You can tell the difference between artisan and mass-produced.  We all can at this point.  Injected plastic vs hand molded, off the conveyor belt vs. just out of the oven, thrown together in sweat shop vs. just off the needles of the person selling it to you. It’s not just the price which can be very low (low self-esteem?) or very high (labor and material intensive) but the quality.  You can feel and see when someone has made a thing consciously and with care vs. just putting out product.

Lots of people at this very moment are exercising their gifts, using their talents, and actively following their path.  However, they are doing so in a way that makes it safe, keeps it contained, is non-threatening.  They do so by calling it a hobby or “just a thing I do” or by producing the cheap version of what they can do.  I’ve met artists who make cheap jewelry or knock out quick pictures of flowers, sculptors who work in the plastic clay medium from the craft store in order to make small little things and belittle their talents as they sell them at craft fairs.  They make the cheap version of what they can do because it’s safe, it’s easy and it allows them to indulge their need to create without challenging them to say it’s art or to identify as an artist.  It’s small and cheap enough to sell which fills a need but doesn’t sooth the ache and doesn’t feed the hunger inside them that never stops growling.

Sometimes it can take almost an entire appointment before a client will admit that they want to do something different with their art.  When they do everything about them changes.  They unfold a secret part of themselves that is precious, swirling in glowing ribbons of light like the aurora borealis and as they show it to me their eyes become huge and they ask if it’s worth anything and is it all right if they hold it for a while.  YES!  This is the voice that whispers to them in dreams, that speaks to them of what they really want to make in this world, the journey not yet taken, the blessings that are waiting to be born into this world through their hands and their imaginations.  Blessings the rest of us are being denied because it’s all hidden inside them, tucked away where no one can see and no one will know.  For just a moment I get the honor of glimpsing this precious gift and I try to encourage them to let it stay out.  The world would be such an amazing place if they could stop making cheap knockoffs of their essential selves and instead could create from that amazing glowing sense of self and all it has to say.

What secret part of yourself is whispering to you? What happens if you listen to it for just a moment? Where will it lead you?