In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are very few. - Shunryu Suzuki

2018 : My Year of Beginner’s Mind

Recently, some of my creative friends who hang out in the Planet SARK atmosphere got me thinking. What, they wondered, was my “word” for 2018?

If you’ve known me a while you won’t be too surprised to find out that my “word” is actually two words. But it’s only one idea so I decided it counts because it feels so true.

Beginner’s Mind. 

The first time I recall this notion knocking on my brain was at a Qigong retreat, five years or so ago. It was kind of a radical notion for me, that showing up not knowing could be a good thing.

I’ve done a lot of not knowing since then. Blogs, social media, electronic publishing, species appropriate food, and a rather more challenging than usual rescue dog.

My latest venture is, perhaps, the farthest afield for me.

I’m learning to paint! More specifically, I’m learning the process of intentional creativity which is both ancient and really new to me.

First, in case you’re new around here, let me be clear. I am not “the artistic” kid. A maternal pronouncement which I grew up believing must have been carved on the flip side of the 10 Commandments.

The process of following a call to actually pick up a paintbrush and create something more artistic than really great wood work was a huge deal for me. And it’s happening!

One of the things I’m working on at the moment is a Tree of Life painting. It’s all very primal and mythical in the most true kind of way.

Well, in theory. In actuality, it’s a couple of really rough sketches and several layers of background work.

But, I know where I’m going.

Sort of.

The first thing my tree decided, after the initial background layers, was that she prefered a landscape orientation to the portrait one that seemed more tree-like to me.

In the midst of not knowing, I went back to my source and watched the next video step of the process, even though I wasn’t quite there yet.

That’s when I learned a major miracle for fixing things that aren’t working! (Thank you, Shiloh Sophia McCloud!!!) It has a lot to do with using the negative space, which I wouldn’t have thought of but changes many things.

Then the dream arrived. An actual dream.

Tree of Life. Tree of Knowledge. Banyan trees. Many trunks and roots.

Philosophy. Quantum physics. Community. The things that connect us, one to the other.

A whole new world, rather like the one through the back of the wardrobe C. S. Lewis made famous.

And a realization. Not new, so much as deeper.

It’s all energy.

From the clean, sustainable broth simmering on my stove that warms me even hours before dinner will be ready, to the message of the Tree of Life, it’s all energy.

Energy which cannot be created or destroyed, but which can only be transformed.

Transformed, in our world, through intention.

Intention, I hope, in this New Year, for good.

Good for me and mine. Good for you and yours. Good for us, in the sense that there are no others.

Which sounds a lot like fixing things in the negative space!

And may be an even bigger story…



4 comments on “2018 : My Year of Beginner’s Mind”

    1. Thanks, Bekah! Even better than inspiring me to write, this post inspired me to think new things! Thanks so much!!!

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