Let me say it again for those in the back. Life is like a painting.
We all start with a blank canvas and little by little we add to our canvas.
Are you choosing to add all one color? Are you staying just in one area of your canvas? Are you playing it safe? Think of the relationships in your life... Is everyone around you the same? Does everyone in your tribe think, act, dress, and look alike?
Are you ever reaching outside of your comfort zone and choosing a paint tone that may shake things up a little?
This can also work the other way. Did you know if you mix too many colors at once, you will get muddy tones? Are you adding so much to your canvas of life that you aren't able to enjoy anything. Are you doing too much? Have you left any white space to make the other aspects of your life pop? Think of the relationships in your life... Do you have people in your life that are so dark and life sucking that they are dulling your colors?
My friends also tease me because I don't play. Some people I find so life sucking I just don't interact with them. It isn't that I want to be mean. It is just they aren't for me and I have enough self respect for myself and my happiness that I won't put up with it. (Also I don't have a poker face and can't train my WTF face.) I also don't like uncomfortable clothes, shoes, situations. Life is short, friends. And I want to be as happy as I can when I am here.
Or are you choosing a chaos of different tones? Is your canvas vibrant, full, with some white space balanced to allow room for your eye to enjoy it all? Is your painting subject all on the canvas or does it move off canvas to allow breathing room and room for imagination?
Some things I have noticed in my travels and people watching, in my businesses and interacting with so many different types of people over the years, and also learned about myself in therapy. We often add so much to our lives we are miserable instead of living this one life we have to live as we are, who we are, why we are.
So the next time you are unhappy, overwhelmed, miserable think about the root cause. Is it something you can change, is it someone you can edge out of your life, is there a way to approach the situation with a better attitude? Do you need to gesso over a section and start over?
I learned in therapy most of my unhappiness stems from my high expectations. The ones I put on myself and on those around me, so whenever something or someone didn't live up to what I had dreamed, expected, wanted I become sad, depressed, disappointed. I battle with this everyday. I can tell you that once I learned that about myself it was the biggest ah ha moment in my life. Am I still hard on myself? Yep. Do I still get disappointed by those around me when I don't feel like they are giving all of themselves? Yep. But knowing this about myself has helped me with resetting my expectations, live a bit more in the "it is what it is" mindset. And also move on when when something truly makes me unhappy.
What it also makes me aware of is the energy I see sucked out of people who are so busy doing all the things, they aren't enjoying any of the things. Take some time each day to turn off the noise. That may mean waking up earlier (ew) or staying up later (this is me). I read at night when everyone else is in bed to quiet it all out. I paint to quiet it all out.
Are you involved in too many activities? Are your kids? Are you allowing time to be or are you afraid of what you might find out about yourself if you quiet down? Are the things you are involved in filling your cup or are they draining you down.
Do I have it figured all out? Nope. I keep wanting to add businesses, or move to a new town, or change my hair to deal with things when they get stagnant. I recognize it. I am a ennegram seven. I like new shiny things, I like the process of thinking of new things and having new experiences. I have learned I physically need to travel to keep that fresh and new aspect in my life because exploring new things is what lights me up and fills my cup. I also have learned it often a healthier coping mechanism when I get bored.
So take stock of your life canvas. What do you need to add? What do you need to take away? Are the people you are surrounding yourself with helping or hindering your progress? Get in there, get messy, and live life to the fullest on your terms.