An organization of Cultural Arts and Development.
"A time to Dance...A Time to Speak"

Monday, January 17, 2011

GPS - Finding Your Direction

Day #17 ONE MONTH TO LIVE. My Mom said she wanted to get us something electronic for Christmas and I couldn't think of a GPS fast enough. As a teaching artist, Substitute teacher, and arts ed administrator for 7 months, I realized that I am in the habit of getting lost. And getting lost royally and then when I reach the location I am still circling trying to find a place to park that my parallel parking challenged ability can know God has been so patient with my driving. But last year must have been His time to send me out into the real world because I had to park more uncomfortable ways (for me...not you) and I knew it was His way of pushing me out the nest whether I liked it or not. So with GPS mounted and Mapquest in hand, I trust this will be a better year for me...well at least driving.
"The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." Frederick Buechner (quote found in One Month to Live)

Unless I know my niche in life...I will also be lost...royally lost. God has given me 3 crucial resources according to the book which is 1. my gifts, 2. my passions, 3. my struggles. I think one of my gifts is teaching. Now whether or not it is best spent in a classroom, or should only be in the context of a performing art is something to ponder but it is definitely teaching. Education to me is a practical usage of a larger gift that is mine which is encouraging. So anything that involves teaching, coaching, mentoring, and promoting is right on my street. I don't need an internal GPS to find that. My passion is for the arts. I express it many ways but find my greatest joy in the context of faith and African-American culture. And how I love musicals...I could sing and watch them all day long. I think I drove my co-workers at my last job crazy as I practically found a new musical everyday from the You Tube. No wonder I had so much fun as an undergraduate at Emerson College!!! Many people know I love to dance, but to sing/dance/act...better. Many can do it better than I so I direct. I directed my first scenes at 16. It was a great dream fulfilled to direct in college. My Mom thought I wanted to go to theater school to act but I said no, I want to direct.
So what experiences am I passionate about? These days I am passionate about building legacy, about passing on what God has given me. Every time I conduct a workshop, seminar, intensive, or boot camp, something inside me sings. Eric Liddell said in the movie Chariots of Fire "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."
When I train others to come forth like a mid wife brings forth a baby, I feel God's pleasure. I really enjoy doing this along side my husband Martin because it is like 2 sides of the heart at work. We have worked side by side long enough that he knows where I am going, but he also gives a sharper perspective that is sometimes the translation of what I am really trying to say. My assistant Karen has also been very helpful in making these moments count in the lives of others.
And then there are struggles. Spending 7 months at a job that didn't yield a full-time permanent job, can I consider that a struggle? Not to mention struggles with money and struggles with health? In all my struggles I can honestly say I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have met along the way these last 10 years that include my husband and his family, various co workers in arts administration, arts and education, and ministry. Thankful for the old friends from college and grad school that have reconnected to remind me about the passions I once had so I can revisit them.
So today I'm going to check out my internal GPS system again and see where we are going for 2011. I think this will be an incredible year!

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