One day when I was in third grade in Louisville, Kentucky, our art teacher told us, “Okay everybody, here are your materials. You have 35 minutes. See what you can do.”
My friend Susie raised her hand and asked, “What are the guidelines? What are the rules? What are we supposed to do? I want to make an A on this.”
Kids are up front, right? They don’t hold back.
Our teacher told us, “Don’t worry about your grade. Worry about nothing and create something you think is going to be beautiful.”
Susie asked, “What’s that?”
She was really good at asking questions. I wasn’t, so I let her ask.
Our teacher told the class, “There are no guidelines, no rules, except you work with one piece of paper, all the colors you want, use the glue, your scissors, and make whatever you think is beautiful. It is your creativity. We are going to do art creativity.”
Susie was stuck. She looked around the room to see what the other kids were doing. The absence of rules and the lack of guidelines put her in a rough spot.
She was at a disadvantage and because she was a bright, competitive student, Susie knew it.
The Rules For Winning Aren’t Always In Plain Sight
Have you ever experienced this, looking for the rules on how to win?
Here’s what I think our elementary school art teacher was trying to help us understand.
Sometimes, when there aren’t any hard and fast rules, and when guidelines can’t be found, the answers are inside you.
You just need to be aware of them.
Looking back, I suspect that’s what our teacher wanted us to know, and this approach she took endeared her to us.
She was so wonderful, we loved her, and we all wrote notes about how much we appreciated her because of how she helped us create from the inside.
This all happened in art class and it was very fun, very refreshing, and a wonderful contrast to all the rules of grammar and arithmetic.
The Differences Between Life And Art
The differences may be very, very minor.
Now, what if art and life turn out to be very similar? What if victory comes from the same place, and what if success comes from the same place?
Looking back, I suspect this is what our art teacher wanted us to realize. It’s not exactly a concept that’s going to come easily to a kid in third grade, especially for people like Susie who flourished under guidelines.
The absence of restrictions is more tormenting for the Susies of the world than piling on all kinds of rules, regulations, and restrictions.
Something Liberating Happened To Me With This Art Project
Here’s what I remember.
I figured, hey, if there’s no guidelines, you can’t lose here. I can’t lose, so I’m just going to make something that I think is beautiful.
I remember that moment vividly, thinking I’m just going to have a great time, and so I’m cutting paper and putting colors together, squares here, circles there, and other wigglies…
I’m cutting out pieces of construction paper and pasting them together, having a great time and finally…
I put all these things on top of each other, different colors, a big outburst of free expression, right?
When the 35 minutes were up, we had to stop.
Our art teacher walked around and looked at everybody’s project.
She said, “Okay, this one is good, and that one is good,” and then she says, “Wow! Barry, what is that?”
I told her, “Well, you said we could do whatever we want.”
She said, “I know. Did you copy something from someplace?”
“No, “I replied. “It was just how I felt where the colors should go.”
She displayed my project in front of the class and said, “This is good enough to put on the wall, don’t you think?”
Everybody loved it, and I didn’t know why they loved it. I said, “Well, that’s just me, that’s just me.”
Our art teacher said, “Look how the colors go around and how it’s pleasant to look at, and the different shapes he made, and how it’s something that actually has balance.”
I can assure you that when I did that project, balance was not on my mind. Not at all. It just happened.
It was only years later that I understood the different types of balance, and how almost all of us think that life has to be constantly, accurately, and deliberately balanced.
In art, there is a whole other type of balance where you can have something like a piece from Kandinsky or Klee where the balance is up here.
It’s a hodgepodge, and it’s more like the real world, right?
The Intriguing Question My Art Teacher Asked
“So, where did you get those ideas?” she wondered. What a terrific question. I’m not sure what she expected me to say.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I was just feeling and thinking in my head about the colors, where they might go.”
Looking back, I was just following the vibrations of art and beauty. Needless to say, as a third grader, I didn’t have much of an understanding of what beauty was.
How do you know beauty at third grade? How do you know what beauty is and its definition?
You don’t, and I suppose that’s why our art teacher told us that for the assignment that day, there were no rules, and no grade.
Not Everything Can Be Contained Or Measured
Not everything in life can be contained.
There isn’t one single “right way” today that will be correct 10 days from now.
No wonder so many people feel left behind in our changing world. When there’s no connection with The Source Energy, and when your body’s sensors aren’t open, it’s pretty much guaranteed that yesterday’s solution will be used to try and solve today’s problem.
You are an artist inside.
You possess so many capabilities The Source Energy can help you unwrap and receive as wonderful gifts, talents you already have but are somehow hidden away.
Isn’t it time to enjoy these?
Not only are you an artist, but at all times you always have two choices…
- You can choose to expand and keep enjoying your life, getting younger and more powerful, which is what The Source Energy is all about.
- You can choose to be one of those people who become slowly, more and more affected by the fact that you’re only supposed to last a short time. As the years go by, you resign yourself to feeling worse and worse until finally, you crash.
This is your choice. Which of those two do you want to make?
You don’t have to be in third grade to see an exciting life ahead of you. You don’t need to play with paints and construction paper to create something wonderful.
All you need to do is choose to expand all the time.
Your Next Step
Think about this, and if you’d like to find out more about being connected to The Source Energy, here’s an easy way to get started.
See what it does for you!
It just might turn out to be as fun as a third-grade art class.