When I was a kid, I wanted to eat my crayons. Not for any other reason than I loved all the colors and didn’t know what else to do with them.
In my mid-twenties, I was travelling and inspired to paint for the first time. In my backpack I carried a small set of Gouache (opaque watercolor), a small water carrier and a black indelible marker. Sitting in cafes, I drew out what was in front of me and colored in the lines.
The first four paintings I did back then are on my wall no matter where I live. I LOVE them.
Because something came out of me when I knew NOTHING. I’d never tried to paint before. I felt courageous to try—even slap happy silly.
Plus, after all those years of wanting to draw but not knowing how, I finally decided to go for it.
Now, after painting for 20 years, there are some paintings that stand out. Those that do are usually FIRSTS. A first at SOMETHING:
The first time I . . .
. . . held a big brush and dipped it into a cup of paint.
. . . got small and detailed.
. . . went wild and painted something outrageous like a penis.
. . . felt really vulnerable as a painful memory came forward.
. . . sold a painting (that I forgot to take a photo of and want back.)
We woke up.
So what is it that you could do NOW, this WEEK, this MONTH—that is a FIRST?
Not for any reason besides the fact that it IS a first?
Not for any other intention except DOING a first?
And doing SOMETHING NEW for the sheer hell of it?
How might you put yourself out there? What new person might you connect with? What new class or hobby might you try out? What about that dream of always wanting to learn to FLY?
In order to get the most from it, here are some tips:
- Choose something no matter how big or small or seemingly insignificant.
- Don’t tell ANYONE about it. (Or maybe just 1 or 2 people.)
- Don’t make it a big deal. Even to yourself. Keep it cool.
- Set a time and date or just do it RIGHT NOW.
- When you do it—don’t THINK anything about it. Don’t give a shit. It’s just an experiment for the sake of it.
Still keep it a secret—don’t share with anyone yet. Keep it to yourself to explore the experience. How did it feel? Regardless of the result, don’t care.
Sometimes we get that gift of WOW, but don’t worry if you don’t. I seriously thought those first paintings were ICK when I painted them. But now I love them for what they represent.
If it feels good, keep going but don’t expect the next time you do it to feel like a FIRST. There’s always a letdown after a high, like we experienced with our first kiss.
If you continue with the unfolding process, you’ll have another moment with pop-factor. But don’t worry about that now.
Just dive in and swim.
Wishing you a week of FIRSTS! And a kiss☺