Recently, I’ve been posting little videos on Instagram TV, sharing my prayer painting process.
A friend asked me why I’d chosen to share in this way.
The answer was simple - I wanted to show people what I mean when I say prayer painting.
It’s one thing for me to say, Hey, I do this thing. It’s another for me to let you see me do the thing.
Even though that was my motivation, something else happened with these videos that has been a wonderful and rich surprise.
Conversation has sprung up around them.
People have shown up to watch them, and they have offered feedback and asked me questions and it has felt so tender and beautiful and sacred, this dialogue.
Someone else asked me if sharing these videos felt vulnerable to me.
The answer was yes, a little. It does feel vulnerable because I am my work. When I show you how I work, I’m showing you my interior self.
These questions have made me think about how and what I share online and why.
I’ve been consistently sharing content online in one form or another ever since I’ve had access to online, so I will likely do so as long as there is an online.
It’s a good fit for me and I enjoy it, but honestly, this is my work.
This is what I do for a living.
This is how I make money; this is what my heart wishes to do.
I don’t go to an office; I work here in my home.
I work long hours, I’m pretty much always “working” in my head, and the CEO of this thing is me. I’m also the janitor and the bookkeeper.
I am constructing work that is the right work for me.
I am building a creative business that is me.
It is sometimes scary and I often feel lost in the woods, but my feet are on a guided path and I trust that somehow, at some point, this is all going to work out.
I say this because every now and then someone will say to me, “I don’t know how you come up with a Love List every week,” or “How do you find the time to paint so much?”
The answer is, blogging and painting are not my hobbies. They are my work.
This is my job.
Fortunately, it’s a job of my own creation, which means that what I share online is also the truth. It’s really me. The stuff I say and do online is the stuff that is in my head and heart.
So I thought it might be interesting to look at the different platforms I use for sharing content, why I use them, how I feel about them, and what I’d like to see happen.
Where I share
This is my favorite.
Instagram never makes me feel bad.
I love the Insta community, which is filled with beauty and art and inspiration.
I follow artists, coaches, thought leaders, churches, pug people, beauty bloggers, people who live where I would like to live (California), and friends.
I like to share photos of my work and moments in the studio, but also things that happen when I travel, and pugs, and sparks of joy, and pretty things I see.
I am really enjoying sharing video on Instagram and I plan to do more of that.
I’d love to see my Instagram engagement grow, because it’s a platform that feels so good to me.
If you want to follow me there, I’m @lorilyn.
Trends come and go.
When I started writing online, personal blogs were all the rage. Then, facebook came along and pretty much wiped them out. Then, they were replaced by niche blogs, or blogs that exist as marketing for entrepreneurs. Now, I hear personal blogging is making a comeback.
I maintained a blog on my website through all of this and have no plans of ever stopping.
I don’t really care if something is on trend or dead - if I like it and it works for me, then I like it and it works for me.
I’m a writer who struggles with writing and this space allows me a place to write.
I like talking with you here.
I like sharing with you in this way.
This blog feels like a home to me. Is it a personal journal? Is it a marketing tool? Is it niche enough? Too niche?
I have no idea.
I just know that this is what I do.
If you want to subscribe to my blog posts, there’s a sign-up box on the sidebar or follow me on bloglovin.
I love shooting video, and I’ve had a YouTube channel for years.
Unfortunately, my numbers there don’t seem to grow.
I get maybe 15 views for videos, unless I link them elsewhere.
I watch a lot of videos, from astrologers to (mostly) beauty vloggers.
And I love turning on the camera and talking about a subject. Things come to the surface in that format, that don’t otherwise. It’s intimate and immediate.
I love shooting Q&A videos, so if you ever have a question you’d like for me to address, please do not hesitate to send it my way!
I’d love for a dialogue to grow around my videos and maybe someday, it will.
And then, there’s facebook.
Despite its problems, facebook has always been and remains a pretty great way to get the word out about stuff. If I don’t post links to facebook, they typically don’t get read.
Honestly, it feels good to see that someone has hit the heart button, and I love the conversations that happen on facebook.
I love to share vacation photos and artwork and pug stuff and inspiring links, and I love seeing that sort of content from my friends.
I love being in touch with people I wouldn’t be in touch with otherwise.
I’m not interested in the political debates or complaining, the dire warnings (however true they may be,) or the call-outs.
It’s not because I don’t think political issues are important; it’s because I don’t see any good that comes from me posting about or commenting on these things on facebook.
I try to be very mindful about everything I post by asking myself the question, Who or what does this serve?
If it’s not in the service of love, I don’t post it.
I’ve tried, for years, to maintain a facebook group, but it mostly just sits there, so I’ll probably be letting it go soon.
I love the community of my studio facebook page though, which you can find here.
When Life and Work Are One
This thing that is happening in our world right now, particularly with women, where people are inventing their own work, starting and running their own businesses, working from home, and coming up with creative ways to earn income…well, I love this thing.
I’m glad I’m living during a time when this is a thing that is happening.
There are several ideas I think of as my core message, what I’d like for you to come away with when you’ve encountered me online. They are ideas about creativity and God and life, but in addition to those things, there’s also this:
You are allowed to be who you are.
You are allowed to create your work and that work can be spiritual. It can be artistic. You are allowed to make money doing something you love, something that comes naturally to you.
You are allowed to make money by being yourself; you are at least allowed to try.
Not every creative entrepreneur is going to make it.
Not every idea is going to fly.
We are all in different starting positions with different advantages and disadvantages, but there is nothing morally wrong, nothing less than, nothing dishonorable about doing the work that is yours.
It is okay to reach for happiness and fulfillment.
It is more than okay to allow yourself to be seen as you really are.
I’m not talking about whether or not you use filters on your photos. (Would someone please invent one called Southern California?)
I’m talking about who you are in your heart.
My wish for social media, blogs, facebooks…the whole lot of it…is that we would all put our defenses down, take off our masks, and allow our true selves to be seen.
I don’t make paintings that look like other people’s paintings.
I don’t make paintings of which my college art professors would have approved.
I make the paintings that want to come out of me.
They are mine to make.
I don’t live a life that looks like anyone else’s life.
I live the life I was meant to live.
I’m not ashamed of my life, and I don’t wish to apologize for it.
Neither do I wish to beg for it.
I truly believe there is value in my work; I wouldn’t do it otherwise.
I want to sell paintings, but I wouldn't sell them if I didn’t think there was a benefit to the recipient.
I want to live and work in a way that is in alignment with my soul. I want to feel good about my work. For me, that meant leaving the traditional 9 to 5 world and attempting to invent something.
I’m still in the process of that invention.
I like sharing that process with you.
I like sharing beautiful sunsets and my sweet dogs and adventures with my nieces…love.
It’s all love.
I like following people on social media who ignite love within me and I hope that every now and then, I ignite love in you.
I want to remind you of love, the big cosmic love that flows through you and holds you up.
I want to remind you that you are love.
I don’t know what will come in the future or even later today, but it’s my desire to share myself honestly and be in creative communion with you.
That’s why I share my life online.
Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, for being here.