I received a poignant email this week from my good friend and fellow artist, Emanja Alleyne. She’s a photographer who takes beautiful pictures and, like many of us, is searching for the purpose in her art.

The words in her email struck me so deeply that I asked permission to share her insights as a guest post. She was gracious enough to oblige.

I hope you find inspiration in her words, as I did. And if you want even more, I assure you, you’ll find it on her website.

purpose as an artist

photo cred: Emanja Alleyne

The email begins…

Working in the entertainment biz is something I’ve pretty much always known I wanted to do in some shape or form. I was the first person in my immediate family to go to college, graduating from the film production program at Cal State Northridge.

Although I’m the middle child, I’ve always felt as though I was the catalyst for change in my family. I wanted to be the one to set an example for my siblings, and even my parents who, like most parents, made quite a few mistakes.

This could be seen as something positive, but because of all those years of putting so much pressure on myself to be the one to “succeed,” I lost sight of what I actually wanted. I don’t even think I ever knew what I truly wanted to begin with. An extremist by nature, I tried to please everyone around me, but me. I tortured myself with comparison, which lead to self-doubt and inaction…

The last 2 years have been some of the most challenging, but eye opening experiences and I am grateful for them.

I think the world is quickly moving in the direction of embracing our individuality. There is no one size fits all, and a belief like that can only be limiting.

Although I had a beautiful, free-spirited childhood, I realized that subconscious belief is what had me living in an unconscious state of confusion for most of my life. It goes without saying that if we all dedicated our lives to finding and developing our strengths as opposed to tirelessly trying to fix our weaknesses, we’d all lead much happier and more fulfilling lives.

I understand that all the positive change I wish to see in this world may very well not happen in my lifetime. However, I still care about the legacy I leave behind. I understand that any change I wish to see must begin with me (thanks, Gandhi), and I am committed to never giving up on being that change.

It doesn’t mean I’m not going to have bad days or feel discouraged at times. Rather, I will keep moving along with conscious effort in discovering my life’s mission and purpose.

I feel like finding our life’s mission is our mission, in essence.

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