I Don't Know
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
I don't know. As a recovering perfectionist (you know this about me;) it has been difficult for me to say this. I mean, that voice in my head always telling me I need to know everything before I learn anything, and do everything well without having practiced, has always been so loud! I'm not listening anymore. And saying "I don't know" is actually quite freeing. It's like a rebellion. I'm going to call it my rebellion of humility. This world could sure use some humility right now.
Beau Lotto, a neuroscientist and author of "Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently", said it well, I think:
"You can never expand from a position of knowing. Knowing is status quo, and static. Fear demands knowing and fear holds us back. You can only expand, learn grow, move forward, create from a position of "not knowing". Celebrate I DON’T KNOW. From "not knowing" come the beautiful questions, and to ask them you have to have the humility to accept that you don’t know."
I've learned from Beau Lotto that we can only see differently and begin to actively create our perceptions if we intentionally step into the unknown and embrace uncertainty. We have to be willing to accept that we don’t know...that there are other possibilities out there that we may not be aware of and be open to them.
This, like anything, I suppose, takes practice. It takes intention and active effort. Maybe that's why it feels like a rebellion to me. One of the places that I can practice my rebellion is to work in my art journal.
I use my art journaling practice to learn and grow as an artist. But I also think of it as a microcosm of my life. I can take the humble mindset and the joy that I have while art journaling away with me and into my daily life. I am intentionally not trying to make a certain result. I'm treating it like an experiment or a game. I'm engaged in play. I'm willing to make mistakes and make a mess.
When I’m creating in my art journal and really in flow - trusting my intuition and being open to whatever happens, being curious and not having expectations...the pages will kind of just “happen”. If I get out of my own way like this, I enjoy the process and I’m in the moment. And when I’m finished, the results are a direct product of the experience of being in this state of flow. While I’m creating I might do something, make a certain mark, use a certain color, put two things next to each other, completely without intention or planning...just trusting the process. Often I can’t even replicate what I did later on. But while it’s happening I get that giddy feeling and excitement around it that comes from the fact that I can’t explain it...it just happened. To me that's magic...that's awe and wonder. And what is even more awe-inspiring to me, what is miraculous about this, is that this practice of experiencing this in my art journal translates into my experience of the world. I am more willing to embrace uncertainty because I have experienced the wonderful benefits of doing so in my art journal practice.
Chris and I talk about Awe & Wonder in the latest episode of My Girlfriend the Artist, which is available to watch on both our YouTube channels right now. Click play below to watch my video, and, in the description box on YouTube, you'll find a link to Chris's video. I hope you'll join our conversation!
Thank you so for reading this, watching our videos, and just being here with me. I appreciate it so much!