Thursday, January 16, 2014

Renewing the Focus

I've made a fairly big decision about how I am going to play out this amazing 2014 and my attempts to FOCUS. Remember, focus is my "word" for the year: what I am going to work towards, what is going to help me move forward physically, mentally, creatively and spiritually. It is THE plan for 2014. FOCUS.

I'm working so hard at it, my friends. Truly and deeply. Each and every day. I am in living in the moment, really stopping my mind when it starts trailing off into a thousand and one directions, and keep myself grounded in the now. It is actually a lot harder than I thought it would be, but so very worth it.

I'm feeling good this year. Really good.

So, back to my decision.

One of my favorite artists and mentors introduced an e-course on her amazing craft this year. I was on the email list for updates on the class, and quickly opened the announcement when it came out. I was THRILLED (like - butterflies in the stomach excited) when I saw it. But as I quickly gazed through the selling point of the class (the whole "why you should take this" text . . . because I really didn't need to be sold on it . . . in my head I had already signed up and was already there), my heart absolutely sank when I got to the important part . . . the cost.

It was high.

Much higher than I anticipated.

Much higher than I ever thought.

Much higher than I could spend.

So, I got upset. Down right mad, I tell you.

I was angry.

I went back and looked at the sales pitch part of the email (because at this point, I needed to talk myself into why this was so important to me - so important to my soul - something I needed to spend so much money on), and I realized one thing.

I don't need it.

This is where the FOCUS comes back into play.

For the past three (er-has it been four?) years, I have signed up for one sort, or another, of an online course. Scrapbooking, writing, soul searching, painting, journaling, blogging, crafting, or all of the above. I've downloaded hundreds of papers and worksheets, I searched deep into my soul to find the real me, I've learned some great (and some not-so-great) techniques. I've bought new products. I've stayed up late answering hard questions. I've done quite a lot.

And I have loved it. It's been one great experience after another.

But there comes a time when you have to stop watching someone else do it . . . and just do it yourself.

Does that make sense?

There comes a time when you have to stop spending your time following the path of another, and decide what your very own path is going to be.

So for me, this year . . . I'm doing it. I'm saying NO. No online classes. No e-courses. No .pdf downloads. Nothing. Not a one.

Because when I really ask myself what it is I will gain from all of it, the answer is usually the same . . . I will gain a lot of additional pressure that I put on myself, I will gain feelings of never being able to be as good as them - to paint as well as them, to write as well as them, to dress as cool as they do, to take pictures as well as they do.

And my friends, I don't want to feel that way . . . anymore.

Now, I am not saying I will never take an online class again. Believe me, they are amazing! Having the opportunity to learn, at any time in life, is a blessing and a gift. And I WILL head down that road again!

But this year . . . I want to FOCUS. On what I have to give. What I can paint. What I can write. What I can do.

And I don't need a class for that.

I don't need to reinvent myself through the eyes of yet another online class.

This year, I am going to focus on being the best ME that I can be.

And coming to that realization on January 16th, 2014 already makes this FOCUS word pretty awesome.

Wishing you Peace, my friends. And lots of time to focus on what matters to you.



  1. Wow! How right on that post is - I've also been looking at all my folders, envelopes, and piles of ephemera that I've gathered thanks to all the online classes. I, too, have been taking lots and have not done anything on my own but drool at their styles. Time to make my own way! Thanks for posting. BTW - my word for the year is "Discover"! I'm glad I discovered this post!!

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for your comment! I swear, it sort of hit me like a brick (as most things do in life . . . it does take a lot to get through to me sometimes), but I just realized that I do not need the classes this year. And I have to say - releasing myself from that pressure feels a.w.e.s.o.m.e. already! Best to you and "DISCOVER"! That is a great word, my friend! Please stop by again some time.

  2. Great insight, Leanne. This line especially caught my attention: "But there comes a time when you have to stop watching someone else do it . . . and just do it yourself.". So very true. Sometimes I'm guilty of using learning to put of doing things that I don't feel like I can do well enough.

    My word for 2014 is "Determination". It is already helping to make changes in my life.

  3. "But there comes a time when you have to stop watching someone else do it . . . and just do it yourself. " And the sky opened and the angels sang when I read this! SPOT ON! ME TOO! Girl, you have what it takes! You are one of my favorite artists and bloggers. I back you 110%. And, I'll go one step further and take the focus journey with you. My hubby is always saying "You could do that too." I usually just smile and say, "Nah. No, not really." Time to start believing in ourselves! Can I hear an AMEN!? (Sorry, just a little pumped for you!)

  4. Amen Art Sister! You SO do not need another class, you are an amazing artist and writer. I love that you are focusing on your own techniques and ideas. it can be so hard to do, when we think others should teach us the next big thing, when WE are the next big thing.

    In the Aspire phase of Stretch and Grow this year, I too wanted to take a class and you have talked me out of it. For me half the fun of an art class is the comraderie of artists. Bring your calendar and notebook Tuesday, I have an idea for you. :)

  5. I, too, have real problems saying no. I will be watching your posts with great interest. While I haven't chosen a word for the year, you're inspiring me to be more focused as well.

  6. Hi Leanne and belated happy New year to you!
    2014 brings a whole new set of challenges for each of us... in a world of constant distraction and never ending demands, I like your word very much! To focus. That is a great aspiration and one that I will try to live by too...
    Take care

  7. Oh Leanne!! Bless you for FOCUSing on your writing again!! You are sooo gifted and I NEED to hear your words!!

    You just said what I have been thinking for awhile now!! And I am pretty sure I know the class you are speaking of and I, too was excited about it then I saw the cost and realized I couldn't take it and then I thought the same way you did...I ALWAYS ALWAYS compare myself to everyone in the class. Their work, what they do, etc. Drives me crazy and totally takes away from the class!! I am playing along with Robin Marie Smiths FREE Documented Life Project and I LOVE it. HOWEVER, I found {find} myself getting caught up in all the photos of OTHER people's work and was totally not doing a thing with MY planner!! I was FROZEN!! I couldn't do a thing on it for fear I would "mess up". WHAT?? Their is NO messing up on YOUR OWN ART!! A lightbulb went off and I just started creating MY journal and now I am USING it and LOVING IT!!..

    You my friend are a gem and I sooo proud to know you and I LOVE YOUR ART!! It is HAPPY!! I wear my necklace you gave me often and I CHERISH it!!

    Love ya my friend!!!

  8. great post...i sooooo relate...focus was my word last year...and i still need to do more of it...congratulations!!! you have made a big decision.


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