All You Have Is Your Soul: An Essay for Dreamers
This essay is from a mystic, Connected, soulful, healer friend of mine. She's a dedicated servant of the people, a great mother, an uber-talented artist and "Connector of the Many Dots". Enjoy!
This line is from a well-meaning friend that I adore. She left it on my Facebook page today.
“There are so many books published and very few people take the time to read. I would not expect to make a living at writing but if you have your ﬁnances secured somehow…”
I laughed and found myself oddly energized. As a successful creator and an artist for the last twenty years, I remember clearly the plethora of naysayers that tried to enlighten me regarding my delusional desire to make a living creating art, particularly in the early days.
Among my harshest critics was my dear mother Zella (may she rest in peace). She made it quite clear to me that she thought I had lost my mind, thinking that I could create meaningful art at all. She said, and I quote, ”What? You’re not even that good at it! You’re never going to make a living doing art!”
It took me about seven years to break through that shrill voice in my head. Seven years! But that’s the reality. Finally, I said, “Fuck that shit, I’m going to art school.”
I’ve been a successful artist ever since. As a collective humanity, we’re a funny group - and that includes myself. What we need to understand is that our creative ideas are real and, here’s the thing, the best ones are not even ours. Do you think we get the same ideas? I submit that we don't. Those dreams and ideas that you have for a business, a book, or a painting come to you – in the way they do - for a reason. After all, they didn't come to me or anyone else. I get my own with a different ﬂavor. The point is, no matter how they come, they are real. The true inspiration we receive comes from the larger order of the universe. I’ve always seen it as a ﬂowing waterfall from the heavens and I believe that everyone has the ability to tap into it. It’s meant for everyone and it’s our birthright.
However, it’s important to understand that you’re the vessel for the manifestation of the idea. You aren’t the one who came up with the “actual” idea. Your mind is not its genesis, but its resting place. Your mind is the womb of an idea that came from a Higher Source. It’s true that very few follow through on their intuition, their “wild hair” ideas that come from this ever-abundant waterfall of creation… but that says nothing about the validity of that particular dream. If we let our fears affect our ideas (or our lives, for that matter), it’s ourselves that have lost the way, have lost our truth. When people demean our dreams, it’s ultimately because they’re afraid. They may be afraid for you or they may be afraid because of you, but fear is at the root. Either way, it’s not their life and it’s not their dream; it’s yours!
I’ve had highly successful ideas produced and I’ve also had my share of not-so-successful ideas produced. No one can shield us from the outcomes of our creative ideas. We simply create because we are guided by our souls, which are naturally creative and wild. Our innate wildness relies on our bravery to go into the hidden universes that are ours and only ours to explore and see. Then, if we are brave enough, we grab a star and bring it back to earth to light this world for however long it’s meant to shine. It’s not our star, but we did bring it to earth, for which we can thank God!
A song just started going thru my mind as I write this. It’s no coincidence; I just looked up the words. The song is by Tracy Chapman. It’s as if her spirit has come to inform this writing. Take a look!
“Oh my mama told me/ cause she says she learned the hard way She said she wants to spare the children/ She says don’t ever give or sell your soul away All that you have is your soul/ Don’t be tempted by the shiny apple/ Don't you eat the forbidden fruit
Hunger only for the taste of justice/Hunger only for the world of truth Because… all you have is your soul”
My message is to follow your soul your whole life through, from start to part. Don't listen to others’ ideas of what you can and can’t do. You must square up with yourself in the end. Don’t waste the inspiration that comes to you. You’re here for such a limited time; ﬁnd a way to share it. We need it. We need every song, word, piece of love, lipstick that you have to offer. One day, your precious time will come to an end and all you have is your soul… so share it! We are all listening, even the ones that say they are not. They need it most of all! Interestingly, my mother, Zella, eventually came around. As soon as I did not care what she thought about me, from that point on she became my greatest supporter until the day she died. In fact, three days before she passed, as we were rolling her in her wheelchair to take a shower, she casually informed me that “I was the most creative” and she “wasn't creative at all”. She was serious, but I had to laugh out loud and wonder what the fuck was she was talking about? This woman, who was the face of a gazillion dollar company, who had ran test kitchens, executed cookbooks, had been in countless photo shoots, who could come up with an insane solution to a creative problem in 10 seconds, or whip up a new couch slipcover in an hour… this woman considered herself “not creative”? Trust me, she was magic.
Now, where do you really think the problem really lay for her to say that?
Remember, don't get fooled by the forbidden fruit… hunger only for a taste of justice, hunger only for the world of truth.
Because all you have is your soul.