When I was a young girl I was very good at math. I lived in a place where girls were never good at math. That meant I did not do math. When I went to university I took calculus and all kinds of math classes without causing any trouble on the home front.
But that didn't end the problem I had of believing the teachings of adults around me that since I was good at math (secretly); I was no good at creating any form of art. Because a law of my social environment was as follows.
A person could be good at math.
A person could be good at art.
But no one could be good at both activities. Math cancelled out art or the other way around.
To make up for the no-arithmetic activities as a kid; I was given lots and lots of paint-by-number paintings to paint. Paint-by-number is a type of art but not exactly creative; although I remember enjoying making the paintings very much. They were relaxing and satisfying. What more can a person want from a hobby; I was happy.
As an adult I kept thinking about creativity. I wanted to write stories and finally I allowed myself to start writing little by little. My therapist was very supportive and important to me in this process. When I say I wrote little by little I'm very serious. I started writing five to seven words a day on scraps of paper until finally my "intention" reached its goal and I allowed myself to write pages and pages at a time.
So that should have been a sure sign that I was indeed creative and could just let that idea of "not having any hope of making art" . . . well, I could just let that go. But still I wasn't able to let go of a belief so deeply embedded.
What allowed met to let go of the "I am not creative" belief was taking Creativity Workshop with Shelley Berc and Alejandros Fogel. I started out nervous and worried. After all, surely this class would prove once and for all if the belief was true or false. Did I really want to know the answer?
The excercises in the workshop had me feeling comfortable right away and I found I couldn't stop smiling. I was so happy to be the owner of a real artist's pad of paper and a real set of drawing pencils. I found I loved to draw and I could be very creative with a pencil and piece of paper: whether writing a story or drawing a feeling.
Whew! The time period was forty years rather than forty days but I have been rewarded for finally "letting go" of a useless belief. I now accept the fact that I have lots and lots of opportunities for new creative projects. All I need is lots and lots of ideas; new ideas have never been a problem for me.
"WHEN I LET GO OF WHAT I AM, I BECOME WHAT I MIGHT BE." 傍he Tao Te Ching