For the past two months I’ve been planning on getting back to figure drawing.

Where I live, figure drawing meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-9pm. You can come and go as you please. It’s an eclectic group whose skill range runs the gamut AND Thursday nights are even subsidized by a local college.

It’s an awesome resource but there’s one tiny problem: I haven’t been going. Not because I don’t want to or because I’m unable. Nope. I’m not going because I keep talking myself out of it.

So, what do you do when your mind is debating your mind?

Here are four things you can do (in any order) that will get you to figure drawing instead of stuck in that nasty tête-à-tête with yourself.

1. Notice.

We all know when we break commitments with ourselves or anyone else for that matter. Whether we flat out forget or we use some elaborate tricky convincing on ourselves, we know we did not do or are not going to do that thing we said we would. It’s not a fun feeling, is it, when we let ourselves down, or we blow off someone else. So what are we to do? Notice. Pay attention to how we feel, what we do, and, to what happens.

 

 

2. Accept where you are.

There’s a point of no return. At some point it happens, we either are doing it or we are not. Years can go by without admitting this is true. When we identify where we are (this is me after I’ve just convinced myself not to go to figure drawing or, better, this is me going to figure drawing), we stop our mind from behaving like three squabbling siblings trying to lay claim to a bigger portion of the back seat on a very long trip to grandmother’s house. When we accept where we are, we are freed up to make conscious choices.

3. Figure out why.

We might know we want to go to figure drawing or get off Facebook and go outside, but do we do it? Knowing why we want to do something is very useful when our sneaky trouble making self shows up saying daylight savings has made everything wonky and besides that it’s cold out there. It’s helpful to be able to respond with our reason why we have decided to do something as bold as drawing a naked person in a room full of people we don’t really know. When we remind ourselves why we want to do something, we motivate ourselves to do it.

4. Trust.

Sometimes, as I said, years will go by without any progress towards what we say we want to do. This usually happens when we don’t 1. Notice, 2. Accept where we are, or, 3. Figure out our why. But, let’s say we are doing those three things, it’s still possible for us not to do that thing that we say we want to do. When we trust ourselves, each other, and Great Mystery, it’s amazing what can happen. We become more patient and forgiving, and importantly, resilient.

You can get yourself to figure drawing when it’s dark outside and it’s cold and you have somewhere else to go, leaving you less than one hour to draw.

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