One of the first things that helped me with this realization was when Brandon (the workshop leader) showed me how different my piece looked from a distance, compared to how it looked in my lap. As I had been working on it, I really didn't like how it was turning out. Brandon emphasized that it was critical to hang your work up on the wall and stand back to get perspective. "When your work is 10 cm from your nose," he said, "You are blind to it."
Now I ask myself: how many times have I had an inter-personal struggle (at work, at home, with my child, with myself) that was basically solved when I stepped back to see another side of the story? How many times have I been overwhelmed by a difficult moment in my day, only to realize that it is only one piece of a complex puzzle which is composed of both joyous and hard pieces?
Brandon pointed out that at a distance, you can see what is working and what isn't. And one of the rules of the workshop was "No undoing what is already done." If something wasn't working, we were encouraged to change our method, change our color pallette, change what needed to be changed and move on. After the change was made and worked up for a while, then we were to step back again and compare our change to what came before; to examine improvements, and also see what could be changed yet again.
With every step of the workshop, the life analogies became more and more obvious; so much so that sometimes I'd let out a little giggle. "What's so funny, Blossom?" Brandon would ask. "Oh nothing, just enjoying myself," I'd reply. I mean, in life there's no backspace; there's no "delete" button. You have to either ignore your mistakes and keep on making them over and over again, or you recognize them and say, "let's not do that again if we can help it, okay?" The value of the "No undoing your work" policy in the workshop was that your "mistakes" served as a lesson that you could witness. You got to make an improvement, with your mistake being your guide. In this way, I realized that mistakes are actually my friend! WOW!
At one moment in the class, I was struggling with choosing another color and went to Brandon for help. I asked what additional color he thought my pallette needed, and he said, "well, let's go to our materials and find out." I was struck by this because, 1) He didn't have the answer in his head, and 2) his method was exactly what mine would have been, had I not had someone there to ask: he went to our yarns, laid my work down amongst them, and just picked through different colors to see what he thought would look good. In this way, I realized that I am trustworthy. I actually do know what to do. I have my own perspective, which is unique and interesting and worth expressing. Both in life and in art. I ask myself, "Will I like this flavor of candy?" and the answer is that I will just have to Suck it and See! Maybe it will be bitter, maybe it will be just right; I'll never know until I try.