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Meeting Yourself Where You are Right Now

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I'm currently enjoying a little R&R at a spa in the Berkshires.  This photo is one I took yesterday when I went for a long walk in the woods.

As part of the program here, there are lectures in all kinds of things including some inward looking topics.  Yesterday I attended a lecture called, "Being in this Body."  In essentials, it was about meeting yourself where you are right now.  What does that mean?  Well, this is what I took away from the lecture:

  • Being kind to yourself even though you may not be where you want yet.
  • Looking at any steps forward as progress!
  • Not comparing yourself to others -- celebrities or simply the person standing next to you.
  • Being okay with starting exactly where you are at this moment.

Now, this lecture was focusing on those points in terms of body image -- your weight, your age, your body shape, your fitness level, etc.  But I am **always** thinking of art.  And so I started to think of these ideas in terms of art.  Let's look a bit closer, shall we?

Being kind to yourself even though you may not be where you want yet.

I think we all have an inner critic who loves to point out all the ways in which we are deficient.  I know that I have one (and he's loud).  It's difficult not to feel frustrated when what you're making doesn't match up to that image in your head. Can you find a way to be kind to yourself?  Can you see anything positive about what you just made?  It could be as simple as: "Hey, I made the time to create art!"  Or, "I tried something new!"

Looking at any steps forward as progress!

In my opinion, one of the major keys to being willing to continue with the practice (and I don't use that word lightly) of making art is acknowledging your progress.  Remember, it's progress not perfection that should be the goal.  Giving yourself a pat on the back for simple forward progress, such as showing up, is important.

Not comparing yourself to others -- celebrities or simply the person standing next to you.

This is sooooo hard -- especially with the internet.  Two of my favorite quotes:

  • "Comparison is the thief of joy." -- Theodore Roosevelt
  • "Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle, or your middle to someone else's end. Don't compare the start of your second quarter of life to someone else's third quarter." -- Tim Hiller

The only person you are in competition with is you.  Social media is packed with inspiration, but it's also filled with pretty pictures that can make you feel badly about yourself.  There are people who I simply had to unfollow or mute because something about their posts filled me with jealousy and self-loathing.  This is totally normal.  But it's important that I took that step to protect myself by unfollowing or muting.

Being okay with starting exactly where you are at this moment.

Everyone begins somewhere.  So you don't have the right supplies or the knowledge or the skill or the space or whatever it is that feels like the problem?  Who cares.  Start anyway.  The next 30 days will pass whether you spend them practicing your art or whether you don't.  Start now.

I hope you find this list as motivating as I do.  Start with ten minutes today and keep going!

Thanks for stopping by! 

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