Friday, May 30, 2014

5 life lessons I’ve learnt while painting with my baby boy


A few days ago, I wrote about how Baby N and I paint together. We get messy, splash paint around, play with brushes, dip our hands in the water. 

We’re right at the beginning of our mother-son art journey. There’ll be lots more of art work in the years to come (I’m hopeful). Pictures of stick figures and zig-zag hills, smiley suns and pointy stars. Pictures drawn with crayons and salt, water colors and corn flour paints.

As we dabble in art now, dipping fingers in paints, making hand prints and just being merry without a goal in mind, there are a few lessons I’ve learnt about life.

It’s okay to be messy (or to mess up) sometimes. This is how life is many times…messy and in the moment. So embracing this mess, living in the now rather than fighting for perfection, makes a whole lot of sense.

Do what you can at this time. Whether you have small kids at home and very little time for yourself, busy schedules and very little time to relax, you live in the back-of-beyond with very few work opportunities…wherever we are in life, the idea is to work with what we have. Whether it’s starting a blog or a small business, reading a book or starting a fitness program, do what you can now (rather than waiting for the situation to change, for more time, for the kids to grow up).

Enjoy the process rather than focusing on the result. Our art sessions are more about splashing around with paint and water, than creating a perfect picture. Often, the joy is in the journey than the destination, in the learning than in the goal.

Start somewhere. Often, we get so tangled up in the yarns of success and results, goals and fear of glitches that we do not take that first step. Whether you want to start a new venture, apply for a job, take a course or start writing that book, the idea is to start and take that first step.

Every skill evolves over time. Whether you’re an amateur artist/writer/photographer/cook or a new mother, it’s so important to remember that the more you do something mindfully, the better you get at it. It takes time and patience, faith in yourself and the will to learn.

photo credit: shimelle laine

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