Just Do It All Out

Sharpie Marker on Watercolor Paper

For week twenty-seven of our fifty week challenge the prompt was flowers. I did a piece on flowers a couple days ago, and I considered just posting that piece to fulfill my commitment. Then I thought again. This weekly challenge is about creating new work not about posting something already done. So, I had to come up with something else. I am no illustrator so what to do? All I could think about was ‘flower power’ from the sixties. I had been to the store and walked down the aisles of school supplies, as the kids around here will be going back to school in about a month. I couldn’t resist, I bought a new box of Sharpie markers. I wanted to use them to create something psychedelic and this is what I spent the rainy morning coloring. I used every marker in the box. It was a fun and groovy way to fulfill my commitment. A few catch phrases from the sixties are written very small within the image.

I had a woman I was mentoring talk with me about feeling bad about her self. She kept cutting corners and taking short cuts. She made poor choices and consistently acted in such a way that she felt bad about herself. As we talked I asked her why she made the choices she did, and she said it was easier. She began to realize that she was short changing herself, her future and her self image. She never thought she was worth the effort and learned that poor choices was her way of reinforcing that mindset. I asked her to one thing to the best of her ability, be it making the bed, cooking herself dinner or even fully committing to a project at work. Just do it all out once.

She took me up on the challenge and completed one thing by putting in her best efforts. No scrimping, no phoning it in, no taking short cuts. I asked her how it felt and she was all smiles. She had forgotten what it was like to do something fully, completely and to the best of her ability. It renewed within her a spark that she had neglected. She realized the only person she was consistently diminishing was herself.

It can be tempting to just phone it in. You’re tired, you’ve done the work previously so why put in all that effort yet again? No one will know, no one will really care. Really? You will know and even if you don’t want to admit it you will care. If you fudge things once what prevents you from fudging it again another time? It might take time plus effort and yet being true to a commitment makes all the difference in how we feel about ourselves. Giving life our all on the big and the small things builds within us a foundation of trust, self esteem and joy. And isn’t life worth that effort? Just do it all out today, give it a shot and sleep well knowing you gave your world everything you have to give.

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