I was talking with a friend of mine recently and trying to explain the difference between the challenges of last year with what’s ahead for this year.  I’ve pointed out to my students and clients that gearing up to climb mountains, take that hill, and deal with huge burdensome challenges in 2015 is making mountains out of mole hills and a set up for a whole lot of work when it’s time to enjoy, but you can take a goat to water…  So in talking with my friend I looked for a different way to explain things that might make things make more sense.

So let’s look at life as if we’re learning how to be a master oil painter.  You know, one of the greats from the Renaissance whose work comes from the soul yet speaks to everyone at all levels. Ok, so if that’s the case then last year was the really hard bid.  We learned how to stretch canvas,  how to collect the ingredients for pigments and to grind them by hand, then how to mix paints, how to make and care for brushes, how to work with models, to deal with perspective, do draw sketches effectively and all the other grunt work that goes into being that person.

This year might be about work.  No doubt that challenges abound, but they aren’t of the grunt work variety.  They are in the fact that we are now ready and able and being encouraged to paint.  For some it’s like “Whoo Hoo” and they are diving right in and reveling.  For others the expanse of canvas is overwhelming giving them the painter’s version of writer’s block.  It’s too terrifying for them to contemplate so they are going in the other direction, forgetting everything they’ve done over the past year and returning to who they were before 2014.  But there’s a middle road between these two reactions and that is being able to take action by just standing there in front of the canvas with a palette and a brush and telling yourself “let’s see what happens.” Once the first daub of paint goes on it’s not so scary to move forward and once you find that you can’t really screw anything up and it’s about the process, not the product, then the stress if off and living begins.

So now that we’re in February, let’s see what happens.