A Question of Focus

A Question of Focus

Crickets. That’s all you’ve been hearing lately from me. The crickets started cricketing last summer and they’ve been buzzing for quite a few months now. (My last post, Great Power and Beauty Await You, was way, way back in July…cricket season!) For me, it’s been a question of focus. A question of focus with my art, life, faith and creativity. I’ve simply been focused on larger projects requiring greater time, energy, faith and focus than ever before. I know many of you will benefit from them, but since many of you have been long and loyal friends to this Art, Life & Faith blog, I am sorry for my silence. It really has been a question of focus… of where I believe God has uniquely made me to make my best contribution. I’m also learning a lot about my limitations. What I can and can’t do. And the reality that I can’t do it all.

Jeff Walker, a favorite author and market strategist I follow, recently wrote about focus in his book Launch. “Your most scarce resource is focus, ” Walker writes… and here’s why!

What Season of Life Are You In?

[I]f you’ve been wondering why it has been radar silent here on Art, Life & Faith for the past few weeks, it’s because I’m in an unexpected new season of life. In agricultural terms, I’m in the midst of a ‘perfect storm.’ As many of you know, The Grove Center for the Arts & Media is a ministry to artists that I serve. And what makes The Grove unique is that we really do have a grove. Twelve acres of avocados and organic lemons which require constant cultivating, weeding, feeding, watering, and trimming for every new season. Thus, for the past month (as noted by my agri-absence), my hands have not been at the keyboard, but manhandling a weed whacker and chainsaw. I’m in a busy season of cultivating about 1600 trees…what season of life are you in? A busy season? A peaceful season? A fragmented season? Read on…

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Question of the Week #10: What do You Find Truly Life-Giving?

Welcome to the Question of the Week #10: What do you find truly life-giving? Answering this question just may cause you to seriously rearrange your life, schedule and priorities. If I were to peek at your “life-giving list,” there’s a good chance a lack of sleep, lack of exercise, reams of conflict and a hurried, hectic schedule would not be on your list. At least I hope not. The things you find truly life-giving are essential for cultivating a deeper, richer life. Read on…

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3 Ideas for Cultivating a Fruitful, Satisfying Life

Do you know it’s possible to cultivate a more fruitful, satisfying life than you ever imagined? Everyone is searching for a life they hope will be filled with satisfaction, meaning and purpose. Cultivating that life we long for is possible, but I’m not going to offer easy platitudes…it is challenging. This past weekend, I spent two days at The Grove, the 12 acre organic lemon and avocado farm owned by The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. I’m learning a lot about cultivating. I’d like to share 3 ideas to help you cultivate a more fruitful, more satisfying life than you ever imagined. Read on…

3ideasforcultivatingamorefruitfulsatisfyinglife

 

Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Posts for 2012

Thank you for your support and encouragement on Art, Life & Faith in 2012. I want to share with you the Top 10 posts for 2012 read by you and the rest of my friends. This past year, I saw more visitors and new subscribers to Art, Life & Faith than ever before. In writing about God, creativity, faith, the arts and the daily challenges of life, I hope you were inspired and encouraged to live a life of deeper meaning, creativity and purpose. Here’s a peek at the 2012 Art, Life & Faith posts that you and others enjoyed the most. Read on…Top10Artlifefaithpostsfor2012

 

The Art of Cultivating Your Life

[H]ow do you cultivate your life? I believe that cultivating your life is an art form because it involves vision, purpose, intentionality and commitment to your craft. Just this past weekend, a handful of artists, Grove board members and I explored this theme. We had several conversations about The Art of Cultivating Your Life at the Young Artist/Creative Leader Getaway sponsored by The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. We had a wonderful weekend, which is why I’m so eager to share our conversations with you. Read on…

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Introducing Create: Transforming Stories of Art, Life & Faith for the iPad, Kindle & Nook

[A]fter two and a half years of working with 21 artists, I’m very happy to announce the official launch of our dynamic new video ebook optimized for the iPad, Kindle & Nook. It’s called Create: Transforming Stories of Art, Life & Faith. Create offers essays, artwork and video from 21 artists. Yes, 21 artistic points of view. My design team and I think it’s a compelling product worth your attention. If you have a love for story, art and a desire to see the arts flourish in the Church for this world, I think you’re really going to enjoy Create. For many years, I had this idea stuck in the back of my head, “How could we help and inspire artists who were struggling in their creative lives by offering hope and perspective through the stories of other artists? As artists, how could all of us better learn to integrate our art, life and faith? What if there was a good book or tool just to nudge us all a bit further down the path?”  So after six REJECTIONS from publishers, I could have easily thrown in the towel and said to myself…

3 Lessons I Learned from an Architecture Graveyard

An architecture graveyard can teach you and I a few important lessons about life. Though I grew up running around graveyards and casket rooms in my father’s mortuary, most normal people I know prefer not to visit any kind of graveyard. So it was only until last week when my daughter Ellie and I visited Cal Poly’s “architecture graveyard” while on a tour of the campus. Ellie was recently accepted into the SLO School of Architecture and we’d heard much about the famous “architecture graveyard,” also known as the Design Village. Although we didn’t come across any tombstones, I soon discovered there were several things an architecture graveyard could teach me about life. Read on…

What is Your Deep Gladness?

Have you ever asked yourself, “In my life, what brings me deep gladness?” What really brings you deep joy and satisfaction?  In his book, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC, Frederick Buechner writes about purpose, vocation and calling: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Answering these two questions, “What is my deep gladness? What is the world’s deep hunger?” are critical life questions. They go hand in hand like the picture below and here’s why…

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Welcome to Art, Life & Faith by Joey O’Connor

Maybe it’s a bit redundant to say “Welcome to my new Welcome Video,” but welcome! I thought it was about time to develop a more personalized introduction to my Art, Life & Faith blog, so I took a few minutes to create this video to engage with you in a different way.  Whether you stop by on a regular basis or if it’s your first time here, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch this video to learn more about why I created Art, Life & Faith.