Begin Where You Are Standing

One of my most beloved teachers, Kimmy Johnson, uses the phrase "begin where you're standing" to help her students remember that where they are, what they are doing, and where they are starting from in any practice is just where they need to be.

So often we, and I include myself in this group, compare ourselves to others. I often say, "Look at that artist! She has already published a book, gotten a licensing deal, had an art show..., and what have I done?" (This, of course, is a ridiculous question. I've done a lot.)

This comparing thinking gets me nowhere. I need to take my own path, with its own twists, turns, dips, and hills. No one else has the right formula for me. The only person to consult in this matter is myself. I know best. If I listen to my body, my dreams, my psyche, my inner voice, I will know the right steps to take, which fork to follow, how far I need to climb before I stop for a breather. No one else in the entire world can know this for me, not even the teachers and artists I admire most.

This feels scary sometimes, but it is also comforting. It means that I am doing exactly what I need to do at every moment, and I am never doing anything wrong. Sure, I might step off the path now and then, but that also has it's purpose.

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