Lessons for Living from Art School – Letting Your Creations Die

by | Jun 13, 2017 | Creativity

I went to art school way back in the 1980’s when I was pregnant with my second child. One of the classes I took was “Weaving.” My professor was renowned for her huge colourful weavings that hung in downtown banks and professional buildings. Her woven pieces were exquisite, breath-taking and one of a kind. Most disturbing, once the contract with the building was over, she destroyed her creations by burning them!

She casually mentioned this one night while we were fiddling studiously with the warp and the wefts of our precious designs. Consequently, you could hear the gasps of unbelief ripple through the studio, from all of us apprentices.

That was the first time I had ever been introduced to the concept of destroying or letting something die on purpose that was precious to me.

After my first gasp, I realized what freedom this could open up, not only with my art, but also in my life!  

What that created with my weavings at the time, was oddly enough, MORE LIFE! Less tightness. More letting go. More natural beauty. More fun for me!

Realizing the IMPERMANENCE of my art (my life, my body) changed everything.

It freed me up to be willing to let it go. And to let other things and people move out of my life.

And that’s the dance . . . that’s the art of living . . . knowing when something needs to die, and in that dying, opening to a new space of possibilities.

To make it more tangible, here’s a more current example from my life.  Two years ago, my partner Sabine and I were desiring to be outdoors more often and get more active. We were wondering how best to “get away” in nature by renting a cabin somewhere. Do you see how a desire or idea like this is also a creation? We scrounged the internet and left dissatisfied with the pet friendly options available. We dropped the idea/creation because of this.

Flash forward to a few weeks later when we inquired about getting a trailer. Renting one or buying one, then we could take our dogs with us, we reasoned. We test drove, did lots of research and still nothing “popped.” So we put our dreams on hold again.

Finally, one Saturday, when we were going back and forth over buying or renting or going to a cabin, I just said, FUCK IT! Let’s DROP the whole trailer/cabin thing and let’s BE the energy of what we’re asking for! Let’s go have a grand old time at the beach! It was a clear, decisive letting go of how this idea would show up. And we both knew how to be the energy of joy, play, nature and exploration. We weren’t going to let the fact that we couldn’t find a decent cabin stop us!

So we piled in the car with our 2 dogs, a picnic and our bathing suits and headed out… into a HUGE dark sky brewing a bad assed thunderstorm.

CRAP!  O.k.so the ask of the day is to go into nature, sun and fun! So we literally turned the car around and drove toward the sunny sky in the opposite direction!!! Not having a clue that we’d be driving right by the  RV store, going in and 5 hours later coming out the happy new owners of a 25 foot Airstream trailer!

THAT, my friends, is being willing to let your art, your creations DIE. We totally let go of HOW we thought our creation SHOULD show up. We totally let go of that ENTIRE idea that we had to find a cabin in order to choose happiness and fun with playing in nature!

Then IT showed up how IT wanted to show up. Totally different that what we ever could have imagined!

What creation are you holding onto that if you let it die, would set you free and set the creation free to be what it desires to be?
Let us know in the comments below.