Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration… The vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart – this you will build your life by, this you will become.

-James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

In a creative life, droughts are a necessity. The time in the desert brings us clarity and charity. When you are in a drought, know that it is to a purpose.

-Julia Cameron, The Artists’ Way

I’m experiencing a stand still with my creative self and trying to nurture my self through it with compassion and positivity. It isn’t easy. But, I’m walking through the desert – staying with my morning pages, and picking up the brush every morning, even if it’s just to draw lines across the page in a somewhat meditative and soothing posture. This drought will end.

Man has but to right himself to find that the universe is right; and during the process of putting himself right, he will find that as he alters his thoughts towards things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him… Let a man radically alter his thoughts and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.

-James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

It all starts from within ourselves… from our thoughts…all good, all evil, all change starts within. If there is some circumstance we would change, we need to first set our mind, attitude, actions on the proper course. Then, in due time, the transformation from without can begin.

Of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul which have been restored and brought to light in this age, none is more gladdening or fruitful of divine promise and confidence than this – that man is the master of thought, the moulder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.

As a being of Power, Intelligence, and Love, and the lord of his own thoughts, man holds the key to every situation, and contains within himself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he may make himself what he wills.

– James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

I’ve been working on this for some months now – being truly mindful of the thoughts that cross my brain. How inconsequential a silly thought might be, it is still a seed with boundless potential. Some are seeds to weeds and others to beautiful flowers and plants and trees. To be selective about which seeds we lay in our fertile mind will determine what grows into our attitude and actions, which in turn give life to our circumstances and environment – and therefore it is of critical importance that we check our thoughts for uprightness. We can not entertain folly and contempt and expect to reap abundance and goodness. It just doesn’t follow the natural law of the universe.

I am working on this every single day… I am a little too apt to judge others and harbor contempt for others’ folly… but these are not the seeds of goodness and light. And, I want the those in my life.

Few things are accidental. Most things are by design. We just have to be aware of it.

The grace to be a beginner is always the best prayer for an artist. The beginner’s humility and openness lead to exploration. Exploration leads to accomplishment. All of it begins at the beginning, with the first small and scary step.

– Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

What we need is more day-to-day living; starting in morning with fresh, clear ideals for that day, and seeking to live each hour as if it were all the time left to us. This has in it no element of disregard for the future, because each day is set in harmony with that future. It is like the sea captain pointing his vessel toward its port of destination and day by day keeping her sailing toward it. This view of living kills morbid regret of the past and morbid worry about the future.

– William George Jordan

We do too much watching of our neighbor’s garden, and too little weeding in our own.”

-William George Jordan

I used to spend countless hours every week poring over instagram and pinterest for cool art and emerging artists in the name of research and inspiration but often found that I didn’t feel the better for it. In fact, I felt somehow insufficient and intimidated by those much further along on their artistic journey. Now, I limit my social time… paying less attention to who follows my work, how many likes I get, and I engage only long enough to appreciate the wealth of talent and art in the world. There is a happy medium to find… and I would much rather weed and water my own garden anyway.

“Simplicity means the light of the fullest knowledge. It means that the individual has seen the folly and the nothingness of those things which make up the sum of the lives of others. S/He has lived down what others are blindly seeking to live up to. Simplicity is the secret of greatness in the life of every human being.”

-William George Jordan

I seek simplicity… in all thoughts, words, deeds, and possessions… so that I might achieve greatness. 

“Any man may attain self-control if he only will. He must not gain it, however, except by continued payment of price, in small, progressive expenditures of energy. Nature has an installment plan for each individual. No man is so poor that he cannot begin to pay for what he wants from his life. And every small, individual payment that he makes, nature accumulates for him as a reserve fund of strength in his hour of need.”

-William George Jordan, The Kingship of Self-Control

Much of the work we do as creators, as leaders, as people seeking to make change–it needs to ferment, to create character and tension and impact. And if we rush it, we get nothing worth very much.”

Seth Godin

Reminder to self to put in the work and the time and not to rush it because more is being created and shaped than the medium upon the canvas. I am becoming as well…