A year ago, I enrolled in an art class. With the exception of participating in Heidi Darr-Hope’s (http://www.darr-hope.com/Home.htm) creative retreat in Mallorca, Spain, in 2009, I have not had a paint brush in my hand since 8th grade, (St. Mary’s School, Richmond, Indiana). And, I still haven’t held a paintbrush yet, but I have been doing a lot with pencils. I am loving the class – learning to draw and shade, learning to see the world differently, and watching 2 dimensional pieces of paper come alive into 3 dimensions. Yee-Haw!
One of my favorite new items (which just could appear in Christmas stockings) is erasers. An eraser came standard issue in the art class on the 1st day (I now have 3, well, okay, 6). It’s daunting to look at a blank sheet of paper, put a pencil on it, begin to make a mark, and wonder if it will be okay. And even though it was just the first day, I couldn’t really sit and stare at the paper for a whole 3 hours – claiming that I was waiting for inspiration. The eraser got me going.
More importantly, the eraser kept me going and increased my confidence and momentum. I soon learned that there was no pencil mark too great, that I couldn’t fix with an eraser. It took me awhile to get the hang of it though – I had been well-schooled (in school and in life) that mistakes were bad and clean, clear, concise work products were good. Now, I jump in – pencil in hand, art exercise in view – and start. If I do something that doesn’t turn out like I thought or if I totally missed the idea of the exercise, I just say “Oops” and get out the eraser.
Imagine how cool it would be to have erasers for other parts of our lives. They would not necessarily work in all situations – but think about it. We all are human, we learn by doing, we live hectic lives and multi-tasking moments are plentiful. There are the times when we say or do something that is not what we meant; when things don’t turn out like we thought; or when stuff just happens. Rather creating a big commotion – what if we just say “Oops” and pull out the eraser. How much fun would that be!! Even before we began a conversation, we would be more relaxed about it – knowing that all would be fine with our erasers. We might still do things that are bigger than an eraser could fix, but the small stuff would flow more easily – and with smiles.
Erasers have helped me with other things besides learning to draw. Take this blog, for example. I don’t have an eraser, but I do have a “delete” key – it’s much easier to use. Now, when I’m working on projects, coaching or teaching, I always ask everyone if they have their erasers handy. I’m just saying – erasers and smiles are wonderful.
Thanks for reading and playing!