~ stretch ~

It is hard.
Starting something new.
Trying something for the first time.
Getting back up after a fall.

It hurts.
We stumble.
We can feel embarrassed, ashamed.

Whether it is going on a date, taking a new class or trying out for a different job, our lack of mastery often stops us from the simple joy of exploring new territory.
It can stop us from enjoying the innocence, the freshness, of a beginners or learners mind.

I don’t know where the idea comes from that if we can’t do it perfectly, we had better not do it all.
It is so limiting.
It stops us from starting so many new things.

And what is perfect after all?
Are we just comparing ourselves, our lives and attempts at new things to someone else’s?
We do not know their journey, their skill set, their innate talents or their trials.

We each are unique.
We each have our own timing and road to travel towards our destination – comparison with others is both counterproductive and cruel.

Listen out for your inner critic – those voices in your head that constantly offer up excuses and discouragement.
Pay attention to what they say to you.
Catch them giving you a hard time when you want to try something new.
When you become aware of their dialogue you can disengage from it.
You can go beyond.

We don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it.
We don’t need approval or recognition or awards to prove that something is worthy of us.
Or that we are worthy of it.

If you enjoy writing – write.
If you like to paint, do so.
Learning the trumpet? Knock yourself out and play that baby till your lips bleed if you want to.

Accept it might be hard at the beginning.
Acknowledge you, just like a child, are doing something for the first time.

I spent ten years living in remote and isolated lands. We often went without water and electricity. But in the rest of the world, technology was taking over.
When I stepped back into the ‘mainstream’ everyone was competently using computers and the internet.
Everyone, it seemed, except me.
I was an adult but many kids were more proficient.
I felt, at times like a fool.
I had to learn to use them, to start again.

Just like when we learn new languages, or try out new recipes, or different lovemaking techniques.
At first it can feel clunky, awkward, weird.

Just because it starts out tough, doesn’t mean we have to stop.
Not everything we do is, or needs to be, a masterpiece.

But mastery will never come without consistent small steps and the stretching of ourselves into new territory.

Don’t give up.
We all know how bad that feels.
Have a rest.
Take a break, prepare yourself and then start again.

Stretch towards what you love.

Like a flower turns it’s face to the sun, so too, will you relish in the light and the warmth of your own sweet sense of accomplishment.

Be brave enough to listen to your heart,
and try whatever it is you really want to do.

 

(c) Chandu Bickford 2019