Many moons ago I did a meditation course. I think it was 12 weeks and I got a surprising amount out of it. Surprising because I thought that meditation wasn't for people like me. It was for those other people. The ones who are able to sit still and stop thinking. Not the mile a minute people. Turns out - as we have all heard before :) - I was so very wrong. I use what I learnt in that course all the time.
The most important thing I learnt was something that had never occurred to me before. The teacher made this simple, and yet so helpful, distinction.
This was a little bit revolutionary for me at the time. And she combined it with....
I think about this all the time. I mean "I think and therefore I am"? Surely that means that as I was the one doing the thinking then those thoughts represented the true me?
That night she showed me that the thoughts were just flitting over the surface. My thoughts are just that - thoughts. They change and shift from moment to moment, depending on the information I have available, how I feel, how tired I am, whether I am sick, who I have around me, for a million different reasons. I can consciously shut them down if they aren't serving me. I can examine them to determine their validity. They are not "me". They are fleeting, and most importantly they are not necessarily true. Even if sometimes they present themselves as truth.
I am not my thoughts.
I am something deeper, something cleaner, something dirtier, something more.
I was reminded of this simple "truth" again this week when yet another person mentioned on instagram that they would love to be able to make XYZ but they weren't as XYZ as me. Most times I hear a comment like that it devastates me, because I truly don't believe it to be truth.
Of course you can make what I make. I will agree that the person in question may not have had as much practice as me. But as most of the craft I do is not "advanced" then most of it could be done with a little determination, some practice, and most importantly the recognition that the thoughts we have about ourselves "I'm rubbish at sewing", "I don't have the skills", "I don't have the patience", "I'm not that talented" are simply thoughts. And often total bullshit. Thoughts are not truth.
So, to those lovelies of you that want to sew - you can do it! Try my Simple Sewing 101 blog posts for some inspiration and do a little practice. Put aside the fact that your teacher in Year 8 said that your sewing was rubbish. What kind of an terrible teacher would ever say that to a student anyway. Put aside the fact that the last time you tried to sew something you cut a hole in it, made a mistake, or threw it in the bin because it looked terrible.
And before you go, please know that I have them too. The same self-defeating crazy thoughts, especially when I am wandering around in the "wanting to make something but not really sure I can do it" part of making. I often feel incapable, especially when doing something for the first time.
My head stuff comes up as readily as yours, especially when I haven't done something before and it's fiddly. It goes something like this..... "oooh that looks hard. you don't know how to do that. how are you going to learn that. you are too impatient. you will make a total schmozzle of it. it is going to look crap and you are going to be sad you have wasted your time. you will have wasted the materials too. you know you aren't good at the detail. or colour. you really aren't good at colour. and you will probably have to read instructions. and you hate reading instructions. because you are too impatient. and you....... blah blah blah blah".
I won't subject you to any more. I will tell you what I do with it.
As soon as I realise what I am doing - procrastinating because of some ridiculous head chaos - I recognise the thoughts or feelings for what they are - just thoughts, not fact. I then consciously and simply make a choice to start anyway. Sometimes it takes me a while to move through it but I do so consciously.
Sometimes it helps to actually visualise picking the buggers up, and moving them to one side, or shoving them in a drawer. Sometimes it helps to say them out-loud to a good friend (or a friendly blog). So if you are up for it - leave a comment with some of your internal head chaos. It might help.
Dealing with this stuff takes practice. The more you consciously recognise it for what it is, and choose not to buy into it, the easier it gets. You still have to do it, as you still have the thoughts, but you will be able to put them aside more easily.
Good luck and I'd love to hear your chaos in the safe space below, and also love to hear how you deal with it in your own life.