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The windows are open, and I’m thinking of hanging my last
batch of laundry on the line this warm, sunny afternoon.  Maybe I just have spring fever, but this time
of year always makes me feel like I can do just any old thing my heart
desires.  It’s that feeling you had when
the last bell rang at school and you ran, literally ran, out the big double
doors into the sun.  Lovin’ it!

Besides running in the sun, I’ve also been learning new things.  Maybe
it’s due, in part, to my spectacularly wonderful group of writing friends I was
so blessed to write with a couple of weeks ago. 
As I said in my last post, I was, and still am, feeling the joy of
living pretty intensely.  It helps that
this manuscript is actually starting to take shape and looks a little more like
reality and a little less like a kid’s fantasy every day.

Harper Lee and I both learned to knit this winter with our
friend, Leighanne, from the Foothills Arts Council as part of their
After-school Arts program, something we have enjoyed for a couple of years now
and something I would like to support with my own classes, which I’m in
the planning stages of right now.  The
knitting has been on my to-do list for a while, but I kept putting it
off.   Finally, I embraced the mess and
learned how.  It’s taken me a very long
time to make a very short scarf, but that’s just part of the learning process,
right?

Sometimes, it’s necessary to remind myself that it’s OK to
be a beginner.  I find myself feeling
like I need to know everything there is to know about something before jumping in.  This approach does not
create a better product or result; more often than not, it produces absolutely nothing.  Part of the reason it’s taken me as long as
it has to get my coaching business up and running is because I felt I had to
have everything 100% in place before I could put myself out there.  But by doing that, I wasn’t DOING
anything.  So I’ve jumped in with both
feet, and while I’m treading water in some places, like marketing, and feeling
my way in the dark as I navigate social media and advertising, I am doing good
for other people while also doing what I love. 
The rest, with work, time and patience, will come together soon enough.  And it’s fun to learn.

I have been feeling the need to take a class lately, to be
taught rather than to teach, to be part of learning something without having to
prepare lesson plans.  Fortunately, we finally have a yoga studio downtown, and I’ve been taking a class once a week for about a month. 
Wow.  So this is why people go to
a class rather than just making up their own home practice, eyeing the poses in
Yoga Journal upside down as they transition from downward facing dog to pigeon
pose.  I LOVE having a teacher.  She encourages me and corrects my postures
and pushes me to do things I might have passed on if I’d been by
myself. 

Beside knitting and yoga (I’m sensing a trend here), I’ve
also been devoting much more time to my art, which is a pretty fun hobby when
you stop worrying about whether or not it’s good and just do what comes
naturally.  It’s like writing, which I’m
still learning after all these years. 
The other day, I found myself looking up folk art on the Internet, just
to get some ideas.  I love folk art, and
I wanted to try something for myself.  As
I was sifting through the hundreds of images that popped up, however, I began
to feel pretty stupid.  “How many kids,”
I wondered, “spend their time before sitting down with paint and paper and say
to themselves, ‘Maybe I should research the style of painting I want to do
before I begin’?”  Ridiculous, right?  So I moved away from the computer and got
busy with some paints and a scruffy piece of canvas and came up with something
I like a lot.  I don’t know if anybody
would pay money for it, but I like it, and I had fun doing it.  I think there’s a lesson there.  Learning new things is a way of branching out as a person.

My whole life I’ve been a list maker.  I make lists of all the things I want to do,
be, see, learn, etc., and it’s funny, but when I look back at old lists, I find
that I’ve done most, if not all, of the things on them.  Some took longer to complete than others, but
it’s amazing to look at the accomplishments in black and white.  I don’t think I’ll ever get to cross the
Peace Corps off my list, but I have other things, like a mission trip to
Jamaica and community volunteerism, that meet some of those needs. 

I guess my point is this, if there’s something, anything,
you want to do, begin it.  Put your shoes
on and get out the door, get paint on your hands, sign up for a class and show
up ready and eager to learn.  Have a
beginner’s mind and soak it all up, no matter what IT is. 

My friend Lois sent me this film clip to watch the other
day, and I just wanted to post it as a little bit of inspiration.  It’s about women artists specifically, but I
think it’s also about pursuing dreams and creative expression.  Anyway, after Lois sent the clip, she rented
the film from Netflix and said it was well worth watching, and then she sent me
this quote… right in the middle of my thoughts on beginning new things… and I
had to share.  I love little bits of
inspiration like this.

Until
one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always
ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid
plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves
too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have
occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s
favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance
which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or
dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it
now.

In
celebration of Women’s History Month, the award winning film, Who Does She Think She Is?  is a compelling
documentary that looks at five women whose stories will outrage and ultimately
inspire you to do the things that bring you joy.

*Journal Topic:  What new thing are you learning to do?  Or what new thing would you like to learn to
do?  What can you do to get started?

 

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