Thinking Outside the Box, Art and Horses
Does your mind ever wander when it is time to sit down and do something serious? Taking an artist’s brain and trying to fit it into a mundane task is not unlike taking a half broke horse and getting him to do an obstacle course.
You might be able to get him pointed in the right direction but then he veers off course. You bring him back and right him again to continue on with your task. You likely will see balking, sudden spurts of activity, weaving back and forth in front of the same obstacle. He may get bored and act lazy or he may look at the course like an alien just dropped it at his feet and exhibit high anxiety. Seeing this may cause YOU high anxiety!
Why do we think, as humans, we are so different? I have personally seen and experienced those same behaviors when confronted with a task not of my choosing…. like doing my taxes or that time I took the medical online coding class (what WAS I thinking???). I eventually get it done but it is not pretty watching the struggle. I have seen a younger version of this with my own kids doing homework at the kitchen table with eyes glazed over as we chip away at homework in the evening. Times like these can make me feel helpless to guide them because I can’t blame them! This causes MY eyes to glaze over! I tend to think too much out of the box. Everything I do ends up being an art project. *
I just want to acknowledge the struggle and tell you I feel your pain if you find yourself in a similar situation and you have come across my blog while procrastinating from your task. I promise I will not give you 3 easy steps to overcome procrastination or 10 ways toward better time management.
Isn’t the internet great? We can ‘research’ ~stuff~ endlessly and somewhat look productive. If I write ‘time management skills and tips for the procrastinator’ enough on this blog maybe MY blog post will pop up!
Alright, back on track now…. I do sympathize with you and am here to say – we creative types should not always be directed, prodded, ‘encouraged’ or threatened with deadlines, timelines, constraints, reminders, nagging or made to do ridiculous paperwork!! Sometimes we need to just let go of all that nasty business and just let ourselves wander. Really it is a glorious thing.
Here’s an example: I got myself all phone app’d up with step trackers, reminders, charts, graphs to the hilt. I am doing more walking and even a teeny bit of running…. and here is why….. I wander around with my camera and take photos of things I see on my walk. Even though many of these walks are just around my pasture, I find more things of beauty, more things of interest, more things to photograph because do not care (for the most part) about the charts, graphs, stats etc. like I do about discovering beauty in nature, in small things, in how the light looks different every time I am on my walk. I can find a means to an end and work with my innate artistic tendencies.
So what I will tell you- yeah, I get it- we have adult stuff we got to get done…. but there is a kid in you that still remembers walking into the woods and turning over rocks to see what is underneath. Allow yourself to be that kid sometimes. Allow yourself the permission to really look at the seemingly ordinary things around you. It is entirely okay and great for you!
* How did I come up with this subject? After I filled my empty ink cartridges with my refill kit, I had these little cellophane bags with bits of ink…. that looked like this up against the window…
I am pretty sure, if you have kids or horses (because this blog is about art and horses) you have seen them do things that are due to their innate nature or out of curiosity and wonder and it has made you frustrated. You might have yelled or spurred them (the horses- not your kids!!!) to get them back on track. I am just saying
You can’t beat the innate nature out of them but you can break their spirit- don’t.
Like horses, the harder you push and the more aggressive you get, the less likely it is to have a lasting, positive outcome. Rather than push, work WITH them. Remember teamwork!
See curiosity as a good thing. You can teach and shape using curiosity. Nurture it!
Learn to look for glimpses into a person’s (or horses) innate nature as a gift that will help you to connect and speak their language. This way, you are not engaging in a power struggle, but working from their strengths and teaching.
Be aware this may be more of a growing and learning experience for YOU than them, but that’s okay. They may teach you something new- be open to it.
Alright…..now get back to work, you procrastinators!!! (just kidding!!) Time for me to go walk and clear my head. More photos coming!
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