Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thinking does not equal Doing

One of the insights I had in working with a coach has to do with one of my big stumbling blocks. I like to think. A lot. That includes "figuring things out." I have a pretty good visual imagination, and can "see" my way through making something -- engineering, fabrication, the whole ball of wax.

But in creating with polymer clay, consciously bringing creative thoughts into manifestation, I have gotten pretty darn clear that the hands can't always achieve what the mind can create. Therein lies the utility of practice.

Now, I know lots of you are going to say "well, duh!" And yeah, when you think about it, it's pretty obvious. But again I say, what the brain knows, the body can stumble over. What I think should be easy can be terrifying to my emotions.

What I continue to learn on a daily basis is to practice. Just sit in the chair and write. Don't judge it, just write. Maybe just sit in the chair if that's all I can do that day. When I was writing my dissertation, I consistently found that if I could put my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard, after a while of slogging, I'd get into it. My interest in the task would usually take me the rest of the way.

It's boring? Too bad. Keep going. Maybe I'm not deep enough in to where it isn't boring.

It's confusing? Ok, so it's confusing, I'll get down what I DO understand and go from there.

It's too complicated? Break it down into little simple pieces.

There's too much? Who said you had to do it all at once? Take it step by step.

The thing about working with the clay is that I can see how I can make my weaknesses into design elements. And that's a transferable skill. So if I can't think of what to say to a client, I can focus on listening more deeply. And ya know, from a client's perspective, that can be a darn good trade.

1 comment:

  1. There is a great German phrase for getting down to work and concentrating: Sitz fliesh, or sitting one's butt down. I'm probably not spelling this correctly but it seems to dovetail with what you are saying.