choose to express our creativity, but also a continuous inward journey into our souls and identity.

One of the most important aspects of ‘travel’ preparation is to establish several things. To establish is to prove the truth of something by sound and certain facts.

pexels-photo-297755

If you plan to take a trip out of the country, you must establish by proof, your identity, your place of citizenship, and declare why you are traveling into the territory you are headed.

In this Creative Journey, we are establishing:

  • Who we are
  • Where we are
  • Where we are going
  • and declaring why we are going to that destination in the first place

In this next phase of this course, and over the next three weeks, we are going to Establish our way through Vision, Voice, & Doing.

With any new adventure, one must not only explore the lay of the land but also establish who they are before they take the first step forward.

WHO YOU ARE:

Before the Lord God Yeshua Jesus took His journey into the wilderness (the place of new adventure), before He began His three-year ministry that would change the world for all eternity, He was established by the affirming Words from Father God.

He was affirmed by God that He is His Beloved Son in Who He is well pleased. (Rough paraphrasing of Matthew 3:16,17. In Matthew 4:1 He is then led into the wilderness or steps into His adventure)

I am a firm believer that whenever you start something new you must always remember your beginning because if you miss a step, find yourself facing discouragement, or forget the original directions, you can always refer back to the beginning.

This is what establishing one’s self is all about, leaving a breadcrumb back home, remembering who you are, and what your purpose is. Yeshua, being tried in the wilderness under an oppressive hand of doubt HAD to remember the beginning in the face of His trying. Through it all, He was established in His place in God, that He is His Beloved in whom He is well pleased.

This beginning is remembering who you are. You are a Creative with a vision and a seed, worthy of sowing, worthy of tending, and full of worthy fruit!

WHERE YOU ARE:

Where you are is at the beginning of a worthy journey. You are not where you want to be, but you are positioned to get to that place if, and only if, you are willing to commit to the process.

In short, whether you’ve been creating for many years, or you’ve just decided to answer the call to a creative dream that has been in your soul for decades, you are beginning with a clean slate from this moment on.

Remember who you are, but put your foot at the starting line, with the expectation of gaining something new as your grow.

WHERE YOU ARE GOING:

This is a question that only you can answer, and it is a great time to grab your journal and really ponder the answer (Below I will give you an example of how I’ve answered the question of where I am going.) Where you are going can only be determined by what you want, what your ultimate goal and purpose is.

DECLARING THE PURPOSE IN OUR DESTINATION:

Again, why are you taking this creative journey? What creative seeds are you determined to plant at this level of your creative growth?

VISION, VOICE, & DOING:

For me, ICFTS began as a means to recapture and reawaken my creative voice and muse. In so doing, I wanted to encourage others to do the same.

Who I was is who I have always been–a creative person. Where I was was in a place of stifling stillness, but eagerness to create. Where I was going was in a place of creative vulnerability by stretching my wings and showing all my creative processes, messes and all. My purpose was to take back my creative light and encourage others to shine as well.

I was made better able to do both of these things by declaring (putting into words) my Vision, Voice, & Doing. 

  • Vision: My vision is to grow and take advantage of artistic freedom. As an artist, I would like to harness a new level of artistic expression. I want my writing to flow easily from my imagination into typed or written words, without hindrance, and over thinking. I mostly just want to have fun with the process in general. As I discover these things and sample different avenues of expression I will share.
  • Voice: Even as I create with freedom, I want to do so with purpose. I want to discover the ‘voice’ of that purpose and speak it loud and clear.
  • Doing: I want ICFTS and my creative journey to be the catalyst for the creative and spiritual journeys and discoveries of others. I want to inspire my readers and watchers to create and grow, and inspire others to create and grow. I want to discover more of me and I want others to be inspired to discover more of themselves.

I put into words my Vision, Voice, & Doing, two years ago, and from I have definitely seen the fruits of my declaration.

CREATIVE FAITH IN ACTION:

Now it is your turn. Next week we are going to dig deeper into declaring Vision. Until then, in your journal, try to define and refine your declared vision.

  • What is it that you are seeking to do?
  • Why are you moved to do it?

SCRIPTURE FOCUS:

ADDITIONAL READING:

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THIS 12 WEEK JOURNEY, SEE Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Building Memorials for Creative Success: Week 2 #SeizetheDream #Goals #MondayMotivation #CreativeMotivation

*To see previous course encouragements see the Course Content Page.

Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” ~Joshua 4:4-7 NKJV Bible Gateway

Memorial. A memorial is something that we set up to remind ourselves of important events or happenings in our lives.

Wedding bands are memorials of covenant relationships with one’s spouse. Diplomas are memorials for academic achievement. Gravestones are memorials declaring the life and death of a loved one.

No matter the type of memorial, all of them have the same purpose, and that is to call us to remembrance.

Every memorial that is set up in our lives will either spur us on to a healthy and whole future, or they will hinder us from taking the necessary steps we need in order to truly walk in our desired creative success.

As creatives, and for those of us who are people of faith, we must be mindful of the kinds of memorials we are setting up in our lives. Are we establishing reminders for success, or stumbling blocks for failure?

As we walk into the second week of this creative journey here are 3 Memorials we need to investigate; Past, Present, and Future.

Past: Where You’ve Been

  • Learn to Forget

The memorial of the past consists of its fair share of victories as well as failures. The beauty of looking back at our past is that we get to acknowledge it for what it truly is–Our past.

Sometimes our past victories can become as crippling as our failures. Remembering the ‘good’ that we did in yesteryear can sometimes be the fading glory that prevents us from pressing into the present opportunity for ‘greatness’ in tomorrow.

We can become so intimidated by our past success that we feel as if we won’t be able to reach that former glory let alone exceed it.

In Philippians 3:13-14, the Apostle Pauls says:

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

As creatives, seeking a greater dream, we must, like the Apostle Paul, realize that we may not be at the level of success we’d like but we cannot let yesterday keep us from aiming for that level either.

We must learn to forget those old failures as well as put our past victories in their proper perspective if we are going to take hold of our future success.

  • Learn to Remember

In the same token, we have to keep stock of the victories we attained especially when the odds were against us and it seemed as if we were not going to reach or goals.

In Psalm 23, King David says of the Lord that His rod and His staff comfort him (Psalm 23) Some text suggest that the staff that David carried and referred to was a patriarchal staff passed down from father to son. On this staff were the victories over trial, and the mighty works that God had done for His people.

Being able to look back and remember how in the toughest of times we still achieved our goal is a comfort and an encouragement that urges us forward into our next victory.

If we overcame yesterday, we can surely do so today!

Present: Where You Are

Many of us creatives have found ourselves having a desired destination in mind but finding several reasons today for why we cannot get there. This often comes from looking at what you have in comparison to what you think you need, and then counting yourself out.

When we begin to see our present as insufficient in light of what we what for our future, and thus determine that it would be useless to make steps to contradict the insufficiency, we position ourselves for failure.

This is obviously not the kind of memorial we want to build.

If you are a person of faith, you must believe that the God of Creation not only gave you your creative dream and vision but that He is also aware of where you are and what you have, even in the face of what you ‘think’ you need.

Hebrews 13:5 says,

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”~ NKJV

To be content with our present does not mean that we are ‘satisfied,’ nor that we are deciding to just lay day and allow life to happen at whim. Rather it means that we have taken stock of what we currently have in hand, and with the minds of faith, courage, and ingenuity we are trusting a power greater than us to bless our steps of faith.

When we learn to move with and beyond what we have, seeing opportunity instead of lack, that we grow in our creativity and ingenuity. Genius is born when we move in faith and courage where we are with what we have available to us.

  • Remember that presently you are___________/you have_____________but you shall______________because you have faith.

Future: Where You Are Going

Where you are going is determined by how you think and what you see in your imagination. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as a man thinks in his heart so is he.

In order for you to sow seeds for creative success, you must:

  • Learn to see yourself as successful
  • Learn to see yourself victorious in your vision
  • Learn to see yourself beyond the current odds

Overcoming roadblocks build strength, faith, and endurance. Building proper memorials enables us to do that.

CREATIVE FAITH IN ACTION:

  • In your journal, take the time to write down your memorials. Using the principles outlined in today’s course write down:
  1. Where you’ve been
  2. Where you are
  3. Where you ARE going
  • Speak your success: Using an index card, write down five affirmations about the successful person you are. Example: I am a success. I am original. I am courageous. Speak these out loud to yourself especially when you are feeling discouraged.

SCRIPTURE FOCUS:

ADDITIONAL READING:

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • What memorials do you have that have helped you take the steps toward your Creative Dream & Vision?
  • How have past victories hindered or enabled you in your creative growth?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THIS 12 WEEK JOURNEY, SEE Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Divorcing Perfect: The First Step in Sowing Seeds for Creative Success #SeizetheDream #Goals #MondayMotivation

Welcome to Week 1 of “Sow the Seeds, Seize the Dream 12 Week Creative Course.” I have to say that more than anything I am super excited about embarking on this journey with you.

No matter what your creative goals are, I want to see you soar!

Taking the steps, harnessing the faith and courage to walk on the waters of our curious creativity, is a grand thing and certainly not one to be taken lightly.

This is a big deal. You, making the decision to find your creative voice, to try something outside of your comfort zone, but oh so impressed upon your heart with a million ‘what ifs’ is a big deal.

The reality is everything will be as good as it is meant to be in the stage of development that it is in.

Today we begin with a simple but necessary introduction to the path we are going to take. Like with any journey, it is important that one counts the cost and gets ready for the road ahead.

The biggest hurdle we as creatives must leap over (we as humans) is that of ‘Perfectionism.’

  • PERFECTIONISM: The inability to accept anything that is below the standard of perfection.

Today, I just want to talk to you about how crippling ‘perfectionism’ can be and give you a few steps to move beyond this so-called giant.

I remember for over a period of five years I had gathered a mouthwatering collection of art supply, from paints to pens, paper, canvases … you name it, I pretty much had it. All of it gathered to create glorious art, but all of it gathered little more than dust as the fear of making something less than perfect crippled my hands from moving.

For five years my creativity bottle-necked because I was afraid to mess up the cotton fibers of my papers. I was simply afraid, afraid my results would not match my original design, afraid I would fail, afraid I wouldn’t measure up to the expectations of others … simply afraid.

Can you relate to that?

Many of us have a dream but do nothing with it, not because we are careless, but because we have become overly careful. Many times this ‘care’ which is actually insecurity and worry is birthed the fear of not being good enough.

The reality is everything will be as good as it is meant to be in the stage of development that it is in.

As the book of Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 puts it: What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

A five-year-old playing a mean tune of “Chopsticks” has done a fantastic job even though that song doesn’t compare in the minds of many to “Moonlight Sonata.” But if the five-year-old continues to try his or her hand at simplistic tunes until their muscles have learned to flow into something like “Jingle-Bells,” then there is hope that they will grow into pieces composed by Mozart and Beethoven.

This truth holds the same for ALL CREATIVES. We have to make peace with the truth that growing in our creativity is a messy business and will require some keys being played out of tune, some colors being poorly mixed, even some words being used out of context.

The mistakes are all a part of the growth process and actually, some things birthed out of imperfection have actually proven to be quite perfect. Here are a few examples:

  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese was the IMPERFECT mistake made in 1872, created by American dairymen, William Lawrence of Chester, N.Y. In Mr. Lawrence’s attempt to create the French cheese called Neufchatel, he imperfectly, yet perfectly, created Cream Cheese which is a hit! I mean what is a bagel without cream cheese, and don’t get me started on cheesecake.
  • Ganache: I heard it on a Food show years ago that this chocolatey delight was created by a chef ‘accidentally’ and thusly, imperfectly knocking cream into some heated chocolate. In his attempt to create something else, this confection was invented.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies: In 1938 American Chefs,  Ruth Graves Wakefield and Sue Brides imperfectly yet perfectly came up with just about every cookie lover’s dream. Now, according to some, the chef’s were attempting to create a chocolate cookie, believing that the chocolate chips would melt in the batter only to find that the did not, but no one is complaining over that!

The point of these delicious examples is that there are people the world and time over who have stepped out of their comfort zones to attempt something new to them only to be blessed by the results of their imperfection. (I used food examples to whet your creative appetites.) They had a dream and vision for something and what they ended up with, although imperfect by some standards, ended up being better than they had imagined. They didn’t just set out to be perfect they set out to take hold of their creative dreams.

Today, we have the same opportunity as the folks mentioned. We can step out, divorcing the fear of perfectionism, but raising our expectation for something good to happen in us and through us creatively over the next 12 weeks.

CREATIVE FAITH IN ACTION:

  • Commit to a new definition of perfection. Find perfection in the ‘completion’ of each creative step required to get you from dream to vision, not in the flawless result of what you currently view as perfect. (For each person, this will be different. What is needed for an amateur make-up artist to complete is not the same as an aspiring author. )
  • Commit to attempting your creative endeavor while embracing the glory of imperfection. As Zig Ziglar put it, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly . . . until you can learn to do it well.” 
  • Commit to acknowledging the goodness in each effort you have made toward your dream and call it ‘good.’ As in the dawn of Creation, The Lord God, at the end of His daily efforts of Creation, He blessed His work and called it GOOD! Yes, He had a bigger picture in mind (end result) but He acknowledged the goodness in the steps He’d made toward that goal. We have to do the same.

SCRIPTURE FOCUS:

ADDITIONAL READING:

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • How have you defined perfection?
  • How has your definition affected your creativity?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THIS 12 WEEK JOURNEY, SEE Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow

(Also, get yourself a journal and write dow your thoughts. It will be great to see how far you’ve grown in the coming weeks!)

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Gearing Up to Prepare for Your Creative Success: Seeds We Sow #MondayMotivation #SiezetheDream #Creative

“The little seeds sown today become the fruit trees of our tomorrows.” ~Candice Coates

The Word of God says that whatever we sow that we shall also reap (Galatians 6:7). When it comes to our creativity, like our faith or life in general, we still reap what we sow.

If you sow seeds of laziness or even fear of failure and choose not to make the time to create today, tomorrow you will have nothing but the fruit of regret.

But if you take the time, get your hands dirty and press past your barriers and fears, sowing seeds of action, even when it seems fruitless, soon and very soon you will eat of the fruits of success.

I want to help you sow your creative seeds! I want to help you find your success.

Success isn’t solely found in book deals or high priced paintings, but in the knowledge that you accomplished a challenging goal. In your efforts, you grew. That is always worthy fruit.

Let’s grow together!

MISSION FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS:

Over the next 12 Mondays, I would like you to journey with me in sowing seeds to capture your divine and creative vision for tomorrow.

We will:

  • ‘Turn the soil’ of our creative ground and prep it to be fruitful
  • Relay proper foundations to build creatively upon
  • Learn how to design our personal roadmaps to ‘creative success’
  • Find out what it means to Dream, Imagine, Believe, Do, and, CONQUER!

WILL YOU JOIN ME?:

Will you make a commitment to join me in this journey? If so, please

  • Follow ICFTS if you aren’t already
  • Invite others to join by spreading the word and sharing this post on social media
  • Make a commitment at the end of this journey to Sign my GUESTBOOK sharing how ICFTS has blessed you and helped you grow creatively

I look forward to sharing this creative table with you.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • What steps have you taken to walk into your creative dreams thus far?
  • What were/are some things that were/are holding you back?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Let Go: How I Learned to Step into My Dreams #MotivationMonday #SiezetheDream #Creative

Perfection has a price, but I cannot afford to live that life. It always ends the same; a fight I never win. Oh control. It’s time, time to let you go.” -JJ Heller

A few years back, on my birthday, I woke up after having an incredible dream. The dream was prophetic for my personal future. It hit straight to the core of some inner struggles I had been having. It gave me a greater hope for the future that I am now living.

For several years I had felt like I had fallen into a dark well or a completely lifeless creative downward spiral. Sure, I had been making art, commissions, and though I was pleased with the outcome of each, I have to say they were indeed lifeless … to me.

I was so detached from these paintings that I didn’t even really bother archiving them for my own portfolio. That says something. It says a lot.  My writing was like swimming through mud.

I had gone on a rampage to control everything in my life that I could. My art was controlled. There could be no mistakes in it, which meant I hardly ever created anything. My writing had to be flawless. And because it wasn’t, because I couldn’t really control it, I began to grow duller.

Spiritually, I felt like I had been traversing a craggy wasteland, always walking forward in the direction of the sun (Son), waiting for this storm of torrential rains and floods to come, but I was always waiting, always walking, and there was never a drop of rain in sight nor a cloud in the sky.

I began to grow used to the desert, both the spiritual and the creative. Oddly enough, my inner spirit man never really felt like it was in a drought, just thirsty, content, but never satisfied. No matter how much I fought to be satisfied.

As years past in my reality, circumstances not changing, my hope for a better future, for the flood rains in my creative life and spiritual life to come, became like an old plane ticket in my hand. It had no expiration date, but neither did it have a date of departure, and so I ceased looking for one.

I was a desert wanderer. This was my reality. But on my 31st birthday, waking up from that hope-reviving dream, remembering other dreams that partnered with it, I began to smell the scent of rain in the air again. A change was coming and it was right on the horizon. Messiah Yeshua Jesus even led me to a verse in the Scriptures to solidify this newly revived hope and expectation.

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing what is new, let it now spring forth. Do you not know it? I am even making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Now, for several years I had been having a connected series of dreams about living in a trash bag tent in the desert amongst many others who were fearful of a coming flood.  So when I read this verse, and the images of those old dreams of my desert lands being flooded out with enough water to fill the oceans,  I knew it was a Word of life for me from Him.

This, however, is where faith gets tricky. People of faith LOVE a word about CHANGE and BREAKTHROUGH, but they never take into consideration what CHANGE and BREAKTHROUGH really mean.

Simple analogy, think of how a child who has come to the end of his or her stay within the womb feels when they are are BREAKING THROUGH to their new place. It is not a comfortable transition.  The very fluid they had been thriving on for nine months is squeezed out of them as they pass through from one existence to the other.

Isaiah 43:19 is awesome, but there is a verse that comes before it. This verse was the training breakthrough verse from me.

Isaiah 43:18 Do not remember the former, nor consider that of old.”

STEP 1: Confront your past disappointments.

In order for me to move forward out of my desert, I had to forget the things that were behind. I had a lot of disappointments and false starts,  a lot of heartaches, a lot of wounds, and all of those things not only blocked my creativity but stifled me spiritually and emotionally.

Art doesn’t thrive in a box. Creativity is organic and grows how it grows.

I was in agreement with ‘forgetting’ all of those things. I had buried them for a reason, but I had not healed from them. I was still carrying them with me, and the load was rotting lot gangrene and affecting every creative part of me.

I began to think I was a failure because I could not make myself forget these things that Messiah Yeshua-Jesus had let out of the bag. I cried. I didn’t understand until He gently and lovingly told me a simple truth.

In order to forget what is behind, you have to confront it, heal from it, so that it never has power over you again.

You know what it is like when a clogged pipe has been treated and all that grime comes out before the clear water flows? That is what had been taking place with me ever since. I began to allow my pains to be redeemed, and I am talking about those old pains, the-school-bully-that-scared-you-when-you-were-nine kind of pains.

STEP 2: Embrace your unique path and timing.

The pains of not feeling good enough and trying to achieve those superficial plateaus that society has put in place, but failing every time. And why was I failing? Because these things are not part of His design or rather they were not part of His design for my life back then. Striving for those things (marriage, children, nest, 9 to 5 job … not really on the 9 to 5) at the WRONG time was creative suicide.

Because of my wounds, the ones that were sneaking up on me even though I had pressed them down, I had gone on a rampage to control everything in my life that I could. My art was controlled. There could be no mistakes in it, which meant I hardly ever created anything. My writing had to be flawless. And because it wasn’t, because I couldn’t really control it, I began to grow duller.

STEP 3: Divorce yourself from perfectionism.

Art doesn’t thrive in a box. Creativity is organic and grows how it grows. I was trying to control all of these things because I could not control the pain that I refused to confront. But now I know better. I was blessed with the chance to journey far way from home, away from the noise and get a glimpse of the creative woman I once was and am in the process of becoming.

I leave you to take another listen to the song that makes my heart dance. It’s one of my new anthems. It comes from the “When I’m with You.” Album by JJ Heller. The song is called “Control.” I have let go of the control now. I have ceased to clip my own wings out of fear and the need to control something, anything, just to feel secure. I gave Yeshua Jesus permission to heal my hidden hurts and to draw out the creativity that had been backed up.

BONUS: LET GO OF THE NEED TO CONTROL!

I gave up control and I am getting to know me again and you don’t need control for that. It’s actually best to let it go.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • What steps have you taken to walk into your creative dreams?
  • What were some things that were holding you back?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

How to Achieve Your Dream: Pt 3 Team Up! #MotivationMonday #SeizetheDream #Creative

Teamwork makes the dream work.” ~John C. Maxwell

Everything God created was created to be most fruitful when it is connected with another. When a man takes a wife, children are born. When a bee meets a flower, more flowers, bees, and honey are born. When seed meets soil and is saturated by rain, new life is produced.

When we, dreamers and visionaries becoming creators, have taken the steps to …

1. Believe: Believe that we can achieve the dream that is inside of us. (See Believe You Can).

2. Simplify: Take your processes one step at a time without over-complicating each move you make. (See Keep it Simple).

… we are on the path to productively multiplying our success which is found in our ability to properly align ourselves to achieve our dreams, by teaming up with others.

3. Team up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 explains this perfectly, stating that there is a greater reward for your labor when you are partnered up with another person or persons.

Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ~Ecclesiasites 4:9-12

It is wise to have a support group, especially mentors; a system of like-minded visionaries who have been where you are headed or are walking the path along side you on your way to where you are going.

Having a ‘team’ means there is always someone to encourage you when you fall, keep you warm when the world is cold and harsh, give you guidance when you feel stuck, or to simply tell you the best path to take to avoid hidden pitfalls.

Your team can give you the outer perspective that you will lack at times. They will have the ability to give you the right amount of hard truth married with the perfect amount of grace which is exactly what we all need to get from dream to reality.

When we, people of faith, invite Yeshua Jesus, the giver of these dreams and visions, to captain the journey along with our team our efforts are blessedly not easily thwarted.

Whenever you decided to take hold of your dream, there is going to be opposition. We need someone or several someones to help us stay the course, shower us with encouragement and cheer us on when we feel as if we can go no further.

We need that person that anoints us with goodness when we need it most. Get yourself a great team, keep things simple, and never cease to believe you can!

Seize your dream. You are already halfway there!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER! 

How to Achieve Your Dream Part 2: Keep it Simple #MotivationMonday #Creative #SeizetheDream

Everything in life should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ~Albert Einstein

When it comes to doing anything, especially taking a dream and birthing it into the tangible, keeping things simple is a very crucial admonition to keep in mind.

For most of us, our knee-jerk reaction to anything new is to overthink it. We begin to compare our ‘pearl’ with oyster farms of others with similar dreams already up and running. We begin to add extra bells and whistles to our end products and we haven’t even actually ‘made’ them yet.

We take precious ideas, born in a moment of genius, and think it from the mustard seed it began as, and transform it into craggy, dark mountains that we feel ill-equipped to climb.

Yes, most dreams, especially those that will involve creative income, do come with seeming miles of information that needs to be learned. All of it is important, but none of it is necessary at the very beginning of the dream.

What is important is to take the first step.

With whatever we aim to do, whatever we have taken the step to believe to do, we must remember to keep it simple. It is so easy to overcomplicate things and make what should have been an enjoyable task or journey something loathsome.

But at the same time, as we are keeping things simple by not overcomplicating them, we need to remember NOT to make them simpler.

To me, this means to not dumb down our dreams to the point that they have transformed into cheap counterfeits of our original visions. Don’t cut necessary corners of the process in order to catch up with the so-called competition.

Simple means, again, to be uncomplicated. Choose to Believe without all the complication.

You don’t have to have all the answers yet. Let your seed be a seed, then a sapling, and then tend it until it grows into a tree. Step by step. Worry about ‘racking the leaves’ the moment your tree is big enough to produce some shade.

Keep it simple. Allow your dream to grow in stages. Each step counts. Things only get complicated when you try to leap over more than one step at a time.

Simply write your first draft, create your preliminary sketch, sing your song until the notes come naturally, build your business by creating a starter plan, live your life…simply.

Our dreams are developed by means of a process. There are steps to climb but we do best taking one step at a time. Simple.

* Read How to Achieve your Dream Part 1: Believe you Can

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

How to Achieve Your Dream Part 1: Believe You Can #MotivationMonday #SeizetheDream #Creative

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~Theodre Roosevelt

One of the most glorious things about life is that even though it can be considered a canvas, it certainly is not a ‘paint by numbers.’ Life is not a one-size-fits-all even if certain ideas and concepts may mirror that of another’s. There still, and always, remains the glory of uniqueness in each person’s life and creation.

I believe that Yeshua Jesus has a plan for each of us, a perfect design that He wants us to be co-workers with Him upon. He gives us dreams for a reason. Some dreams we take hold of and bring to manifestation, while others, sadly we leave to float away like feathers in the wind.

Many times, the dreams that get away from us are the dreams that we can’t seem to muster the faith for or we allow our faith to be choked away.

But how do we cease to do this?

We have to make a connection with faith and hold on to it. The Lord tells us that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed and nothing will be impossible for us (Matthews 17:20) The glory of such a small seed is that it becomes very large when placed in the right soil and environment.

The blessing for us is that anything that we put in the hand of the Master has the potential to be greatly multiplied beyond what we can even hope or imagine! (Matthew 14:13-21,  Ephesians 3:14-21)

We have to see more opportunities than obstacles.  We must no longer minimize the potential of the seed of the dreams we have and stop polluting the soil of opportunity with weeds of fear and doubt.

In order to do this, we need to remind ourselves of the great love that Yeshua Jesus has for us. He is the one who has given us the dream and He loves us. Fear, however, is the opponent of love (I John 4:18), and not only are you greatly loved but you have not been given the spirit of fear, but love, power, and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7)

We also have to use our creative imagination with faith-filled courage and not fear-filled conjecture. We must focus on the potential truth of imaginative vision instead of the frailty of tangible sight.

The book of Proverbs tells us that as a man thinks in his heart so he is (Proverbs 23:7)These thoughts which soon become reality began as a seed of imagination. They can either be based out of fear as well as incomplete information or fuelled by faith.

To be ruled by conjecture is similar to looking into a pool and concluding that the waters are not deep because they ‘look’ to be shallow, only to find out you were wrong once your head is under water.

Operating in the truth of imaginitive vision is to step out in faith and we are encouraged in the Word that Faith is the substance of things not seen and the evidence of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). Evidence is not conjecture. Evidence is truth!

Faith it out!

The beauty in this is that the greatest push for us to accomplish those dreams that make our hearts flutter is to first believe. Believing, making the commitment to take the step, is the greatest part of the journey.

It is the first step toward your dream, and believing enough to step out means you are already halfway there!

*Join me next week for Part 2 of this motivating series.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!