As we approach the end of the year instead of starting to think about those New Year resolutions, what if we approached a new year as if it were a blank canvas?
Imagining life as a blank canvas can feel incredibly liberating… “wow you can create ANYTHING you want!”… but also terrifying…“holy cow it’s blank, what should my painting look like?” Lately, I have been reminded to go back to my own blank canvas and encouraged to revisit what type of masterpiece I want to create, not just for this next year, but for my life.
Being able to revisit your blank canvas is incredibly powerful, and allows you to connect with your core and true self. It is also indeed a blessing to have the option to CHOOSE what you want to do with your life. In choosing WHAT you want, it can become so easy to get stuck in the HOW will I get what I want part. Focusing on the HOW, limits your creativity and the willingness to explore your wildest dreams. The ego and rational kicks in and asks the artist in you to step aside. Some of the most rewarding times in my life have been when I went for WHAT I wanted without knowing how I would get it. It was about setting an intention, holding myself accountable, and developing a plan to then get me there.
As I stare at my blank canvas now with paint brush in hand, here are some things I will consider while creating my masterpiece.
Call on my 5 year old artistic self
Being 5 and creating “art” was fun! Remember how many cool drawings we brought home as a kid and how PROUD we were of our little creations! Our wildest dreams could come to life with a white sheet of paper and a few crayons. ☺ We were not so concerned with coloring outside of the lines at all! As an adult, we can get so bogged down with the “should do this or that”. I hope to call on the inner child in me for creativity, fearlessness, innocence, and willingness to go outside the boundaries.
Have a vision for my canvas, but get started
It of course is important to really think about what you want your canvas to ultimately look like and feel like in the end, but you can’t get stuck planning that out. Let your mind and heart soar as you call on that vision that moves you and inspires you to paint. Then do your best to get starting on it, one stroke at a time.
Get rid of my fear of “messing up” the canvas
Making that first stroke on a perfectly white board can be intimidating, but it will be the culmination of many perfect and imperfect strokes that will lead to a beautiful creation in the end. I may not realize how beautiful it is when working on it, it may require me to step away to realize those not so perfect strokes actually made my painting even better or helped me correct the look and feel I was going for. The same goes for taking that first step towards your goals in life. It can be the hardest part, but funny enough, once the first step is taken the rest don’t seem as daunting. The reality is you may need to retrace your steps at times to get to your final destination, but it’s ok. The path to your vision will likely not be linear.
I can always go back to the canvas
One day your canvas may be hanging up on the wall and you might think “hmmm, I knew I would have liked to add a splash of purple!” So guess what you do, pull the canvas off the wall and tweak it to match to what your heart is asking for. We tend to make things or decisions in our life so finite, but they do not have to be. Change can be good and sometimes works of art need to be reworked. That is perfectly acceptable.
One day I may want a new canvas
Alas the day may come where your heart and mind have dreamed up a new masterpiece, and so it is time to pull out a brand new blank canvas and start again. There is no shame in the old canvas, it just has served its purpose and it is time to allow for a new innovation and creativity to kick in once again.
I have been trying to think how many “works of art” I have created thus far in life. Some I am definitely more proud of than others and some I would rather maybe not look at again, but they all helped me become a better artist and designer of my own destiny. They were practice.
Life is a gift, freewill is a gift, and we owe it to ourselves to make the best of these gifts and pursue a life that inspires us, gives us purpose, and allows us to live up to our full potential. In the end we should be creating our own works of art, and art that we can appreciate. Like so many artist, some works of art took time to be appreciated and acknowledged, but have left behind a legacy.
Make art that honors who you are.
So as the year comes to a close, focus on a new beginning and your blank canvas, which you have every right to make as amazing as you would like!