Tonight is the last night of Kwanzaa and I've been reviewing the hopes and plans I had made to incorporate the 7 principles of Kwanzaa in my life in 2011. I've been pretty successful with many of the principles, but I can see that there is room for improvement as I begin the new year of 2012. Let's see how I did in the last principle, Faith...
Seventh night of Kwanzaa - Faith
Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Seven candles for seven nights...Kwanzaa may be over but the principles will be incorporated as 2012 marches forward!
Then and Now:
I think that what I wrote about this principle still stands today so I'm reposting it here...
"I know the wording of this principle is aimed toward the African American community, but it often feels to me that Artists are under-appreciated in society and it often feels like a struggle to be taken seriously as an Artist...and it takes a great deal of Faith to BE an Artist in the face of that.
My favorite quote about Faith comes from Dr. Martin Luther King, which I think may resonate for many of you:
FAITH is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase
It takes Faith to begin a new work of art - we often have an idea in our heads but our materials don't always cooperate with our vision!
It takes Faith to put ourselves and our work out into the world because we don't always know how it will be received and we need to have Faith that it will be well received by those who are open to it...
It takes Faith to live as an Artist and not worry about where our next meal will come from...
It takes Faith to trust that the Universe will provide what we need when we need it, but it always does if we ask for what we need...
It's not always easy to have that Faith when we can't see the outcomes of our efforts right away but I Believe with all my heart in Art and the power of creating with our hands and I Believe with all my heart that Creating is Healing...and I Believe the knowledge of all that can help me to "Keep the Faith*" in the face of the unknown..."
Here is how I think I did with this principle:
I can tell you that it's been quite a challenging year for me this year and some days my Faith was flagging in the face of those challenges. Knowing I would be laid off by June brought joy at my impending freedom from a horrible workplace, but it also brought challenges like my lack of internet at home. I'm very thankful to have a wonderful boyfriend who gives me access to his computer for blogging and for listing goods to sell on Etsy!
Every day I have doubts and fears about how my life will take shape, but I always keep my focus on the fact that everything I need is provided for in one way or another and this helps me to "Keep the Faith" that there is abundance in the world and I deserve to have that abundance in my life.
I think if I can keep the idea of "Abundant Support" firmly in mind, some of my fears can be alleviated as I move forward in 2012. And I also remember that having doubts and fears is a natural reaction to the Unknown! The trick is to be sure those doubts and fears DO NOT take over and I think that is where FAITH comes in ;)
How do you "Keep the Faith" to take steps when you can't see the whole staircase? What or Who do you Believe in with all your HeArt?
* - Once again, many thanks to Tavis Smiley for this wonderful phrase! I may need to start watching his show again to hear this important reminder =-)