81: Awakened by the Creator Within

81: Awakened by the Creator Within

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life

Awakened by the Creator Within

Don’t die with your music still inside. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul.

~Wayne Dyer

It was almost midnight on a cold winter night. I had just finished nursing my newborn son. I swaddled him in his blue and white blanket and placed him, protected from the world, in his bassinette near my bed.

I headed to the laundry room and put my son’s tiny clothes in the dryer. How could one little baby create so much laundry? I finished the dinner dishes. On the way back to my bedroom, I checked on my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who was sleeping peacefully in her new big girl bed. Exhausted, I kissed her on the cheek and headed back to my room.

When I peeked at my son, his eyelids were fluttering. A smile flashed across his face. As I watched him dreaming, I thought about my life and my own dreams that seemed so long ago.

I kissed my sleeping husband good night and snuggled under the covers. Staying home with my children, nurturing them, and watching them grow was something I had always longed for. But during these pensive moments, I felt something deep stirring inside me. I could hear my creative soul whispering to me: “Remember your dreams. You promised yourself you would paint and write when you took time off from teaching to stay home with your children.”

My saboteur within quickly chimed in: “You are too busy to do this. After all, you have two children and a husband who need you. You have laundry, cleaning, food shopping and an endless list of things to do. You don’t have time to create and besides there is no money in art. Don’t be selfish.”

The seed for my dream of painting and writing was planted at a very young age. My mom was an avid reader who took my siblings and me to the library on a weekly basis. I fell in love with picture books from the very start. Sketching every character and making up stories in my imagination, I secretly dreamed of writing and illustrating a children’s book. Now, my saboteur was trying to talk me out of it.

I listened to her and let her put an end to my foolish dream. I threw myself wholeheartedly into motherhood. I loved nurturing my children’s minds and hearts, exploring nature with them and teaching them about their five senses. I also taught them to listen to the promptings of their most important sense of all — their intuition. Like my mom did, I took them to the library on a weekly basis. Once there, I got lost in the world of books again. I think I read every children’s book in the library to my daughter. I also started a journal for each child and recorded our memories and their exciting milestones.

I was having fun, but still there were times when I felt my dream stirring deep inside me. I could hear my soul whispering to me in a powerful yet faint voice: “You must paint and write.”

One day I was dusting my bookshelf. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, a book I had read several years earlier, caught my eye. I opened it and the first thing my eyes saw was a quote by Carl Jung: “Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of a parent.”

“Aha,” I thought. Following my dream wasn’t just for me. It was not selfish. I needed to listen to my dream so that my children would be able to listen to their own dreams. I realized I couldn’t live my life through them. It wasn’t good for anyone.

Still I tried to ignore my creative soul by keeping busy. The war inside me grew bigger, so big that I felt like I was going to explode. One morning, as I was in my walk-in closet getting dressed, it felt like my closet was closing in on me. I heard a faint yet powerful voice, which I later learned was my courageous inner warrior, state, “You must paint or drink heavily.” I knew I had to make a choice. That day I called a local art center and signed up for an art class. I have been painting and writing ever since.

I am living my dream and modeling for my children that they must listen to their own. That is my gift to them.

~Christine Burke

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