photo: Stephan Ridgway on flickr

photo: Stephan Ridgway on flickr

Dear Meli,

I’m a visual artist, and I’ve been working hard creating my art for over two decades so far. I love what I do, but there’s one thing that keeps getting me down. I have a really big vision for my art. I see it touching people all over the world. I’ve had glimpses of my vision coming true on the material plane, but not nearly at the scale as the vision I see in my mind and heart. So here’s what I’m wondering: Should I keep holding to my vision? Or should I let go and just let the Universe deliver what’s the highest good for me and others?

Doubting the Dream


Dear Doubting,

Congratulations to you on working your craft for such a period of time! In any art, this what makes all the difference.

I think that holding to a greater vision is always a good thing! Always! It makes us feel more positive, and brings our joy to the fore.

I also think that a practice of gratitude is always a great thing – for all the success you’ve already experienced. This is another great place to put your attention. This way, whether you’re looking forward or back, you are focusing on the good in the situation.

I do not mean to repress feelings of sadness or anger (or anything else) about the success you haven’t yet seen.

Confusing? Yes! I imagine it is! It is for me sometimes, too.

This is the beauty of consciousness and working a spiritual practice. It’s not simple. The practice can be simple, but the application of it – not so much. Life is rich and full, and sometimes complicated.

As long as we are here, we are evolving. This means there is new life ahead that you are still in the midst of receiving. And sometimes this means feeling the difference, the contrast between the joy of where you’re headed and the present moment.

One teacher of mine says that the greater that tension is (between where you see yourself going and where you are now), the more frustrating. But this great tension is also a strong force in pulling the new toward you.

One thing I like to do in exploring my own resistance is this:

I assume there is an aspect of my inner being that does NOT want my “next greater good.” If the situation has been frustrating me for some time, I add another assumption. I also assume that this aspect of my being feels as strongly about why it would be better for me to not have this dream as the part of me who wants it! (I know – Ouch!)

When I meditate on what the reasons would be, there is always some rich information for me. I am usually stunned by the logic of the pushing-away-force, if you will. This allows me to be kind and loving to this aspect of my being. It also allows me to enroll my full self to come along to the new dream.

On another note, I think there are two important things to remember as artists:

1) You probably aren’t actually inspired to do your art so that others will enjoy it. I mean, obviously that’s always a fun and nice thing. But most of us artists do our art for the love of it. Keeping this in mind can really help in those times of discontent about the lack of accolades.

When you give your love (in the form of your art) to the world, you can be sure that the vibration of love is moving out into the world, whether you’ve been recognized for it or not. This is simply how love works.

2) You will never know how many lives you are actually touching with your art. While you may know how many pieces you sell, you will never truly know the difference those pieces make in the hearts and lives of your appreciators. And you’ll never know the ripple effect of this heart-opening and appreciation into the rest of the world. (George Bailey in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ comes to mind.)

So love yourself right where you are, and then focus on the good. And send your art in to the world, aware that you are blessing us all with your Love as you do so. Then trust the Universe to do with your gift what It will.

And may your path be blessed by all the love you give!


How have you handled the unfolding of a vision? Share your comments below!

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