Life is precious. Regardless of how frustrated I become with behaviors, issues, things that are out of my control, I do realize that I am blessed. I do not take credit for my accomplishments. Yes, I worked hard to accomplish each and every goal. But I believe that the opportunities that arose so those goals could be met, were not luck or chance. People found me worthy to plant seeds in my life, so those seeds could grow. I believe God put those people in my life for a reason. It is my responsibility to pay it forward.
Reflecting as I am preparing to travel to New York to participate in an award ceremony for the Top 60 Masters, hosted by ArtTourInternational Magazine; I am reminded of how art can speak to people and plant seeds in their lives. My prayer has been that my acceptance speech will inspire someone in the room. I believe it is my job to be humble and let our heavenly father give me the wisdom to speak what needs to be said. I felt confirmed in this belief when a friend of mine responded to a social media post. I joked, "Southern accent don't fail me now" She commented and said, "southern accents and the holy spirit never fail." I smiled as I felt comforted by her insight. This idea of planting seeds of encouragement, wisdom, truth, or change has always been a core value of mine.
I received a text from a person this morning who reminded me that seeds continue to grow even after we walk away from the garden. This person was an intern under my supervision at Tranquility Counseling Services a few years back. He was kind enough to allow me to teach him my Individualized Balance Awareness theory and treatment approach. I was planting seeds so that he could plant seeds into peoples’ lives. He has gone on to bigger and better opportunities, but occasionally he will let me know that he is still using my IBA. He let me know today that he was recently in Africa teaching, and he included this theory in the message he was teaching. I am extremely grateful that those seeds continue to grow in lives that I will never meet. That is the purpose behind everything I believe in. We are to plant seeds in others' lives. Some of them will grow, and some will not. However, I am thankful I can do my part. Sharing knowledge, kindness, and a heart for others is such a simple task. Yet we live in a world where division and selfishness are encouraged in the name of greed. And yet, regardless of where a person stands on any given topics, people have a common need to seek purpose for their lives. Art can speak to that purpose.
The theme of this year’s Top 60 Masters award ceremony is peace. As I look at the art from the other fifty-nine artists who are receiving the award, I see their statements of peace and love, and I feel they too find purpose through art. I believe it is every artist’s desire that his or her artwork will have an effect on the human heart.
Now, I must confess. I have not always planted seeds of good. I have hurt others, I have been selfish, I have made more mistakes that effected other lives than I can even count. This is how I know God exists, because no matter how much I mess up, his grace can restore the damage we cause. I can forgive myself for being human. If given the chance, I can ask those I have hurt to forgive me as well. But now it is also my responsibility to learn from the past and apply it going forward. Excuses and explanations do not justify wrong doings. However, we are all human and wrongdoing is a part of life. If not for Father God I would not be here for this opportunity.
So, this is my reflection and my prayer. As I stand at this ceremony representing my heavenly father, my earthly father who mentored my passion for art, my family, and the professional art world, I hope I can give an acceptance speech that says Thank you to God, and then the people who made this possible. I hope those few words express my gratitude. I hope those who have invested in my art, purchased my art, and encourage my art career will reap from the seeds which have been sewn.