One of the questions I'm most often asked is where the name "Lila" comes from in Lila Clare Jewelry. It's not actually my name, but a word that I chose to name my business.
First, though, a bit of history. I worked in non-profits for many years, all the while creating handmade jewelry in my spare time. I didn't believe that I was creative enough, artistic enough, good enough to be an artist. But the pull towards it got stronger and stronger, and I started to listen to the voice telling me it was time to make the shift. It was a leap of faith, and becoming a full time jewelry maker was a tremendous gift to myself.
Throughout this process, I looked for words that would make good business names. I kept coming back to Lila, and I was deeply attracted to a simple word that holds so much meaning.
There is an old Sanskrit word, lila, which means play, richer than our word, it means divine play, the play of creation, destruction, and re-creation, the folding and unfolding of the cosmos. Lila, free and deep, is both the delight and enjoyment of this moment, and the play of God. It also means love.
Lila may be the simplest thing there is spontaneous, childish, disarming. But as we grow and experience the complexities of life, it may also be the most difficult and hard-won achievement imaginable, and its coming to fruition is a kind of homecoming to our true selves.
- From Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch.
I use the word Lila because it encompasses the essence of my journey to becoming a working artist. For me, this work is how experience play and creativity in the world, and is a dance of love.