About two months ago, I eagerly signed up and paid an entrance fee to take part in what is called The Sketchbook Project. You can find out about it and other projects at http://arthousecoop.com/ It sounded like fun and something I would enjoy doing.
For the entry fee, one receives a sketchbook to fill by a certain deadline, as well as a theme to focus the work inside of the sketchbook. This isn’t limited to simple drawings. There are books that have been made into three dimensional objects, collage, quotes, etc. Although I wasn’t really thrilled with the theme that was randomly attached to my sketchbook, I began planning on how to fill the pages and just what I might want to do.
Then came the glitch. The sketchbooks were placed on back order and the wait turned into weeks and then well over a month. Meanwhile, the ideas began to fade and life went on in other directions. I finally received the sketchbook just over a week ago. Opened and looked at it, and put it aside because I had other things to do.
I had tried to encourage others to join the project, but only one person showed any interest. She paid the entrance fee and like me, began waiting for her sketchbook to arrive filled with ideas and ways of executing them. And like me, her life went on in other directions.
She called me, the morning before last, and our discussion of the sketchbooks and the whole project didn’t go very well. We didn’t like the sketchbooks, they were much smaller than we had hoped for, the covers weren’t what we had been expecting, and so on. I finally admitted that I wasn’t sure I was going to follow through with any of it. Didn’t know if my schedule would allow for that kind of time and focus, even though the deadline had been extended because of the mix-up with the sketchbooks. She sounded disappointed and we left it there and went on with our separate doings.
Yesterday morning, in the course of finally responding to an email, I found myself writing about the Project and all of my feelings. Most of them were simply discomfort at what I had gotten myself into and doubts about my own ability to follow through on it at this point. In other words: excuses. Too much time had passed between that original eagerness, all of those ideas, and the reality of actually doing the thing. Lots of time for all those old habits of self-doubt to emerge and set up house-keeping.
With each logical ‘reason’ I created not to proceed, I could also hear the disappointment in my good friend’s voice. It got a bit heavy and by the time I finished the email, I could see the real reasons for my stalling and hesitation. Then something occurred that prevented me from engaging in my plans for the rest of the afternoon. I picked up that smaller, theme-oriented sketchbook and looked at all those blank pages. Then picked up one of my favorite pens and began doodling. Within an hour I had one finished page and went on to do a second. It was fun, actually quite exciting as all of that original eagerness and those ideas began to emerge from the darkened shadows of my own self-doubt.
I promptly scanned in the two completed images and sent them off to my friend, hoping to squelch the disappointment and to encourage her to do the same. Haven’t heard back from her yet, but have regained my own focus and original commitment to the Project itself.
When completed, the sketchbook will be mailed back to The Art House Co-Op and will become a part of a permanent library collection, as well as going on tour to diverse libraries throughout the United States. Along with the sketchbook, entering the Project allows me a site to display my work and any other work I might take part in. I, and my sketchbook will be a part of all of that. Whew!
What does any of this have to do with Intuition? A great deal. My original response to the project was deeply positive and, at the time, I was eager to participate. Yet, that delay was important as well. Waiting is never easy and it becomes difficult to sustain those original impulses fed to us by our intuition. That doesn’t make them bad choices, or even incorrect ones. Most often it simply means there is needed time for further preparation. Part of my personal preparation was to work through my own level of self-doubt concerning my skills and abilities.
Last night, after completing those first two images, I was filled with a level of satisfaction and once again focused on taking this next step in my own process. I relaxed by watching the current episode of The Mentalist. In this episode, the main character, James, repeated a phrase several times framed within that knowing grin he is apt to express. Each time he repeated the phrase, I found myself nodding my head and grinning right back at him.
The phrase? “You must always trust your own instincts.” It took some time, but I did that yesterday. Do you?