Enjoy a guest blog from Cheyenne Mendel, Goddess extraordinaire!
“From a Latin root meaning “to delight in,” the Dilettante is a lover of the fine arts who never rises above the level of an amateur, and to whom the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” applies. Although the word has the negative connotation of a dabbler who seeks only a cursory knowledge or experience, it never completely loses the sense of delighting in the arts. The Amateur, from the Latin root for “love,” has many of the same qualities of the Dilettante applied to the realm of sports or applied arts such as cooking and gardening. In many cases it’s better to be an inspired amateur than a grind-it-out professional. Like the survival archetypes, the Dilettante or Amateur can alert you when you are in danger of becoming merely superficial in your pursuits, or losing the love that drew you to your avocation in the first place. The shadow Dilettante manifests as a pretension to much deeper knowledge than you actually possess.” – Caroline Myss
If you have not blessed yourself with any of Caroline Myss’s books or teachings I highly recommend it. They are life changing.
I realize now the archetype of the Dilettante came to me early 2016 when I went into the local artisans gallery in Crestone, Colorado. I saw this painting entitled “VENICE” and was immediately smitten. I love art but I have never considered myself an artist of any kind.
I could not get the painting out of my mind and would walk by to make sure it was still there. I realized I had to secure it for myself and plopped $700 down on it. I had never really purchased a painting let alone spend that kind of money.
I discovered it was painted by a 17-year-old girl named Rowan. I was amazed by how much it inspired me and it also turned out to be a feng shui cure to help sell my business.
In 2016 I took up piano lessons. I had them in the 2nd and 3rd grade but during the times I was supposed to be practicing, bad things were happening to me at home. I had “collapsed” (a Landmark Education term) the abuse with playing the piano. I never touched the piano again for decades.
I myself have been and acupuncturist for 26 years. I have had the privilege of treating over 30,000 sessions and chances are for years and years I have spent most of my days standing with people and working on them. Like me, there are many other specialist in fields that require tons of education like physicians for example, who have not explored the Dilettante simply for lack of time.
I would say anyone who spends 10,000 hours let alone 30,000 would be an expert in that field. I am not used to being an amateur. Crawling when I am used to running doesn’t feel great. Ego crushing at times!
The benefits of artistic expression are numerous and undeniable when practiced. Being able to do something for the sheer joy of it is inspirational and miraculous.
Another bucket list item for me was dance. Just this month, I enrolled in a studio for a 6 week two-step country swing class and it has been pure pleasure. For me the best part is “being led”. I have to lead in so many other areas of my life. To be able to let go and flit around the dance floor to honkey tonk music has been a blast.
In the Dec 2016/ Jan 2017 Reader’s Digest article, Kurt Vonnegut writes, ‘What I have to say to you, moreover will not take long, to wit: Practice any art – music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage – no matter how well or badly, not to get money or fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what is inside of you, to make your soul grow.”
He goes on to say “Write a poem and make it the best you possible can. Don’t tell anyone what you are doing. Don’t share it with anyone. Tear it into tiny pieces and discard them widely in different receptacles.”
The Dilettante experiences art for the joy of it. The huge popularity of the show THE VOICE speaks to how much the population is thirsty for pure inspiration and joy in artistry.
The artist Prince died April 21, 2016. I cried for three weeks and then again even months later. Why? I never understood the crying I saw around me when Elvis died. I was 9 years old. All these people did not know Elvis. I now understand. I did not know Prince personally nor did I ever attend one of the famous Paisley Park pop up concerts, but the love and artistry and high frequency and how he conducted his life, left a big impression in my heart. Every time someone we know or someone who touches us dies, we take inventory of our life and the meaning of it and what brings meaning to it.
So if the Dilettante is knocking I recommend letting him or her in. The water is very fine.
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth.” – William W. Purkey
Cheyenne Mendel practices acupuncture in Crestone, Colorado.