What Makes Your Heart Sing?

Everyday reflection and mindfulness

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Free Spirit, by Caroline Wadhams

Since the beginning of the year I resumed my morning creative routine: I would get up six o’clock in the morning, meditated for a few minutes, and then focused on my creative practices such as drawing, writing, or reading until it was time to get ready and go to work.

For some days maintaining the routine was easy, but for other days it was hard, especially when the weather was drab or I felt overwhelmingly tired. But somehow I continued the routine till this day.

I have been reflecting a lot since my recent one-week workshop at Central Saint Martin Art College in London. That is what draws me to do what I do at both work and art practice, such as trading the lie-in time for sitting at the desk in my cold and dark studio, or trading my holiday time for a week creative practice at the art college.

I love what I have found so far from Peter Korn, who wrote Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftman: as furniture maker Peter Korn shared his journey of pursuing a life with meaning, how the life unfolded over the years of sustaining creative practices, how exposure to alternative narratives about life and art deepened his own understanding of the world, and how inter-linked between what he wanted his furniture work to express and what qualities that he wanted to cultivate within his own character.

In the same book, Peter Korn wrote: ‘’The simple truth is that people who engage in creative practice go into the studio first and foremost because they expect to emerge from the other end of the creative gauntlet as different people.’’ For me the epiphany that the writer had about the integrated link between why we do what we do and the pursuit of a life with meaning and purpose shed some light on my own quest.

Even at this moment of writing, knitting words together and ravelling them apart are not necessarily a pleasurable endeavour, but somehow I wanted to express the idea germinated in my head, and noted down the searches and revelation that I had in terms of pursuing a life infused with creativity and meaning, which I hope would be of some value to others.

I have been thinking of the question that Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, kept drawing us back to: What makes our heart sing? It was thanks to this question that I made conscious decisions with regard to what I would like to focus on in life, whether it be taking on morning creative rituals, attending workshops, writing, or prioritizing my work content and continuous learning at the work place. I would like to think that all of these are in order for me to get closer to becoming the person that I want to be, and leading towards a life that is illuminated, creative, and fully integrated.

How about you? I would love to hear from you about what makes your heart sing.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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