Garden Of Flawers
by Debby Lightman Casher of Mindfulnice
In addition to being a mindfulness educator, I am a licensed artist and surface pattern designer. I create collections of artwork and designs to be used by fabric companies and other manufacturers for their products, worldwide. Due to the nature of my work, I tend to sometimes find myself being a little too self-critical of my artwork. But, because I practice mindfulness, I am always very distinctly aware when this happens. I mindfully pay attention to all the times I throw away perfectly acceptable designs. The reason I never used these designs is simple – I didn’t consider them “perfect enough”. The very idea of that – that I was considering anything to be “not perfect enough” started to really bother me and so, I decided to create an entire collection from all of my thrown out designs. I named this collection “Garden of Flawers”. It is a celebration of flaws & is made up of all the flowers drawn in my sketchbook that never made it into any of my previous pattern designs or illustrations.
Does this ever happen to you? Do you ever create something (artwork or otherwise) and then feel that the result is not “good enough”? Do you ever wonder where that voice in your head is coming from that’s telling you it’s not good enough? Do you ever revisit your older, forgotten work and then look at it differently than you once had?
One of my favorite quotes is this: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. Sometimes, when we simply change the way we look at something, we can gain a new, compassionate, and very different perspective. This not only applies to our artwork, but to everything in life! By changing our mindset and looking once again at things once deemed as maybe “imperfect and unworthy”, we can now see something new. Maybe what we’re able to learn is that even our imperfect work is actually perfectly imperfect, is worthy of attention, and deserves to be celebrated. My Garden of Flawers collection is a reminder that it is our so-called “flaws” that help us to bloom and become something beautiful. It is a mindful awareness that there truly are no flaws at all. Be mindful to the times when you find yourself stuck in a challenging mindset. Can you try to change your perspective, change your vocabulary, and see something new and perhaps wonderful, too?
Try to make time to enjoy the mindful act of creating from your heart. Enjoy every moment – even the very challenging moments, because each part of our journey plays an important part in our lives. Imagine if you didn’t have these moments at all! Encouraging moments are balanced by challenging moments and are a reminder to be grateful for all of it.
When you create from your heart, while trusting in the process, and believing in yourself, the final product might not be the “perfect” representation of exactly what you originally imagined in your own mind, but the final product WILL be perfect WITH every single “flaw”. And what we may think isn’t “good enough”, is still very beautiful. It’s very freeing to let go of our ideas of perfectionism in order to truly be happy and enjoy life. We oftentimes put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be perfect. This pressure causes unnecessary stress.
By accepting that we don’t have to be perfect, we can experience more freedom by loosening our grip on who we are and who we think we should be, what we can and can’t do, and opening up to what’s possible.
When we bring awareness to this feeling of having to be “perfect” and when we soften our expectations of being perfect, we can start to become more open to learning, experimenting, and trying new things – all of which is essential for growth. It also allows room for more self-love and compassion when things aren’t perfect or don’t work out exactly as we had imagined…because, most times, things don’t really work out exactly as we had imagined.
We grow and blossom through all of what we consider to be our imperfections. What we call our “flaws” can really be considered our gifts, if we just change our vocabulary and perspective. Our gifts, our differences, are a part of who we are and need to be celebrated – not something to feel ashamed of or embarrassed by. We don’t need to push these parts of ourselves away to be hidden. It is these very things that oftentimes even inspire other people! They are what make us unique, special, and relatable.
So, celebrate the entire garden – ALL parts of your being and all of who you truly are so that you can continue to grow and bloom. It is all so special.
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