: possession or display of great skill or technique
: knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand something very well
Mastery (n.): early 13th century, mesterie, “superiority, victory,” from Old French maistrie, maistre “master.” Meaning “intellectual command” (of a topic, etc.) is from 1660s.
Master (n.): late Old English “one having control or authority,” from Latin magister “chief, head, director, teacher” (source of Old French maistre, French maitre, Spanish and Italian maestro, Portugese mestre, Dutch meester, German Meister), also akin to Latin magnus “large.”
“Perhaps we'll never know how far the path can go, how much a human being can truly achieve, until we realize that the ultimate reward is not a gold medal but the path itself.”
George Leonard (1923-2010, American writer, editor, and educator, who wrote extensively about education and the human potential)
“It took me a lifetime.”
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973, Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramist, stage designer, poet and playwright)
“Order and simplification are the first steps towards mastery of a subject”
Thomas Mann (1875-1955, German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate)
“A man cannot understand the art he is studying if he only looks for the end result without taking the time to delve deeply into the reasoning of the study.”
Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645, also known as Shinmen Takezo, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by this Buddhist name, Niten Doraku, was an expert Japanese swordsman and ronin)
“Though you can love what you do not master, you cannot master what you do not love.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (South African philosopher, social critic, essayist, cartoonist, aphorist, and graphic designer)
“The master creators are masters of love.”
Bryant McGill (b. 1969, age 45, American author, aphorist, speaker and activist)
“You don't need to justify your love, you don't need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.”
Miguel Ruiz (b. 1952, age 63, Mexican author of Toltec spiritualist and neoshamanistic text, best known for The Four Agreements)
“The fearful seek to serve themselves by mastering the world, while the fearless seek to serve the world by mastering themselves.”
Eric Micha’el Leventhal (American literary consultant and holistic educator on the island of Maui, Hawaii)
“Truly creative people in all fields can temporarily suspend their ego and simply experience what they are seeing, without the need to assert a judgment, for as long as possible. They are more than ready to find their most cherished opinions contradicted by reality.”
Robert Greene and Joost Elffers (Robert Green is an American author of five international bestsellers and speaker on strategy, power, and seduction. Joost Elfers is the book packager now associated with Viking Studio.)
“Mastery is not something that strikes in an instant, like a thunderbolt, but a gathering power that moves steadily through time, like weather.”
John Gardner (1933-1982, American novelist, essayist, literary critic and university professor; most noted for his novel Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf myth from the monster’s point of view.)
Mastery = Love, love of an element, a person or a group of people, a practice or discipline, etc.
So, we must ask ourselves: What do we love? What holds our attention? What or who do we devote our lives to? What brings us joy? What are our divine passions?
As a child I witnessed my mother and two grandmothers as masters in their own right. My father and grandfather were brilliant men, actually jacks-of-all trades. But, the women in my lineage were very focused creators.
My mother and grandmothers also paid great attention to how they could foster the best in their children.
My mother loved to sing. So, my grandmother, paid for my mother’s voice and our music lessons. My mother, Barbara, worked hard and eventually studied opera. She sang every chance she could get, all over the house, in church, and in short concertos. Even as child I was so amazed that she not only sang in English, but in Italian and German too.
Mrs. Curry, a very devoted singing teacher, loved my mother so much she would sit and wait while my mother ran around to each of us retrieving and placing us in violin, piano, and ballet lessons. My mother was very determined. We were not only taking music lessons, but participating in and going to concerts. It was quite incredible what she accomplished before dying at the young age of 27.
Nana, my paternal grandmother, her masteries are strength, determination, and high-octane cleanliness. When my grandmother touched a home the whole vibration of the house shifted for the better. An ordinary room would become a holy and sacred place. She facilitated wealth and healing by purifying and transforming space.
Nana, now 96, had the ability to do those little things that would make all the difference in the world. She knew each of her grandchildren’s interests. My propensity was toward the creative. So, she bought me creative toys like Light Bright, a loom to make a small rug, or paint-by-numbers books. I just loved that.
Modear, my maternal grandmother, lived on the opposite of the spectrum. She was soft-spoken, gentle, and never looked like she was pushing at all, but she was highly ambitious. Modear was a career woman, a registered nurse with a master’s degree. Her mastery was medical nursing and focusing on those medical and administrative details doctors often missed.
It’s a great honor to look back and highlight my mother and grandmothers’ masteries. It’s giving me permission to pursue my own passions without hesitation. If they did so against all odds, what is my excuse? All need to do is seek and practice those things I love the most.
I came across beautiful quote by Mike Dooley. It goes as follows:
“You want what you want because you know it’s possible. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t. This is powerful. Embrace it. For whatever else you believe or don’t believe, this belief alone can take you the distance. And what you want wants you.”
May you all have glorious journeys and days of mastery.
With Love, Tonya