Life Lessons From a Potter’s Wheel

Balance is important in all areas of our life. We tend to think in terms of balance as meaning across each segment of our life but in truth, it matters within each of them as well. We need a balanced approach to health as an example and within our financial profile. Our personal network should be diversified and expose us to perspectives with range and depth.

The same is true for learning. We need to have core skill building for our professional endeavors and soft skill development overall. We also need to integrate things into the mix that are out of the box perhaps for us and develop interests as well as skill. This is an area where quite frankly I have not always had the right mix. My professional development always took precedence.

I made a conscience decision this year to change that. I began incorporating creativity into the mix and enrolled in pottery classes. Why pottery? Because I love the art form itself and it seemed like something that would completely occupy my attention. That was in fact the point. I also felt that it would introduce me into a world of artists where I could also absorb some of that creative energy. And quite frankly, I thought it might be fun to play in some mud! And it has been.

I am about three months into this latest adventure and I am now a lifelong enthusiast. The parallels to life are there every time I sit down at the wheel or work with the clay at the table. And the miracle of what happens with glazes and the heat of the kiln are incredible.

My very first piece was a small dish that had a small bird on it since that’s my signature collection. It became a Mother’s Day gift for my Mom. A grandmother now myself, it had been a long time since my gift to her was something made by my own hand. It felt so good to do that. And the gift has a richer meaning for her as well.

What lessons have I learned? Here are my top five:

  1. When we are willing to become a beginner at something, we renew our true love of learning
  2. Even the simplest of materials can and do have the potential for creating beauty
  3. To make things happen we have to be willing to take some risks and get our hands dirty
  4. Pressure and heat create strength
  5. We all sign our work in one way or another

If you were asked to choose something new to learn, what would you choose? Consider giving yourself, or someone you love that gift. It truly is priceless.

Live (learn) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (learn) well.

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