Back when I was a floral designer I started to notice an odd pattern. Whenever I got really good at something, like putting an arrangement together I would reach a point where all of a sudden I seemed to regress. All of a sudden the clippers felt unfamiliar in my hands, or the cuts I made weren't as confident. Basic skills that I knew I had were suddenly absent. I felt inept and confused.
After a while I'd seem to work through it- in fact be better than before . When I'd experienced this several times I began to see it as a pattern. Whenever I reached, really reached to be better at something I would see gradual improvement until I hit this "backslide" and then after some time there I would seem to work through it and then there would be this big leap forward.
Lately, I've been struggling to find a new direction for some of my works. I wanted to play with sculptures in shadowboxes and I wanted to try some freestanding that used wood for their base instead of my cork bases which have limits to how heavy or big something can be. I painted up the two shadowboxes a month or so ago but felt stalled part way through the execution. I'm still not sure that they're done. Kind of feeling my way but I like where they are now. And I feel better about the difficulty I've had lately because I recognize that it was another time of growth.
Do you recognize this pattern in your life? Have you ever experienced it? Growth can be difficult. It can sap our energy and make us feel drained, incompetent and defeated but if we persevere I believe, like the butterfly that struggles out of its' cocoon that we'll emerge transformed on the other side. Makes it kind of worth it doesn't it?