The Art of Being

This week, I spent some time with some women who are so inspirational to me. Lori Vrba, Holly Mathis, Susan Koozin and Cheryl Schulke. An artist, a decorator, an actress and a bag designer. Each one wildly successful in their creative field. The common thread is that they are pursuing their passion. And it's not always easy.
Their excitement for the work they do is palpable and contagious. They have kids, families, overhead and the same real life problems everyone else has. And they do it anyway. And it's not always easy.
I meet women all the time that say they want to quit their jobs and do something creative  like paint furniture, be a decorator, a designer,  have a shop, open an etsy store, write a blog, be a photographer. And they get stuck. Because it's not always easy. And they're right!
It's not easy to sit in front of a computer for hours editing pictures, sourcing products, or to face unreasonable client demands, or rejection, or feel like all the work you put out there just doesn't matter because who can compete with the talent or over saturation of online media or Joe Schmoe who might be better? 

How does one start?

Lori says "begin anywhere".
I say start "being". 

To begin is the most important step in pursuing your passion. Make your move. Know that you will make adjustments as you go. But you must begin. Make/do/write/paint/anything and everything that inspires you until you get specific. Give yourself creative freedom.  BE a painter. BE a decorator. BE a writer. Take action. Ideas will build on themselves and you'll start to hear and see your own unique voice. You'll never stop learning. You'll screw up. Big time. You'll fail. It's a guarantee. You'll want to quit. You might actually quit. You'll feel insecure, you'll doubt yourself ALL THE TIME (except sometimes when you know you NAILED IT. trust me, it's how this whole thing works), you'll hate what you made, or wrote or painted or photographed. But since it's your passion, you'll come back stronger and more determined. Say "yes" to yourself and to every opportunity that presents itself for you to BE the thing you want to be. 

True Story: A year and a half ago I was working my butt off on a blog post. Editing pictures, slowly uploading to Blogger with my boys in the house on the last day of Christmas break..driving me out of my mind. No really...it was bad. They were running circles around the very table I had just photographed, throwing balls in the house, being boys. Very loud, rough boys. Every negative thought running through my mind..."why am i doing this? who CARES? it's too HARD to keep up with this and take care of my family". But I managed to hit "publish" on a post that was a game changer for me.
A few days later an unexpected e-mail came through my inbox that said "Hello from Heather Bullard", asking me if I would like to have my home featured in Souvenir Magazine. I had followed Heather and admired her work for years. 
I thought I was being punk'd.
A feature of my home turned into my becoming a contributor to Souvenir. The cherry on top was Heather asking me to assist her on a recent Country Living photo shoot. That was a first for me and I loved it.  All because I didn't give up on a day that wasn't easy. I was BEING a designer, BEING a blogger and sharing my work.  And it wasn't easy. 
But that's how passion works.
Are you stuck? Where will you begin? Leave me a comment if you're around this weekend. I would love to hear what big dreams you're dreaming! 

one of my favorite singer/songwriters