Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realize your potential. Joseph Campbell

Last night I was the Chair at our Toastmasters meeting after taking a month off. It is hard to believe how rusty one becomes so quickly. Names that should have been on the tip of my tongue eluded me. Thoughts seemed harder to put together as I stood at the podium.

We rest on our laurels at our peril. We think it won’t matter if we take time off, but we get out of practice easily and quickly. When I don’t go to the gym for a while it is harder to do exercises that I found easy. I haven’t taken a yoga class in a few years; it would probably be brutal getting into some of those poses.

The Table Topics Master asked thought-provoking questions. What is the one thing we would change in our life if we could? What product would we develop with our name on it? What superpower would we choose?

The speakers were thought-provoking talking about the emotional leader, shrugging off our problems and using them as stepping stones to our goals, staying motivated, and time management is life management.  It is for ideas like these I love Toastmasters. We never know who will inspire us, touch us, and make us think something, or look at things differently.

We are such a varied group in life experience, everyone’s stories are different. I was listening to the radio the other day and the radio personality was saying all of our photos can be categorized into twenty categories. We’ve all taken these twenty categories of pictures with different people in them. We went through the same experiences and milestones. When we bring people together everyone has a different story, their lives unfolded and they learned lessons along the way. Their hero’s journey had different obstacles, the story took place or started somewhere we aren’t familiar with, and we are intrigued.

Everyone has a story and at Toastmasters we get bits and pieces of someone’s story over time. We may feel if we miss one of their speeches we missed a chapter. Rejoining Toastmasters after a thirty-year hiatus was one of the best things I’ve done. It’s true we can’t go back, but we can rejoin groups, or rekindle interests we had in earlier times, and we may even enjoy them more the second time around.

A ship in a harbor is safe but that’s not what ships are built for. Unknown

My art is like that, I dabbled as a kid, and I dabble as an adult. It feeds my soul. It is about expressing what is inside of us. Sometimes words cannot express what is inside us. As they say a picture’s worth a thousand words.

I was reading something on closure and one of the author’s clients was having trouble dealing with the after-effects of her husband’s affair even though it was long over and they were in a good place in their marriage. After discussing a way to find closure she said she could paint. She painted a picture in rough loud strokes of intensity and passion, then she shot holes in the canvas with not one gun but two, and slashed the canvas with a knife. She brought her painting to her therapist and it hangs in his office. After emptying all her emotional energy regarding the affair on the canvas, she had closure.

The question I want to ask is what did her husband think when she got out the guns? Sometimes if we don’t want to put things into words a picture tells the story. I was listening to someone on YouTube who said his young daughter drew pictures of him with short arms when she was sad. When everything was good she drew her father with long arms because those long arms were the hugging arms. Makes you want to go back and look at your children’s artwork.

As we continue on our hero’s journey the dragons we slay are our own fears, insecurities, outgrown beliefs, behavior patterns, and life situations. Most of us have never thought we were attractive enough, smart enough, good enough, or whatever inadequacy we feel enough. We are who we are, we need to embrace ourselves and our journey, and we need to risk failure to risk success. If we don’t accept the challenge to change, grow, develop, and take risks who will do it for us?

What do we teach our children when we claim authorship of our story? Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now Paperback – Oct 1 1994

by Maya Angelou (Author) 4.6 out of 5 stars 17 ratings


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