Are you limiting yourself?

Watch oil painting “Steamship Savannah” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I shared this painting in March in a blog post called “Power of Steam“. Today I’m reminded of this again, as I had a creative and productive day. I put in two sessions on two different painting projects and I also did some gardening, and researched a few baking ideas for the upcoming holiday season. And that’s when I learned that I was limiting myself without even realizing it.

Because, it had never occurred to me before now to learn what that fancy large sugar is on top of gourmet desserts, sugar that looks like tiny pieces of broken glass. I just never questioned what it is, or how I can get some. I knew my place, and I stayed in it.

I come from a family who was offended if any of us acted “bigger than our britches”. Doing something more than what the family always did was being fussy, fancy, or acting like we’re better than everybody else. So, we baked from-scratch cookie recipes with few ingredients, the same kind everyone else made. We did not make scones!

For quite some time, I didn’t even know what scones were. But one day, I had a scone and it was glorious! It had fancy sugar on top. It was part of a world that didn’t belong to me, and I knew my place. It wasn’t the sort of thing I’d make.

Today I looked up a recipe for scones. From the list of ingredients I clicked on a link for sparkling white sugar, or sugar crystals. So, that’s what that fancy sugar is called. It never occurred to me to look this up before now, or that I could simply purchase that kind of sugar. It’s not even an uncommon type of sugar. There was absolutely no reason not to know about this ingredient. It’s hardly magical, and it’s not out of reach for an average person, or even out of reach for a below average person. I didn’t need to super-achieve to rise to a level where it’s socially acceptable to purchase fancy sugar to decorate scones. But now I can even extend my new class status to muffins!

It’s silly that I’ve limited myself all of these years. I could have known the secret of fancy sugar all along, but I never thought to look for the answer. Even though I love scones, I didn’t give any serious consideration to making them. I just stayed in my lane. I knew my place. Why? Why did I do this? I don’t know. It’s like apathy or laziness of the brain. Then, today, I had an epiphany. I could learn how to make scones.

Scones were NEVER out of reach. It’s crazy that my mind had shut itself off from them without even entertaining the idea of trying. Scones are a trivial example of how we don’t see what’s possible, but it’s a delicious one. Are you limiting yourself? Is there something you’d like to do that you’re blind and deaf to the possibility of doing? Sometimes we stay where we’ve always been and we’re not even aware of our mental habit.

Embrace the pioneering spirit and exhilarating freedom of the Steamship Savannah! Our everyday ordinary lives can be more joyful if we don’t limit ourselves. Whether it’s learning how to make scones, or something much bigger, may we push ourselves to explore more possibilities and approach life with an adventurous spirit.

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