The unapologetic, raw, unedited interpretation of living life. Each of us is the artist of our own life, constantly remolding, reworking, and roughing out the details and applying what we've learned to the changing canvas. There are no do-overs, no take backs...just rough cuts that release what lies inside us.

I saw the angel in stone and I carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blank Canvas: Where Potential and Intimidation Collide

The most intimidating thing in the world is a blank piece of paper.  Once I begin the process of putting marks on the stark white background, things begin to happen, but the time lapse before that major milestone occurs is painful and seems to last an eternity.  It isn't because I don't have any ideas - no shortage there- it is not knowing where to start.  What idea needs to come first?  All of that whiteness just staring at me, taunting my innermost thoughts, discouraging any ounce of confidence there was lurking at the end of my pen.  I freeze and my ideas shrink back into the dark depths that are the epicenter of my creativity.

What holds us back from starting?  Well, all that whiteness!  Who would want to clutter up perfection with a mistake or worse, with something no one wants to see?

How many times in your life have you not started because you just didn't know how or are too afraid of messing up and there you would be exposed on paper, the whiteness tarnished by imperfection! The first instinct is to ball it up and hide it away, with nothing to show for it but resentment and guilt.

Our often it is thought of as a hindrance, an obstacle, as though we first need to get over being a human so we can move on to do bigger and better things with our lives.   We all start with a blank canvas, a white piece of paper upon which to write our life story, to build our masterpiece.  I know I put off making that first mark because I wanted it to be magnificent, something people would write songs about and teach in History classes.  While all that waiting took place, my marks were made for happened anyway.

It came down to taking a momentary step back in order for me to see the whole canvas, to envision the page not with randomly placed slashes and ink blots, rather where lines could be drawn and forms developed; words could be added and a plot could thicken with the richness of life.  The page had potential...but it took life to make those first few momentous marks, that force us to relinquish our control and open our eyes to possibility.

What stops you from taking that first step?  What is your blank canvas?

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