Friday, February 15, 2013

Perfectionism is not a quest for the best.  It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough-that we should try again.  Julia Cameron, Artist's Way

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Being a teacher, and especially an art teacher, teaches you a lot about human behavior.  In a classroom with hundreds of students a week, I would see every learning style and emotional approach possible to a lesson.  Some people are quick, and make their best effort and then that is it for them, others are slow and methodical thinking out and puzzling along the way, and others will stare at a blank piece of paper unable to make a mark because they have failed in their mind before they had even started.  All artist and all learners have obstacles and self sabotage techniques we employ.  Some come from childhood, some due to a fear of success, and some because we just can't ever feel good enough about ourselves. Julia Cameron speaks to that in all her books.  She, herself, is a writer, but she speaks in a way that is applicable to all artists.  I highly recommend all of her books.  I have found areas that I sabotage myself that I was not even aware of, but most evident when I really looked at myself.  I can be the grand procrastinator, thinking I will get to it, and then time and time goes by and I haven't.  Read her books and you many find your own obstacles to success.  
Perfectionism is possibly one of the worst obstacles we throw in our way because it requires us to always feel we are never good enough, never acceptable unless everything is absolutely perfect.  It is the flaws, the imperfection that allow growth and make us more human.  In the Middle East kilim weavers will always have an area called an is an area that is not perfect, so we know it is real, not machine made.  It actually can make a carpet more valuable. We should all have an abash to prove to ourselves we are not robots, we are capable of growth and can accept something less that perfect.  It is in our imperfection we find our humanity and our greatness.

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