Since the beginning of Winter, things took a bit of a turn here. I had hoped to write one blog per month and a seasonal newsletter each quarter. The reality is, when starting out a new business one must continue to roll things along on the side, the hum that keeps fuel in the car and food on the table.
I am lucky in that way, that my side job is also something I am very passionate about. During the week I get to work with young children in a creative setting with passionate colleagues. Supporting these little beings on their life journey requires one to be a bit of a generalist. One of my favourite lessons to bring the children (which I am grateful I get to do with them daily) are real and traditional crafts, of which land in their small hands and are received by their big hearts.
These skills they are learning are not just about the craft that is in front of them in that moment, they are building their capacity, their will, to be able to face the world, take on their lives in the future.
These crafts are fully supported by the organisation I am working for and as such good tools and gorgeous natural materials are possible that make the experience that much more enriching for the growing human being.
I am home sick today, and somehow how out of nowhere the impulse to write this blog, even in my sniffles, has come upon me. Maybe it is the heat of Spring, the cold shower I just had, but I feel refreshed and excited for this task and the future of traditional crafts.
Adult weaving students I have had the pleasure of working with over past months have also taken up the experience of learning new skills with such zest. The moment they cut their hand-woven cloth from the loom and begin to unveil their work, their eyes light up with joy, and even the most self-critical of students discovers delight in the mastering of new skills.
When beginning to learn something new, I am realising now after witnessing it first hand, that it takes great courage and strength to overcome ones inner beliefs, doubts and worries of not being able to get it, of being afraid of looking bad. What I have also seen is that when people take on the challenge of learning a new skill they are also mustering strength and building their will forces. To not give up straight away continues to strengthen those forces.
Often initially most of my young students want to give up. They say, “I can’t do it”. Sometimes there are tears, sometimes they fall in a heap. But when we come back to it the next day, and they day after that, they are truly growing something inside of themselves. I like to stick the word ‘yet’ above the door in the classroom, it reminds us that we just can’t do it yet, and that implies that one day, with patience and persistence the possibility is there that we may just be able to accomplish more than we think.
I have recently also witnessed these same experiences in adults in partner swing dance class. Many new beginners come along, they really give it a good go and you can see the inner struggle. Some come the following week and again the week after that, while others turn their back never return.
We are always presented with opportunities to take up. For me this year it has been quite the ride learning what to say yes to, and also how to say thank you but not this time. What is actually good for me and what do I actually need? I have found that taking a pause to sit with what has presented, really helps me take what I need and leave the rest. It has been a wrestle though. I have often been overwhelmed by all that there is to do in order to just be a good and kind person in todays world.
So I leave you with these questions; what does fear have you shy away from and say no to? When do you lean in, say yes, and take on learning a new skill or challenge? Keeping in mind that we must push ourselves a little to not stay in our comfort zone, but also that it is important we don’t slip completely into the push at all costs head towards burnout type of energy either.
What are you ‘willing’ to try today?