painting comes first

It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.
— bruce lee

I meet virtually on a regular basis with three other artists, Betsy, Jes, and Michelle. Our skype conversations center mainly on mirroring to each other and reminding each other that we already know what to do, we already know how to navigate this world with our creative souls. Our gatherings and they are vital to my support system. 

This morning, Betsy wrote a post, Paint First.

There is a thing you’re supposed to do first. I can’t tell you what that is for you. But you know that you know, that right now in this season, there’s a thing that you’re supposed to put your hand to.

And sometimes, there’s a thing that you do instead.
— betsy garmon

Yes. These are words the four of us say to each other. First, that we know that we know and second, what is THE first thing. It's so easy to get distracted and to get distracted by things that look important. The next thing you know, you are running around doing little well and the most important thing is neglected over and over and over. 

The alarm is sounding for me. My body is not screaming in the way it was back in May when I was nearly unable to hold a paint brush but it is telling me something. I am putting many things before the first thing. 

In our group conversation earlier this week, I was affirming Betsy for her gift in teaching. She really is a wonderful teacher. She said to me, "Yes but I am wondering. Just because I am good at something, does that mean that is the thing I am supposed to be doing." Whew. Those are deep considerations. 

Yesterday, I checked in at our new Bernie Sanders campaign office. I have been volunteering with the campaign for a few months now. I told our coordinator that I don't think I can make the phone calls anymore. He said to me, "But you are so good at making phone calls!" Yes. I am. I can do that but I don't think that is what I am supposed to be doing. 

This morning, I am even questioning all the work I am doing, all the things I am doing. I have this thing that I need to do first. If it is first and the other comes after, that's ok but I have to make this the first thing. 

Painting. Just show up at the easel, the table, and paint. I truly believe that verything else will shift into its place if I do that. I must fiercely protect my painting time because that is what helps me make sense of my life. If I want to prioritize, if I want to change things, then painting has to come first.