YOU DON’T NEED PERMISSION To Have Your Heart’s Desire

Sudden thoughts on a Saturday afternoon…..

Someone came to my open studio a few weeks ago. I don’t know the person–I know where they work, but I don’t know anything else about them. They’d never seen my studio before.

All I know is, when the person came in, I felt they needed something.

I don’t know why, I don’t know what. It wasn’t a scary, try-to-fill-my-infinite-black-hole kind of need. It felt a simple, healthy desire to have a little room (or a big room, like my studio!) to make stuff, too. A little room. Or a little time. Or a little courage. Or a little permission.

I thought they looked….wistful. (Sorry, I can’t explain it any more than that. Vague stuff, I know!)

I gave them something–a totem animal necklace–and explained why they needed to have it.

It turns out they have a creative dream, something they want to bring into the world. It’s tiny right now, and new, it’s sudden, it’s exciting. I saw a picture, and I agreed.

We talked a little. I encouraged them to just try. Just do it and see where it takes them.

I know it takes me a thousand words to get a simple idea across, but here it is:

Whoever you are out there in the world, reading this, know that whatever is in your heart, you should do it.

You don’t need the world’s permission to have your heart’s desire.

You don’t need to be politically correct to live your dream.

You don’t even have to know what you want to be happy.

You don’t need to please anyone else to make what you want to make.

You don’t have to do it full-time.

You don’t have to be a “professional”.

You don’t have to get an art degree, or do shows, or enter competitions, or get gallery representation.

You don’t even have to sell it if you don’t want to.

All you have to do is get it out of your self, and get it out into the world.

And here’s another tip, if you do decide to make stuff and sell stuff:

Sales don’t necessarily mean you’re making the right stuff. Consequently, lack of sales don’t mean you’re not making the right stuff.

Money, fame, recognition, prizes don’t always mean you’re on the right path. In fact, these things can clutter up your vision if you’re not careful. (For example, every year at the Sunapee air, why do I wish for a best booth award? What does a booth award have to do with my work, with what it means to me, and what it means to other people??!)

And nobody can define your “success”, except Y*O*U.

So today, just go make something. Experiment. Play. Make it better. Give it to someone. Or keep it for yourself, if you want.

You don’t need anyone’s permission, except your own.

Do you need more encouragement? Here’s a wonderful poem by William Stafford…

You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now?
Are you waiting for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day.
This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life –

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

William Stafford

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

10 thoughts on “YOU DON’T NEED PERMISSION To Have Your Heart’s Desire”

  1. That is so true 🙂 There is something so special to create. I know a lot of people who think they can’t create something, lack of creativity, lack of talent, ideas, skills… whatever. A lot of my friends are now also addicted to using polymer clay (hey, I show what I love best as material ^^) because we had some time and just started together. I always tell them not to be afraid to use the materials (they don’t want to waste it), not to be afraid to go over the top, just get messy with paints and everything (quite therapeutic for some people) and just go on. And then they find that they love it, that there is a desire in them to create and that they allow themselves to follow it. To be honest, I just love it when I got someone new hooked to work with pc! ^^ I really believe that it is important to create, in every possible way, that it is a deep and basic human desire that is often not fulfilled anymore in our modern times. For me, to create keeps me sane. This is something I often say jokingly and with a smile, but it is true. Plain and simple.


  2. Thank you, Luann! What you said is so true. I’ll show it to my daughters, Sandy and Jenny! Happy Thanksgiving! Kay

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Yes, I say. And yes some more! I meet people every day who tell me that they are not creative, that sigh deeply and marvel at something I made and say they could not do this. Comparing your creativity to another is so harmful. I argue with people all the time that they are indeed creative. It is the gift that each of us has been given by God. The key is to find out where your unique and innate creative abilities lie and how to bring them to the world. Your creative spark will not be the same as mine so you can’t compare yourself to me. You can be creative in baking, or painting, or music, or raising wonderful kids. But if you hide the creativity from the world, if you cover it up, or worse, if you ignore that it is there, you go against all that is Divine within you. We are called by God (or whatever spiritual aspect you wish) to be creative. Let that light shine free! Enjoy the day. Erin


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