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I recently discovered the artwork of an anonymous duo who call themselves “Dangerdust.” They attend the Columbus College of Art and Design and they sneak into classrooms and “vandalize” chalkboards with motivational quotes. No one knows who they are. These artists are leading by example what it means to be bold and alive. What if we all filled the world with our light in our own unique ways like they are?

great man dangerdust

If we are truly in alignment with our purpose, our calling, we understand that each one of us is capable of such magnificence. The mind is our own prison in which we create walls and limiting beliefs that tell us over and over again that certain things are not practical. Or that things “should” be a certain way so we “shouldn’t” decide to step out of bounds of what everyone else thinks “should” be. These are all ingenious tricks of the ego that keep us small and safe.

In our culture, when we’re little, people tell us “You can be anything you set your mind to.” Having grown up, I’ve come to understand that these people probably didn’t believe a word of what was coming out of their own mouths. Because if they did, why weren’t they doing what set their hearts on fire?

twain dangerdust

It takes courage and action. Big, bold living takes the heart of a lion, skin of steel, and fierce patience. Manifesting what you hold in your heart is vulnerable. And in vulnerability there is immense bravery. Tweet it

Stepping out of our comfort zones is what is required of changing the current status of our lives. Living in alignment with what sets our hearts ablaze requires risk and challenge and deep inner work. That can be scary.

When we open ourselves to our beautiful, infinite nature, we start to see that we truly are capable of anything. My teacher Dharma Mittra says “Be receptive to the grace of God.” When we open ourselves to the grace of divine love, the poses open up, if we’re talking yoga. Or we are given a flash of inspiration at 4 AM, like Krishna Das was in writing his song “4 AM Hanuman Chalisa” (it’s beautiful). If we didn’t have divine inspiration and a yearning for meaning and purpose as human beings, where would our species be? No Mozart, Michelangelo, Patanjali, Jesus, Buddha, Mother Theresa.

lennondangerdustThere was no inherent outcome or expectation, it seems, for the chalk artists. And it may seem foolish to some- “What’s the point of drawing on chalkboards? That’s not practical or utilitarian.” We fill our finite lives with “practical” things like cubicles and bandaids, which don’t get me wrong, can be helpful. But our lives, are, after all, finite.

We need a balance and a deeper appreciation for the things that seem meaningless simply because they are journey oriented rather than outcome oriented. In our society, the outcome is practical. The journey is often seen as foolish. The art is silly. “You’re only going to struggle as an artist.” Maybe I will, but I’ll be happy and I’ll feel I filled my life with meaning and the world with beauty. Because, otherwise what’s the point? And whoever said that struggle wasn’t allowed?

universedangerdustSo thank you, Dangerdust, for your contribution to humanity. May we all find our own muses and dance to the beat of our own drum, no matter how difficult it is, how many strange looks we get, or how many people think we’re crazy or foolish.

In cases like this, I would say we could use a bit more foolishness.

So ask yourself the following questions:

What makes you come alive? The answer is whatever has made your heart feel like it’s going to explode out of your chest with joy, awe, and love all at the same time. Tap into that place. What is it that does that to your heart?

What “foolish” or seemingly non-utilitarian things lights you up?

Why aren’t you doing more of said “non-useful” thing? What’s getting in the way?

What beliefs or experiences have contributed to your light being snuffed out little by little?

How can you make more space in your life for this passion? Does it mean working less? Setting boundaries with others? Believing in yourself more? Surrounding yourself with like minded brave hearts?

Name one thing you can do NOW, today to make space for this thing in your life. 

I believe in you, you brave, joyful, out-of-the-box thinker. Your ability to light the world up with your masterpieces and your vision. Because we’re all artists inside.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear about what lights you up and where you are in your journey toward bold, brave living. And any wisdom you may have for all of us on how to open yourself up to manifesting your purpose.