Daraius’ Diary: Is There a “Bad” Painting?

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Daraius’ Diary: Is There a “Bad” Painting?

Million Mile SecretsDaraius’ Diary: Is There a “Bad” Painting?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Daraius:  We’ve got a great team at Million Mile Secrets helping with posts.  But I miss writing as much as I did in the old days!  So here I am writing about stuff that I really care about.  And which isn’t all miles-and-points related.

Comparison is the thief of joy.  –  Theodore Roosevelt

A few weeks ago, the amazing Million Mile Secrets team were in town for our team meeting.  Every time we get together, we take part in at least ONE activity that is strange and unusual – and yet fun.

We’ve been to an Improv workshop and the Austin Panic Room.

This time, Emily signed us up for a painting class!

Daraius Diary Is There A Bad Painting
I Overcame My Self-Critical Anxieties and “Traveled” to a Relaxing Spot on the Beach!

Why Try Something New?

I like trying new things!

Why?  So that I can experience the thrill of a new activity.  And yet be mindful of feeling uncomfortable and anxious while taking part in those activities.

I find that leaving what is safe and comfortable, makes me vulnerable.

My mind races and asks questions:

Why am I doing this?

This is silly!

I’d rather be eating!

But what I’m really thinking is:

I don’t know how to paint, and my painting will look terrible!  And people will secretly make fun of me.

What Really Happened

I’ve never really enjoyed painting or drawing or coloring.

I suspect it stemmed from my school mates laughing at my drawing and coloring attempts when I was younger.  So I sat at the back of the painting class and was a bit anxious as to how it would unfold!

The 3 hours we spent painting flew by, which often happens when we aren’t using a lot of our analytical brain.

I’d even say it was a bit relaxing to just dip my brush into the water and paint and unleash my vision onto a piece of paper!

There Is No “Bad” Painting

At the end of the class, we placed our paintings next to each other.

Many of us were self-conscious of our artistic talents.  But here’s what fascinated me.

Daraius Diary Is There A Bad Painting
We Took a Deep Breath and Let It Go to Allow Self-Expression Without Judgment. And the Result Was a Great Time and Cool Artwork!

When I looked at the different paintings, they ALL looked beautiful to me.

And creative.

And inspiring.

Some were bold.  And some were delicate

Some were muted.  And some were dramatic.

Sure, the artists didn’t think their pictures were as “good” as everyone else’s.  But I certainly didn’t think that way when I looked at the paintings next to each other!

Bottom Line

Very often, I feel scared of trying something new and different.  Because the voices in my head make it out to be that I’ll suffer terrible consequences as a result of that.

But in reality, I don’t suffer any terrible consequences.  I am in no physical harm from painting!  Sure, my ego thinks it is being harmed, but that’s the ego’s way of protecting itself (and me).  Trying new things and being mindful of my feelings as they arise, shows me that the mind often plays tricks.

I learn that comparisons (I can’t paint, my painting is no good, etc.) are always unfair and make me feel sad and disappointed.  Instead, I try to feel gratefulness at the opportunity to paint, while being surrounded by our awesome team.

And I end up content with a pretty damn good painting!

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it seems safer to embrace what we know then to let go of it for the unknown

Loved reading this and love reading your blog but rarely comment but 3 times today lol

Today’s post was real and those voices telling us don’t try etc etc

thanks for being real

Million Mile Secrets

@cj – Thanks for your kind words! I loved reading your comments and encouragement.

This culture so ingrains in us the feelings of unworthiness, shame and lack of confidence. Why? Fortunately there are many ways, such as this painting class, to change those feelings on a personal level. Good choice, Emily! Daraius, I’m so happy you shared this experience with us! For a sequel, take a Zentangle workshop… such wonderful activities for the right brain. The experience, like dancing, is the most important factor.

Million Mile Secrets

@Karey – I just googled Zentangle (never heard of it!) and will put it on my list of things to do! I tend to neglect right-brained activities, so excited to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

I love doing these painting classes for exactly that reason!

Million Mile Secrets

@Carrie – I never thought I’d attend one, but wound’t mind doing it again!

Nice post, Daraius! I had to comment because of the quote – “Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt”. It’s my favorite! I think we compare ourselves (or our paintings) to others way more than we realize (I know I do!). When you take that away, amazing things happen. I echo your thoughts on painting…I’m not technically “good” at it, but I enjoy the physical act of painting so when I find time to paint, I try to just enjoy it and not worry about the outcome.

Million Mile Secrets

@Katie – I agree completely! Not only do I compare myself more than I realize (a lot of it sub-consciously), but when I don’t do that, I experience life in a much more peaceful way!

I’m a loyal reader of MMS. I would love to see the MMS team. Please introduce them to the readers.

Million Mile Secrets

@Tuan P – Thanks for reading. We’ll have a post on that soon.

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