25 August 2011

Life in Letters...

There are so many times in our lives when we don't quite know where to begin. (Writing this blog post was one of them.) Maria von Trapp would suggest we start at the very beginning (a very good place to start) with Do Re Mi. Unless it's the alphabet, in which case, like Rick and Maria's beautiful tile this week, you start with "A"...

But sometimes, what we endeavour to do seems so incredibly daunting that we simply can't seem to begin. Of course ("journey of a thousand miles" and all that), we will eventually have to take that first step. That 'leap of faith.' (Or, as I like to say, "get over yourself, Kit, and just do it!") But why is it so scary to just start? Somewhere. Anywhere...

(Click image to embiggen)
It's a simple answer, really. We're not living in the present moment. We're firmly and emotionally entrenched in a fictional future. We look at what we have set out to do... and two things are usually happening. First, we have an attachment to the outcome. We want a 'certain something' to happen, to exist, to develop, to appear. Second, we're worried about stuffing that up. It's natural. It's normal. It's ridiculous!

We. Haven't. Even. Begun and we're frightened of what might happen if...

That's all, just an "if" (no "buts" about it).
There are many clever definitions of FEAR in this context.
Here are a few:

  • Future Events Appearing Real
  • False Expectations Appearing Real
  • Finding Excuses And Reasons
  • Failure Expected And Remembered
  • Frantic Effort to Avoid Reality
but my personal favourite would have to be:

Forgetting Everything is All Right

Because we do forget that. I'll say it again. Everything is All Right. We need to breathe, relax, and remember that. Of course, things don't always feel "all right"... acknowledged. But, except in the midst of immediate and present wrongness, they usually are.

Think about it. Where are you right now? Oh, I know, I know! You're sitting at a screen reading Kit's blog post. Good... that's sorted (and clearly "all right"). Are you in immediate need of shelter or food that you don't have access to? Are you injured badly? (Probably not, if you're still reading.) Are you in immediate physical danger? No? Ah...

Well... regardless of emotional turmoils (which we all experience from time to time)... I want you to do something very physical and grounding.

Feel your feet on the ground. Push at it a bit. Not moving? Good. That's "all right." Feel your body breathing. Are you breathing? Breathe a bit more definitely, so you can feel it. Yep - that's "all right" too. So... let's take it from there.

You're alive. Breathing. Not in immediate danger of any kind. You can feel the earth solid beneath your feet. Just feel all that. Know it. Know it deep, and sure, and certain. And breathe that knowledge out around you. Wrap yourself in it and (yes, I'm going to make you do it) repeat after me: "Everything is all right." Not convinced? Say it again. Out loud. (Yes, people may look at you strangely... I don't care... and neither do you - riiight?)

Everything is All Right
Okay... now to begin.
You don't start at the end.
You don't need to start with a result or an outcome.
You only need start.
Any kind of beginning will do.

Let's start up some music, shall we? (No, I hadn't forgotten, Shelly. [grin])

That's a start.

If you're starting something that you understand may not be easy, then do what I do. Start (and finish) something else. Something small and quick. Something you know you can do... with sure and utter certainty. For me that's a Zentangle. It's only going to take about 15 minutes (if I'm not attached to the outcome, of course), and I know I will succeed. Before I start. What a treat! What a buzz! What a confidence boost!

If you don't know how to tangle (yet), then make a cup of tea, or take a photograph of your feet, or whistle a nursery rhyme... whatever works for you. Whatever you know you can't fail to succeed at. And enjoy succeeding. And, when you're done. Appreciate what you've done. "Go me!" And, for future reference, you really ought to try your hand at Zentangle for this. Yes... all of you. [smile]

I finally finished a commission that I'd been having difficulty with... mostly because, the more I drew, the more I would potentially lose if I 'stuffed up' (yep, I Forgot Everything was All Right). But finish it I did. "Go me!" So here I am, sharing it with you (this blog, ostensibly being about drawing primarily... though philosophical musings are becoming a habit [grin]).

A new beginning.
A commission for Jenny's beautiful daughter, Nova.
(Click image to embiggen)
What do you think? Talk to me.
Or tell me about something that you made a start on today...

Comments form below (open for everyone, no sign up or anything).  


  1. Your work is stunning, Kit! Doh, Ray, Mee...guess who?

  2. Nifty, love the twist, talk about finishing at the start or beginning at the end.
    It's almost time to start packing!

  3. What a great post! The art of 'presence' is simple, but we so easily forget. Thank you for the reminder... and the eye candy. That's beautiful, too.

  4. It almost is, Michele... exciting!!! :-)

  5. "Nova" is beautiful, Kit. I love the sparkly little explosions in the letters. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love the "FEAR". I stopped and wrote them down in a cute notebook I just bought for stuff like that. I experienced "FEAR" yesterday in regards to Tangling...I decided to make a Christmas gift for a friend of her initials. I tried to start but every time I put pen to paper I got uncomfortable and nothing seemed fun anymore. I was afraid of failure. SO, today no more FEAR, everything IS ok and if I mess up? Oh well...start again!!

  7. Hi Melissa,
    It was such a joy to read your comment. Whenever I hear that my little musings about life have resonated for someone else, too, I feel all warm and glowy (yeah, not terribly poetic - but you know what I mean). Yes... everything is okay!
    Tangle happy!

  8. Yea-I am so happy to see you are back with another wonderful blog post! I loved it so much, I read it twice...very powerful words and message. Of course, your art work is beautiful, as always. Everything is okay..life is good!

  9. A nice start and a lovely ending! Also enjoyed everything in between. ;-)

  10. Holy crappppppppp! I finally saw this post and realized the significance. I love it, Kit! It turned out so amazing! Thank you so much and I'm glad that such a labor of love has done so much good for your own soul.
    Your invention of the Zentangle is something that everyone should appreciate. It's good for us all to see, to experience, to admire, to be! You ruely are a visionary.
    I look forward to more posts. I've been out of the blog-o-sphere for a while but hope to pay better attention from now on.
    Let me know your mailing address. A patroness does not forget her promises.
    LOVE - Jenny

  11. Love your post!! It's going in my favorites to read again when I need a kick in the butt! Great job on the tangle too. I also adore the feeling of finishing a tile and loving it to bits!

  12. What a beautiful post, Kit!
    I'm one of those who forget everything is all right very often.... but doodling and drawing is helping me a lot to abandon this mental habit. Thank you for sharing with us your always wise words!!

  13. Kit, wish I had found you sooner! Don't quite know how I missed you. At any rate, I love your work BUT most of all this one post has "hit Home" hard with me! The post is totally me; not just in tangles but all art and most of LIFE! I am going to read and listen to the music at the beginning of each day and more if need be. You are pure Inspiration stated in such a realisic earth shattering way! Thank you!


All comments welcome...