Life Lessons From a Potter’s Wheel

Balance is important in all areas of our life. When we talk about balance we tend to think in terms of balancing 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 perhaps outside our standard fare and develop creative 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 to change that and begin incorporating some creativity into my learning mix and enrolled in pottery classes. Why pottery? Most likely because I love that art form and it seemed like something that would completely occupy my attention. That was after all part of the point. I wanted (and needed) a complete departure from business as usual. As a writer, 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 without question 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. Now a grandmother 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 and transformation
  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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