Recently both a client and an artist friend asked me (after they experienced some setbacks), whether their pursuits were just a fantasy. They wanted to know if they should continue to forge ahead in the direction of their dreams. My advice to them was, if you feel the passion for what you do in your heart, you must always pursue your dream no matter what. Personally, I have found the necessity of recommitting to being an artist more essential than ever. As far back as I can remember, the only thing I wanted was to be a painter; the artist kind that is. My mother encouraged this at a very young age and I eventually went on to study at one of the top art schools in the world. But I abandoned my plan for a variety of reasons. One of those was that my spiritual path was calling me, and although still a teenager, I gave up all worldly possessions and pursuits and moved into an ashram*. After fifteen months, however, I was deeply dissatisfied with this limited life, and moved out of the ashram. This led to a two-year period of traveling abroad, a marriage, and a return to New York. At this point I had to get a job and somehow managed to fake my way into a good position as an Art Director for a prestigious art magazine. Most importantly, I began to paint again.
The problem is that I still carried within me a conflict that I didn’t know how to resolve. My introduction to the spiritual world was during the 1970’s when Eastern mysticism was the overarching influence. Focusing on being an artist was considered self-centered. The idea that one must do service, be humble, and live austerely was the credo of that time. I desperately wanted to paint and fulfill a dream I had since childhood (to be successful at it and not just a “Sunday painter”). Yet, this quiet inner guilt that I was doing something selfish and not “spiritual” was so deep that it caused a schism in my life. It may well be that the depth of this inner conflict was rooted in past-life experiences and I was working through it in this life. In fact, I believe that all inner conflict is a karmic agenda.
I have reached a point in my life where compromise just won’t do. No longer do I feel the necessity to measure my true passion on a scale of service versus personal desire. And of course, I already have the ‘service’ part down in my work as a Channel. Nevertheless, my sense is that if something is a burning desire, then the thing you are impelled toward (in my case, being an artist), has a higher purpose and we need to trust it, not judge it based on cultural or ideological beliefs. To free ourselves up from the restraints of limiting beliefs is always a big part of true liberation. It doesn’t matter how we get there, only that we do.