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Posted in Do What You Love, Honor Your Creative Self, Take Time to Reflect

The Renaissance Soul

Multifaceted Renaissance Woman

I come from a family of creative souls. My sisters and I started 3 Graces Design Studio based on the creative calling we share. We inherited our creative natures from out mother but, the evidence is in other family members as well; a heritage of quilters and painters, artists and film makers, actors, tinkers, thinkers and writers. 

The old saying: “Jack-of-all-trades, master of none!” reveals the bias against those who choose a varied work life rather than committing to a unidirectional path. There was a time, however, when society admired such a person. In fact, some of our greatest contributors have been talented in a variety of areas.

Leonardo da Vinci, painter of masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, also designed and built bicycles, canals, musical instruments and flying machines. Benjamin Franklin not only helped draft the Declaration of Independence, he was also an inventor, statesman, printer, scientist, author, and student of French culture and language. More recently, Maya Angelou, best known as an author and poet, was also a successful songwriter, journalist, actress, singer, dancer, civil rights worker and professor. And she could speak eight languages!

Margaret Lobenstine, author of The Renaissance Soul–Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One, identifies five signs to help determine whether you are a “Renaissance Soul”:

• The ability to become excited by many things at once, often accompanied by difficulty choosing

• A love of new challenges; once challenges are mastered, you are easily bored

• A fear of being trapped in the same career or activity for life

• A pattern of quick, sometimes unsatisfying flings with many hobbies

• A successful career that has left you bored or restless

There is Nothing Wrong with You

People who recognize themselves in that description often feel that something is wrong with them, that they’re not normal. They may be accused of an unwillingness to grow up. They may be called irresponsible, a dilettante, or told they have Attention Deficit Disorder.

If you fit the above criteria, take heart. Support is available to help you embrace your strengths and stop trying to fit into the mold of someone you are not. In fact, your traits make you an ideal candidate for work that requires flexibility, adaptability to change, and a broad skill base. Renaissance Souls are often ideal entrepreneurs since they typically wear many hats in their own business. Public relations, marketing, consulting and project management are other good choices. Because of their multifaceted abilities, they may also adapt better in today’s shifting financial climate and global economy. What’s more, their passionate nature and curiosity are truly an asset in any arena!

How to Handle Your Passions

In her book Refuse to Choose: A Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love, career counselor Barbara Sher provides dozens of tools for dealing with a multiplicity of passions and also divides what she calls “Scanners” into nine categories. The “Double Agent” is torn between two interests, while the “Sybil” is drawn to so many things that she’s often unable to choose anything. The “Serial Specialist” and “Serial Master” often stick with one career or project for many years until they’ve gained all they desire from it, and then move on to master different occupations. Understanding your type can help you recognize strengths, get support, and choose work that suits you.

Along with clarifying your core values, Margaret Lobenstine’s “Renaissance Focal Point Strategy” recommends choosing a “sampler” of four interests and then rotating them. For example, you might work on a new business venture, volunteer to teach reading in your local school, take acting lessons and study Italian. If you want to, in six months you rotate some of those out and choose others. That way you’re moving out of indecision and into action, honoring your renaissance soul, and accomplishing goals. A journal and 3-ring binders can help you track your numerous ideas and keep your projects organized.

Often all it takes is a shift of attitude to embrace your renaissance nature. Learn to honor its ways and you may find that your many talents lead you to a fulfilling, passion-filled life.

 Live Inspired!

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

Posted in Honor Your Creative Self, Listen to Your Intuition, Take Time to Reflect

The Call to Create

The sound may be faint as the stirring of butterfly wings or as loud as a brass band on Fourth of July. Or you may not hear a sound at all, but feel an urging, an inner pull, a sense of excitement and longing that resonates from within. This is the call to create, and it is universal, bidding each of us to bring something new into being.

“Creativity is the Self searching for itself,” said George Gamez, Ph.D., author of How to Catch Lightning in a Bottle. We create in order to express our unique visions and perceptions. We create to communicate and to form a bond with our fellow human beings. Creative expression helps us feel connected to the world and builds bridges of understanding. It nourishes us and helps us grow, provides insights and deeper understandings. Creativity is fun, exciting and playful. It relieves stress and releases tension. It provides a way of communication when normal channels may be blocked or are insufficient—when we must speak in colors and textures and shimmering visions and music.

Creativity is love expressing itself; it heals and renews. Our creations are mirrors in which others may see themselves and the signature of our lives that says, “This is how I saw it.”

Everyone is Creative

No matter what you may have been told, every one of us is creative. It is as much a part of us as our voice and breath and fingerprints. Creativity isn’t just about making “art.” Cooking, gardening, handiwork and crafts, keeping a journal are all creative acts. Arranging flowers or rearranging furniture, painting a picture or painting a room, singing on stage or singing in the shower—these are responses to the call.

Creativity is a way of living. It is being spontaneous and playful, exercising the imagination, finding solutions, and embracing possibilities and doing it all with passion.

Yet for all the joy and fulfillment it brings, some resist the call to be creative. In our culture the ideas that “Time is money” and “Art is frivolous” hold certain sway, and old messages such as, “Stay inside the lines” or “You can do better than that” have remarkable staying power. It takes courage to look beneath the surface of what we’ve been told in order to find our heart’s desire.

Creativity requires risk-taking. It asks us to surrender, to lose control and to trust. “Committing to our creativity is an act of faith,” wrote Jan Phillips, in Marry Your Muse. “A promise to believe in ourselves.” 

Honoring the creative Self means finding time, making space, being patient and taking the chance of looking foolish. You cannot care too much what others think or say. You must be willing to start over and stay with it; creativity takes stamina. There are no magical secrets or absolute rules. Creativity can’t be taught. You just do it. “Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us,” said Corita Kent.

Like the body’s natural urge for motion and the human need for connection and community, the spirit longs to express itself. So when you hear the call to create, answer, “Yes.” It is your self searching for your Self, a movement toward being whole.

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications