Stalling Is Easier Than Starting

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stalling

Quick, what comes easier for you-stalling or starting?

When it comes to doing work or commitments, we tend to be less afraid of jumping in and getting things moving. For the personal stuff, the deep root of our heart stuff, starting can be rocky. We fool ourselves into believing that it might be safer to not dream, not start, not ask. But let me ask you, is that rewarding?

It isn’t for me.

We are made for more. But starting? Oh, starting…how do we begin when the stakes are so high? And we do think they are high, or wouldn’t we all be running to achieve them without stalling at all?

This post will be a little unusual. I am inviting you into my brain for an afternoon, to show you one way of thinking that can lead to a start.

These are new art supplies in the top picture. It is exhilarating for me to ooh and ahh over them, not so easy to know what to do next.  I don’t actually know what to “do” with them, just that I want to “use” them. I challenged myself to just DO something, quickly, before I could “think” my way out of it.

First, I chose a self-portrait that I had enlarged well over a year ago. Let me explain, when I decided to become a writer last year, this was one of the shots taken for me. There was a spark or recognition that I couldn’t put into words yet. The camera over the heart had great personal significance for me. I, for the first time, really recognized “me”.

Today, I decided that this picture would be the end of the stalling, and a new start towards a more artistic life. The challenge to myself was to move fast, don’t think too much and just work. I’ll share a perspective of how art connected pieces and was really a substrate for my thought process.

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I chose a piece of paper that had a pattern that was glittery and festive and just glued the picture down. I grabbed Washi tape  (like transparent masking tape with patterns) and ripped off some pieces to create a border.  Don’t be afraid to really look at yourself, creating a frame was symbolic to me of “seeing” who I was.

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Next, I brushed on regular acrylic paint (any cheap $1 hobby paint) over the landscape, then brushed with water to blur the scene. The stuff that is behind us? It is still there, but I wanted to be reminded that we can choose what to focus on. We can let the background remain behind us, not becoming central to who we are now.

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Writing out the words that came to mind immediately were important, and the Sharpie represents the lasting quality of them. Permanent. Something to store inside and form a foundation. We don’t always want everyone to know these deep thoughts (trust me, I REALLY debated sharing mine here, but I felt it might encourage someone). I again used a paint/water wash and just brushed over them slightly, to keep them visible but not the focus. A reminder if needed.

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I used a watercolor pencil and just decided to scribble around the edges, unsure of what it would do. It signifies courage and playfulness. Our life would be richer if we remembered to play around sometimes, not being afraid of the outcome. To delight in the unexpected. Add a dash of color.

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We can always add a little water and smooth down the crazy movement, adding tranquility back into our art (life).  Gently brushing the edges of who we are, softening the impact.

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Stalling would have gotten me nowhere, and instead an imperfect and somewhat sloppy start felt quite satisfying.  Won’t you challenge yourself along with me? It doesn’t have to be artwork. Just don’t stall, you were made for more.

I’d love to hear about who YOU really are.

This isn’t really about art. It is my choice of expression today, but it doesn’t define YOU.   Whether you are an accountant who always wanted to play music, or a teacher who wanted to drive a garbage truck, or a flight attendant who’d prefer to be a full time student, think it through. Don’t stall the dreams.

Leave a comment, email me if you’d rather. Share with a friend via the social media buttons. Just do something today, stalling will never compete with the joy of starting.

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Comments

  1. I’m not a visual artist, but I do some graphic design and I really like the idea of being unafraid to play and experiment. I tend to create things that are a copy of what the “experts” have done, because I don’t trust my own creative instinct.
    Kathleen Caron recently posted…wake up, it’s time for schoolMy Profile

    • christa sterken says:

      I hear you loud and clear, graphic design sounds so interesting to me. I like copying too, we should all try it. I read that many famous writers and speakers learned what they know by copying masters. It is an investment in time that pays off. Keep experimenting and share your ideas with me, you inspire me

  2. I love this, Christa! I’m such a “staller,” and this post is just what I needed! You’re an inspiration! :-)
    Julie Campbell recently posted…It’s a Wonderful Life Trivia Quiz!My Profile

  3. Another staller here. My girlfriend and I were just discussing this very thing, today as we looked around her house of clutter (mine’s just as bad). We laughed about how easy it is to clean our homes in our brain, but nothing much happens beyond that. One of my problems is not having my very own space to call my own, so a lot of my creative juices go on hold. Trying to keep a house in the midst of reno projects has become stressful and discouraging. I’ve got to remind myself that stalling in this area just keeps me behind the power curve of my life. Thanks for sharing this.

    • christa sterken says:

      How true that is, reno projects cause a lot of chaos. DId you girls come up with some plans? It is such a gift to have our friends to bounce that stuff off of with each other. Funner than cleaning :) I have lived in many places, most without a personal space. Once I took a broom closet and my husband put a tiny desk surface in it for me. I closed the door when the kids were up and opened it at naptime. I hope you find a corner…

  4. Christa, this is a great post. Now I understand about the photo.
    I draw well. Like Kathleen above, I am not creative. I copy well. But I can paint with words, when ispiration visits. In my book you’ll see many images painted with words.

    Until my book goes to print, I don’t have the energy or desire to begin anything. It seems, I put all I had to that work and right now I feel dry, maybe until that is out of my hands. I know I am stalling, but I need this time to connect with others, to support them as much as I can, to finish what I have started, and just be with my family.

    I am excited to watch all of you young people strive and thrive. I pray you find your way onto the right journey. I trust you will, because you are smart, and knowledgeable, very wise for your ages, and above all trusting in God and your hearts. You might feel wobbly, but one of these days, you will have a revelation, and then you’ll take off flying. And boy, am I going to cheer you! :)

    Do you realize that I could be your mother? The younger generation can always look back to the older one, get nourishment from their roots, and fly as high or as far as they want to. But us old folks can never catch up to our children, I will continue with my journey in a slower pace, and I know I will definitely get where I need to be. “Having our lives intersect” is a blessing indeed, that I will always treasure!

  5. I’m actually pretty good at starting things. It’s the finishing that I sometimes struggle with. I love this piece of art you created. It is all you, I think. It’s like a stream of consciousness work of art.
    Janelle recently posted…when you feel like you aren’t enoughMy Profile

  6. I love this post! AND I love your project. I have so many unused art supplies that sit in my “studio,” mainly because I stall. Out of fear or perfectionism I guess. I will pin this as a reminder.
    Pam recently posted…2013-A Very Strange YearMy Profile

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