For some of us the blank canvas is one of the scariest things we will ever face in our lives. It seems our culture leads us, from the time we are born, to go with the herd. We are taught not to think for ourselves but to wait until we are told what to do. We are taught to use only primary colors and stay in the lines. At an early age it is reinforced that out of the box thinking, is great as long as you stay within the tribal norms.
This sounds like a culture that fears the blank canvas. I am product of this culture and for a long time I avoided the blank canvas, it was scary. I got very comfortable operating in my own paradigm where everything felt safe and comfortable. I created a safe job, having children at just the right age, and making sure I was always responsible. I attracted canvases that came with instructions or had an outline of what I was to do.
Recently I have craved something different. Something has shifted in me and I am starting to crave the artistic expression which requires an empty canvas. I am desiring to operate without rules and boundaries. I am beginning to see the fun in coloring outside the lines. I can hear my father saying, “when the herd goes right….I go left.” In my adult life, am beginning to understand why my father never really told me what to do. He only offered up his own experiences as an example of what HE did and what was important to him. My dad taught me, some rules are not for me and it is okay to stand alone.
I think many of us are avoiding the blank canvas or the empty playbook because we do not want to be 100% responsible for our lives. When something does not work out we can point the finger at someone else’s system as to why it did not work. Instead of embracing the empty canvas and the uncomfortableness that comes with creating our lives new, we look for a template of another and try to figure out how we can fit. We are constantly searching for the cosmic template that says, who we are and what we do is acceptable. I have learned to sit with the uncomfortableness of that blank canvas and wait for inspiration to come….and it will come.
I have decided to continue the next leg of my life’s journey embracing the blank canvas. I am going to open to the inner artist and start creating from scratch. I have decided to mix my primary colors and create new colors for my life.
Here is a great mental exercise that can help you:
One of my favorite visualizations to do, is to imagine I am sitting in front of a blank canvas. Within my minds eye I can see the canvas. I then ask myself to create the most beautiful masterpiece. I never know what I am going to create and I do not attach myself to what it needs to look like. When my masterpiece is complete, I imagine jumping into my masterpiece and play.
I began using this visualization about 2 years ago. It was difficult at first, but I stayed with it and what a difference it has made in my life. It has helped me to embrace my own ideas of inspirations. Now when I see a blank canvas I get excited, I think of all the possibilities of what I can create.
May the next leg of your life’s journey BOLD, BEAUTIFUL and BODACIOUS!