I thought I’d share a fun little treat for your imagination. I’ve been playing with this all week and it’s actually led to some interesting revelations.
I got this idea from an exercise in The Artist’s Way, and then a friend of mine started a Pinterest board called “The secret life I’ve always wanted it to live!” and filled it with the most gorgeous, gypsy-themed photos. I’m planning to steal this idea and create my own “secret life” vision board, or maybe a few of them, or maybe a whole series of artwork of some kind!
So here it is:
If you had, say, 5 other lives to live, who would you be in each of them?
Just play with that for awhile. I don’t know about you, but my imagination went totally nuts.
Here’s what I came up with:
1-I’d live up in or by the mountains with a horse and some chickens. I’d go for lots of long rides and hikes, I’d grow a lot of my own food and make my own cheese. I’d do lots of looking and not much talking.
2-I’d be a contemporary dancer. I’ve always wanted to dance, I paint dancers a lot, and even though my skills are somewhat less than extraordinary, I don’t doubt that there’s a dancer in me somewhere.
3-A minimalist traveler, living out of a backpack and working my way around the world. I’d observe, write, draw, connect, and let things flow out of my life as quickly as they flow in. Drink it in, express it, move on.
4-A musician. I actually have a lot of undeveloped musical talent, I just don’t know what I’d do with it at this point. In this imaginary life, I’d be a drummer in a rock band, I’d carry a harmonica in my purse with a notebook full of song lyrics. I’d take the time to train my voice properly and keep my piano and composing skills sharp.
5-A geologist/rock climber. I’d travel to explore and study the world’s most beautiful landscapes and write all about it.
Then I got carried away and came up with one more:
6-A surfer, with long wavy hair and a beach shack. I’d surf and swim in the ocean every day, eat mangoes to my heart’s content and get around town on a skateboard in my cargo shorts and tank tops. I’d never run out of sunshine.
This is a silly, self-indulgent little game, but I learned that by doing this, I was actually tapping into neglected parts of myself that long to be expressed.
I really encourage you to make a list of your own and then mine it for clues to what you might be secretly longing for in your life. Noticing leads to consciousness of this longing, and consciousness leads to plans, which lead to action. This doesn’t have to lead to a big drastic life overhaul though. I like my life and being an artistwriter and I chose that life for a reason.
However, here’s what my secret lives are telling me:
- I need to get outside more. Several of these lives are all about the outdoors; rock climbing, surfing, hiking, and horseback riding. I don’t need to move to the country, but I can go hiking a lot more often, maybe plan a trip to a national park or a beach to learn to surf. I live in Utah for crying out loud, so I’m sure I can find a way to ride horses every once in awhile. That’s actually a big one. I grew up riding horses, but I haven’t ridden in years. This is a sign that it’s time to get back in the saddle, literally.
- Just because I’ve chosen visual art and writing as my mediums doesn’t mean that I should let my musical talents go to waste. I took piano and voice lessons for many years and I used to compose, but I’m quite rusty. I feel very untrained, but music is a very intuitive thing for me and I know it’s an important part of my life. I could look into bringing my piano home from my parents’ house, or I could ask to practice on a piano at my church a few days a week.
- I need to set up a separate savings account to save for trips. If you’ve seen my Handprint List, you know that travel is important to me. I’ve made it to China and New York so far, but I’ve got a long way to go. It’s unlikely that I’ll pull up roots to travel Eat Pray Love style, but this little action will help get me on a plane to somewhere. Baby steps.
- Finally, I need to connect to my body. I’ve always been a very cerebral person, so I’ve spent my life as a brain riding around in a very awkward, unconditioned puppet body. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to dance, so maybe I should look into taking a class. The nice thing about me working full-time again is that I have a lot of extra wiggle room in my budget, so things like a dance class is feasible.
Look at your own imaginary lives and notice what you can do NOW to feed those parts of yourself. They can be as simple as picking up a library book about a topic you’ve always wanted to learn about, or visiting a local farm to milk a cow. You don’t have to pull up roots (unless that’s what you’re being called to do) but you can expand your horizon a bit.
What are your secret lives? What are they telling you?
I’ve been on fire lately, 2 giant items officially crossed off the Handprint List in two months! I say giant not because they’re crazy or expensive. Obviously, I still have a lot of traveling to do, but these two are completely up to me and my own power. No one else can do them for me. Just a few months ago, I didn’t think either of them were possible.
If you missed my last Handprint List update, catch it here.
So what have I done this time?
- Sell a piece of artwork
Here it is:
Sold. Someone actually paid me for something I created, which is a dream come true for any creative soul who longs to turn their passion into a career.
And that’s not even the most exciting part. I real kicker is that I’ve decided to pursue my dream of being a professional artist, not some time in the future, but right now. I’ve been covered in paint for the last two months and I have a body of work that I’m proud to display.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be launching a new website to showcase and sell my artwork. This site won’t be a replacement for Handprint Soul, but rather an extension of it. You can still read my posts about intuitive eating, passionate living and creative healing here on the main site, but if you interested in viewing my work and reading about my life as an artist, I’d love to see you on this new site. I’ll announce it when it’s ready to be unveiled, but until then you can catch me on Facebook and view works available for purchase on ebay.
Here’s a taste of what I’ve been up to:
So that’s a taste of what I’ve been up to. I’ll let you know when the new site is ready and I hope to see you there! Until then, I’ll be hanging around here and on Facebook.
The bucket list. 101 things to do before I die. The Barefoot List. I’ve heard it called different things, but it’s essentially the same and everyone has one whether they’ve written it down or not. They give us something to strive for and look forward to.
I call it my Handprint List, because it’s who I am, who I hope to become, and the mark I want to leave on the world, and it inspired this blog. I doubt I’ll actually accomplish all these things, but it’s a list of things I can do. It reminds me to aim high and keep an open mind. I add and remove things all the time, and I think everyone should have one of these. So here’s mine, and I hope it will inspire you to create your own. (The bold items are the ones I’ve done)
McKella’s Handprint List
- Work, teach, or volunteer in a foreign country
- 5. China
- Do a family history tour through England, Ireland, and Denmark
- The Vatican
16. Eastern Europe (Romania, Ukraine, Etc.)
17. Visit the Galapagos Islands to see wildlife up close.
19. Hike to Macchu Picchu
20. Visit Mayan ruins
22. Road trip across America (On a bike if I want to get really brave)
23. New England during the fall
24. Visit Roden Crater
25. Visit the Sacred Grove
26. New York
27. Ferry on the Mississippi River
29. Washinton DC, to learn about our county’s history.
30. Visit Native American pueblos
31. Visit the Muppet stuff in the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
- Speak Spanish fluently.
- Learn to belly dance
- Learn to surf
- Improve my piano playing
- Learn to play chess
- Improve my singing
- Sewing (enough to actually alter and design my own clothes)
12. Ice skating
14. Study abroad
15. Learn to survive in the wilderness and test my skills
16. Learn a martial art
17. Learn to place Linus and Lucy in full
19. Bread making
20. Learn to use a pottery wheel
21. Make my own ravioli
23. Study psychology
24. Learn to not throw like a girl
25. Skip rocks
26. Publish novels…I don’t know how many.
27. Publish at least one non-fiction book
28. Become financially independent and debt-free while doing something I love
29. Write and publish a children’s book
30. Create a whole body of art work and have a gallery show, even a private one.
31. Sell a piece of art
32. Change a tire all by myself
33. Be vegan for a year
34. Try African dance
35. High-raw vegan for a month
36. Name a star
37. See the Spiral Jetty
38. See Halley’s Comet
39. Shower in a waterfall or in the rain
40. Spend the night on a beach
41. Scuba dive in a coral reef
42. See the northern lights
43. Touch a whale
44. Watch a caterpillar emerge from it’s chrysalis
45. Do 50 push-ups in a row
46. Go an entire day without speaking
47. Pet a tiger
49. Learn to live simply
50. Skinny dip
51. Make a two-headed snowman, Calvin and Hobbes style
52. Swim with dolphins
53. Volunteer in an animal shelter
54. Volunteer to help abused women and children
55. Reduce my carbon footprint
56. Throw a surprise party for someone
57. Create a new holiday just for my family
58. Plant a tree
59. Dance in a foreign country
60. Ride a camel
61. Get a golden retriever
62. Try bikram yoga
63. Reach my natural ideal weight through intuitive eating and enjoyable movement.
64. Eat at a raw vegan restaurant, just to try.
65. See Tears for Fears live.
66. Run a half-marathon
67. Run a race for charity
68. Master the scorpion pose
69. Ride a horse sidesaddle
70. Try showjumping.
71. Do a headstand
72. Go rock climbing
73. Ride in a hot air balloon
74. Live without a car for a year
75. Win first place in something
76. Live by the ocean
77. Go sailing
78. Celebrate a non-materialist Christmas
79. See a whale in the wild
80. Grow my own food
81. Do the splits
82. Sing in a rock band
83. Live a full-blown yogini lifestyle for six months. Asanas, cleansing practices, etc.
84. Try fencing
85. Get a pet pig
86. Watch a meteor shower
87. Own a home
88. Trek through a jungle
89. Write, play and sing a song
90. Get married in the Temple
91. Become a mother
92. Homeschool my kids through elementary
93. At least try natural childbirth…this is a big maybe, I don’t know, I don’t know.
94. Research my geneology
95. Do temple work for my family members
96. Conquer my depression and anxiety
97. Learn to truly manage stress
98. Conquer fear (driving, being away from my family, offending people, etc.)
99. Learn to be happy no matter what my circumstances
100. Age gracefully. None of this wrinkle fighting or hair-dyeing stuff.
101. Finally, make an amazing scrapbook of all this
I plan on making a separate tab to post photos of these things as I accomplish them, a sort of visual “checklist.”
If you have a blog, consider yourself tagged! Post your own handprint list and send me a link. I’d love to see it! If you don’t have a blog, squeeze whatever you can into the comments.