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  • Tiffany Marlink

How to love the process of your life

A couple weeks ago, I decided to play with watercolors. My heart told me it would be a fun exploration into my creativity. She didn't mention that it would completely transform the way I look at my life and business.

I've never considered myself artistically talented. My art leans heavily on straight lines and repeating patterns that are predictable, easy and safe. For me, watercolor painting was like trying to drive a stick shift car up a hill for the first time. It challenged my mind and created a nervous tension in my body. I could feel the judgment flowing through my being and I had to walk away more than once. Each time I walked away, I would come back and remind myself that it's just exploration and play. I'd play for a bit and then my mind would grip again. After finishing a couple paintings with a mix of pride and embarrassment, I decided to sit with my journal and this is what I wrote.

Played with watercolors this morning. It's such a mental game. My mind wants it to look like something. My mind wants it to be good. But it's not good. I'm learning. Realizing how much judgment is wrapped up in it. Rather than painting to paint. I'm painting for the end result. I'm waiting for the beauty to reveal itself and realizing I may not have it in me. Remember: Picasso didn't paint the Mona Lisa on his first try.** It's OK to be a beginner. Release the need for it to be anything, let alone something in particular.

From there I made a conscious decision to love the process of painting rather than the end result. To reinforce that commitment, I began to write the things I loved about painting in my journal.

I love learning about the results each brush makes. I love learning about the water's effect on the paints consistency and the shapes it makes as a result. I love using water to erase and blend. I love that each painting is wildly different. I love that I can paint with my left hand. I love the paper that I use. I love the thickness and the crispness of it's edges. I love that painting challenges my mind to relinquish control. I love that it is teaching me to be present in the moment (even if that is something I just now pieced together). I love that painting is pushing my buttons and allowing me to expand creatively.

I share this story with you today in hopes that you will find your own painting moment. Where are you so focused on the end result that you have skipped over the joy of the process? Where have you become so wrapped up in the need for perfection that you stopped allowing yourself to explore and be creatively present? My hope is that you can create the space to love the process of your life. To be so wildly present in the moment that the results become the icing on the cake.

**One last thing that you may have picked up on already. Picasso never painted the Mona Lisa! Da Vinci did. Picasso was an incredibly gifted artist and his art was completely different from Da Vinci. Perhaps this was a little reminder that creativity is as unique as the artist. Picasso never tried to be Da Vinci. He was true to himself and his style of painting. We are all creatives with unique and authentic expression that wants to flow through us. And my hope is that you are also able to release control and resistance to experience the true flow of your own creativity.


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