What is failure?

I spend the evening pouring paint on an old canvas. I was never quite happy with this piece of work. Never content it was finished. Yesterday I decided to take it on. To dive further into the story it is trying to tell.

I have a vision, an idea of what I want to create. Of the painting’s story. I am excited.

Two hours of pouring, hair-dryer blowing, torching, moving the canvas this way and that, I am scraping the paint off, letting it slide into an old bucket.

I breathe.

It is the second painting in a row which has not pleased me. Not ‘measured up’.

I breathe again.

Flutters of panic stir the outer reaches of my mind.

“It’s a trend!” the critter hisses. “You’ve lost your touch. You’re a failure. But then, you were just trying to fool yourself into believing you were an artist anyway. Give it up.”

I breathe again and turn to face the imaginary but oh so real culprit of my negative thinking.

“I see you,” I tell him. “I see you and I know your fear. I know you’re just trying to keep me safe. That you are simply doing your best to prevent me from feeling the pain of disappointment. Failure. It’s okay. Painting bad is like being willing to write bad. I gotta go through the rough spots to get to the good. It’s never a failure. It’s all just part of the invitation to begin again from where I am.”

The critter hisses and stomps his feet and puffs up his body in preparation of giving me another blast of limiting beliefs he’s created to keep me from feeling the pains of life, to prevent me from stepping so far out of my comfort zone I lose the way back.

I breathe.. Into fear. Uncertainty. Confusion. Resistance. The unknown.

I don’t need a comfort zone to keep me safe. I need wide-open spaces. The freedom to explore what it means to live on the other side of who I am when I dare to cross the boundary from being safe in who I am to honouring the sacred of all I am.

I breathe and remind myself that not every painting becomes a final project in one go. Just as the canvas I was painting on began two years ago and only now is being viewed as full of possibilities, going through the messy is part of the journey of getting to the good parts.

It is all part of the process.

And the first painting that ‘failed’ slips into my thoughts. It’s pretty ugly… at this point. But a random thought enters. What if…. and ideas on what I can do to delve into its story, to reveal its mysteries rise above my fears.

Ooooh.  That could be fun, I think. And ‘what if’s’ of trying this or that dance in my thoughts.

I want to race down to my studio. To pull out my pens and get to work.

It’s not that time of day. I have to ‘get to work’. I have meetings to attend, a Strat Plan to complete. interviews.

I breathe again.

It’s okay.

I’m okay.

It’s all just part of the process to get from here to there. It’s all just part of the invitation.

I begin again.

Life is a journey and everything on my path is necessary. It is all part of the Sacred.





7 thoughts on “What is failure?

  1. Don’t fret, stress or over-analyze for you will work yourself into a tizzy or is that frenzy?! You are going through the normal process of letting go of a job, a responsibility that consumed you for over a decade. There will be Sunday nights that you cannot sleep because your sub-conscious has not quite clicked into the idea you are no longer in a 9-5, 5 day week routine.
    Welcome to the process of transitioning into rejuvenation!

    Liked by 2 people

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