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Why Your Good Life Is Worth Giving Up

Forgive me.

In my passion for describing how lousy life can get when your inner artist isn’t calling the shots, I may have glossed over the part where you are happy. And thriving. And having fun.

After all, your artist self is a resilient sort. If she can’t paint or write short stories, then she’ll find another way to liven up your days. So you give the most funny and interesting Lunch and Learn at your office job. You teach yourself to knit while watching The Daily Show. You throw kick-ass themed birthday parties.

All the wonderful qualities that make you an artist ~ intelligence, curiousity, a desire for excellence ~ also guarantee your success in everything else you put your hands to.

And if this current life you’ve designed is pretty darn attractive, that’s because the mould is infused with your subverted creativity.

Just imagine what you could come up with if you unleashed yourself.

Yes, you’d be taking a risk. Your income might drop, your partner might not understand. You’ll have to work hard and face down your attachment to security and approval.

Then again, you’re already playing fast-and-loose with your artist self. How long do you think she’ll content herself with substitutes for what she really wants to create? Maybe you’ve felt her impatience in moments of ennui, or bouts of illness, or incidents of self-sabotage. Don’t make her turn up the volume to get your attention.

Don’t make yourself wait any longer.

If your perfectly respectable life now is what you’ve put together running at half-power, I can’t even fathom the dazzling life you could design if your creative self were completely unshackled.

Jesus tells a parable about a man who discovers a precious pearl in a field and sells all he owns to buy the field. What looks like a foolish act is the wisest thing he can do, because he knows what lies hidden beneath that dirt.

Your artist’s life is that precious pearl.

Glowing, exquisite, and valuable beyond measure. A pearl worth the sacrifice, because it contains everything you want and need. Any delay only means that you are missing out on the best your life can hold.

Do you need more convincing that you are an artist who needs to stop settling for second-best? I’ve recorded the material from my class on Claiming Your Artistic License, and it’s yours when you sign up for my mailing list.

I know you’ve got examples. Tell me about a time when you gave up something pretty decent in your life and made room for the even-more-spectacular.

2011

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