"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."
Waiting for paint to dry is an excellent discipline for learning patience and the art of pausing. This week, I labored, finessed, and pondered only to prefer something that took considerably less time. Why do I believe that something has to be a struggle to be meaningful? Where does that thinking originate? Children seem to be naturally adept at being in the now. Most of us make quite a bit of effort to get into the "flow" state. Flow usually flows when I let it flow. By nature, I am a little miss fix-it and find that when I stop trying to control everything, things go much smoother. I think this ability comes from being able to trust yourself.
"Supposed to be" is a prison. An artist is supposed to be miserable and suffer for their art. You are supposed to outline and plan meticulously to be successful. Follow the rules. No break the rules, or to quote 'Trainspotting' - "Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family." I waste time being unhappy because of how I think life is supposed to be.
What am I missing right now? What could I add to my life to make it better? You can ask yourself the same question. If I am in the flow, there is nothing I need in the present moment. I need something in the future, and I am learning to trust that I will survive when it happens. If I do not, that is another resolution.
The probability of me being born, according to Business Insider, is 1 in 10 to the 2,685,000th power. Someone else having my life is also unlikely. They may have had similar circumstances, but only I have lived my path and experiences. Ask someone to draw a pig. Everyone you ask will produce something pig-like, but unique. So it is with what we make. Will I compare myself with others and be sad about how things are supposed to be? Or will I embrace my inner child and be thrilled. Like the Stuart character from SNL, I will boldly proclaim, "Look what I can do!" I am not arrogant enough to believe that everything I produce is pure genius. The sweet potato experiment is enough to keep me humble. Instead of what I am supposed to do or be, I can marvel at what my years on this earth have allowed me to do instinctively.
Well-being generally boils down to mindset and the ability to reframe what is happening. Instead of failing, I am learning. Instead of thinking, "I can't," I can ask, "How can I?" I have a lifetime to unlearn what should be and instead embrace what is and what can be. Namaste