Liz kicks off with the story of the incredible poet Jack Gilbert.

Unrelated, except in genius Liz tells us about the profound poet who dedicate himself to the pursuit of poetry above all else. She tells us he would often move to Greece or Italy for years at a time...like 10 years to write (how many of you are scared to book a week long family trip for fear of missing an audition). He would then publish some poetry book that would be top of its time and then disappear again. He was more interested in his art than fame, or money, or anything. Creating was the purpose, the means, not the fruits of the creation. Remember me mentioning the Bhagavad Gita to you all? The ancient Yoga text with one of my favorite quotes, “you are entitled to your actions, not the fruits of your actions.” That would be the way of Jack Gilbert.

Can any of us really say we are more dedicated to our art form than the results that could come from it? Are we really in love with exploration of character and developing story more than we are devoted to taking selfies of ourselves doing it for the world to see?

It’s tricky.

We live in a culture obsessed with SHOWING everyone what we are doing, more than we are obsessed with doing it. If it were really about the art wouldn’t it be much more like the good old days where Marilyn and all the heavy hitters were over at the Actor’s Studio studying their craft each night? Is building our twitter following really an art form?

And maybe for you it is!
Maybe it is high art for you, and that is beautiful if so!
And if you are doing it to get somewhere instead of be someone, perhaps it isn’t.

Keeping integrity with our art, creativity and purpose is not lofty or more righteous. It is for our sustaining of it. In a world which values the dollar over humanity itself, our hunger for something more has to be bigger, and that takes huge amounts of fortitude.

Jack told his students, “you must live your most creative lives as a means of fighting back against the ruthless furnace of this world.”

He told his students that above us they must be brave.

“Without bravery they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities. Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery their lives would remain small — far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be.”

It takes so much bravery.

THAT is why we need to love it more than fame and validation and dollar bills. Because IT is higher than all of those.
Because IT needs more of you to make it.
And IT is the reason you are here.

Liz says it takes courage to find the treasures buried inside of you. It is like this great universal scavenger hunt.

There is an old parable....

The gods wanted to hide all the riches of the earth. They decided they would hide them in the human heart, for we would never look there.

We, the artists....we gotta look!!!!!

It is our JOB.
And we just might be the ONLY ONES brave enough!

And if there is anything the world needs right now, it is the shiny hope of some inner treasure brought to the light.

So this week we devote to being brave enough.
I recently asked someone I thought was beautiful (too beautiful for me) on a date. It was terrifying.And I discovered something.

The result was irrelevant.
I BECAME the person who was brave enough to ask, the minute I asked. THAT I get to keep, regardless of their answer.

*side note...he said yes :)

Let us be brave enough to go on this journey.
To say YES to our creative living. Whether it loves us back, leaves us hanging or showers us with praise and gifts. Let us say yes, because WE will be changed by the saying of it, and the doing of it.

Let us be brave.
This week, ask your Inner Muse, your Creativity to go steady. Tell them EXACTLY how you feel for them.
Be willing to say I love you first.
Write it down. This is your love letter to your creativity.
See who you become.
Feel what bravery feels like.

We begin. Natalie

Jen Rudolph