Be kind to yourself.
And other lessons I'm learning.
I love to try new things.
To learn, build skills, to create.
I’m largely drawn to things I happen to be good at.
And I’m largely good at the things I happen to be drawn to.
I’ve been doing a lot of talking about my experience in a pottery class I signed up for this fall.
To put it mildly, I’m not good at it.
When I am being fair to myself, I can see the situation clearly:
I haven’t done pottery since middle school art class.
Pottery is very different from my preferred art forms (calligraphy, crochet, and embroidery).
I KNOW practice makes better and the more I work on it, the better I get.
But I wanted to be amazingly good - or at least decent - right off the bat.
And it’s a bummer that I’m not a secret pottery wheel genius.
I was discussing this with a friend this week who asked me this important question:
”What have you learned about yourself and how you learn
that you could apply here?”
I learn best when someone shows me and I get to ask them lots of questions. Then I like to do the thing with a teacher nearby that I can keep asking questions to.
So if I ever decided I wanted to get serious at pottery, I may find I have better luck with 1:1 instruction on the wheel until I feel confident to do it on my own.
But here was the other thing I realized:
Usually I go in for project-based workshops -
Sign up to weave this basket
Come to stained glass to make this 3D star
We’re going to make this style wreath
I know when I begin what I will leave with when I’m done.
But pottery isn’t like this.
This class is set up in a “here’s several different ways to work with clay, and now go make stuff” format.
THAT is where I’m getting stuck.
Because I have a hard time seeing an end result in my head.
If I see something, I can figure out how to make it, but I don’t have the vision inside of me.
And so walking into class expecting I’m naturally going to be good at something that doesn’t align with what comes naturally to me has really set myself up for disappointment.
Add to it comparing myself with others in my class who have finished and glazed pieces out of the kiln each week and I’ve had to give myself a good stern talking to and a whole lot of compassion.
I did the most obvious thing, the thing I should have done from the beginning -
I came up with a project idea.
I walked into pottery class last week with an idea of something I wanted to make.
And I made sure it was REALLY simple.
I chose to keep my eyes on my own work and not get distracted seeing what other people were doing.
And I made seven jewelry dishes.
They’re nothing fancy.
But I made them!
I got back my feeling of accomplishment from having made something.
And now I’m ready to tackle another project.
I’m still going to keep it simple.
I’m going in with a plan.
I’m going to ask for as much help as I need.
And I’m going to be much more patient with and kind to myself as I work.
Pottery is still new for me.
What’s your relationship with trying new things? And your expectations of yourself?
Have you seen this come into play with your journaling?
I hear people tell me all the time how frustrated they get because journaling should be simple. And they’re just not getting it.
How they feel like something is wrong with them because what works for other people isn’t working for them.
If this is you,
If you’re feeling stuck,
If you’re feeling frustrated with yourself,
I’ll remind you of what I’m learning:
Not everything comes naturally to all of us all the time.
It’s okay to lower our expectations.
It’s okay to start small.
It’s okay to ask for help.
It’s okay to feel frustrated.
As we keep trying, keep showing up, we’ll find ways to make it work for us.
We’ll find we get better.
And we’ll find we can make something beautiful.
Want to Talk about Journaling?
Join me this Thursday, November 3 at 7pm Eastern for office hours. Drop by to talk journaling, ask your journaling questions, celebrate your journaling successes.
Bring your journal with you if you’d like and we can journal together!
Register HERE for the Zoom link.
Weekly Journal Prompts:
Use these prompts as written or as inspiration to uncover what you need in your life this week.
What comes naturally to you?
What have you had to work at?
What do you love even though you’re not great at?
What can you learn about the way you learn to make new experiences easier and more satisfying?
How can you be kinder to yourself when you’re trying something new?
How can you be kinder to yourself when you are feeling frustrated and stuck?
Which areas of your life are calling for more self-compassion and kindness?
One Journaling Idea I Love:
Music as Journal Prompts
There’s no rule that journal prompts have to be in words!
Put on a piece of music that’s meaningful and write about it.
Maybe it’s the soundtrack to your childhood
The song you’d choose as your personal anthem
The first piece you learned to play on the piano
The tune you danced to at your wedding
The theme song to your favorite television show
YOU get to decide what’s meaningful and you get to decide what makes the meaning!
Better Me in 2023
Better Me in 2023 is a journaling adventure for busy go-getters - the givers, the figure-it-outers, the all-the-things-doers.
From the outside, it looks like a facilitated journaling group.
On the inside it's a program that brings intention, introspection, and connection to participants.
Better Me is designed to help participants:
Identify opportunities for growth and change
Build habits to help us succeed
Set goals and create plans for taking action
Overcome obstacles and limiting beliefs
Recognize and celebrate our accomplishments
Become our own accountability partners so our growth is lasting and sustainable
And along the way, we'll find clarity, decrease anxiety, forge connections with fellow travelers, and use journaling to become the versions of ourselves we've always wanted to be.
New themes every month!
Pick the months you want to join us,
Or you can sign on for 6 months or the whole 12 month journey!*
Download a copy of this PDF.
Register for the adventure. (Registration links are at the bottom of the PDF and also underneath the flyer image below.)
Share the information with a friend!
*You can hop on for the full-year option at any time. Even though the schedule is mapped out for the next 12 months, we’ll be continuing this journey into 2024.
I can’t wait to journal with you! 💛
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