Memorial Day is just around the corner and I thought it would be appropriate to share some Magnum Opuses that have impacted my life, in no particular order. They each bring something to the assemblage of my own work and I hope that who I am is a reflection of their influence in my life. Let's Dig in!
One of my favorite mid afternoon things to do when I was young was to turn on PBS and watch an amazing man Breathe Life into his canvas. His name: Bob Ross. What I remember most, before his soothing voice sent me off into an afternoon nap, was how we described his paintings. He didn't just say here is a tree, here is a blue sky. Each additive, stroke of the brush was applied with careful attention and he walked you through building a painting that told a story. "Happy Little Trees" added whimsical character to a forest and "little friends" crept in the shadows. Rivers had life, they trickled and flowed, they brought movement to a landscape. I don't know that I ever looked at art work without trying to figure out the story it was trying to tell. He breathed life into his paintings.
When I began creating art myself, the finished piece was more about what it added to the overall experience than just being something about me that couldn't be understood by anyone else. It took years for me to uncover how to live a life in the same intentional manner.
Finding Breath: My Story
There was a season in my life when I struggled to find breath to breathe into a life I didn't think was going in a forward direction. It was a dark place and I felt trapped by the suffocating walls in my mind. I was claustrophobic mentally and blindly followed any sign of light. One day, I began to draw this space and me inside it; the process was healing. My hands were breathing life into this mental "box". It was then that awareness poked its way in. As I began to breathe, God found me and set me on a path of Freedom and the air I breathe now is fresh and clear and life giving.
My lungs filled with understanding and awareness of what life I needed to live. I began asking the questions and God kept providing the answers about where my "happy little trees" needed to be placed and how I could best breathe life into my work, my home, and the life of those around me.
Air is Free: Share it with your team
Breath is an amazing thing. We all breathe from the same air and yet in some cases we need to breathe life into others to keep them alive, literally and figuratively. If you lead a team, take a look at your "followers" are there some turning blue because they can't catch their breath? Is anyone suffocating? What are you doing to breathe life into your team? Keep the air clean: have open conversations. Share the air: make sure everyone on your team breathes the same passion for your mission as you do.