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Eyes Straight Ahead

Kim Hight

Life Imitates Art Blog by Kim Hight

No Need to Adjust the Mirror

You Won't Need It For Long

Do you ever get rear view mirror syndrome? You know, when you're looking back more than you're looking ahead.

My driver's ed teacher used to have a saying, "The wind shield is exponentially larger than the rear view mirror for a reason - glance back occasionally, but keep your focus in front of you. Otherwise, splat!"

That's a really simple (and graphic) anecdote for a much more far-reaching and complicated concept.

Regrets really serve no purpose.

You either learn the lesson or you repeat it, but dwelling on something that can't be changed only serves to make you feel bad. And that ruins the present moment.

Occasionally, as an artist, I'll get a case of rear view mirror syndrome when I look at some of my earliest paintings. They're not as good as my later works because I hadn't learned many skills and techniques yet.

When I start picking those paintings apart, all it does is make me feel bad, dents my confidence, and saps my creativity in the present. And for what?

I could repaint them, but that would be going backwards. They need to be left in the past so I can have the creativity and energy to create something bigger, better, and more beautiful now.

But there is a trick to being able to take a trip down memory lane without letting regrets seep in.

Eyes Straight Ahead Blog by Kim HightIt's called acceptance.

It's an amazing thing to be able to look back on your past without judgement.

You get all the enjoyment without the regrets.

For example, when I look back at those old paintings, instead of finding all that's wrong with them, I remember how exciting it was to paint them, and how proud I was when I stepped back and looked at the finished product for the first time.

They were really good for me back then and when I dwell on that aspect, it's actually kind of nice to look back.

I accept that they are not up to my standards now, but I'm grateful for how much I've improved.

That takes all the negative energy out of the situation and actually makes me feel more creative, alive, and confident that my next painting will be my greatest yet. Now I'm looking forward again.

So the next time you find yourself fixated on the rear view mirror, stop and remind yourself that while looking back occasionally is fine, ultimately you're better off gazing out the windshield. Otherwise, splat!

7 Days of Inspiration


Tuesday, June 1st National Go Barefoot Day
Wednesday, June 2nd National Leave the Office Early Day
Thursday, June 3rd National Repeat Day
Friday, June 4th National Hug Your Cat Day
Saturday, June 5th National Moonshine Day
Sunday, June 6th National Yo-Yo Day
Monday, June 7th National Chocolate Ice Cream Day


Want to see the rest of the month?

Follow me on Facebook @ArtByKimHight for fun facts, daily celebrations, and inspiration.

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Enter to Win Today!

Congratulations to Randi from Georgia. She is the winner of May's contest.

By the way, the answer to last month's puzzle is "Beacon of Hope". If you missed it don't worry, you can enter now for a chance to win this month's contest!

Here is This Week's Clue

Below is a puzzle piece from one of the paintings in the gallery. Guess the name of the painting correctly and you'll be entered for a chance to win a FREE MUG of your choice!

Step 1 in Kim Hight Contest

Find the name of painting below in the gallery

Step 2 in Kim Hight Contest

Use this Entry Form to send in your answer

Step 3 in Kim Hight Contest

Guess again next week for another chance to win

See below for more details.

We'll pick a new winner each month!

But hurry, this month's contest expires on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at midnight EST.

Kim Hight Free Mug Giveaway Contest

How to Enter to Win Your FREE MUG

It's super simple to be entered to win; just follow the steps below:

  • Take a good look at the puzzle piece above. It's a clip from one of the paintings on this site.
  • Head over to the Gallery and identify the name of the painting it belongs to.
  • Use this Contest Entry Form to send in your answer.
  • You will be registered to win if you choose the name of the correct painting and we receive it before the contest expiration date above.
  • We only accept one entry per email address per contest but there will be a new puzzle piece released in each newsletter so you can enter to win once per month.
  • There will be one winner per month. The name of the winner will be drawn on the first day of the following month.
  • The winner will be notified by email.
  • By entering this contest you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

Remember, go to the Gallery and find the name of the painting that is shown in the puzzle piece above and send your answer using this Contest Entry Form.

Good Luck!

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