There is a silly notion I have carried around my whole life that I can be a pro before I’m a rookie. The impatient side of me would like to skip steps 1, 2 and 3 and jump right into 4. Like getting out of the shower and having perfectly blown out hair. Needless to say I have been unsuccessful and this silly notion has caused me much anxiety over the years.
The advice given to me time and time again has been, take baby steps, take it one project at a time, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Go out there and adjust as you need to.
I understood the advice. In fact it makes perfect sense, but there was something about my old tendencies and habits that I could not shake.
One day when I was applying mascara, I was able to visually understand why taking baby steps reap clean and satisfying results.
If you wear mascara you understand that a new tube isn’t perfect!
What I mean is the mascara is so dense and fresh that it doesn’t allow for the perfect application. When fresh, the tube is ultra moist and heavy on the wand. If I apply with a heavy hand I end up with eyelashes that are spidery, clumpy or mascara everywhere but my lashes. If I don’t put enough the lashes are stubby without glamour.
The best application is when the tube is half used up. The consistency of the mascara is just right and the wand is broken in. You almost don’t have to think about how you’re applying it and the results are beautiful and effortless.
Then of course, the tube eventually dries up and what was once beautiful is dry and not so luminous. Now you have to buy a new tube and go through this deal all over again.
Let’s call this the Mascara Effect.
We experience the Mascara Effect anytime we start something new. When I first began my meditation practice I found it difficult to practice twenty minutes, twice a day. I diligently tried to get the two sessions in, but found that it was aggravating and unpleasant.
Meditation – my new tube of mascara. I wanted a beautiful meditation practice, but came at it with a heavy hand, leaving me with results that were disappointing.
After contemplation, I decided to just meditate when I felt like meditating. Eventually I began five minutes of meditation in the morning and before bed, some days getting in two meditations other days one. I couldn’t let myself get hung up on “the perfect meditation practice” or “doing it right”.
I began to create a foundation, like slowly building the layers of mascara, so there wouldn’t be a mess or disappointment.
Eventually, I noticed my practice changing and I was able to add a few minutes to my practice each day with ease - my tube of mascara was half used up. Getting to this point took time, but I was willing to work with what I had. I allowed patience and non-judgment into my practice.
My meditation has become something regular, familiar, and beautiful. I am no longer struggling. I can slip right into twenty minutes and experience deep relaxation.
Growth has taken place and a lesson accomplished. The mascara is dry and reapplying it doesn’t do much.
On to a new tube – The next lesson.
In life when we venture into new or uncharted territory the Mascara Effect comes into play. If we want a smooth transition and clean results we must be willing to take our time setting a foundation and slowly building on it.
Eventually, we find our sweet spot. Reaping beautiful results with minimal effort. Once we have accomplished our goal or learned the lesson we are meant to learn we are presented with a new goal, challenge or lesson.
Share your experiences with the Mascara Effect by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear from you :)