Blank Canvas

by Lee Williams

When I was a kid, I thought only white people had money. That was all that was around me. There were no wealthy black people in the town I grew up. I knew about Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan, but to me, they were special cases. In my environment all I saw around me were black people with less opportunity and less resources.

My environment told me that I couldn’t do anything. I was judged. I was labeled. But, this oppressive mindset pushed me to do better, to break records and build a career in corporate America. I took action and did things not expected of me.

Only recently did I realize that I am different. I asked myself if my truth is in what I learned through my environment growing up. Is my truth what has been told to me in TV, in school, essentially, in everything I know? I realized it isn’t and that’s when I began to focus on myself.

And I changed my mindset.

Blank Canvas

The single most important moment in our life is the day that we are born. Think of our life as painting a portrait, our canvas is blank at birth and we are born holding the paint brush to our life’s portrait. We are born pure; our canvas is blank.

We instantly have things added to our canvas. We are born into a certain environment and family. We are handed to our mother immediately, and we take on her energy. That first interaction shapes our life without us realizing it.

What’s on my canvas?

As we begin our life’s journey, we take on our family’s culture and ways of thinking. The community and neighborhood around us influence our thoughts. Our canvas gets filled with fear, joy, opportunities, strengths, physical traits and weaknesses. Our social, economic and religious differences begin to put us into boxes, separating us from others. This is all added to our canvas. It could mean an energy filled with joy, kindness and good experiences. Or it could have worry and greed at its core.PositiveOne The brand of Love & Equality

At some point, we have to realize that the energy that is directing our life may not be our own. This is a waking-up moment, and it is the first step toward knowing ourselves. The blank canvas we are born with has been covered with other people’s experiences and energies, some of it can be the wrongmindedness that has been passed down for generations.

When we see our canvas as truly our own, we begin to question: Is this what I want on my canvas? Is my canvas filled with things that others have put there? Do I even believe in what is on my canvas? Does any of this fit or make sense for me?

Unfortunately, we don’t always reach the point that we question what is on our canvas. We accept the things that have been placed there. We operate within those parameters, perhaps never knowing our true self and accomplishing greatness.

When we begin to fill our canvas with the things we want on it, we connect with ourselves, which allows us to connect with others. Our purpose in life becomes apparent when we discover our truth.

What does understanding my canvas do for me?

Understanding our canvas leads to self-awareness. We have to go back to the beginning to see how limitations were placed on ourselves. We have to find out why we were told that ‘we can’t’. We have to think about where it all started. How have our beginnings shaped who we are today? What are the first things that were put on our canvas from our parents?

Things like being born into a wealthy or poor family, small or large family, angry or loving family, outgoing or isolated family affect the person we are today. It is a freeing feeling to understand what’s on our canvas because once we understand what is on our canvas, we can accept who we are. It could change the direction of our life. It’s up to us to decide.

Action Steps

  1. Review PositiveOne’s Principle - Accept my truth: Be myself and be bold in my personality. Do not attempt to conform to someone else’s expectations of who I should be. Live my life according to my vision.
  2. Spend time in thought. Quiet your mind by “putting away” all of the stuff like kids, spouse, job and priorities. Find a moment to create a space and time to connect with yourself.

 

 

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