The Bob Ross Project

I recently began a journey that will hopefully result in growing an aspect of myself and community we never imagined possible.

What Did You Do?

I began methodically painting Bob Ross paintings. Every few days or so I paint a Bob Ross while following one of his Netflix episodes and I offer an open door policy to any of those that wish to join me.

My facebook album the #BobRossProject states:

I do not know why this began or where it is going, but I do know it has begun and where it will take me can only be good places.

I have always been a lover of painting but only in the past few years I really started spending more time committing to the art. It started in Fort McMurray and it seems every year I double the effort.

It came from a time of loneliness and reflection and it grew into something so much more. I became inspired by my community and became involved in art project I never dreamed of.

Now in this new phase I’ve begun to share my love of painting with those around me and hope to inspire and teach my community the power of healing and growth

that painting can bring.

WHY the Bob Ross Project ?

Only 6 sessions into the project I have already felt a change. People are reaching out to me to bridge the gap between the unknown and known. People that never believed they could create and be artists are suddenly inspired to try something that is universally familiar and yet new. I have always believed that one of the most important aspects of life is to challenge growth. In oneself and in those around you, for it is a cyclical thing and if you can inspire someone to do something they will in turn, re inspire you, and life will then be meaningful.

Thanks to Bob Ross I have been able to provide a platform that gives those around me the confidence to be an artist. We all grew up knowing Bob Ross and his “happy little trees,” and he brings comfort into all our hearts. All I do is provide the necessarily materials, the love and kind words and viola! People are growing all around me!

This was one of the great motivators to begin the Bob Ross Project. To get people to learn something new.

Why Else?

The other element of this project was to motivate myself to paint more regularly and to explore new methods while growing my own artistic style.

I have been dabbling in painting for the past 5-6 years now and I’m only beginning to understand what types of painter I want to be. Though I know I have a long way to go, I am finding this approach to prioritizing my art is very conducive to accelerating my progress.

Now What?

Well I’m only beginning this crazy new thing and there are still lots of Bob Ross Paint Nights in the days to come in “Melba’s Studio,” so ask yourself are you ready to “make some happy little trees?'”

Oh and Fun Thing Bob and I have in Common.

(Though I don’t have a little squirrel like Bob Ross, I have a little chinchilla named Cactus that serves as my painting mascot.)!

Just Try Harder. 

Several years ago my friend Roger Fage spoke three words to me that changed a huge part of my life. 

“Just Try Harder.” 

I had met Roger in Halifax around 2010 and  then during a random climbing trip to Kamourska, Quebec our paths crossed again.

We spoke of all the things and none of the things, but the one thing that stuck with me was this particularly conversation. 

He told me for a long time he was stuck. He was unable to progress in his climbing and seemed to feel like he had plateaued. Then one day, one of his friends told him the secret to success. “Just try harder.” And from then on he was surpassing his current climbing ability. 

I don’t know what it was about this moment because I’ve heard those words so many times before. However, perhaps was just the right time, the right place and the look on his face as he turned away from me and stared at the climb above us. 

Just. Try. Harder.

Ever since then it has been one of my top 5 mantras in achieving things. Whenever I feel stuck in something and feel as though I have plateaued in my own ability and skill, I take a moment to reassess what I am doing wrong. 

I look at the factors and the variables and I start making excuses. 

Then. I catch myself and it dawns of me. The words of an amazing, even keeled human…

Just try harder.

Then I take a deep breath and do you know what I do next ? I try harder. 

Since my recent ACL tear, I have felt like I have fallen backwards in so many aspects of my life. My strength, my flexibility, my will power. 

Prior to my injury I was just barely maintaining my fitness and then suddenly, goals that were already barely within arms reach had become insurmountable. I look at my before photos and now I’ve gained weight, gotten soft, lost endurance. 

I stopped writing blog posts. I stopped stretching. I stopped trying. 

I stopped trying. 

This is the moment I assess all the factors and variables again. Cloud my mind with why I can’t and why I won’t. Fill my heart with excuses.  This is also the moment that I stop doing that and get my soul together and once again realize the answer to all my recent setbacks is to,

Just Try Harder. 

Coming soon. The new and improved Melba Fucking Seto. 

YOU Have To Be the Source Of Your Inspiration. 

I just ran 7km off the couch and didn’t die. 

Often times we look to others to inspire us, push us, challenge us. Though it’s important to use others as a nitro boost, the most important place to look is in yourselves. 

I’ve been raised to compare myself to those around me. People who are smarter, taller, stronger. Where did it get me? Well for a long time it cultivated a creature who was low self confident, insecure and unsure. 

Somewhere along the way the real me emerged and I started comparing, myself  to myself and things began to change.

When I do things now, I work to outdo myself and in doing so I am solely accountable for my successes and failures. 

When we compare ourselves to someone else we can then easily make excuses for why we didn’t succced. “Oh well he can run farther because he’s a guy.” Or “they’ve trained their whole life to play sports.” 

Today I ran – like an old lady turtle – 7km.  My only goal was to get outside. Get to the next tree, the next bench, the next Canadian goose.

” Can’t Rush This. “

Shuffle step shuffle step. On more than one occasion starting from leaving work I was making excuses “ugh it’s getting late.” “I’m hungry.” 

When I parked the car at Edworthy Park I looked around and thought one thing at a time. 

I put on my heart rate monitor. I strapped my knee stabilizers. I filled my little hip water bottles.

I started to walk towards the trail. Set my playlist. Turned on my heart rate monitor. Took a breath. Here we go. 

The first 100m. Ugh I’m so awkward, my breathing is off. My legs hurt.  Then I would take a moment and look around. A train passed. I watched it and smiled. “I love trains.”

Shuffle step shuffle step. One step at a time. 

It’s a lot like life. When you look at the whole picture, we get overwhelmed. Work, bills, life, success. If we just try to look at one thing at a time, just the things in front of us. Time will pass, things will get done and before you know it your knees no longer hurt. Your breathing is steady, the world is less scary and 7km seems like something totally doable.

I only had myself to compete with and whether I finished or not I’m just happy I make the effort to show up. However since I DID finish!! I now have something to look to when I need to inspire myself. 

Now. I eat.