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What are you going to paint?

"We need to stand with our feet on the ground and our brushes in the sky", my aunt said when she once told me about the painting class she was taking at the time. She said that it's about opening the door to our inspiration and our intuition and seeing where creativity wants to lead us, but that these must also be anchored into the body if we want to have access to and be able to use our abilities.

This image with the brushes and the feet is something that has nudged me from time to time in my life, usually to make me aware if or when I had neither. Or maybe I had just a little bit of each: a few toes, a couple of brush strokes.

In practice, this means that there have been times when I have gained an understanding of something: I have read the books, attended the classes, observed and been inspired by others. But after that, there has been kind of a sense of safety in staying there, in refraining from jumping in even though I've already dipped my toes. I have mastered something in my thoughts, but not necessarily in real life.

We will not, however, learn how to navigave in water by practicing dry swimming. We won't learn how to handle an instrument just by listening to someone else play. And we won't build muscles by reading books on exercise. Unfortunately. Sometimes it would have been quite nice if that had been the case.

It can sometimes take a lot of courage to dare to take steps we have not taken before, no matter how carefully we have studied the map, no matter how diligently we have prepared and no matter how much we long for and want it. But we will not move forward if we don't start walking. And when we do - when we start to put into practice something that we've learned theoretically - it also includes the risk of stumbling every once in a while, of getting stuck, making mistakes or forgetting something and having to start over.

For a child, this is not strange at all. Falling and getting up, trying, failing and trying again, is the way to learn new things in life. To get good at them. To feel confident in our abilities and what we can do. But for some reason we adults sometimes seem to think that it goes without saying that children should have both plenty of time and many practice opportunities in developing a new skill, but ideally we ourselves should be able to master everything right away. Without practicing and without getting to experience the joy of actually growing in something we are learning. "A week ago I couldn't do this, but now I could!" or "Yesterday I didn't dare, but today I tried!"

Some of the inventions that have greatly changed the world for the better have come about because something went wrong. Great music has been created when people have made mistakes when playing. And sure, this may be an easy thing to say but not always so easy to remember when we are standing face to face with uncertainty or nervousness. But what would happen if for a moment we would approach both what's new and the butterflies in our stomach with curiosity and remind ourselves that everything we already do and master in life has also involved a learning curve? And what would happen if we were to hold ourselves with the same amount of patience and encouragement as we do children? Then what would like to be created through our brushes?



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