It's Totem Time!

In a previous post I wrote about a Change of Scenery and trying different things to inspire creativity. I took my own advice and decided to take a pottery class making a clay totem pole taught by Katy Diver. You can check out her website at www.Katydiver.com.  The finished totem is the picture included in this post.

Pottery is a completely different medium for me to work in. I usually paint with acrylic and I have never worked with clay before this class. It was truly “starting from scratch” since I did not know what I was doing. Katy was a great instructor and provided the clay, the tools, and the instruction. I have admired and bought pottery from many artists and although I will not become a master in clay or pottery I had a lot of fun!

Taking this class gave me an appreciation for artists who work with clay.  It is easy to forget how much mastery people have in other mediums. It is a humbling experience to go back to the beginning and try something new and different. It was also great fun to get my hands dirty and play with the clay. Working with clay is much more hands on then painting –unless you are doing finger painting 🙂 . There was a sense of freedom and that “I could do no wrong” since I didn’t know what I was doing.

At the time, it was also very frustrating not having the beads (the sculptures of clay pieces) turn out the way I expected them too (this happens when I paint too) but it seemed more frustrating because I was trying to “get it” and do it “right”. I watched myself judge and compare my pieces to the other student’s pieces in the room. Thankfully after working with my mind, I finally surrendered and let go of those thoughts. I can only be myself, my particular style and how the pieces turn out will emerge on it’s own. On the flip side, when we had to paint the clay I was excited—it was something I knew how to do and something I enjoy immensely. Although I like to try and work in other mediums, I really do love acrylic paint the most and this was a good reminder. Painting for me is a solitary experience and I enjoy it immensely but it is also nice to be around other people and have fun creating.

On pick up day all of the people from the classes were there. It was fascinating to see everyone’s work and how it reflected a part of them, their being. What styles emerged, how big or small the beads were, what shapes they created and what colors they chose to paint their pieces. It was inspiring to see how creative people can be when they are open to the opportunity!

Take a chance, get curious, be inspired and try out doing something different! You may surprise yourself and find a hidden talent and at the very least have fun in the moment!

Committed…But Blocked!

You are committed to your goals, visions and dreams. You have created a strategy to work on tasks and follow through on your projects. You feel motivated and inspired. You are committed but now you are blocked!  How did that happen?

I am a big believer in walking the talk and I have to admit that I have been completely blocked about writing this post. Go figure. I promised myself that I wouldn’t write other posts I had in mind until I wrote this one. Well, here we are about six weeks later and I am finally writing this post.

I can give you a million excuses– I am good at making them when I am blocked. I am very busy, I am working on other goals or tasks to reach some of my other goals, I need to clean the house, I want to be outside, I am overwhelmed at work and want to space out etc. etc. etc. Some of these excuses can be real obstacles that can feel difficult for me to get past sometimes. Having enough energy is one of them, trying to work, start a new business, create art and then do all of the other miscellaneous tasks in life can make me feel like I am losing my mind. So when I was blocked about what appeared to be a small task I decided to wait it out, dig a little deeper and try to figure out what was really going on because being blocked will certainly happen again. I would like to move through it with more awareness and understanding the next time it happens.

So I waited, made up some more excuses, worked on other things to feel like I was being productive and meeting my goals and then got down to business.  What was the underlying feeling (for me) that was causing so much resistance and blocked energy?

Doubt. That one little word and one little thought can wreak total havoc on your ability to follow through on your goals. “I am not sure this will be good enough, it won’t be good enough. No one will want to read this, why am I even attempting to do this. Maybe I should just stay at my day job…blah, blah, blah.” Doubt creeps in and can undermine all of your best plans. It is like a tiny seed of negativity that can grow like a weed. Negative weeds can strangle your confidence and good intentions right out of you. Time to do some pruning of the thoughts.

So how did I finally sit my butt down and get back to writing a post? I had to combat the doubt and negativity and remind myself of the things I have done that were positive and to let go of judging myself. Obviously, this didn’t happen overnight or I wouldn’t be writing this post six weeks later and it’s not exactly a new dilemma in my life. However, I am choosing to really work with the uncomfortable feelings– face them and let them go rather than continuing to self- sabotage with excuses. It’s a work in progress but I keep reminding myself that even when I am blocked I am still committed to my path, my goals and my dreams and it’s not always going to be comfortable or easy.

Like weeds that keep growing, creative blocks will happen, that is a given and some of them will be caused from doubt. How you choose to work with the blocks and the doubt can be the difference of moving forward with your goals or being blocked at the risk of giving up on your self and your dreams.