"The artists' role is to do what's honest for them. So if you're in New York and everyone is looking at the floor, you can look up. It's not your role to follow the others. It's your role to go to your center and then reflect that, not just to be a mirror to what's happening." ~ James Hubbell
Here is a tricky balance to keep: how can we be mindful of what's happening around us and also learn to follow our own hearts? It's easy to get swept up in the moment, in the emotions and circumstances of others. In its best form, we know this as empathy. In its worst form, we know this as distraction. How can we see the whole picture, and also our own role in it? How can we see both the forest and the trees? The role of the artist, in any medium, demands this balance, and that balance is our Center.
Our Center is an elusive thing. We clearly know when we have moved away from our Center: it's apparent in our lack of energy, enthusiasm, and joy. Finding and holding the Center, particularly in our daily adventures in chaos, is a tough thing because it sometimes requires that we disappoint others to be true to ourselves. It requires that we believe in ourselves and in our own abilities more than we believe in anything else. It asks us to take our future into our own hands.
There are three ways to know if we've found our Center:
1.) It makes time pass by so quickly and effortlessly that we barely notice how long we've been there.
2.) The activities we perform at our Center give us energy and we never grow tired of them.
3.) Our Center is the summation of the very best gifts we have to offer to the world.
For me, my Center is found in writing and yoga. I've been writing daily for three and a half years, and intermittently as far back into my childhood as I can remember. I've had a steady yoga practice for 10 years. Time has flown! These activities give me boundless energy and let me show my most joyful face to the world.
And so, I am taking James Hubbell's: in 2010, I will go to my Center and reflect what is there. By the time 2010 is singing its swan song, I'll find a way to make writing and yoga the Center of my life. I'll find a way to earn my living through them. The 'fierce urgency of now' is calling me far too clearly to spend my life any other way.