Does reading that word make you not want to even read this post?
I am not talking about BOO horror movie fear, but the kind of fear that holds you back from doing what your heart wants.
Something we hear all the time is “I would love to come paint but… (insert excuse here). Now, sometimes that excuse is money and I totally get that and it is a legitimate problem. But most often the excuse is fear. Fear of coming alone, fear of being bad at painting, fear of judgement, fear that no one will want to come with them, fear of leaving their families at home and doing something for themselves, fear of making a commitment to an event and actually having the gumption to follow through and show up.
Let me break it down.
“I would love to come paint but I don’t have the money.” I get it, I really do. But are you buying material things you don’t need as a way to cope with other things in your life? Are you going out to eat a bunch? Are you paying for subscriptions you don’t use? Are you mindlessly ordering shit on Amazon? (Yeah, I do that.) Think of what would make you happier this next month. Ordering a pair of yoga pants you will put in your drawer or taking an entire evening to do something you want to do. Experiences are wonderful because even after they are over, you have the memory of the time spent doing something worthwhile.
“I would love to come paint but I am afraid to come alone.” PLEASE don’t let this stop you. Our regulars all come alone, sure they now have met friends they know and recognize but they still come alone and don’t worry about trying to coordinate with others to do something they love. For the longest time I was the person who had never eaten alone, never went places alone, then I got over it. Why and how? Because I realized it was holding me back. I had a dream for YEARS to go to Italy. At one point I thought my best friend and I would go together. Then she kept having babies and got insanely busy. I thought maybe my husband and I might eventually go. Nah, man. I finally realized he was NEVER going to go, and even if he went we have such different interests I wouldn’t get to see and do the Italy I wanted. So what did I do? I saved and I went. Alone. I found a group that would be painting and traveled by myself. Scared shitless. But I went. And I LOVED IT. That was a few years ago. And I had a hankering to go again. SO I went AGAIN. ALONE. Found a different group, went to a different area of Italy, used credit card points to go and went and lived my best life. Now I have these memories that will last forever or until the dementia sets in and I am so damn happy I went and can’t wait to go again. I am thinking France next. Would l love for someone to go with me? Sure. But will I wait around until I am old(er) and gray(er)? NO. Stop waiting. Please go read my earlier blog post: the-importance-of-being-solo.html
“I would love to come paint but I will be bad it. I can’t even draw a stick figure.” This is the one I hear the most. As humans and in the society we live in, we expect to be experts at everything. The media shows perfection, shows people doing it all and doing it well, they ridicule failure. But what do all people who are good at something have in common? A beginning. A beginning where no one knew who they were and they didn’t know what they were doing. Allow yourself to be a beginner. Allow yourself to be bad at something so you can improve at it and enjoy the process along the way. Will you be amazing your first class? Probably not. It is like any skill, it takes practice and persistence to improve. But will you have fun? YES!
“I would love to come paint but someone will judge me.” Nope. We are a very supportive group. We are mostly all self taught artists, who still struggle getting an idea from thought to creation. You will be surrounded by other people in your same boat. Everyone is much kinder to those around them, than they are to themselves. We talk in class about letting go of comparison and perfection. It is a constant theme. Don’t let that stop you. And remember to be kind to yourself.
“I would love to come paint but I am so busy at night and need to do x,y,and z for my family unit to run properly.” Bullshit. Let them miss you for a night. ALL PEOPLE deserve some time to themselves. Sometimes that means having the husband do bath and bedtime. Sometimes that means hiring a sitter if you are a single parent. But you deserve a night off (or come during our daytime Open Studio hours or our Saturday classes), and they deserve to see you take time for yourself. And if you are married, many a husband has come up to me and thanked me. WHY? Because they know after a night off their wife comes home happier, more fulfilled, and often a little friendly because they are relaxed and recharged. Children need to see their parents have a life outside of them so they will be healthy and well rounded as they become adults. Spouses need to see what a night is like without their partner so they are more appreciative of all the things you do. YOU need to see what a night out is like to remember who YOU are.
“I would love to come paint but I will get scared and nervous in my car and can’t come in. I won’t know anyone.” Come in anyway, make a plan anyway, we are a fun and welcoming group. And often the best thing about not knowing anyone is you don’t have to then spend your night out listening to someone’s problems for the 105th time. You can just paint and sip and wine the night away all by yourself (surrounded by other people doing the exact same thing). And if you are truly worried, let us know in the notes section at checkout and we will put you with one of our fabulous Lush Club members who are regulars and know the place almost as well as the staff. No questions are stupid questions. No one is made to feel like we don’t want you there. We are always so happy to see you out there in our seats. We are a group of awkward and anxious introverts who manage to extrovert on stage a few times a month. We see you, we get you.
Lush Art’s goal is to provide a safe space to share our love of creating using step by step instruction, encouragement, passion, and humor in an authentic, nonjudgmental and fun way by creating a community of diverse and curious people. I recently needed to write an updated mission statement for a marketing workshop and that was what I came up with and I feel it truly represents our WHY.
What is your fear? What can we do to help you overcome it? Occasionally Lush Art isn’t the answer for someone but often times it is. I have seen it help people through crisis by diverting their attention for a couple of hours. It has helped people through divorce, loss of a parent, loss of a child, loss of a job, moving to a new town, health issues, self esteem issues. What can it do for you? Let’s find out!