What Happens When You Turn the Rules of Wisdom Upside Down?

Wisdom Comes in Unlikely Places.

Henri Matisse art journal page.

In fact, if you get used to the idea of seeing your own reflection in the eyes of every person and experience in your life, you will find that there is help everywhere.

But heroes don’t always come in shiny scrubbed packages. There’s no such thing as a perfect life. No matter how rich or celebrated, every heart holds a hurt that strikes at tender days.

The secret is to examine your perceptions of vulnerability. In yourself and others. How does your inner judge label your weaknesses and weirdness?


I love reading biographies! It turns out that the the masterpiece maker, Henri Matisse, was someone who didn’t mind turning social conventions upside down. He played with paint when he should have been building a sensible profession. Instead of providing warm spaces and baskets of fresh bread for his emerging family, he chose to ramble. A continental vagabond. Holing up in any corner that might accommodate paint and easel. Not exactly life coach material. And yet….

His life pricks at questions of my own. Questions you might ask yourself too.

Why have I always been so averse to being a rule breaker?

Do I really NEED this socially acceptable version of myself?

If I could break any rule right now, what would it be?

As always, I let my questions sit. I don’t ask for a response, nor expect a reply. Not within the hour. The day. Or even the month. Because I’ve learned that wisdom has a timetable of its own. Often sneaking in the back door when I least suspect it.


I love gritty people.

Back in biography mode, I’m fascinated by Joan Didion. For she is one of those people whose words go straight to REAL. Someone whose life doesn’t have to match up perfectly in order to be seen.

So many creatives hide away. Fearful of sharing imperfections. That’s why I’m here. Challenging the rules of a former perfectionist.

And listening for the voice of wisdom in the midst of messes ….and miracles.


Your Turn

  1. Choose a photo of a person of interest to you, famous or not.

  2. Draw a representation of that person on a white or pre-painted background. If you hate drawing figures, draw deliberately messy. Therapy!

  3. Choose to either write a letter telling this person what you learned from their life..or copy a meaningful quote.

  4. Notice your reactions to non-perfection. Do you feel different about your life coach’s vulnerability than your own?

  5. What would your inner life coach tell you about the rocky road to your dreams?