Monday 10 September 2012

Completion by Alli Vainshtein

In a distracted world, it is easy to find a million things to start without completing any. The key to completing a project is mindfulness. Focus on what you are doing, when you want to finish it, what the steps are, then put the work into doing it. Sounds easy, doesn't it? But I know, it is not always so simple.

I think the key for me is focus. When I am working on a project, I don't always plan it all the way through. I start it and don't really know how it will look when it's done. When I paint, I start splashing color and eventually a pattern develops and the picture will appear. When I write stories, I throw the characters on the page, create a setting, then watch to see what they do as I write. This is my creative process, but I am learning that intention helps to focus the brain. If my intention is that my characters will fall in love and get married, I will put my effort into creating ways for them to meet, interact, learn more about each other. If my intention in painting is to create a swan, then I will start with an outline of a swan and the water she is swimming in. Intention doesn't stop the creative process, it streamlines it so that I can reach completion more efficiently..

Focus and intention does not come naturally to me. I have had many jobs - minister, detective, press operator, forklift driver, claims manager, insurance underwriter, jewelry salesperson, color consultant, accountant, and now teacher. I did not intend to have a meandering career, but I am interested in so many different things, I am adaptable, I learn things quickly, and I am willing to try anything. This does not mean I failed earlier in life, it just means that I gathered an amazing number of skills and perspectives that help me to understand my students much better..

I don't think failure is a good way to describe experience in life. I learned some things I would prefer not to do again. I tried many different hats on and now I know which one I like best. I learned from every fork in the path that I turned on. There is no RIGHT or WRONG path for your life. You make choices, you live with the consequences and the opportunities that those choices create. And really, in life, it's not about completion. It's the journey. It's every step, every day, every minute, and every second that you are breathing. It's the choices. It's the fun that you have. It's the lives that you touch..

My intention for my life is to make the world a better place. There's always room to do more, so I don't plan on completing it anytime soon..

Alli Vainshtein is a business, accounting, and career instructor at Riverland Community College in Tropical Southern Minnesota. She loves to write (stories, lectures, blogs, letters, emails, etc.), paint, play piano, meditate, travel, cook, make new friends, and live like a Goddess. She is also a great fan of Jamie Ridler - the Circe's Circle changed her life dramatically!

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