Paint First

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“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically – to say ‘no’ to the other things.  And the way to do that is to have a bigger yes burning inside.” ~Stephen Covey

There is a thing you’re supposed to do first.  I can’t tell you what that is for you.  But you know that you know, that right now in this season, there’s a thing that you’re supposed to put your hand to.

And sometimes, there’s a thing that you do instead.

Sometimes The Thing Instead doesn’t look ugly or wrong.  When the thing you do instead is awesome, I call it a Noble Distraction.  It’s something that no one will ever fault you for.  Go ahead, volunteer with a humanitarian organization or mentor young ones.  Keep a clean house and be an all around supportive human.   Just be honest about the fact that you’re doing a second or even a third thing, first.

I’ve learned much in the last few years about my practice and my way of walking in the world. Opening the studio and putting energy into teaching has brought tremendous clarity to what goes first.

The new studio space is first and foremost my working studio, but I have a deep love of sharing the power of visual journals and intuitive painting.  And I am passionate about gathering folks in circle around a table of beautiful food, so I’ll open the studio occasionally and share/teach.   I love to do this, but sometimes I get a little carried away.  I get so excited about handing others seeds and keys for their practice, that I put second things first.

I’ve discovered that teaching can easily become my Noble Distraction .

One year I even spent 9 months studying teaching.  It was an all-in training and I will be forever grateful for the experience because it clarified a deep truth for me.  If all I do is teach, I die a little inside.  I dry up and lose my sense of self.  I was made to make things.  To move paint and tear paper and get behind a camera.  To make images and marry them with words so that when they have offspring there is a glorious synergistic new thing.  That’s the “bigger yes burning inside” of me.

And so I do it first.  I put on the oxygen mask of writing, painting, shooting.  I must tend to my own practice first or there can be no joyful offering.  For me that means ‘first things first’ happen not only before the second things, but they happen literally first thing in the morning because morning is when I am at my best.  My practice deserves my best.   My morning pages are a combination of words and paint and they happen first.

[here’s an early morning painting in progress]

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In my world, right priorities make for joyful offerings and firm foundations.  And most importantly paintings and writings filled with burning bigger yeses.

What is your First Thing First?  I hope it’s at the top of the list, getting your best attention.

BE in your life,

Betsy

By | 2016-10-19T14:20:30+00:00 October 9th, 2015|Uncategorized|8 Comments

About the Author:

I create containers for words and paint and I fill them. I craft safe, sacred spaces for people to wrestle, create, heal and shout from the mountain tops.
 
And I teach people to do all of these things for themselves.

  • Genevieve Borges Simpson

    Yes times infinity. This!!

    • Genevieve! I love the words you’ve been sharing lately. Glorious things happen when our practice gets our best. <3

    • wildthymecreative

      Genevieve! I love the words you’ve been sharing lately. Glorious things happen when our practice gets our best. <3

  • Alys Seay

    I love your thoughts and voice. It’s cool timing to be challenged with recognizing the noble distractions in my life. Thanks Betsy.

    • Alys – I love well timed messages, too. I think it speaks to a listener with open ears. I can’t wait to see what your “first thing” is.

    • wildthymecreative

      Alys – I love well timed messages, too. I think it speaks to a listener with open ears. I can’t wait to see what your “first thing” is.

  • Terri Guillemets

    Timely. So timely. As always. My soul ever answers and smiles and blossoms to the vibrations of your words. I’ve been reminding myself over the past few weeks — the exciting autumnal new year — that wellness & calm must be my morning’s First! Thank you for making my own inner life more beautiful with your sharings. “Less is more unless it’s love.” ~Ben Mittleman

    • wildthymecreative

      Hey Terri – It’s always good to hear from you. Doing some shifting at the site and found this comment [with no reply! gasp!] I hope that Autumn into Holiday into Winter finds you well. Here’s to vibrant inner lives and all the quotes in the land. Cheers!