Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Anxiety, Art Therapy, Blog, Depression | 0 comments



GELLI(R) print, Trevithick

                                      ARE YOU A HUMMINGBIRD?

Are you a Hummingbird? I’ve decided that I must be. Hmm. What is that, you ask?

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to watch a tape of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, giving a talk she calls “The Flight of the Hummingbird: The Curiosity Driven Life.” Gilbert explained that after she had spoken in Australia on the importance of following one’s Passion, she received an email from someone who was bereft about “not having a Passion, not even knowing what her Passion was.”  I have been there, myself. Have you?

What is a Passion, and what does following your passion mean, anyway? The last thing a depressed person, or a single parent, or anyone after a long day at work or at home wants to be told is that they are missing something important in life. A passion. Passion has sometimes been too large a word for me. At times, I’d think that if my Passion was artmaking, I would be in my studio 24/7 when I’m not in my office. That I would know what else I am passionate about.

But then I heard Gilbert talk about Hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are here, or there, or there, or back here. Hummingbirds don’t believe that this particular flower is IT, their only source of sustenance. They admire many flowers, smell many beautiful scents, visit and drink from different nurturing gardens.

So, I am a hummingbird. Sometimes I sing. Sometimes I read. Or volunteer in spiritual activities. Or get caught up in a riveting book. Sometimes I paint with oils to make SERIOUS PAINTINGS. Other times I go to my studio to experiment in an art journal. And, often, when I am engrossed, I find that whatever I am doing at that moment, especially in my studio, becomes my Passion. Gilbert calls this curiosity, this having varied interests, being a Hummingbird. I feel comfortable with this. Hummingbirds flit from feeder to feeder, branch to branch, flower to flower. They are beautiful creatures, aren’t they, with glistening, reflective feathers always in motion.

You have probably watched hummingbirds at a feeder. Do you know how much energy it must take for them to be in constant motion? I am not in constant motion, but when I am “flitting” from little passion to little passion, I am using hummingbird energy. I am also telling myself that it is OKAY to flit, to have a variety of interests. I used to tell myself that if I were a SERIOUS artist I would only PAINT.  REAL PAINTINGS. Now I give my hummingbird-self permission to PLAY. I mentioned to someone the other day that now that I am playing, I look forward to going to my studio. In fact, I can’t wait.

That is because my hummingbird self has discovered GELLI® plate printing. I had seen GELLI® prints on line, and gave myself the gift of taking a workshop to learn how to do it myself. And then I bought a little GELLI® plate to experiment with. And then bought the paints. And since then I’ve been practicing. And practicing. And practicing. It takes a lot of practice. And fun. And letting go of perfection and immediate gratification. Each print is different. Each layer of color peaks out beneath the next. Oh my, it takes so much work to be a hummingbird. And it’s so much fun!

Are you a hummingbird?  Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  1. Do you have curiosities?
  2. Do you like to try different things?
  3. Do you let yourself try different things? Some cooks are hummingbirds.
  4. Does your house look ‘lived in’? I’ve decided to take that as a compliment.
  5. Do you have different hobbies, or wish you did?                                                      Some benefits of being a hummingbird: It can combat depression. It helps you focus, stay in the present, live in the moment. It adds fun and interest to your life. I’d love to hear where your hummingbird self flits. Please let me know. It may give me, and others, ideas!

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