Some of you may be surprised to realize I didn't grow up knowing I was an artist. Instead, I spent much of my life trying to be a good girl and live up to the expectations of others. This was true especially when it came to my parents, teachers and church leaders. If they approved of me, in my mind, I was good. Please don't misunderstand, I had a wonderful childhood. However, I became a high functioning people pleaser. I found value in being the favorite or teacher's pet. This required me to spend a ton of energy being and doing what I thought others wanted from me. Unfortunately, this warped mindset followed me into adulthood. I never really learned to tune into my own heart. I failed to ask myself the question, "Alicia, apart from what everyone else thinks, what lights you up on the inside?". In my mind, that would have been selfish. Boy, was I every missing it.
What about you? How would you answer the above question?
In 2020 my lovely daughter bought me a gift. Part of that gift was a watercolor set and a watercolor pad. When I started painting, it was like a switch was turned on inside of me. I knew deep down that I was made to create art. It was during this first year of painting that I realized a powerful truth that has brought such freedom in my life. My hope is that it will encourage you as well. Here it is:
It's selfish to ignore the pure desires of your heart. Loving yourself enough to tune in to what delights you, is the only way the world around you will have the privilege of experiencing the unique light that you are.
My very first watercolor painting 5/20
Being a full-time artist has been and continues to be a vulnerable growing experience. Because of my faith, I've found the grace to put myself out there again and again regardless of what others may think. That sentence was pretty easy to write, but in reality "putting yourself out there" can also come with rejection and feelings of insecurity. In those moments, I have to remember who I am and what I have to offer is valuable. This gives me the tenacity to continue following the stepping stones of what lights me up on the inside in order to be a light to others.
Because this has been so life altering for me, I'm sharing it with you. You can find me sitting in the front row of your cheering section as you also tune in to discover what thrills your heart.
Light Within 6/23 Click image to view in the shop
We can only love others at the level we have learned to love ourselves. It's vital to increase our sensitivity to the inner voice of wonder that resides within each of us. I'd love to hear what gives you life and makes your heart sing. Here's to each of us stepping out with courage to be true to the unique beauty within.
I truly appreciate you,
Please feel free to share this conversation with others that you want to encourage.