Be an Artist of Life

  • Who am I?
  • What is real?
  • What is love?

These are the three questions in a new book by Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of the Four Agreements, which, you may recall, are:

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Take nothing personally
  • Make no assumptions
  • Always do your best

I was reminded of these when I listened to Maria Shriver interview Ruiz on her Sunday Morning Architects of Change newsletter.

Shriver said we are all artists of our lives and she and Ruiz agreed that we are also presidents of our own countries. I like these ideas.

I know that I am a creative person. While I am dedicating this month to documenting my creativity daily, I often feel powerless over my family situation and over this once-great country. (Just today, the country’s leader engaged in unkind, sophomoric name-calling in a way that I  would not allow my students or children to speak to one another.) I believe, leaders should follow the four agreements, especially the first.

Even more disturbing today is the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggiin at the hands of a murderous regime whom the pres calls friends. We must, as a country, return to a nation of truth and honor. Realize and value that journalists are searching for the truth, as are artists.

In my own efforts to increase my search for more truth, empathy and kindness, I feel, at times, rudderless. Whom shall I follow? Are we all making it up as we go along? I think so. This is life — we are all improvising our own efforts to bring more hope to the world.

I find hope in the four agreements and the three questions.

Because creativity is such an individualized journey, we may not always see the guide in front of us. Yet, we are being led. And we must follow the path of creativity and kindness. We also have to be okay with uncertainty on our journey.

I am grateful to my month-long commitment to becoming more creative. I vow to continue to live my most creative life by increasing my activism, writing, painting, and teaching. And not losing hope.

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