“She set out upon an unknown course which held at least the possibility of personal fulfillment — a choice inextricably driven by her inherent passion for place —a passion which would ultimately define her life.” —Linda Lear, biographer of Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature
Perhaps you were read and then read yourself as a child The Tale of Petter Rabbit or any other beautifully illustrated children books by British artist and scientific illustrator Helen Beatrix Potter. The success of Potter’s books gave her the opportunity in her lifetime to become a visionary landowner, successful farmer and sheep breeder and the financial ability to preserve more than 4000 acres of land in the Lake District as National Trust land, and thereby protected from development.
To say she was unique is an understatement. To say she was inspiring and continues to be so is without a doubt, and it is her acclaimed biography written by Linda Lear, that I am in the middle of now (it is more than 400 pages), and absolutely enthralled with.
While I know I was read Beatrix Potter’s books when I was a child, I will admit, I forgot and was only reminded when I watched the film starring Renee Zellweger Miss Potter (2006). I was intrigued again, especially with her pursuit of a passion no matter what the pushback or heartbreak or time it may take to live the life she desired.
If you would like to learn more about Beatrix Potter but aren’t sure you want to dive into the biography yet, check out the 60 minute biography profile video free on Amazon Prime titled Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman.
I am savoring her biography at the moment as my copy arrived just over a week ago due to a delay in delivery. I had hoped to have it finished by the time I wrote this post, but am only halfway through. However, I didn’t want to rush, and needn’t have to as the first half is brimming full of life lessons to contemplate and be inspired by.
I have compiled a list of 20 general life lessons that Beatrix Potter embodied and put into practice in her own life journey. Perhaps there will be a Part Two of this post as I am certain there will be many more life lessons that will catch my attention as I continue to savor the book.
I do hope you enjoy. Here is a taste of how Beatrix Potter lived her one and only life and left a legacy for us all to be inspired and reminded of how we too can live and live well.
1.Pursue your dreams even if those in your immediate family or friends do not understand
2. The seaside is a destination for comfort, for companionship even and especially when the need to go alone is required.
3. Great love can indeed awaken great courage within us.
4. To become wonderfully engrossed in a creative pursuit is to find purpose. To find fulfillment.
5. Never underestimate the power of grief when channeled productively to create an “outburst of creativity”
6. Working on two creative projects simultaneously gives the mind an opportunity to give the eye a change whilst in the midst of each project.
7. Knowledge of one’s audience is often an unspoken vital piece of information to acquire when creating a piece of art that intends to be sold.
8. Precise and thoughtful, intentional language matters in order not only to tell the story well but to move the reader forward as the cadence and syntax create a rhythm.
9. Financial independence as a driving force is nothing for which to apologize.
10. Constructive criticism when sincerely given can improve one’s work if those giving said criticism are experts in the field of critique.
11. Be straightforward rather than passive and dimunitive in order to attain what you seek.
12. The satisfaction of work one loves is an amazing feeling – a bolster to one’s happiness and a boost to one’s self-confidence.
13. If no one else believes in your work, take the initiative and bring it to fruition on your own and doing so conveys your confidence in what you are doing and sometimes that is the most powerful selling point.
14. Be willing to invest vast amounts of time and energy and financial means to make your dreams a reality.
15. Make sure your creative pursuit is a pursuit that comes from within, a personal desire and interest – not to appease society.
16. Be willing to put in time to make it great, whatever your “it” is.
17. Don’t let discouragement halt your determination to persevere.
18. Look for inspiration in the everyday details around you wherever you find yourself.
19. Refuse to follow societal nudgings or expectations if you do not like what it requires and what it will offer.
20. Create the life you want to live, and it can be so in time.
2020 TSLL British Week Posts