Can your life’s art change the world?

White Water Rafting
White Water Rafting (Photo credit: Ian Hampton)

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art. ~Neil Gaiman

I remember a time in my life where i was so regimented, so focused on never making a mistake, living in fear of the red pen that pointed every grammatical error, or miscalculation of a math problem.  I remember being apprehensive, almost to the point of anxiety when it came to approaching mistakes.  And rules were meant to be strictly adhered to.

While I have not hopelessly abandoned my hope to be mistake free or break rules, I have found some freedom to take a deep breath, and accept that mistakes may really be happy accidents, blessings in disguise.

I love quotes that offer something to hang onto.  This one is such a good reminder that life can have times of challenge, of mistakes, but unlike my childhood view of mistakes as a negative, critical, unwanted companion…. this quote invites mistakes as a part of the grand adventure of life.  Being willing to be flexible, to “roll with the punches” and when the mistakes occur to embrace them as opportunity to discover something new.  I like that idea.

So this is the question-  How do you go from a state of mind that is rigid, and unwelcoming of mistakes to a mindset that embraces mistakes?   In my life it was just life that changed my mindset.  Several years ago I went from career woman climbing the ladder, doing what needed to be done to be better prepared for the task, to unemployed and with no real purpose in the work world.  That may have been a mistake, but honestly it was a happy mistake, a glorious mistake, a fantastic surprise that changed how life is viewed.  A mistake like unemployement was the fuel to propel our business into motion.  It is a happy blessing to use creativity and offer the world a better bar of soap, or a more unique silk scarf.  We have also discovered a world of amazing and talented artists doing the same thing… potters, photographers, muralists, upcyclists… each trying to offer their gift of art to a world that otherwise might be mundane.

So can my life and my art change the world?  Yes, in small and amazing ways.  If I can encourage you at something today, let go of the rigidity of life, and ease on into the grand adventure.  I think of my life as having stood on the banks of a raging river, happy to be a spectator.  Then one day someone pushed me in.  Now i am being taken on a grand adventure down a turbulent current to a destination I know not.  It is not the destination that matters, but the journey there.  So make mistakes, bend a rule o r two, and celebrate life with all you have.