It is popular lore that Michelangelo would travel to Carrara, a 60 mile journey from his native Florence, to seek out the magnificent marble for his masterpieces. David, La Pieta, Moses and countless other brilliant sculptures were carefully selected from the marble quarries by the iconic master himself. Michelangelo was a notorious perfectionist, often going to impossible lengths to secure the finest quality for his legendary works of art.
And yet, the greater revelation that resonated for me was his claim that he merely removed what needed removing from the block of marble, revealing the figure that he saw all along with his own deep artist’s eye. It was, he stated, always there from the beginning. The marble slab he started with had to be perfect, but the true beauty was the outcome after years of challenging work.
We are all born perfect miracles. But our pure beauty manifests after years of challenging work…on ourselves! There is no clear, easy, linear path, but our true calling is to discover our own identity in our life journey; our very essence lies within the metaphorical marble. Along the way, there will be inevitable suffering, loss and disappointment but hopefully balanced with love, joy and hope.
Michelangelo’s tools were hammer and chisel, but yours can be as simple as pen and paper (although some days we wish we had hammer and chisel instead!). That’s because our goals, our hopes, our dreams are within us and need to be expressed on paper. Writing gives it a sense of permanence, allowing us the ability to revisit it to be reminded of our destiny. We have so many choices and viable options in today’s complex world and documenting our core vision and values can ensure we stay on track through the ebbs and flows of life.
So where to start? Look inward and ask when does your soul flourish? What makes your heart beat with happiness and flood you with joy? Dig deep to ponder this insight and self-awareness, and resources such as psychology profiles, self-help books and astrology can shed light. We all are wired differently, with our own unique personality traits and characteristics, but environment and circumstances play a huge role in shaping our identity too. With careful reflection, we can each create our own doctrine on optimally being our greatest self. We all have the tools, and gifted with the perfect piece of marble, to rival the brilliant Michelangelo.