Give Up the Known to Experiment in the Unknown


We had our monthly Art Play Date today, and one of the artists worked with cold wax. The technique mixes oil paints with pliable wax, which is then spread or painted or applied to canvas or wood to create layers and levels of color. Here you see her laying out her supplies before she gets started.

I am always fascinated by what people create. Whether it is in words, paint, wood, ink, collage, repurposed or any other creative medium; people will always astound you with what they can imagine if you simply give them the space to innovate. Being able to imagine means not being afraid of failure, doing it wrong, or learning. Everyone started somewhere and had to learn something new in order to get to where they are now in their skills. It means giving up the known to experiment in the unknown.

Allowing people to do what they want to do means giving up what we think they should do. ‘Should’ can be a very controlling and dangerous word. When it leaves our lips it means we know what the other person ‘should’ do. And why is that, do we know better than them? Are we the all knowing, all seeing wizard who has all the solutions? Does our wisdom apply here and we want to spare them the lesson? Or do we want them to know what we know or that we know more than them? Or are we implying they should do it our way? Any of these means we want to control or save them time an energy, yet that time and energy may be the very thing they need to expend in order to learn and move forward. We may have the answer but it doesn’t mean we need to provide it unless the person asks.

If we all followed the advice and ‘should’ of others we may never veer off our current path. We might never innovate or experiment or try new things. We may not ever learn the painful lessons of life, you know the ones we never forget. It is great to learn from others, and yes the experience of others can help us avoid mistakes and wasted time. Unfortunately when we put the word ‘should’ somewhere in our sentences we are robbing the other person of their free will to choose and learn on their own. My Dad often says free advice is worth what you pay for it.

Have the courage today to line up your tools, innovate, and kick the ‘should’s to the curb. Develop your own techniques, your own ideas, and leave the ‘should’ers of the world behind, looking at you to wonder what just happened. Experiment in the unknown and live it up, the world is waiting to see what only you can create.

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