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Why doesn't "enjoying the journey" come naturally?

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Everyone knows that we are supposed to enjoy the journey, focus on the journey, don't get hung up on the outcome, enjoy the process, etc. etc. I know this intellectually, it makes sense - but why is it so hard to do?

Stress or creative tension is the space between what is happening and what we wish were happening. If we didn't have that tension would we grow? If we were completely content with how everything is in our life I suppose there wouldn't be that tension but of course, complete contentment is evasive and fleeting if it appears at all.

I find myself always striving to get somewhere in some regard. Maybe it's the art itself, or the business side of things, or eating habits or exercise. It could be relationships with family members and friends or spiritual growth. The list is probably endless on the ways we can grow and evolve.

And yet, my life is pretty awesome as is, even with its challenges. So, then, why am I always caught up in the pursuit of "better?" I think it must be a human, primal wiring thing tied to our need to survive and belong. (Google "crocodile brain syndrome" it's a thing). So that leaves us with yet another impulse to manage in our primal selves. "Shut up primal survival brain, I'm just fine and trying to enjoy the journey dammit!"

A quote that fellow artist, Merrill Weber shared this week really snapped me out of that mode: "Remember that you once dreamed of being where you are now." IT'S SO TRUE - RIGHT?! In so many ways all that we have and are in our lives now were only a dream to us earlier in our lives.

So, come along with me and quiet that constant urge for the better in place of enjoying the process, like a walk through a garden which has glorious beauty in it but also not-so-pretty areas that need work.

These are the thoughts that went into this painting, "Reverie." It makes you pause to take in all the elements, you can't really rush through exploring it, more like I'd like to be in life (see, there I go, striving again! LOL).

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