Awake at the Wheel

Exploring the intersection between work, play, and the creative process.

Artists Aren’t Afraid Of Doing Things Badly

Come along for a funky, cool, ecclectic journey...

Back when I was teaching yoga, a new student wandered into my class and plunked her mat down in the front row. That’s not the unusual part.

Within the first few minutes, it became clear that she wasn’t just new to me, she was new to the practice of yoga. Problem was, this was not a beginner class. And I was known for a teaching style that was, well, just a wee bit demanding.

But there she was, unabashedly stumbling, fumbling, flailing, twisting, stretching and working her body, mind and breath. I kept a close eye on her. At first, out of a concern for her safety. I wanted to make sure she wasn’t doing anything that might injure her (or anyone she might fall on). But, over the next 90-minutes, my protective eye turned to one of awe.

Not because of her physical ability, but rather her absolute comfort with who she was and who she was not. Her willingness to try anything. In front of anyone. Her seeming total comfort with being vulnerable to judgment in the front row of a hot, sweaty sea of far more experienced and agile bodies.

The next day, she returned. And the next. And the next. She became a regular at the studio, eventually completed yoga teacher training with us and began to bring not just her vastly improved physical practice, but her infectious sense of wonder, exploration and utter lack of judgment to her students.

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Because she was willing to make a ton of mistakes, to do poses, breath and focus publicly and “badly” (whether that’s even possible is a whole other conversation), she found her way to doing it all beautifully that much faster. And, along the way, she developed the compassion for others along the same quest that allowed her to be that much more compelling as a teacher.

Funny thing is, this experience came rushing back to me while reviewing the final edit of this week’s Good Life Project™.

My guest is live-illustrator, filmmaker, writer and “attention-span for hire,” Flash Rosenberg. On any given day, you can find Flash in her studio writing a story to present on the legendary Moth stage, scripting, illustrating and filming a book trailer or live-illustrating an event.

Flash’s curiosity about the world, about people, what makes them tick and her willingness to not only do things badly, but ask whether there’s even such a thing as bad, led me to want to go out into the world and make more stuff. It reminded me how absolutely important reconnecting with the beginner’s mind is for anyone looking to see the world anew and create from that place of wonder.

Come along for a funky, cool, ecclectic journey as Flash and I dive into the world of creativity, extreme left-brain thinking, storytelling, art, writing and how to put it all together to craft an extraordinary, ever-evolving, joyful career.

With gratitude,

Jonathan

Jonathan Fields is an attorney turned lifestyle-entrepreneur, speaker, and author of Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance.

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