I moonlight as a painting instructor. I feel lucky-in-love with the job. Classes spent with folks who have never painted before are something special. It's truly amazing to watch someone stepping out of their comfort zone and enjoying themselves. Now, that's saying a lot because it takes a while for most newcomers to actually let all those fears they come in with go... But when they do finally “let go” (let go of their nerves, their doubts, etc.), and a careless acceptance of sorts takes over, a sense of brave playfulness appears.
When someone finally recognizes that they can do something that they previously believed would be too difficult, there is power. I’ve found that the best part of the process is not the recreation of a lovely piece of art that will hang in your home… It's about recognizing the process itself. Being able to point out and remember when you learned how to do something different. Pinpointing that moment in class where you thought you had messed up, but it turned into something beautiful of your own doing.
I've heard folks in class comment after being frustrated that they are just gonna let the paintbrush take over. I've wanted to jump up and hug them (or at least trade a high-five) because THAT’S IT! That’s the point… I look at that as a win because at that moment, they haven't given up… They’ve just dropped all expectations and decided to take a ride. While that feeling may have indeed come out of frustration, it always ends up in surprise. How playful is that? How important and simple it is to surprise yourself every once in a while.