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  • Juanita Weaver-Reiss

Painting to health

I was writing an email to a friend last night and something jumped out at me that possibly I knew but was very quiet inside me. Has that ever happened to you?

I was talking about a couple of different experiences with starting new things. One of the things that I started and haven't done again was to paint a picture. I had gotten really excited about the idea of being able to put pictures up at home that were painted by me.

I had painted as a child with watercolors but that was a long time ago. I signed up for a class at a local craft store.

Finally the day arrived. There I was at the store and ready to paint. I think the picture was a flower.

The image didn't just magically appear on the canvas. In fact, I struggled to hold the brush the right way. I had problems with the way the paint came off of the brush. It seemed to go almost everywhere else but where it was supposed to go on the canvas.

Now the the teacher was very nice when she came over and looked at my picture. She said now isn't that nice.

I looked back at her and said no. It is awful. I couldn't hold the brush right and the angle right there is off.

She looked at me and said this takes practice. You will have to go home and practice the strokes and how to hold the brush.

Practice painting? That was a totally new thought. No one had ever said that something artistic would require practice. I never practiced to paint when I was playing with watercolors. I just picked up the brush and painted.

I attended an art exhibit this last weekend. When the artists who talked about their drawings and paintings were asked how they picked up this skill, every single one of them said I was born with it. I think they were coloring the truth.

We all have gone through practice to learn new skills and knowledge. It takes practice to learn how to apply information to a new situation. We learned to crawl, and then to walk, and then to run. Some people have learned how to dance and do gymnastics. But all of those activities took practice and time.

The connection for me is that learning new skills is part of what we do as humans. It may not be something that we consciously think about.

When someone says I need to lose weight, or I want to plan my meals to control my blood sugars, it means there are new behaviors and skills that will need to be learned, adopted, adapted, and "painted" into the current lifestyle. There will be a time of practice.

Your picture that you paint as you practice may look very similar to my first painting. The petals may look stilted. The leaves may be off center. It will take practice to figure out how to fit certain foods into your plan. It will take time to configure your schedule so you can be more active. It may take a couple tries before you can plan a meal without pulling out the diet information. But it will come.

And I bet that the picture that you paint will be more than just nice. It will be a whole new original creation that is one of a kind!

Best health,


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