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What's Your John Lennon Story ?

Last night I was talking with some friends and I shared this quote in the context of our conversation. It got me thinking about a few things…. How our early influences (like teachers) can shape our beliefs, our perceptions of right/wrong and our perceived limitations.

My friend was discussing that in 3rd grade he was given an assignment - to color triangles in specific colors. Instead of choosing one color he layered different shades of the assigned color into each triangle. I thought that was pretty creative for a 3rd grader. Apparently the teacher did not. She gave him an F.

Times have changed and I think that nowadays, most teachers today are a little more encouraging.

However, I think that most of us have a “John Lennon” story - meaning a childhood moment when we did something creative & outside the box and someone said, “That’s Wrong.”

As kids we don’t know the “rules.” There is such a beauty in our innocence and raw imagination. It can affect us deeply when someone says, “You can’t do that….”

When we hear “No” too many times as a kid, it shuts us down. Or even one formative incident can freeze a sensitive mind. All too often that moment sticks with us and separates us from our creativity as we grow older. We start to fear "outside the box" thinking because we are haunted by the echoes of the “No, You Can’t do that”

When we carry that “No” with us, it can hold us or limit our potential.

I’m trying to think on my specific John Lennon moment….

I remember drawing pictures with art supplies, I told my brother that I wanted to be an artist or a painter when I grew up. My brother told me that girls can’t be artists…

I’m not sure where he even got that from? Or why I even took it to heart? Perhaps it was the first moment that made me doubt myself or comprehended a limitation? Maybe it hurt because I heard, you’re not good enough to do this, or you can’t do this because you’re a girl.

The problem is when we carry that moment with us and it subconsciously infringes on our ability to move forward in life.

Some of us, like Lennon, have the ability to hear the ‘You Can’t’ and continue on our path anyway. It can be a gift to ignore the perceived status quo.

That being said, there are certain, “No’s” that help to keep us as functioning as civilized humans. It’s helpful to learn that we shouldn’t pull hair or break other peoples toys. :)

It’s interesting to think on the rules that teach us to be function in society versus the rules that limit our minds potential.

Seems that many beautiful, incredible achievements came from people who ignored what others said couldn’t be done. Steve Jobs, The Wright Brothers, Susan B Anthony, Einstein and the list goes on ....

When I'm feeling disheartened, I always find it empowering to remember

the people who DID.

How do we reconcile the voice inside that says anything is possible with the naysayers who admonish us for breaking the rules?

As kids, we don’t know the difference

As adults, I think it’s important to take a look at our limiting beliefs.

Who told you, you couldn’t …(fill in the blank)….

“IMAGINE….. if ……”

We allowed ourselves to ignore perceived limitations

We followed our internal happy

We stepped outside the box

We honored our creative minds

We moved forth on our imaginations without fear

We took a day without acknowledging the word, “No”

We claimed our Joy

We told ourselves and our children, “You Can Do Anything”

Listen to the No’s inside your head and ask yourself?

Are they coming from inside? Or from another voice?

What’s your John Lennon story?

Sending you Love and Prolific Inspiration

Meredith