Following quote from
acclaimed artist Aaron Paquette
You think you don’t have enough knowledge yet,
or training or time.
You think all these things and so your
mind listens and makes it so.
Isn’t time to believe all things are possible?
Isn’t it time to let go of that great evil, perfectionism,
and let your work be imperfect without fear of judgement?
Isn’t it time to cast worry aside and grab hold
of your purpose, your reason, your destiny?
I will tell you what you already know:
This is the time.
This is your day.
This is the moment you feel a flame in your heart
growing, spreading, filling you with Life!
Help it grow.
It’s the true expression of your very own
soul longing to breathe free.
Longing to fly.
Are you ready? It may not feel like it, but you are.
Will you fall? Absolutely!
And will you rise?
Do what you have to do to make it happen right now.
Change everything. Now.
You are fierce and beautiful and strong.
Show it to the world.
Returning Home by Aaron Paquette
Artist Aaron Paquette is one of Canadaʼs premiere First Nations artists. He is a painter, writer, keynote speaker and workshop facilitator. He is also a political commentator, illustrator, goldsmith and cathedral stained glass artist. Please visit his web site here.
His recent projects include a major reconciliation mural for Edmonton’s LRT Grandin Station, a series of four paintings depicting the challenges faced by Canada’s indigenous people entitled, “Four Directions”, and he is curating a traveling exhibit for the Art Gallery of Alberta.
Image from mural at Gradin Station
Lastly Aaron just released a debut young adult novel entitled Lightfinder, through Kegedonce Press. Here is a synopsis of the book:
Lightfinder book cover
Aisling is a young Cree woman who sets out into the wilderness with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty and two young men she barely knows. They have to find and rescue her runaway younger brother, Eric. Along the way she learns that the legends of her people might be real and that she has a growing power of her own.
The story follows the paths of Aisling and Eric, siblings unwittingly thrust into a millennia old struggle for the future of life on earth. It deals with growing up, love and loss, and the choices life puts in our path. Love and confusion are in store, as are loss and pain. Things are not always what they seem and danger surrounds them at every turn.
Will Raven”s mysterious purposes prevail? With darkness closing in how will they find the light to guide them? Will Aisling find Eric in time?
Here is a beautiful three part series of videos with Aaron Paquette by Bravo! The first video provides some background on Aaron and the second and third videos delve deeper into his art and spirituality. I was very moved and inspired by what he shared and think you will be too. It is well worth the time to watch all three.
From the Spirit Part 1
From the Spirit Part 2
From the Spirit Part 3
Abundance by Aaron Paquette
Lay Down Your Burdens by Aaron Paquette
Aaron Paquette’s story was inspirational to me because it is an example of a person living his vision and acting upon his passion. I will share another example from an article by Dr. Margaret Paul called “Are You Playing Too Small?”
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela
“Do you feel passionate about your life? If not, you are likely playing too small – opting for safety rather than for the aliveness that comes from fully manifesting your gifts and talents.
We have all been given unique gifts and talents. Some indigenous people know this and choose not to name their children until their unique talents emerge. For example, they might name their child “Basketweaver” or “Listener” or “Healer” when these talents emerge. They fully believe in encouraging the child’s natural gifts and talents.
For some strange reason, many of my clients believe that if something comes easily to them – if it is a natural talent – then it’s not what they should pursue. They believe that for something to be worthwhile, it has to be hard. Yet this is exactly the opposite of the truth! That which comes easy to you is your natural gift or talent, and it is likely what brings you the most joy.
My client, Skip, started working with me due to depression. He was a successful dentist with a lovely wife and three children whom he adored, but still, he was depressed.
As we explored what was going on in his life, he told me that he became a dentist because his father was a dentist and his father wanted him to take over his very lucrative practice. But Skip did not enjoy dentistry like his father did. He never felt passionate about his work. It soon became evident that his depression was related to not doing what he really wanted to do.
Skip knew early in his life that he had two passions: psychology and writing poetry. He had been writing poetry since he was child and had even published a small poetry book, which had received some acclaim and which brought him great joy.
He had always been interested in psychology, and had read extensively in this field. But his father had convinced him that he could not earn enough as a psychologist and a poet to support a family, and that he had to think of others rather than himself.
Now, with a wife and three children, he felt trapped doing something for the rest of his life that brought him no joy. He dragged himself to work each day, and lived for the few hours when he had time to write poetry, as well as to spend time with his family.
When Skip realized that he couldn’t be a good husband and father being so depressed, he decided to make a huge life change. With the support of his wife, he cut his dental practice in half and went back to school to become a psychologist. And he started making more time for writing – both poetry and fiction.
As it turned out, Skip is an amazing writer and storyteller. His first book of fiction was published and did well. He is currently working on his second novel and finishing his PhD is psychology. With the income from his book, he is able to continue to support his family with his half-time dental practice. Because he is doing what brings him joy and manifesting his gifts and talents, he is also enjoying dentistry much more. He plans to continue his half-time dental practice, establish a small psychology practice, and continue writing. Somehow, he has also found more time to be with his family.
Skip is being as big as he really is and is no longer depressed! By following his passions, he has renewed energy and aliveness for his life and finds that he has time to do all that brings him joy.”
A Fearless Heart by Aaron Paquette
Aaron shared about being in connection with spirit and creating his art and how this led him to a more stable, centered and spiritual life. Dr. Margaret Paul then shared about her former client who finally dared to pursue the passions he had suppressed and in turn found freedom from the depression that had plagued him.
Where are you at with pursuing your passions? Do you know what they are or are you still figuring it out?
Sometimes our responsibilities regarding caring for others and jobs that pay our bills make it more difficult to pursue our passions. Do you make the time to do the things you love? If not how could you change that? If you do make the time, do have any words of wisdom for those who struggle to do so?
Do you find that there is a connection between your passions and your spirituality? If yes, how does that influence you?