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Learning to Trust the Process

I was going to promote a fellow Trail Days author - whose book I am thoroughly enjoying - but as I was painting today another thought came to mind and I wanted to share it with you in this weeks blog post. Because if I don't write it down now, my brillance will be gone. You will have to wait another week to hear about my current reading.

When I paint cards and bookmarks, I mask the paper down on my work surface. This keeps it flat, secure, and stable as I do my thing. Art is a fairly new outlet for me. Sometime in 2022 - I think - I had this strong desire to pick up some paint - not the kind to redo a bedroom or bathroom either. The fancy kind of painting. The urge was so strong to try this new skill I couldn't think of anything else. I stayed up late watching YouTube videos, reels, and other social media posts of artists whose work I liked. I had no clue where or how to start. But that didn't stop me. I jumped right in.

I still don't know what I am doing. But what I do know is when I am painting a calmness overtakes my soul even as I get frustrated with my lack of skill and understanding of how to do something. It's the same feeling I get when I am out on the trail - no wonder I like to paint when I can't be hiking.

Today's piece wasn't turning out so hot. I wasn't liking how the colors were turning out or how my painting was unfolding. But over the couple short years of doing this new skill, I am learning to be patient and learning to trust the process. Before, I would stop midway through a piece completely disgusted with how it was turning out and rip it up or slosh paint all over it and start over. All this did was frustrate me even more. I fought the urge to file the sheet of paper I was painting on into the scrap pile. I kept working it one layer at a time. Before I knew it, it was time to reveal the finished product. I love that step. I still wasn't completely happy with today's bookmarks, but once I removed the masking tape, woah! I loved it. Sure, it's not a brilliant piece of art worthy of hanging in a gallery, but it was so much better than I was letting my doubting brain convince me of.

After I awed at my amatuer piece, I whispered to myself, "You have to trust the process." Then SHAZAM!!! - an amazing thought electrified my brain. That's how we should look at life. I don't know about you, but I get frustrated easily. I have been working on that. Some days things can easily set me off. In situations when we are frazzled quicker than what we would like to be, instead of beating ourselves up about our lack of skill or about the outcome as it is unfolding before us, we should step back and trust the process. As long as we know we are doing the right thing and that we are using the skills we have been taught, then it doesn't matter what the thing or situation looks like in the moment.

life is like deep cleaning a room. Once you take the initiative to tidy up, the mess gets worse before it gets better. But we know that as long as we keep going and keep doing the right skills, the mess that lay before us will eventually be taken care of. We can't get hung up on what it looks like midway through the process. That will only frustrate us even more.

I just wanted to share this Ah-hah moment with you and hope that if you are in the middle of something and you don't like how it appears at the moment. Trust yourself and the process. Once you remove the mask that keeps everything steading while you are working on it, you will see how wonderful it is.

Happy Hiking,



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