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...

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