world-decide-yellowWhen I responded to the Fall Fearless and Fly Challenge last week I used the colour suggestion bit and came up with “Black Surprise“.

Since then the headline cue has been on my mind since it relates to this website, so I thought I’d write a post about it. Here it is:

Headline Prompt: Taking a Chance: When did you take a chance or a leap of faith?
How did it turn out?
What did you learn?

I have taken a number of leaps of faith in my life, as have all of us, even though we may not think of them as such. How could we ever learn something new if we didn’t?

Taking chances seems to be our natural way of being. How could we learn to walk, for example, without taking the chance that we  might hurt ourselves or might not be able to do it? When we’re young we don’t even think about it. As we grow older we start to think more and more.

Thinking about taking a leap of faith, in advance, can be useful but I suspect it’s often less useful than we think.

When there are real dangers we seem to instinctively know not to take a chance. We don’t need to think too long about it. But other times, we can talk ourselves out of doing all sorts of things that could be seen as an adventure rather than a danger, if only we looked at them differently. We imagine all sorts of things happening in the future that, in reality, are highly unlikely to happen. And, if they do, won’t really do much more harm than cause us some discomfort or embarrassment.

Looking at my life I would probably say that the biggest leap of faith I took was when I sold pretty much all of my possessions, including my house, and set off to backpack around the world with my 5 year old. Ah, those were the days!

More recently, for the last 17 years in fact, I have stayed in one place, bringing up my children and seemingly not taking many chances.

But, writing this post feels like taking a chance. Certainly creating this website does. Messy around with paints does. But, for some reason, none of the worries I come up with can find much traction and that’s why I wanted to record this journey. I am fascinated by the fact that I have no experience of “doing art” and thus very little to judge myself with.

Even when I look at what others do, which in other situations is enough to stop me in my tracks, I don’t see anything that stops me. For every painting I see that I like I see one that I don’t. When I go to galleries or fairs I see art that I’m amazed has sold, I see paintings that I love that haven’t sold and all sorts in between. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it.

If I ask other people what they think of one of my paintings, they will say many different things and as many people don’t like it as do. So where does that leave me? Maybe the only thing that matters is what I think. Except even I can’t be relied upon. When I look at my own productions I seem to change my mind on a daily basis. One minute I like a painting. The next time I look at it I don’t.

What I love most about the whole thing is being surprised. I love that I start out having no idea what I will end up with. Sometimes I am pleased with the result and sometimes I am not. I can’t say I don’t care about what other people think because sometimes, in the moment I do . . . a bit, but all in all I care much less than in other areas of my life and that is so liberating! And even better is I care less about what I think. Surely there can’t be any “truth” to it when it keeps changing anyway.

When this really flows it feels like a game with no rules. Curiosity and possibility take me forward. It’s like a metaphor for the way I would like to live my whole life.

So I’m watching this unfold with interest and wondering how much I can take into other areas of my life.

I’m recording the journey to remind myself of where I started; to remind myself that with less thinking, less judgement, more play and more wonder I end up in places I could never have imagined .

If you’d like to play along please leave a comment or pass the word around.

I’m off to take another leap of faith and make this post public!

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Linking to: Take a Word where the word is warm!