Have you ever thought of doing something that serves you and the world? Have you ever decided “I’d really like to do this, I’ll go for it,” but then you end up thinking, “I am not enough, I don’t have enough knowledge, I don’t know enough. No one would listen to me, I need to improve, improve and improve,” but then this self-talk never ends? Well, you’re not alone on that journey. Let me tell you a story about the Artist and the Traveller.
Beyond the river and the mountains was a beautiful world, full of prosperous villages where many, many travellers came to learn the wisdom of the world. Somewhere there, in the meadows between the mountains, an Artist was sitting and resting from her work. The meadow was full of flowers of all sorts: poppies, cornflowers, St. John’s wort, daisies. She was sitting peacefully in the middle of the meadow, among the long grass. She was resting her legs on the ground while her hands propped her up; her palms were spread wide. Her posture made her look as if she were connected to the ground, almost as something was meant to flow from the ground through her widespread palms and charge her whole body.
In that peaceful moment, a Traveller came by asking, “May I just sit down next to you? You’re looking so mysterious here.”
The Artist was a kind woman and she said, “Of course, but who are you? Where are you going?”
The Traveller responded, “I am on a journey here, walking towards the prosperous village, the greatest of all.”
The Artist was rather intrigued and asked, “Oh, right, do you know where that is?”
The Traveller said, “Somewhere ahead of me. What about you? Who are you?”
The Artist answered proudly, “I am an artist. I am a creative spirit. I just sat here to charge myself. So where is the place that is ahead?”
The Traveller continued, “Further and further, where life takes me, and then one day I hope I’ll get to the prosperous village where I can hone my skills further.”
The Artist continued, “Oh, and what do you do in life?”
“I just go around the world, do some random jobs here and there, and then keep searching for the meaning of life and the prosperous village that I hope is somewhere ahead of me. Can you show me your art?”
And so the Artist did. She turned around her easel on which a fresh painting was just drying out and said proudly, “Look, this is my art. It has my whole heart in it.”
The Traveller looked and said, “Ah… and when do you know that a painting is finished?”
And the Artist responded, “It depends. Sometimes, just when it does not hurt any more. This is when I paint to heal my pains. Other times, it is when I just feel complete and that I poured out all that my soul had to say in that moment.”
The Traveller was rather surprised and said to the Artist, “What does it mean?”
The Artist said, “I do my art to heal myself and to heal the world. My art heals my heart, runs through my veins, feeds my spirit. It’s my voice, through which the gifts of my soul are given to the world. That’s all I need from it. And you when will you stop travelling?”
“When I find the prosperous village and a safe place. When I am healed from the past, but also when I have enough wisdom in my bag to build a village out of it and teach others a pinch of my journey.”
The Artist enquired, “But will there ever be enough? Maybe you should start building your village now? Maybe what’s in your bag is just enough?”
The Traveller said doubtfully, “If I had only known this…”
The Artist looked at the Traveller and she pitied her a bit. She looked into the sun, closed her eyes for a moment, almost as grasping a piece of magic from the air, and then looked back at the Traveller. She then said, “Open your bag, tell me what’s inside.”
The Traveller opened the bag and showed the Artist all the treasures she had inside. A few little things poured out of the bag and three of them dropped at the Artist’s feet: a book, a little diamond rock and a harmonica. She looked into the Traveller’s eyes and said, “Tell me the story of each.”
The Traveller answered, “The book is my story. I am writing it on my way as I walk around the world, all the wisdom life teaches me, the lessons I am taking as I go. The diamond is a piece of stone I got once as a solid rock in the village of Dreamford. A wise woman gave it to me as a thank you for all the work I did on her farm. As I was walking and travelling through the mountains, one day there was a horrible thunderclap, and as I was running to the nearest shelter I fell on the rocks, my bag dropped and the rock in my bag split in two. Then, over years of travelling I rubbed the two halves and rubbed and rubbed and one day I saw there were beautiful shiny diamonds, so I keep it in my bag. At times I crush it into little ones so I can live on them when I find no work on my journey to keep me going. If I am lost at night the moon shines on them and shows me which direction I should go. The third is my little harmonica; it’s my joy. When I travel around the villages I play on it and the children sit around me and sing and play. When I play, their mothers know that they are around a goodhearted traveller. Once, someone told me that a human with a joyful and pure heart will sing and play music that heals the world. So, I try to keep a pure heart so my music is of value to others. And so I keep going around the world, writing my story, with the stones in my bag, playing joyful songs that heal others’ hearts and souls.”
The Artist listened to the Traveller and said, “This is a beautiful story, you know, you have beautiful treasures – why do you think this is not enough to build a village on what you have inside your bag already?”
“I just think I need to learn more, play better, sharpen and polish the diamonds further and further before I am ready to become a teacher of my own village. I have to master my own craft. If I could only get to the prosperous village first, I’ll learn everything there, if I could only know where it is… then I’d be ready to build my own village. If I could only…”
“You can keep walking around the world and oceans and mountains with your treasures hidden in your bag, feeling like you have never enough, and also you can keep walking around the world and oceans and mountains with your treasures in your bag feeling like you have a lot to share, to teach others. Your village does not have to have a physical place, it can be all the people you meet, the beautiful space you leave in their hearts through your wisdom and the art of music. It can be a movable village of crowds that you leave behind you, and so you can have it all, building your movable village and travelling the world as you feel like. So all you have learnt can be shared further and serve the world further. The point is, you need to share with the world who you are, your craft and your music, your healing powers, so they can serve the world. You need to think of your wisdom and powers as just enough to give back. And when you need more, trust the wise mother of all – Mother Nature will throw at you the lessons you need to fill you with more. The lessons can be all sorts of things, including the pains and sorrows that will add to your bag of wisdom. And so your journey continues, but there is always a time to give back to the world, to serve the people, heal lost souls. Just believe you have enough. And then your book of wisdom will grow larger, your diamonds will shine brighter and your songs will be softer and kinder and will gain more power to heal the crowds. Just start thinking of your treasures like they’re just enough. Otherwise, you may fall into the trap of never being enough, never feeling enough, never healing enough and maybe never finding the prosperous village. Finally, in consequence, never using your treasures and your powers that are already within you, assigned to you for a reason.”
The Traveller replied, “It’s hard to accept it that way.”
“Just trust that Mother Nature and her wisdom is always there with you, all around you, guiding you through the lessons, but as you go, give away, use the powers you already discovered. Give back. Listen, for today, just go straight; there is my village and my home, you can stay there for a while and we’ll talk more. I’ll show you how to hone your creative life and how to feel enough. Wait for me at the garden outside, I’ll be right there when I finish charging from the ground. I’ll guide your spirit to find my garden.”
And so the Traveller walked towards the Artist’s village to learn what was enough. She walked and walked straight ahead, somehow knowing which path to follow. As she saw some chimneys ahead of her she knew that this was the Artist’s village. The village gates were open and she walked towards the Artist’s house, just there on a little hill. A white stone path took her there. The garden around the house was magical. It had flowers and herbs of all sorts. The Traveller sat there on a wooden bench and waited as the Artist had advised. The Artist came shortly after. She welcomed the Traveller warmly and said, “Have some tea and food, and then in just a few hours the people of the village will come to my garden for the evening.” The Traveller was curious about the evening and waited patiently.
When the evening came, the people of the village started gathering in the Artist’s garden. They were all warm and chatty and started asking the Traveller about her stories and her journey and so the conversation continued for some time. After a while the Artist came to the garden, stood on the large old tree trunk and said, “Welcome to another evening. Today, I’d like to introduce you to the beautiful soul of the Traveller. She is just enough, and she will play you a song that will heal your day. Come here, dear Traveller,” the Artist instructed.
The people in the garden all closed their eyes and covered themselves with warm blankets. The Artist had lit three bonfires around them to warm the evening. The Traveller somehow felt at home, felt like she was among people of good souls. She came and stood on the trunk and played music on the harmonica she had inside her bag and just today she played like she was enough. Somehow she trusted in the words of the Artist and played and played, and the people admired her soul and her music and felt the lightness of the air and its healing powers. After the first song they clapped their hands and admired her tunes and asked for more and more. And so she kept playing the music that was pouring out of her good soul. The wind from the mountains beyond blew her music through the air to other villages, and far, far away between the mountains people listened to that healing sound on the wind.
As a few hours went by quickly, the guests clapped and danced and the Traveller was astonished at what her music did and how the whole garden of people enjoyed it. As she stepped down from the trunk, the Artist came to her and said, “You see, you have it all in you, you just need to find crowds of people that will appreciate your gifts and what’s inside you, and you use that with all your power and all your confidence that all you have is enough. You have to find friendly crowds that will appreciate your gifts, warm gardens which will nourish your soul. But to find the friendly gardens, you need to show the world who you really are – you have to open your bag and be your true self, not hiding your gifts. And then of course, you have to keep playing. Your gifts will help you to find the friendly, warm gardens where you will not be afraid to play your music. There is a slight danger, of course, with sharing your gifts with the wrong crowds, but on this we’ll meet again, on another road, and I’ll tell you more then.”
And so the Traveller continued her journey, looking for her crowds that would believe in her healing powers. Those crowds and souls that she touched became her movable village, and that was indeed the prosperous village she had been searching for. But this would not have happened, if she had not found courage to stand on the stage of her life that was that old trunk in the Artist’s garden. You can’t find the world you belong to if you hide your treasures and keep them to yourself. And you can’t heal the world if you don’t give out what’s inside you. You can’t find your village if you don’t ever believe that you are just enough to serve the world through who you are already.
And who is the Artist? The Artist could be a teacher you meet, could be a good soul, a friend, a random person that gives you a spark of thought, but it could also be that friend inside yourself that will trust you unapologetically, it could be that wisdom that you have inside you which is always your hidden guidance. She just KNOWS. That knowing can take you to your friendly, warm garden.
So use your powers today, because what’s in you is enough. And continue the journey, fill your bag of wisdom as you go, but keep going like you’re enough.
If you like the story and want to read more stories about discovering your powers - read Lola's story of finding her powers in "The Sacred Mountains" book.