Happy Saturday TORQUE fam! This is a little different, saying hello on a weekend…I don't know I kind of like it! Whether you are drinking coffee in jammies, in the car on your way to a sports game (bundle up!!), relaxing post spin, or just enjoying this beautiful Saturday in bed make sure you take a few moments today to give your body and soul the attention and love that it not only needs, but also deserves.
So the other day, I went to a paint class to celebrate my best friends birthday. We got together with our moms, some wine, snacks, and each other and we were going to somehow paint this detailed pumpkin. I was not convinced that I was going to be able to do it. In fact, I was actually nervous and uncomfortable to be in this position. I couldn’t understand why.I mean, it was just a class. No one but me was taking this pumpkin home. And I was with my childhood best friend and my mom…so why all this pressure? I soon realized it was because I might fail. I might not live up to the stereotypical 1st grade teacher who can do all things crafts. I might be judged for my work. The word in there that is so beyond critical is might. Think abut that word and how much weight it holds in my thoughts. I might…meaning there is a chance. Not a definite, not a positive, a chance. So here I am already deciding it is going to be a horrible experience because something MIGHT happen. Looking back now, it seems silly. But in that moment, it was sweaty palms on a paint brush.
So fast forward to the class starting. I was painting, mixing colors, feeling like Picaso himself. I settled into the situation, or maybe the wine stated to kick in, but whatever it was I was doing it. I felt good, more comfortable, and almost I don't know…happy. Until our first break came. Our instructor had said we were going to take a break to let the paint dry a little. So I got up from my pumpkin and walked around to see everyone else’s pumpkin and I immediately took 3 steps back. I started to compare. I started to see everything that was wrong with mine solely by what was right with everyone else’s. I totally sucked the joy out of the experience because I allowed myself to think my pumpkin had too many hues of orange and yellow going on.
It was almost like the universe collided inside this little paint studio because as soon as we sat back down the instructor began to talk. She was saying how the other day she read a quote. It said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. She said that to us and then went into this talk about how our pumpkin is simply that, ours. It will not be the same as the person next to you or even across the room. Not because it is bad or not as detailed or even not as skilled, but simply because it is a piece of you. And that when we start to compare, the joy we received or felt or saw is stolen from us. I literally was like wtf I thought that this was a birthday party and not light off in the spin room. But the world works in mysterious ways and sometime the message you need to hear will find you no matter what.
From that point on, I learned to love my pumpkin for all the things it was. All the things I thought it should be. I wasn't worried about what Beth’s pumpkin looked like or what my moms looked like because that was theirs. That was an extension of them. It would never be an extension of me so why compare? Well, because we are human and that is what we do. But maybe, just maybe we can give our best efforts to stop it and change it.
I tell you this today because joy is what makes life living. I see it every day on my first grader’s faces. It is simply the most warm and fulfilling feeling in the world. And sometimes, without even knowing, we are the catalyst to it being stolen. So, I ask you today to let all the things you are, all the things you do, all the things you produce, all the things you love to be viewed through one lens..you. Don’t let the joy you have for all you have done be stolen by someone else’s extension of them. Be proud of what you can do and feel the joy all throughout. Don't live in the future of what if’s or mights, be here now. Love yourself in all the different hues of life and know that when you feel the joy slipping away to refocus your lens. I promise you, you can do it. Because guess what…I love my little pumpkin. For all that it is and all that it taught me. It might not be ready to go into a gallery, but that's okay because it is a part of me. And for that reason alone it is all it needs to be.
I love you, always and all ways. And so should you.