One of the concepts from the Peter Senge’s book the Fifth Discipline is Personal Mastery.
“People with a high level of personal mastery live in a continual learning mode. They never ‘arrive’. Sometimes, language, such as the term ‘personal mastery’ creates a misleading sense of definiteness, of black and white. But personal mastery is not something you possess. It is a process. It is a lifelong discipline.”
So how does the beginners mind fit in?
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
So it seems to be about bringing your knowledge and expertise to a situation while being open to new ideas, possibilities and options.
Just when I think I’ve gotten my tent set-up down cold, a new challenge presents itself.
Last weekend was the first outdoor show of the season. Our first challenge was the layout. The organizers set up the park so that each artist had a space that was exactly 10 by 10 to fit in a 10 x 10 tent. Since we opted to set up on Saturday we had to snug our tent in between 3 neighbors. We managed to get the canopy in place and were ready to add the legs when we discovered a family of mice had taken up residence in one of the tent pole bags.
I was both annoyed and in awe at how hard they had to work to build their nest. We store the tent poles up on the rafters in our garden shed. They got most of their building material from the storage area of the Corgi Cottage. They chewed a hole in one of the tent walls. They gathered yarn, feathers and other treasures including a few nibbles from the new, soft wood floor I use at indoor shows!
We found 4 baby mice. Their parents are somewhere between Williamsburg and Richmond. I’m not sure when they escaped. All I can say is that I hope that my car isn’t their new home! These little guys managed to survive being pulled from the rafters, dropped on driveway, tossed in the car where they spent the night at the bottom of a pile of assorted show paraphernalia. They made the 45-minute trip to Richmond, were piled on my cart, and were tossed on the ground. Think about it…mice in metal poles and not one casualty. They did have that deer in the headlight look!
My discovery drew a crowd probably because I screamed. I don’t know what it is about mice that make me scream. They’re cute, quite harmless. I think it’s that they show up in unexpected places, like your washing machine.
The welfare of this family became everyone’s concern. We scooped up the babies, put them in a paper bag, and finished putting up the tent. I was ready to release them when one of the officials informed me that I needed to move my car. He told me if I waited too long I might not be able to get a good parking place. So I carried my bag of mice past the food booths to my car. I held the bag tight. You can imagine what I was thinking as I moved my car.
I walked into a wooded area at the edge of the park and set them free. When I got back to the booth one of my neighbors asked me if I gave them water. I said, “Not to worry…it looks like rain.”