Lauren McLean Iuppa Ayer

Poet | Artist | Optimist

Tag: service

Two Stories

Today we are wrapping up week 4 of #Quest2016, Do Your Best Work, Not Someone Else’s.

Two Stories

Visionary: Jen Louden

What’s the story you most desire to bring to life in 2016?   

What’s the story your just-right client most desires to bring to life in 2016? 

Where do your two stories overlap? #2Stories

The story that I most desire to bring to life in 2016 is this:

I am powerful.

I have the power to make a difference–
in my life and in this world.

I am an agent of change.

I can change the trajectory of my story–
our story–through small daily actions,
repeated consistently over time.

I am a beacon of light and hope.

Through my work, my actions, my life–
I can remind others that a better world is possible
–possibly only a breath away.

I am stronger with others beside me.

Whatever I believe I can do on my own,
it can increase exponentially when collaborating
with others who share my passion.

Art matters.

I can speak my truth more loudly,
more clearly, with art and story
than with a picket sign, a megaphone, or by strapping my blast-ready body to a coal plant.

Silence is no longer an option.

The time has come to take a stand
for my own life, for the lives of those I love
for this Earth that feeds us, holds us, supports us.

 And the story my just-right client desires to bring  to life in 2016?

That they, too have the power…

  • To create change
  • To maintain hope, to shed light in the midst of great darkness
  • To stand up and speak or draw or write or strum or drum their truth in whichever way or language they have available
  • To work together for a better, more loving, more green and beautiful world

That we all do.

We share the same story, the same fears, the same hopes, and the same power–to own our strengths and weaknesses, to transform ourselves in service of transforming the world.

Service

Today’s Quest2015 prompt comes from women’s leadership expert Tara Sophia Mohr.

How can I be of highest service?’

Interestingly, this is a question I ask myself all the time. This and its variant, “what is the greatest good I can do?”

And because it is my way, I have a bunch of different answers. But figuring out which one thing would be of highest service? That is much harder to figure out. At least it was, until I remembered that in order to accomplish anything, serve anyone, I have to be well enough to do the work. I have to be clear-headed enough to discern what matters most. I have to be connected enough to the world and the people within it to see what needs doing. And that means taking care of my body, mind, and spirit first and foremost, before anything else. Because if I don’t have the strength to stand, I cannot reach out my hand to help someone else off their knees. So for 2015 at least, I will be of highest service by building enough of my own strength to be able to share it with others. By finding clarity. By nurturing important connections.

And on days when I am strong, I will help others build their own resilience, through example, stories, art, craft, and whatever else I can think of, in support of the manifesto I wrote not so long ago:

I believe that art can save the world. That creation, illumination, revelation, can and will heal the darkness, pain, and destruction that currently shatter our world. I believe that trading guns and lies and fear and hate for a paintbrush, a camera, a needle and thread, has the power to stitch the world back together again.

I believe that there is enough for everyone to live simply and well. I believe that “trash” is in the eye of the beholder and that it is our right and our duty to salvage every bit of everything we can. To transform the cast-off, the tossed away, the unwanted into something useful and beautiful and meaningful and loved.

Because I believe that it isn’t just things we are wasting—we are losing people, too. Unique and important beings slip through the cracks every day. Just as every day those cracks grow wider and deeper and hungrier. I believe in “no one left behind,” in “never give up,” in “no one is an island,” in “every life is worth living,” worth saving—starting with our own.

I believe that every one of us has a hero within, just waiting to to be revealed. And the world needs heroes now, perhaps more than ever before.