Today I tried something for the first time that I've been wanting to try for a very long time - pottery on a wheel!
It was around the time that I started cooking more healthy meals for myself that I noticed a beauty in natural foods that just blew me away - the colors, the textures, the realization that eating real, quality food is appealing to us as human beings with eyes that can see colors, noses that can breathe in aromas, hands to feel hot and cold, to peel and dice and sautée, brains to think up delicious concoctions, and of course, mouths to savor the flavors....all because healthy, whole, natural, foods are what we are meant to eat. So simple, and yet, pretty miraculous.
With that realization, I felt the magnitude of all the agony us humans go through trying to loose weight, to not eat this or that, the guilt and shame and confusion, the diseases our diets cause, the pollution and damage to our environment...and that the solution is really right in front of us, and in us (i.e. our intuition to eat healthy natural foods). If we follow the beauty of what nature gives us, by eating more color, more fruits and veggies, more sustainably grown and raised, and more whole foods, suddenly we begin to look and feel more amazing than ever. And, on top of all that amazingness, the endless benefits to the planet. We no longer have to count calories or think about what we can't have and, instead, can focus on all the things we get to have.
This simple concept was an epiphany that totally changed my life five years ago. I realized that by just starting down the path and by following the beauty and coming from a place of love when it came to how we eat, big shifts could happen for us as individuals and the planet...but, back to the pottery!...I wanted my creations be accompanied by dish ware that was as stunning as the foods they held. That were also works of art in and of themselves. I didn't just want to buy the pottery, I wanted to make it, with the same hands that made the food.
It seems so silly that I haven't tried something as accessible as pottery a whole lot sooner, but it's one of those things that I worked up to be a big deal and always found an excuse not to start - I don't have the time, I don't want to spend the money, it won't work with my schedule, etc. But this week, as I was driving through the picturesque countryside of Sonoma, on my way back from my holistic nutrition class, I decided to make a left turn down a side road (normally I go straight) and before I knew it, I was turning down a driveway because I saw a sign for "EGGS" - I always brake for eggs (at least, the farm-fresh variety). As I pulled into the driveway and up to the house, I noticed the smaller sign that read "no eggs today." And, after a moment's disappointment, I begin to turn back toward the main road, but another sign caught my eye. It read "open" and it sat right in front of a little ceramics studio. I've driven past the signs for this ceramic studio before, but never stopped by. And, in this moment, I realized maybe I was finally being led here for my own good!
The door was wide open and, as I walked into the little cottage-like structure, I felt the breeze of the cool, crisp fall air on my face, and inhaled the smell of fresh lavender and clay. I said "hello" and was pleasantly surprised to hear a comforting french-accented voice of the woman who runs the studio, Nicole. Hearing her accent brought me back to the years of french classes I took from middle school through college and my love of the french country lifestyle that drew me to Sonoma. We had a lovely chat and arranged to set up a first class.
What was so crazy to me is that, something I had wanted to do for years, and put off for no good reason, seemed to materialize out of thin air. And it was right there waiting for me all along. It's kind of like healthy eating...or any other positive thing that I've delayed starting. I'm talking about the kind of things that make you feel good, make your heart sing, helps others, whether it's food, music, art, yoga, or whatever it is that makes you tick. Finally, when I was ready for it and open to the possibility, it landed right in my lap.
And while I could barely center the clay, and it will certainly be a while before I start cranking out the salad bowls of my dreams, I had fun! I felt pushed outside of my comfort zone in the best way. It's humbling to start something new and be totally clueless. And I had to remind myself that it's okay to be bad and learn and get better. I think as adults, we sometimes forget the challenges and thrills of learning.
I want to encourage anyone out there that if there's something you have the desire to learn or do - to just take the first step; sign up for the class, join the group, pull out the intimidating recipe, download the Rosetta Stone. And don't expect perfection or mastery, do it simply to put yourself out there and for the fun of learning and growing. I can tell you, I got totally lost in the lull of that spinning wheel, and wet clay between my fingers. And when my first mound of clay toppled over, I just threw another one on.
Thank you for reading! And please let me know what new thing you'd like to try or are trying in the comments :-)