I’ve always sensed that there is a quiet voice inside telling me that I have a gift that I am meant to contribute to the world around me. Sometimes I have silenced it out of lack of courage or lack of direction. Other times I’ve enthusiastically jumped in to pursue ideas, working hard to improve the world around me, whether in my immediate home, my community, or the world at large. I have long been searching for clues to what my unique talents might be and then for vehicles that would enable me to offer those talents to others. A dear friend and I collaborated recently to build a school in Cambodia after we realized that we each have that same inner knowing, that same calling to become who we are meant to be. We both feel that all our experiences thus far are preparing us for something larger than ourselves.
I want to share with you my thoughts on Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World by Christine Mason Miller, a delightfully refreshing guide to “using [your] creative passion to transform the world.” I already loved Christine before I laid eyes on her new book. (And I’ve had it for awhile, just waiting to be read. See earlier post.) Somehow the gods smiled on me and I won a giveaway of one of her art pieces. Here it is hanging up on the wall in our office/create space.
Christine is an artist who encourages and inspires others to follow their passions. She has surrounded herself with a community of other like-minded souls who work to make the world a better place through inspiration and art. Not only is her new book beautiful to flip through, it has quotations and meaningful suggestions of ways you can be of service to others just by using the creative gifts you were born with. Her book’s main message is that living a mindful, passionate life is the greatest service one can offer the world.
She writes in the Introduction that, “It is this profound desire to inspire that drives the day in, day out work of pursuing our passions, which is done in the midst of raising children, building marriages, and doing all the other requisite caretaking that falls on the to-do lists of most women. We write stories and prepare meals, design books and do laundry. We gather online, over coffee, and at organized retreats, sharing our experiences of all the ways we are able to create a meaningful life through our work, our families, and our communities. And yes, we all do this because it fulfills us and makes our hearts sing. But when we explore the deeper reasons behind this time and effort, there is something even more important than what these pursuits do for us, and that is our desire to shine a light in the world that others might need to take their own daring leaps.”
What follows are 143 pages of goodness put together with love and passion and designed to help you sparkle. 20 artists, entrepreneurs, and writers share their vulnerabilities and fears, their values and how they stay mindful of them in daily life, their own small shifts in perspective, and their individual techniques for being a positive light in the world. There are exercises at the end of each chapter to help you explore how you might incorporate the artists’ ideas into your own life.
I cannot say enough times how magnificent this book is! I haven’t ever seen such a collection of meaningful quotations and stories. I highly recommend this book as a gift to yourself and to your friends. I have enjoyed it from start to finish and many times back through. I’ve highlighted at least one word on each page. If I’m feeling any negative emotion, I can open the book to any page and instantly feel better after seeing the word “refresh,” or “secure,” or possibility.” Most importantly, I have nurtured the strong belief that the world NEEDS whatever it is I can contribute and I need to find a way to best share that.
“Imagine the positive differences that can be made when we take our strongest passions, our highest callings, and our most powerful skill set and share them where they are most needed and can have the greatest impact. When we hear our voice calling, our heart stirs and we are inspired into action; the same kind of stirring occurs when we recognize where these actions will make the greatest difference. Both are moments of feeling our intuition vibrate and letting its momentum carry us.”
You can purchase the book here. I’d love to hear what you think of it!