Let Me Encourage You to Begin…

Sumi + various inks, Copic .005 pen on handmade paper

This is the first prompt in a year long calligraphy challenge, the word was begin. I was again invited to join a private group where each week we are given a prompt and have two weeks to create the work or we’re out. This is my fourth year so I wanted to challenge myself to do something different. I will be using a notebook of handmade paper as my base for the entire year. I am not sure where that will take me as I have no experience with this resource, so it should be quite a creative adventure.

As you may remember I was sick for Christmas and am just now getting my energy back. I had to force myself to sit in the studio to get this week’s work done. It would have been easy to buy all the excuses my mind was selling – too tired, no energy, hands shaky, icky grey day, still stuffy, you have two weeks to get it done. I also know that it’s a slippery slope once our mind starts down that slide and it can be harder to get back up once you hit hard bottom. So I sucked it up and began…perfect motivation for this week’s word.

Where to begin? For me it always starts with the words. So I opened one of my favorite quote books (What They Said by ) and looked up the word begin. I found only the word beginnings and started reading quotes on that topic. I have read this quote before yet was struck By how well it communicated where we all are at this point in time, the calendar, our lives:

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.

-Ivy 1975

I imagined chaos and calm, color as well as darkness so I scribbled the circle first then wrote the text. New paper, strange reactions of the inks and pens so I was tested right out of the gate by the choice to challenge myself…ugh!

Don’t we all do that though? Start something then face a wall or barrier that makes us regret or question our choices? We then have options to consider. Do we alter the choice and hope it will get better? Do we abandon our choice and go a completely different direction? Or do we stay the course we set and learn the lessons, face the challenges and come out on the other side proud of ourselves and more wise? Boy that last one can feel like a lot of work and energy with only a few days into a new year under our belt. The problem is we can ask others for advice or counsel when we know we are the only one who can make the choice about how to proceed. Another ugh!

Good news is we do not have to choose today, begin was today’s challenge. Tomorrow or the next day or even the next week will provide the platform for us to choose how we want our time, our year, our life to unfold. Life is not usually a one and done kind of thing, it is a daily choice we have to make over and over and over again. The hard part most days can be beginning the work, once we get over that hump momentum and commitment are often what propels us towards the goals we have set.

So today, let me encourage you to begin. It can be that simple. Find out what beginning works for you then do it. Make it that simple. Make it that easy for yourself. Give your world the blessings that beginnings provide…for as this quote reminds us the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.

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