Ellen Olson-Brown is a creative inspiration to me in more ways than I can count. She is also a children’s book author, children’s yoga instructor, life-design junkie, Bikram devotee, and mother of twins. I love, love, love what she shares below. Enjoy!
Although I’m pretty proud of the collection above, crowing is truly not my motivation for posting. I’m posting this to make a point that is *so* important to me.
Every day this month I’ve made at least one of these little drawings on a sticky note. I find an image of a face online, paint its basic shape in watercolor, and then ink in the details with a permanent marker.
I’ve committed to this because I’ve found that mixing colors and drawing, even just a little, is one of those things that makes the rest of my day more vivid, easier.
Drawing on a sticky note is way less intimidating than using beautiful paper or a canvas, because of both the size and the humbleness of the materials. And committing to doing it every day of a short month quiets the “Should I? Why?” voice without overwhelming me.
So what’s the point I want to prove?
Well, it’s the same point I want desperately to prove when someone new practices near me in a yoga class and says, “But it looks so easy for you! I’ll never be able to do that!” and I have to tell them 1) It’s still *very* hard for me, and 2) I couldn’t touch my toes when I first started yoga. What I can do now has taken me 7 years and at least 1,000 classes of showing up and listening and trying and getting better and getting worse and having faith in the process and learning to add a gentle “yet” to a very bratty, “I can’t!!”
I love these little faces, my wall of friends and encouragers. Are they perfect? No. But I used to be scared, stiff, and frustrated when it came to drawing. I thought making art was a matter of talent, which I simply didn’t have. And now I am making things that bring me joy.
Talent is real. We’re each wired/built to optimize certain kinds of learning, performing.
But way more powerful than talent is openness, faith, courage, hard work, and enough self-kindness to let yourself be a beginner, show up, and see what happens.
Draw, run, sing, cook, garden, dance, do yoga — whatever that thing is that you’re drawn to, get your butt out there and try it 10 or 50 or 3,000 times.
Because you deserve to amaze yourself.