Always a beginner

Always a beginner

I am a beginner in tai chi. All the moves seem new to me. The words used to describe them I have never heard before. Sometimes they don't fully make sense to me. When I am away from the class I can only remember one or two moves. To keep at it I am dependent on learning. I understand what it is to be a beginner because I keep trying new things. 

It is a stage of learning where we are gathering knowledge before we begin to fully integrate it into our own way of doing things. I am a beginner at lots of things, Asian cooking, learning French, encaustic painting, just to name a few. There are somethings that you remain a beginner at for a long while. That's ok. We go at our own pace. I know it will take me years to get beyond the beginner phase in some things while in others I will move on more quickly.

I love the curiosity that comes with being a beginner. There is a big sense of discovery every time you begin something new. I think this must really wake up something in our brains. It makes me feel alive to learn.

I also understand there is some trepidation. I ask myself questions like should I bother? Do I have enough skill? Am I doing it right? For example, though I have been studying French again for just over two months, I immediately freeze up when I am with a French friend and am afraid to speak. It is like suddenly I cannot remember the words. Oh the pleasure of being a beginner.

Learning new things myself helps me better understand what it is to be a beginner rug hooker. The last Saturday of every month we offer a free beginner class at the studio for people who are just starting to hook rugs. I often try to drop in to see how everyone is doing. I see the lights in the eyes which always inspires me. I see that they have caught onto something new that they are really connecting with. I also see that they struggle sometimes with the same things I struggled with. You pull up one loop and and the last one slips out. You hook in every hole instead of every second or third. You find that your yarn frays. I always assure them that by the end of their 6 by 6 inch square all those tedious thing will be worked out.

Beginners need practice. Doing the same thing over and over for a while will in-still it in our brains and it will begin to feel natural. Practice is time well spent. As a beginner it is important to hook anything. Ten minutes a day over a month will make you really good at rug hooking. It is one of the things that you can rise to intermediate really quickly and get a gold star. All you have to do is show up and hook. Intermediate is such a funny word, it implies you know some stuff but still not enough. If that's the case, we are all intermediates and might be forever. As we progress in something we learn more and more and mostly that shows us that there is more and more to learn.  

Being a beginner is a beautiful thing because in being there we have a beginners mind, that lovely place where we are open and curious and we have unlimited potential. A beginner. I want to be a beginner always.

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  • Deanne Fitzpatrick
Comments 1
  • Nancy Krajecki
    Nancy Krajecki

    Love this post Deanne. I can relate to all of this! I am a beginner at rug hooking and struggling to pull up the yarn and loops, I’m all thumbs! I can punch needle but want to master this hook! Years ago I made a latch hook rug in high school art class and still have it It was a whole different thing! I am watching your videos and am so inspired by all of them. I agree when you share rug hooking you never know what will come of it. I also bought your book Hooking Mats and Rugs from 2007 but did not have much time to work on my craft. I retired recently and am just starting. I love it! Thank you for all you post and share of yourself and your craft.

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