The Art of Letting Go

The most common question people ask when I tell them I’m an artist is, “How do you know when it’s done?”

To which I reply, “When I step back and look at the canvas from different angles and immediately get the impression that it’s good enough. It’s done. I choose to accept and be satisfied with the painting – exactly as it is.” The immediate benefit from making that powerful decision is that it brings an involuntary smile to my face. I empower myself to feel that emotion of pure joy in the moment. I am in #gratitude for having the innate ability to create with ease.

Once that decision is made, I tidy up the mess on the studio table, clean the brushes, and walk away from the painting.  As I pass by the painting over the next 24 hours, I get glimpses of what this or that might look like if I changed this or that… And then, I sleep on it before making any changes to the painting. I resist the urge to make it perfect because there will always be something that can be improved, thereby postponing potential criticism when the piece is finished.

In all of life, in all our relationships, in all the decisions we make – we are artists (even those who claim they can’t draw a stick figure).  When we are creating something, our decisions and actions directly impact the results we achieve. How do we decide when to stop and be finished or when to keep working on it? Whatever “it” is.

For the purposes of this conversation, “It” may be most relatable to work or the relationship you have with your partner or spouse.  

Rachel Monet

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