Having a Beginner’s Mindset

Howdy, Y’all! How was your summer? For some of you readers it may still feel like summer, regardless of what the calendar says. Summer is one of the busiest times in the mountains of the Pacific and Inland Northwest. Gorgeous weather calls to come tiptoe on the mountain ridges and float along the river, the garden needs tending, the mules get fat and sassy on the green pasture grass, friends and family come to visit. Yes, summer is a whirlwind of activity up here!

There are a few reasons for why it has been so long since I shared any of the goings-ons with you. Besides all the activity that is summer, I want to remodel this blog site and I got so caught up in trying to figure out how the finished product would look that I did not actually start the project. I have heard it called many things but analysis paralysis is one I will use. You know how it is, you want to do something but do not have any idea how to do it or maybe even how you want it to look when you are finished. That is why we hire professionals, because they can have so many ideas and experience and move wishful thinking into action. Alas, hiring a professional web designer is not an expense I can incur and so it went, round and round.

Delightfully, I spent time with my daughter recently who did a reading for me with these cool Animal Spirit cards.

These are the spirit cards that Erika brought. Such lovely packaging!

A reading consists of shuffling the deck, spreading it out face down, and choosing cards. We like to wave our hand over the cards until it feels like one of the cards “calls” to select it. Then you look up the card in the accompanying book that describes what the card can mean in life and how that value would appear if you are in balance or out of balance. I find it a fun way to share time together and interact sans screen.

Actually we did two readings for me, each about a week apart. Both said the same thing essentially: creativity is about starting, just do the work, start where you are, it is not the finished product that requires focus but rather it is the process of working that is important.

Below is a shot of the cards from my second reading. These cards are not about telling the future. I think what they do is help you get over yourself and the blockades you put up. They can be a tool to help you open to possibilities that your heart is longing for. It was interesting, however, in that when we started this second reading and I shuffled the deck, the cards drawn were similar to the reading that had been done immediately prior, including this spider card (the center card). I decided to reshuffle the deck and try again.  First card drawn was the spider card, something that surprised Erika and me and caused Erika to comment that I obviously was not getting out of that message! The spider’s message is to focus on the expression of creativity, not on the finished product. It is hard not to also get the message that we each weave our own web of life. Am I weaving the web I desire?

The three cards from my second reading.

We were able to include a dear family member in the fun via video chat. Don’t you love technology?!?!

Video chat card reading, you can participate in the fun even if you are not in the room!

If you want to take a look at the cards or buy some, here is a link you can use. If you follow it and make a purchase, I will get a small commission and it won’t cost you any extra. The Animal Spirit cards are quite beautifully drawn and the book that describes each card is well written.

Such lovely drawings of real and imagined animals

Isn’t that interesting? I have had on my mind how to revamp this blog but have been stuck because I do not know how or what I want. I feel the interface is clunky. I have tried to envision how to make it more polished and interesting and I cannot figure that out; perhaps because I am not a web designer. Instead I am just going to start messing around and try different things. It will be an experiment in process-driven work rather than results-driven, just like the cards suggest. Sometimes it may be icky, maybe even break down, and sometimes it might get a little better. I have to accept being a beginner and not being great.

Consider it experimental art, perhaps. Have you ever been to an experimental art show? They are not always enjoyable. One show I went to consisted of a guy walking up and down the alley of a warehouse with a cow head. Not a skull, the full head with skin and eyes and gore at the neck. As he paced the alleyway he was muttering and then hollering words that were incomprehensible to me, perhaps because I was in my head trying to figure out where a person gets hold of a freshly decapitated bovine noggin in the middle of Houston. And also I was staying back to avoid the blood and gore that would fling out from the cow neck when the artist (and the bitchy part of me writes that as “artist” but the professional in me would never be so crass), back to what I was saying, when the artist would fling the cow head around to make some point. Art is cool, pleading with the dry cleaner to get the cow blood stains out of your blouse is not cool. And yet, of the many art shows attended, this icky one stands out most strongly and is the one I chose to relate to you. I have no idea what happened to that guy or those other people in the audience over these past many years but I know that I was inspired. If that guy can get up there and be insane and repulsive, then maybe that gives me freedom to do the same in my own way. No dry cleaner needed.

It can be hard to be a beginner. To not know exactly what you are doing, or how to do it. It can be exhausting, too, because everything, every detail and action is consciously considered. Once you get good at something it just flows. It becomes easy and it feels good to do well without working so hard. I think as we get older we become intimidated by the idea of starting over. The idea of not being good at something, of not knowing what to do and how to proceed several steps up the road, it can be overwhelming. Well, it is overwhelming when one tries to foretell the future and see the end before even beginning. No wonder I have been dragging my tail, that is a lot of weight to bear!
I have also been trying to figure out what this blog is about. In trying to get the professional and polished vision I thought maybe I should narrow the focus to specific content. After tossing around lots of ideas: travel, outdoors, food, healthy living, it was apparent that no single idea was resonating. I have decided that, at this time at least, the blog will just be about whatever is on my mind and agenda. (That is agenda as in calendar and what I am doing that week, not agenda as in take over the world)

I hope your summer was wonderful. I cannot wait to share all the late-summer and fall stuff with you! Hope you are hungry, the next post is about food! That is something I do know well!

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