Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dear Kindergarten Teacher, Tie Dye Circles are Possible!

I don't know if it was the experience I had in kindergarten where my teachers told me I couldn't create something that I knew I could, or if it's just that my mind is constantly thinking up new things, but I realized something today. When I look at something I like that I think I'd like to create, I am also thinking about how I can make it different, easier than the instructions and tweak it just enough so that it does not look like an exact copy of the original. I could post pictures of numerous examples but if you're one of my followers on Pinterest, just take a look at my "I Tried It" board. There you'll see what I mean.

Today, while listening to the very kind and helpful sales associate at the home improvemet store suggest the best way for me to accomplish the task I described to him, all I could hear was the Charlie Brown teacher, "Whah whah, whah whah whah..." Then while looking at the ingredients for a recipe I'm making tonight, I simply looked over what I needed to buy and how long to cook it. I won't look at it again, as I'm not going to follow the instructions anyway. That's just how I cook.

Then while looking over the idirections for today's project #2, I altered them just a bit to combine two projects into one. You see, I just can't seem to help myself! Whatever it is, whatever I'm doing, making, or creating, I just can't seem to leave well enough alone. It's not that I think my way is better (well, in some cases I do), or smarter or quicker... It's just that it's not me unless I alter it in some way.

Just a bit ago, I finished phase one of project #1 for today. When I stepped back to look at what I'd done, the thought that went through my head was, "Well, no one else would ever do it this way." Now why would I think that? Why couldn't I just say, "This is gonna be awesome," because it is!

Probably because at various times in my life, someone criticised the way I was doing something because it wasn't to their liking. They didn't like how I was making the recipe, or I wasn't following the steps per the instructions like they would've preferred, or I wasn't doing it the way they would have done it.

Here's what I've realized? What that has translated to, is me often correcting someone else in the way they are doing something differently from how I would do it. That and the fact that I hardly ever want to duplicate the idea of another in it's entirety, no matter how good it is. Their restrictions upon how I should express myself through the gifts and creativity that God has given me, has affected me in a negative way without me even being aware, until now.

When we limit and criticize another's efforts based on the basis of our experience, we limit the creativity of God in them. We are only bound in our imagination by how much we allow ourselves to dream. You see we can dream as much as we want. It's just that many of us don't see the point in doing so, or we have never pursued a dream and seen it come to pass.

Great chef's push the envelope and create new dishes, often starting with the base of another tried and true recipe. Amazing artist are so because their work is unlike any other. Yet they all have someone who has inspired them. Let's not despise another for having a dream or in my case, a vivid imagination, and then acting upon it. Let us instead be inspired by others to dream bigger and to push ourselves to excel in whatever we are called to do.

If you are one of those that is afraid to try new things for fear of failure, then let me encourage you. There are some rules in life that you just simply have to follow, but if you are afraid to try something because it looks to hard or you don't think your results will turn out like someone else's, then take my advice. Try it anyway! Allow the creative and adventurous nature of God which is inside of you, to be released. The world is waiting for you to become all you were created to be. Even the baby steps matter.

Oh, and just for the record, on that fateful day in kindergarten, I looked up during nap time only to see a group of teachers standing around holding up my tie dye shirt WITH circles. Never let anyone tell you it can't be done.