Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On painting

Learning to paint outside the lines.

Ezra is teaching me the best lessons. His arm and paintbrush have no regards for artificial lines. He paints all over the page; wherever his paintbrush lands, he's happy with the results. He also likes to mix the paints together with no concern for keeping the colors separate. As I painted with him on Sunday, I had to restrain myself from telling him to stop mixing the colors together. I told myself let him decide what he wants to do with his paint. I watched him just enjoy having the brush in his hand and making strokes anywhere on the page.

Ezra is also very philosophical with his play-doh. He smooshes the play-doh together to create his own colors. My natural inclination is to keep the colors separate so they can maintain their color integrity. Ezra's natural inclination is to follow his instincts and put colors together without caring about color integrity. He enjoys the feel of the play-doh in his still dimply little hands and if he needs to smoosh the blue and yellow together to make a sandwich, he isn't going to over-think it, or think about it all. He is simply going to act in order to create what he wants to see.

I sit and learn from my 3 year old.

If I watch him daily and carefully enough, I will know how to direct his creative energies as he gets older. If I'm cognizant of what he tells me, I will be able to tell him to "listen to your heart, you already have the answer and purposefully act in order to create what you want to see."

If I'm smart enough, I will apply his 3 year old sagacity to my 34 year old life.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On not taking it personally

The second of the four agreements is "do not take anything personally." Miguel Ruiz writes, "Nothing other people do is because of you. Nothing they think about you is really about you; it is about them."

I learned this lesson a couple of years into my teaching career. I stopped taking name-calling and rude behavior personally and for the most part that type of behavior ceased. I projected a less vulnerable, less affected vibe, I also asked for older students, and I didn't receive half of the crap I received my first two years teaching. I sent out radio waves of "I could care less what you think of me and I'm not taking your sh&^ personally.' I would be lying if I said this philosophy is always employed by me at school. I would be lying if I said I never take anything personally. But, I try often and succeed often.

However, I'm just now applying this philosophy to my personal relationships. I think it's harder to not take behavior and words personally when you're in a personal relationship with someone. It's hard not to take someone not speaking to you, personally. I let that kind of personal affront shackle me to discomfort and negativity. Upon rereading (first time around Eckart Tolle was my enlighten-er) this idea that I should not take others' actions and thoughts personally, I realized I will become free when I stop being concerned about this person's willfulness and rudeness and I will become free when I do this with everyone in or out of my life. Peoples' actions and words are about them. Whatever story they write and tell is about their ego (Tolle) or their fear of what might happen if they have to remove the social mask and society realizes the person is no longer perfect.

I have to let go of associating everything with me, personally, so that I can live liberally.