At the end of the year, when I look back at what transpired, I'm usually blown away at what we went through. This year was no exception. Without getting into the good, the bad and the downright ugly, I can honestly say that when I let go of trying to control every aspect of my life, is when I truly experience life according to how it is meant to be. Now there are important things we should be in control of: routines for car maintenance, health maintenance, etc. (more on those in a later post). But if you can look in the mirror and you see a "control freak" it might be time to surrender. It can be a scary venture.
I have a personal phrase that I use when I need to surrender: "let go and let God". Our world is filled with enough stress and hardship that I do not need to add any more to my shoulders. When I encounter something that is beyond what I am willing to deal with, I put it in the Lord's hands and I let it go. Some things are easier to let go of than others.
I can let go of the daily "news". I do not need to know what the latest headlines are. I can limit my social media time. I do not need to hang out on Facebook or on Instagram for hours on end. I can use social media, I do not give it permission to use me. I am continually learning how to let go of dealing with work problems that are out of my control. Whether it's a coworker's rant or a ridiculous administrative expectation, I don't own it. I don't give it permission to invade my life. I have to let it go. Now I'll say that some days it's harder to let go than others but when it comes to "the day job" I have to put it in its proper place. I am learning to let go of hardships that people close to me might be experiencing. I can be supportive of that person, but I'm learning to let go of the need to "fix" their problems.
When it comes to my studio work I approach my art with baby steps. I have so many ideas for art I want to create, for directions I want it to take. But I have to let go and allow the doors to open or close and trust that whatever happens is what is meant to be. Letting go allows for alternative solutions, it allows for the possibility of better things to happen. If I hold tight to what I think the direction should be it shuts down the possibility of new ideas, new directions and new experiences. I've streamlined my focus to 3 areas: animal portraits, K9 portraits and whimsical illustrations. When I create art I am in my "happy place", there is no room for art to be an added stressor. There's enough stress in the day-to-day living of life. No need to add to it with something I enjoy immersing myself in.