Sunday, January 05, 2020
Graduation was last night for my Atelier class. I actually thought about not going and I’m glad I did. It was fun, and definitely an affirmation of all the hard work we put into the class during the course of the year. This type of time commitment is difficult when you live in a place like this. It’s harder to make a living, and the distances are significant. Anyway, it’s done, I have the certificate to prove it, and it’s time for me to bend my mind toward where I want to go from here.
Part of me feels adrift, and another excited that I’m now charting my own course rather than restricted by classwork. I’m reminded of an article I read that said leaps in creativity thrive from restriction. If someone asks you to tell a story, many of us will sputter and stutter, and grasp for possible avenues to begin. If someone asks us to tell them a story about a baby bird in the jungle, all of a sudden, our task becomes much easier because of the parameters that have been placed upon us. The making of art is the same, for me. I have hundreds of ideas for paintings both in my head and jotted down in various places. When I complete one painting and move on to the next, I am often paralyzed by indecision of what to do. Especially this time of year it is best to remember that “You can do anything; you just can’t do it all at the same time.” The concept has been paraphrased by many people over time. I think we realize this at a visceral level and this is what paralyzes us when we try to figure out what to do with our art, or, frankly anything.
When you think of New Year’s resolutions, how long is the list that you have to choose from? What you can do is decide what is the most important habit for you to make, and also to break Right Now? That doesn’t mean you can’t work on more, but your focus needs to be on one in particular until it becomes second nature. Then you can tackle the next one.
Once you have decided what is most important, the next thing to do is to determine why this is so important and articulate it. Write about it. Feel the why and the how it is important to the point that you can taste the results of accomplishing that goal.
I chose walking on a daily basis. I know, it seems like a simple thing, something that most people take for granted. Making myself get outside and do it is difficult. I have all sorts of excuses. I can’t answer the phone, I have more important stuff to do, I need to clean the pantry, empty the dishwasher, take a toothbrush to the floor and clean it! The last is only a slight exaggeration. Then, I thought about walking and what I get out of it. There are lots of physical benefits that I don’t need to describe. Because I have such resistance to it, it must be important.
• I do my best thinking when I’m walking
• I come up with some of my most creative ideas
• It strengthens my connection to Spirit
• It relaxes me
• I feel better about myself for getting exercise
• It starts the day off on a great foot!
Here it is in a nutshell: Walking has a strong influence on my mental, spiritual, and creative development. It is time that I spend with myself away from other distractions. So why oh why is it so hard to do? I love it when I’m doing it. I know the benefits of doing it both during and after, and here I still sit. From what I can tell, I have an in-born fear of seeing what is inside myself. What if I don’t measure up to my own expectations? What if I don’t find what I’m looking for there?
So here’s the ultimate question, then. Why do we dread what we will find inside ourselves? I still don’t have an answer that I am happy with. All I know is this:
• Any conscious time that I have spent with myself has been well worth it.
• I find solutions to problems.
• I discovered a sense of humor.
• I discovered a hesitant friend with hopes and dreams that I had been unable or unwilling to express.
• I discovered a connection to Spirit and Creativity, to ideas in the form of short stories, books, poetry, music, stained glass, and many other mediums that I don’t currently use to practice my art.
• I discovered an entire universe of potential that was hidden from the external world I spend so much of my time in.
Anything that can allow me to tap into that kind of potential is a game-changer. Now that I know it, the responsibility falls on me to follow through. I think this is where the fear comes in. If I’m not doing something, there has to be a fear attached to it somewhere. I found another 12 things that I added to a habit tracker so that I could be more careful about following through. Walking, while on that list, I don’t have any hatch marks for walking yet. Not for the new year. Not for the month.
I guess I’ll have to go for a walk to see if I can figure that out.