It wasn't until a few days after the #rtcadventure trip ended that I had a tiny ah-ha moment about an exercise we had done.
On day two of the trip we had the honor of doing a "group painting" with an unbelievable talented and acclaimed impressionist artist, Steve Nootenboom (seriously look up his work, it's stunning). Anyway, Steve helped us sketch out an area of the desert we wanted to paint but it was up to us to make the painting come to life.
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When it came time to make the first brush strokes, the three of us looked at our subject, a Joshua Tree and some boulders, and immediately grabbed for the paints that seemed to match what we saw - neutral browns, some orangey tones and a dull yellowish brown for some of the brush.
Steve stopped us politely and said, "You know what I see? I see vibrant red rocks, purple and yellow flowers and the foot of the tree, vibrant green winding throughout the rocks and cool lavender casting shadows across the boulders." It hadn't even occurred to me that we could make the landscape as bright and vibrant as we wanted - we were the artists after all - and we just had to use our imaginations.
The more I thought about it, the more this reminded me of life. So often we limit ourselves by what we see in front of us. Oftentimes that landscape can appear dull or uninspired. But we forget that WE hold the paintbrush. WE choose how bright the palette will be.
The vibrance of our life's canvas is only limited by our imagination. That's what I learned from Steve in the desert that day, and it's a lesson I'll never forget.
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