Remember the feeling you got as a kid when you opened a brand new box of Crayola Crayons?
I remember thinking I had the power of the universe in a box of 64 colors with a sharpener on the back. I'd sit down cross-legged (criss-cross-applesauce!) on my mom's linoleum floor with a big sheet of blank mill paper, and marvel at the possibilities. The sky was the limit. Actually, no it wasn't... because I could draw Saturn, Mars, and Venus, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars... and using my carefully sharpened Screamin' Green Crayola, I could create an army of martians that would wreak havoc on the one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eaters.
The magic inside that box was uncontainable. Once unleashed, anything was possible. There were no limits. There was never anyone telling me it couldn't be done. Once my amazing creations were complete, they were hung on the refrigerator for all to see. The world marveled at the magnificence of these art pieces. I would have a snack of milk and cookies, take a nap, and dream about my next masterpiece.
When did that magic fade? When did a box of crayons become the tools of trade for only children? When did I start hearing voices of doubt and when did I start believing the nay-sayers?
At times now I find my much older self sitting straight backed in an office chair, with the task of creating "masterpieces" for my business. I want to catch peoples attention, pique their interest, amaze them with my ability. I stare at a blank computer screen, and my mind goes as blank as the screen. Why is this so hard? And then I remember the blank mill paper and my beautiful 64 colors.... swirls of periwinkle, lemon yellow, thistle, and mulberry ..... if I close my eyes I can smell the wax, and I can feel the soft paper wrappers... And something deep inside me yearns to go back there.
My first thought was to unplug my lap top and sit criss-cross applesauce on my office floor, but realizing my body now protests that position, I settle for my aerobic ball instead and bounce for a while. A few questions popped into my head that require reflection:
What could you accomplish if you approached the world with child-like wonder and inhibition? What creative solutions would emerge if you unbridled your imagination?
Maybe its time to go back to basics. Perhaps I've forgotten some important elements of curiosity, imagination and creativity that I learned in Kindergarten. At age 39, I think I need to go back and repeat a year. A blank screen is a canvas of untethered possibilities... and so I write, and create, and let my imagination take me to a world of unicorns, rainbows, and magical creatures with amazing powers. And I have to admit, it was fun. Now I need a cookie and a nap.
Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now.... Paradise is Using Your Imagination....