Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have one singular option for success surrounded by a million ways to fail? The tension and anxiety in those situations, for me, is stifling.
Blinding fear of failure inhibits our natural drive to create.
Now think about situations that offer clear direction with unlimited possibilities. When you can accept an unknown outcome, right and wrong become irrelevant, and there is only change, evolution, discovery, and resolve. Perspective is everything in the difference between the two. I make no claim that one is better than the other. We all find ourselves, at times, in both scenarios. I simply say that for me, the latter is my Polar Star. I find personal well-being in seeing the world for its infinite possibilities.
An open minded perspective feels like a deep breath of clean air in an open field of bright green earth and blue sky.
Having too many options, however, can feel just as stifling as not having enough. When choosing a specific path to follow, not knowing which way to go or remaining undecided for long periods of time has a way of feeling overwhelming or depressing. We need focus, direction, and limitations to enhance our creativity, and give us a sense of freedom. Choosing a medium in which to navigate and express your true self is a way of narrowing your focus and gaining momentum. The rules that exist within your chosen medium, whether physical or political, provide clarity and define the challenges that will motivate you to explore and discover new ideas.
This is a choice that should never be outsourced.
Allow yourself the time it takes to choose your own direction. Although we may reason, or intuit our way through many decisions in life, this is a choice that requires both, and will be validated by both. There is no other way to learn what nurtures and inspires your true self than by experience, and this takes time. If you feel rushed or anxious about this, just remember that wide open blue sky. Try to believe that all the time in the world is yours already to do with however your want. Rearrange your priorities so that self is at or near the top, and know that investing in yourself to become a more vibrant, passionate, and balanced person will enable you to send the same out into the world as never before.
After many years of trying and rejecting other paths, I have chosen spinning and weaving wool as my personal medium and direction. I find the depth of complexity and possibilities in designing yarn and fabric both challenging and liberating. The natural laws and characteristics of wool provide reason to be knowledgeable, and direction for being intentional about each piece I create.
Without fail, when I sit down at my loom to weave, my head and my heart align. I thoughtfully gather yarn and set my warp in place. Before throwing the shuttle for the first time, I acknowledge the unknown. The shed opens, and time does not exist, only my senses. I feel the wood under my feet and in my hands. Holding each strand of wool on the selvage before moving to the next row gives me the sense that everything is in its place, and I am connected with it. I am lost in the balance and movement of weaving. With love and simplicity these gestures take over the space in my mind and replenish my heart with a sense of calm.
The experience of weaving offers a natural give and take that stills my soul. My wonder is answered with beauty in the structures of woven wool. The loom is my teacher. I expect the magnificent unknowns to change over time. At some point the questions I now ask will fade for the simple fact that experience leads to knowing. I don’t know how my art will change, just that it will. I welcome that unknown just as well because I have found my focus. The possibilities are endless, and on this path I am free.