Phases of personal growth
It feels good to buckle down into a new creative adventure. I can bury myself in any project if I am not careful. For many years I avoided doing anything I loved because I knew when I got started it was hard to pull me away and I didn’t like to be interrupted. When I started on a project, I felt excited and impatient to see the end result. I would become obsessed and work for hours at a time until I reached a level of satisfaction, take a small break and plow back into it again. I would do this until the job was complete. This manner of operating wasn’t conducive to family life. It wasn’t until my kids were almost teenagers when I took up my artistic interests again. It took my best friend hauling me off to a quilting course before I realized I had put almost all of my crafts on hold until the kids were older. I knew the time to rekindle my passion for anything creative was long overdue.
It was during my renewed love affair with painting that I noticed the phases I went through with almost every painting I created. First, it was hard to get started, I almost froze with fear, what if I messed it up, what if it didn’t turn out, or what if I’m not good enough. When I finally put paint on the canvas, at the same time my knees would actually shake with fear and my belly felt excitement tickling deep within. I would happily apply paint watching in amazement as the picture became clear, the objects floated from my vision in my head through the air and magically appeared on the canvas. After many hours of blissfully playing in color, I noticed the painting goes through an ugly phase and I question myself, did I loose my vision, my direction, or my ability? Every time this happens I fight the urge to toss the painting in the garbage or paint over it and start fresh. With nervous tension I would press on, anxiety sitting in my body like a tub of ice water. I persevere through these many tense moments and this phase passes, the beauty returns and I start to breathe again, slow deep breaths. At last the final phase has arrived when I add the finishing touches to my work.
Recently I have noticed the same phases I go through with my painting I also go through when I do anything new. When I take a workshop or course I drag my feet getting started, and once I do get started, I get excited and never want to stop. Then I will suddenly hit a point where I want to quit, I feel annoyed and irritable and find many reasons why I no longer wish to be there. However if I persevere I usually find I have a major breakthrough.
Eventually I did calm down and learn to go with the flow with my paintings knowing there would be moments of uncertainty and if I pushed through these times I would get to enjoy the beauty on the other side. And so it is true for all my endeavors. and just like with my paintings, I am faced with the beauty of the end result, a better me.