Having an "Affair" with Your Art & The Biggest Landowner in the World
People who have extra-marital affairs make time for their lover, even if they have a full-time job and a family. We should aim to prioritize our art in the same way.
Photo credit: Khara Woods (Unsplash)
The world remains confusing and uncertain. Between the pandemic, the Great Resignation and inflation rates skyrocketing, I thought I would focus this piece on creativity, inspiration and a wild fact I only recently discovered (you’ll have to keep reading to find out). I hope it sparks some energy into the secret dreams and projects you’re brewing.
Onwards we go!
Have an Affair
People who have extra-marital affairs make time for their lover, even if they have a full-time job and a family. It doesn’t even matter what the risks or the challenges or the dangers might be. What matters is that they make time for their loved one.
They have laser focus and an incredible ability to create time, which is an admirable trait us artists and dreamers should strive for.
Stop treating your creativity like it’s a tired, old, unhappy marriage (a grind, a drag) and start regarding it with the fresh eyes of a passionate lover. Even if you have only fifteen minutes a day in a stairwell alone with your creativity, take it. Go hide in that stairwell and make out with your art! (…) Lie to everyone about where you’re actually going on your lunch break. Pretend you’re travelling on a business trip when secretly you’re retreating in order to paint, or to write poetry, or to draw up the plans for your future organic mushroom farm. Conceal it from your family and friends, whatever it is you’re up to. Slip away from everyone else at the party and go off to dance alone with your ideas in the dark.” - Elizabeth Gilbert, Author
Now, I ask you dear reader, what parts of your inspirations, dreams and creativity need to be unleashed? Most importantly, are you willing to give up everything to be alone with your beloved?
Don’t think about it as hard-work. Think about it as sexy.
There’s a Time to Attack and a Time to Defend
Growing up as a Latina in the Middle East taught me something I think most women will relate to: we must be polite, smile and never, ever, everrrr challenge authority.
Let me tell you something… playing a defensive game like that is EXHAUSTING. It kills your self-esteem which eventually kills your hopes and aspirations and opportunities for creating wealth.
Now, I’m spending my early thirties righting my wrongs. Unlearning what’s been so profoundly ingrained in my genes. I’m trying to re-train myself to be a predator when the time calls for it.
After all, I - like you - am not weak, but strong.
“Among animals, there is said to be a mysterious psychic dance between predator and prey. It is said, if the prey gives a certain kind of servile eye contact, and a certain kind of shiver that causes a faint rippling of the skin over its muscles, that the prey acknowledges its weakness to the predator and agrees to become the predator’s victim.”- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Author
Source: Women Who Run with the Wolves
There is of course a time to “shiver” and a time “run.” We can’t be shivering all the time, nor can we be running.
But at this critical step in the evolution of my woman-ness, with the state of the world, I am fully equipped to strike as needed - when I’ve been wronged or when I see injustices done unto others.
I am finally learning to play offense.
The Catholic Church is the Biggest Landowner in the World
I was today years old when I learned the Roman Catholic Church is the biggest landowner in the world. My mind is blown, but I’m don’t even know why! It makes sense.
With more than 1 billion adherents, the Catholic Church is one of the largest, if not the largest, nongovernmental landowners in the world. One estimate puts the church’s holdings close to 177 million acres, or 277,000 square miles. (source)
If all these Catholic church/properties were grouped together and placed on a list of the world’s countries by land area, it would fall within the top 50 (and actually higher than both France and Spain).
They have a LOT of land and wealth. Not to mention the fact people make donations, payments and tithings to the church.
“Still, in the U.S., Catholic organizations own property in nearly every county of all 50 states. Some of those parcels are thousands of acres in size. From Burhans’s point of view, that gives the church a tremendous responsibility. Right now, in a lot of places, Catholic land use is “horribly irresponsible,” Burhans says. “So much space goes unused. It’s a huge missed opportunity.” (source)
It’s interesting the Catholic church would own so much land and wealth, when there is growing pain, suffering and poverty in the world they wish to heal.
“How to Be Great? Just Be Good, Repeatably” by Steph Smith.
We’ve all asked ourselves “how do I become great in life?”. If that is in fact you, this article is a must-read. Steph argues we should be asking “how do I become good in life” or even “how do I become decent” and then focus on developing those habits, repeating them over time. There is no “magic moment” when you become great, so consider that your most probable path there is to repeatedly focus on what’s good.
“The only way to become excellent is to be endlessly fascinated by doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom.” - Atomic Habits, James Clear
Until next time, friends. Take care of yourselves and go make art our of your lives.