You Can’t Get It Wrong
It’s like this every January…all the holiday baubles and folderol are packed in boxes for another eleven months or so. All the “just one more cookie” rationalizations are behind us. The mistakes, foibles and missteps of Last Year are in the dumpster with Last Year’s calendar.
The New Year is staring at you like a bright-eyed puppy — eager, waiting to play, and not caring what happened before Right This Minute. But you don’t believe that you can’t get it wrong — so…
Most of us clutter up that fresh new beginning energy with a bunch of unpleasant resolutions, expectations and goals you plan to meet because you SHOULD, not because you WANT TO.
It’s not just Januaries that are subject to this, either. It’s starting a new job. It’s Labor Day Monday when you know you’re done with summer vacation and now you have to start school (a definite Day of Destiny for kids and parents alike). It’s deciding that you are going to lose that weight, finish the house renovations, whatever.
God forbid we should face the future without A Big Bag of Rules, no?
The answer really is no: THAT is not going to get you where you want to go.
When you were a little kid, did you ever have the joy of a great big piece of paper with no lines to tell you where to color? I did.
My father, a physician, had a long examining table in his office for his patients, and it was always covered with fresh paper from a roll attached underneath. On rainy days, a huge six-foot piece of pristine examining room paper would get torn off and taped to the floor in the kitchen, just for me.
I’d grab my box of 64 crayons, and the day zipped by, as I drew and colored and imagined and wrote stories and gave characters outrageous costumes and huge dialogue balloons. I invented worlds that were six feet long, and my imagination got a happy and very thorough workout.
When I saw other kids filling in coloring book pages, I couldn’t understand why anyone would bother. After all, who cares what someone else drew? It was what came out of MY mind that was the fun part. My little kid soul wanted to tell them “Color outside the lines! You can’t get it wrong!”
Today is that big blank yummy paper. And all those shoulds and have-tos and musts that you keep filling your head with as resolutions are like the coloring book with the little bitty lines that someone else drew, and you just filled in.
So here’s your exercise for this particular section of your life: GET that piece of paper. Or two or three. Or go to the store in the art section and by a big piece of poster board.
Get down on the floor and draw.
This is not a “vision board” — they are static, and again have these big goals. Playing on your big sheet of paper will encourage you to draw, and write, and sketch ideas that come tumbling out in this Present Moment.
It is not cutting out little pieces of paper and pictures. It is allowing you to let that creativity flow from mind to heart to arm to pen (or paint or crayons), so that you see what you can do when your really let yourself go.
Does that scare you a little? I hear that when I teach. “But I can’t do this…I don’t know what to do.” The idea that there are no lines telling you where to put your color, no one else’s idea of what should be on the paper can be paralyzing if you’ve never done it — or done it and been told what you had done was not good enough.
I’m telling you right now YOU CAN’T GET IT WRONG. Because the only rule is that you have fun. What is on the paper does not matter as much as your allowing yourself to fill the paper.
You may find things you want to keep for the year.
You may find the germ of an idea that warrants exploring.
Or you just may laugh at the nonsense you’ve rolled out and leave it at that. Which is perfectly fine, because fun was the object, and you had fun. See? Perfection!
So go find that paper. Set aside time when you won’t be interrupted with tasks, or requests, or insistence to put your attention on anything else. Bring your pens and crayons and paints and create — without hesitation. Don’t go back and perfect. Don’t measure it against anyone or anything else. Remember one instruction: You can’t get it wrong.
Let yourself be completely fluid, completely without expectations, and get to know that wriggly puppy in your mind and heart called Joyous Freedom that has been BEGGING to come out and play!