The Ugly Sunflower

The Ugly Sunflower

It had a rough start on life, coming out of a plastic bag of bird seed, only to be wasted by a careless cardinal.  Yet, the little seed luckily dropped in the bird bath water where it sprouted miraculously.  I gently planted the little sunflower with the herbs, where high hopes of magnificence quickly faded into reality as it hugged the stone wall for support and did its best to grow strong and bloom beautifully.   But it was short of amazing, borderline ugly by sunflower standards.   I watered it and fertilized it.  Still, it simply looked so lonely and tired, ready for compost. 

Wait, though . . . there is purpose in all life.

It became my inspiration, and today I memorialized my little bud.  It was all part of an art exercise, one that I have never been tasked with before.  Here were my instructions:

Today I want you to make an ugly painting. Yup – deliberately ugly!  Let loose and make whatever marks you want – do NOT try to pretty it up.  Use whatever colors you fancy and don’t try to choose things that look good together – in fact, choose things that might look bad!

Your only aim here is to notice the feelings that arise when you stop trying to get a good result and simply play with paint.

Way out there, and I admit I cheated a little and went for at least a little pretty at the end, trying to salvage little sunflower’s portrait . . . but not too much as I pride myself on being a good student.  

The exercise was a good one, teaching me to learn to love failure, or at least accept it as a normal progression to growth.  I’m sharing this with you today in the hopes that whatever you are holding back in your life because of the fear of failure, trust that it won’t be the end of the world, the sky won’t fall and you just might learn that any move forward could lead you to a whole new adventure in finding the true you.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.