The Temptation of ‘Out There’

I used to imagine my dream home – what it would look like, the kind of building it would be, the number and purpose and colours of the rooms.

I planned the furniture, the clothes and equipment I would have, and envisioned where it would all go.

And I imagined that once I had it all sorted – then Life would truly begin – and I could simply get on with living it.

I also used to dream of being finished with GCSE’s so that I could deep dive into the subjects I cared about at A’level. However, when I was working on my A’Levels, I couldn’t wait to be finished and go to Drama School to train properly as an actress.

I did train at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, after an unintended gap year, and I vividly remember absolutely loving the first term, but towards it’s end – beginning to dream about being in the industry – where my life would be really begin in earnest.
Are you sensing a theme?

It was at this point when I caught myself, and realised that if I wasn’t careful, I would miss all that was being offered to me in that present season. So I made the decision to wholeheartedly lean in to everything those three years were inviting me to, subsequently having some of the deepest and most profound joy and growth of my life.

I have been on a similarly profound journey with motherhood.
In my relationship to my children – how engaged I am, how much I choose to lean in to all those relationships have to offer – and the way that parenting is an opportunity to discover myself more fully, during the process of pouring my heart into accompanying my children, as they go on their own discovery journey.

But there has still been that temptation to look to the future for the fulfilment of my own creative dreams and goals.
I am not simply talking about the myriad amount of creative flexibility required daily, for anyone living engaged with their children – the constant growth and gymnastics required to balance everyone’s needs – these are a given, if we pause to consider how creative we are constantly being.
But I am also talking about my professional dreams of performing in plays, of having my own theatre company, and of working with other hugely talented and creative professional artists, to make far-reaching pieces of beauty.

Yet becoming a mother has impacted how I view EVERYTHING.
I have had different opportunities to perform and make creative work throughout this past decade – although it hasn’t always been paid work. Yet the work is still the work, and coming to terms with this, regardless of the platform, has enabled me to both enjoy and do more of what I love – in the gaps of life as a mother – than I did before.

However, when I fall prey to the lie that

“the real work and the real world is some-other-where out there, that once I am through with this bit – when I have all my ducks in a row – then I will really live my life – and everything will just flow!

Cassie – Create, Perform & Mother

that is when I miss the beauty and the creative opportunities right here in this season with me.

Instead I have lost sight of the REAL ART

The real art being made is MY LIFE – expressed through my relationships, my growing self-knowledge and the deepening of my heart’s capacity to love.
This is my canvas, my play, my song (the story of hope and freedom, discovered by daily being present) that needs to be told.

It is the story of how a selfish person could find grace, joy, beauty and meaning in every moment of life, be profoundly changed, and offer others the hope of that same freedom.

Being present.
Leaning-in deeply to connection –
to those moments of trial, to the people in our lives, and to the gentle, small voice we often hear on the inside – the one that whispers that there is more, but that it has always been found in the here and now.

We will never get all our dream ducks in a row at any one time – there will always be at one least duck doing it’s own thing, no matter how hard we try.
Yet we can make creative art and beauty every day of our lives – we don’t need any fancy kit.

The physical work we make, and I do believe we should make work whenever we canthe play, the song, the picture, the dance, wonderful though they can becan only ever capture the shadow, the reflection of what is real and alive. As artists we use all our skill to express what we feel, learn and experience as eloquently as possible. But our work can never hold more depth or meaning than our hearts are willing to mine – or we are willing to live into.

Our lives are where the art of profound worth and beauty really takes place – the work we make is simply a record of it.

We can afford to forget to make the record, but we cannot afford to forget to live the true art.

What Real, Living Art will you lean into this week?

The real art being made is MY LIFE – expressed through my relationships, my growing self-knowledge and the deepening of my heart’s capacity to love.
This is my canvas, my play, my song – the story of hope and freedom, discovered by daily being present – that needs to be told.