I'm not sure where I heard that, but as soon as I did, it spoke to me. The idea is that we can be stymied by the need to have things perfect. Perfectly clean, perfectly pretty, even perfectly correct. It's easy for folks learning to paint to not want to continue because they don't find their artwork to be exactly as they expect it to turn out. I try to impress upon art students (and myself) that the process of learning is what we are after, not the perfect final piece.
At the beginning of 2017 I heard about the one word movement. It is the idea that rather then have a new year's resolution, you focus on one word that is meaningful to you.
My word for last year was RELEASE. I prayed about what that one word would be and that is what came to mind. Throughout the year I "released" many things. Much of which had to do with perfectionism. Others had to do with fears. Somehow I slowly began to realize how intricately both of these words were related. Perfectionism and fear go hand in hand.
When most people think of me, perfectionism would not be what comes to mind : ) I don't keep a perfectly tidy house and I certainly don't keep my calendar and schedule perfectly organized. If I've made appointments with you in the past you know what I'm talking about! I'm working on it : ) Even with those outward elements of a relaxed Caryn, inside I can be a control freak over many elements of my life.
This year I realized the need to release many ideals that I've put upon myself that are not necessarily of God. The need to have each day be supremely productive and full of crossing things off of my to-do lists. The need to teach and train my kids at every "teachable moment." The desire to have my house be looking exactly how I want it at any given moment.
I gave in a bit more to lingering in bed when I'm tired or sick, just listening to my kids talk and letting their issues take their course rather then trying to control them and being patient with house stuff (I still have drywall openings in my walls from a plumbing flood that happened during Irma.) Accepting that my eyes squish up in pictures when I smile naturally. Some of these items were released by choice and some by necessity.
My friend, Holli, who is often my cohort in artful endeavors reminds me of the refreshing words that God says in Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God." "Be still" could be translated to "cease striving."
Cease Striving ... Balm For a Weary Soul
For 2018 I've found the word, Renewal. I'm not exactly sure yet what that will mean, but it feels like it fits. I'm thinking it will have something to do with Mark 6:30-32. Here Jesus and His apostles had been busy working very hard. Jesus invited them to get away with Him so they could be renewed. He said, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." That same invitation is extended to you and me.
Come With Me ... Get Some Rest
When I was a little girl, I remember my mom taught me a song that came from Isaiah 40:31..."They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like the eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord to wait."
Hoping this next generation sees us taking time to love, be ourselves, yes... work hard but also making time to rest, truly connect and "cease striving."
Whether I am painting custom artwork, creating a water colored logo for a client, or teaching art students, I hope to refresh and inspire others with my work. Read more ...