How do we ignite the creative flame that lives within us? As I connect the dots of the obstacles I have overcome to the place I am today, I realize that learning to listen to my intuitive "heart" voice has been the most important part of my journey.
Growing up I thought that being creative meant having artistic ability. When I picked up a pencil, pen, brush, opened my mouth to sing, or stood on stage to perform, I felt awkward and clumsy. At that time, I could not seem to release the beautiful images in my mind through these methods and thought that this must mean that I was not creative or artistic. Little did I know that these experiences were some of the important dots on my journey to now understand how my voice of vocation has revealed the creative and artistic ability that was suppose to be released through me.
I now understand that all of my life experiences inside and outside of the classroom were important on the road to discovering and sharing the creativity that lived within me. At 12 years old I knew that I was supposed to help every hurting child. The dots leading up to 12 and all of the dots connecting to becoming an educator, and later an educational consultant have provided me with the experiences that now inspire and help me to release my creative gifts. I realize now that I felt awkward and clumsy in my creative pursuits during my younger years because my creative and artistic dots had not been connected to my passion and purpose. Once I was finally in a position of supporting the educational development of children and their families, my creative and artistic flame ignited in all endeavors related to my "heart" work. I also found that there has been no challenge too great that couldn't be conquered when I was doing the work of my heart.
I believe that this is what our goal of education should be. As educators, we are "guides on the sides" helping our youth to connect their dots in discovering who they are. We need to support and encourage them to listen to their intuitive "heart" voice. We then need to help them to positively articulate their needs so that they can learn how to make the education system work for them. We need to support them through the challenges that they face on the journey and be there to celebrate their successes along the way. We are the village, guiding them to align their voice of vocation with their passion and purpose.
This sounds like a simple idea, although it is quite difficult to achieve. Listening to our inner "heart" voice can conflict with the established human constructs. To make this even more challenging, we are often given advice from those we see as experts about how to navigate our journey. Our fear response, "head" voice often responds by saying, "listen to the outside expert for it is he or she that knows the way." However, the expert only has expertise in navigating his/her path and does not know the potential that lies within YOU that is yearning to be realized. The expert can serve as a mentor, but it is only the unique individual, listening to their own "heart" voice within, that will ultimately know the road that is right for him or her. Only YOU can be an expert at knowing YOU.
I have been on a lifelong journey of striving to reach my full potential and it has been a combination of listening to my intuitive "heart" voice and trusting how my dots connect that have kept me moving forward. Once I found my voice of vocation, my creative flame ignited. I believe that as more of our youth begin to confidently listen to and follow the directions provided by their intuitive "heart" voice, we will eventually have a generation positively compelled to contribute their unique gifts to solving our most complex problems. A happier and healthier world is possible when those in it are doing the work of their hearts.