Everyone gets stuck in a creative rut from time to time. After avoiding ANY bead stitching for years (I seriously was hauled down that path kicking and screaming the whole way), I wound up falling in love with the almighty peyote stitch. And now I spend every moment (and penny) on those little-orbs-of-delight; seed beads. I simply could not stop making jewelry with that stitch for about a year straight. I loved being in the “zone,” feeling that same Utopian bliss runners claim with their “runners high” and knitters “zen out” with. Stitching was as soothing as chocolate (well, almost), and I saw no reason whatsoever to alter from the path and learn something new. I could be happy forevermore with this one simple stitch … until once again, hauled down another path only screaming this time (no kicking) to meet Mr. Tubular Herringbone. ARGGGGG! Another new addictive stitch my fingers now itch for!
Becoming a “newbie” and learning something new; anything out of our comfort zone, is an important part of our creative process. Sure it’s frustrating; heck I lost count as to how many times I tore out those stitches and started over again. Another thing … what’s up with the difficulty in starting ANY stitch? The first 3-5 rows are brutal! They never look right and are darn near impossible to get on the first try until you’ve stitched for millenniums! But I found perseverance to be the key to these stitches which leads to a long and deeply satisfying beady relationship.
As adults we get so accustomed to “knowing” things that become our comfort zone. We know our job, creative outlets, foods, etc. But that can lead to complacency and boredom. Also, possibly a false sense of self; we are what we know. I ask you, aren’t the best joys on this path called life the unknown surprises? The discovery of a new passion; the excitement of exploring the beginning of something precious and sacred. There’s only one way to do this, by letting go of our adult “knowing-ness,” sending our ego on a vacation, embracing our inner five-year old and diving in with wonder. This, my dear beady peeps, is what I call “newbie-itis.”
The Art of Being a Newbie
Remember way back (way, waaaaaaay back for some of us) in grade school, how excited we were to learn something new? We weren’t old enough to be intimidated yet, to feel the self-doubt of “not-enoughness,” which is now part of our daily routine just like brushing. We didn’t compare ourselves to every kid in class and judge how good we were. We just dove in with thrilling abandon; failure was not a word in our vocabulary yet. Ahhhhh, how gratifying! I invite you to slow down, take a few deep breaths and tap into that thrilling feeling. Whether it’s a new bead stitch, incorporating mixed media into your artistic toolbox, or starting your own jewelry-making business; ask yourself, what do I want to learn? What gives me that spark of desire? What new path do I wish to travel at this moment in my life? Turn off the chatter in your mind and explore, dip a toe in the water …
Let go and dive deeply!