I’ve graduated from a lot of things in my life. I hold two Associate degrees and was, for many years, a registered nurse. More school and a truckload of student loans resulted in a whole bunch of alphabet soup which translates, in case you’re curious, into Bachelor of Arts, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees.
This week, I graduated from Color of Woman 2018. I am, officially, a teacher of Intentional Creativity.
I’m really excited!
And, there’s a party. Many of my paint sisters are in Hawaii. The rest of us will join in on Zoom. The directions include “dressing up”. I’m busting out the fancy velvet trappings from the last graduation… and a bit of bubbly. The studio angels have all rsvp’d and are resting up in anticipation, eager, I’m sure, for the promised treats.
Luther may not know it, but he’s been helping me get ready. He’s an excellent role model for what happens when one lets go and allows themselves to have a new experience. These days he actually enjoys meeting new people and being rubbed and petted, which is a miracle, given where he was when he arrived in our lives.
Luther’s new engagement in life didn’t come from him guilt-tripping himself. It didn’t come from me telling him how he ought to be.
Part of it came, I suspect, from experiencing his sisters be with people and be ok.
And a lot of it came from taking tiny new steps, one after the other.
If you’ve been hanging around for a while, you may have heard about a guy named Bill Harris who helped me understand that we pretty much have to have new experiences in order to shift our ways of being.
We’re all busy perceiving our universe through complicated sets of filters such as beliefs, values, language, and so forth. Most of the filtering in unconscious. When we have a new experience there’s an opportunity for new information to get through our filters and begin to shift our map of reality which, in turn, creates the possibility of new responses to life and new choices for the future.
Or, if you prefer, it’s kind of a right brain-left brain thing.
Some of you have been sitting on my couch or in my rocking chairs, sipping tea and looking for change for years. While you were learning, I was learning, too.
Our filters are so strong that talking ourselves into having a new experience is often very hard. We have to actually DO something different. Preferably something that engages us at many levels of awareness.
Pick up a paintbrush. Write a poem. Start a journal. Learn to build furniture. Become a quilter. Plant a garden. Compose music. Make a pot of soup. Find an intentional way to take what’s useful from old stories and manifest them into something you can see or feel or hear and want in your life.
Suddenly, many new things become possible!
I’m all ready for next. And, for those of you in the US, just in case you haven’t yet, please stop on your way to the art store or the journal store or the kitchen or even to the basement to find your fabric stash, and vote. Intentionally.