You Had It All Along, My Dear

One of my favorite scenes from the Wizard of Oz is when Glinda the good witch tells Dorothy that she had the power all along. She is speaking of the power to go home. Home in this case is where we truly live, feel alive, and relevant. It really has nothing to do with our physical address. The ability to go home was available to her the entire time. The clicking of the heels was symbolic. She just had to tap into that power. Without the experiences in Oz, she would have returned without the elevation those experiences gave her. She was ushered into new ways of seeing, giving home greater meaning and significance. Could it be that what we find ourselves searching for are much closer than we ever imagine? We spend so much time looking for things we already have or had and cannot fully see or appreciate.

On her journey through Oz, Dorothy is challenged as she adjusts to the characters she encounters along the way. She meets them where they are and acknowledges them. She tends to them and encourages them to be who they are. In return, they help her to get to where she needs to go. Each one of the characters is an aspect of herself. As she supports them, she shores up her capabilities. She develops or realizes greater strength. As creatives, we sometimes allow those times of nourishment to slip by in our search for home– place we desire to be. Whether it’s winning contests, getting into museums and/or galleries, selling your work, working successfully as an artist, etc., it’s important to take care and tend to aspects of ourselves along the way.

In my experience, as I do those things that feed my soul, I find myself accomplishing more than when I grind unconditionally alone. Feeding the soul does not have to involve deep diving into metaphysical waters. It can be as simple as eating crabapples on the edge of a country property (they taste like childhood memories). Or riding my scooter in the street, or wrestling with my children, or climbing a tree and looking out across the landscape from a higher vantage point. Whatever it is for you, I’m recommending you do it. Do it without justification or remorse. Buy that book or magazine subscription, that hotel pillow, that vintage doll, or car, for that matter. Go to that restaurant you’ve been seeing on your way to or from work. Try on the dress or shoes in the display window. You don’t even have to buy them, just connect – click your heels. Tending your curiosities, no matter how small will do more to lead you to the things that lead you home than months of stressful grinding. You already have the possibilities inside, just connect with the journey home.

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