Energy and Responsibility
In just a couple more months, I will be celebrating one year of having opened the Studio arm of my business. During this year, I've been able to welcome so many amazing artists and witness wonderful students who learn and grow through an assortment of fabulous classes.
This process is one that has taught me a whole lot about the energy that each of us bring into a room, and therefore the responsibility that each of us have for the energy that we bring.
Every time I help a teacher get ready for a class, I am consistently impressed by the amount of preparation that the teacher invests into developing the curriculum. They often ask me, "Do you think students would like this? Or what do you think about this idea ... do you think this would make the students happy?"
And believe it or not, many teachers express to me a degree of nervousness right before class starts ... as they wonder, not only whether their curriculum will be effective, but whether they will be liked.
One thing I've noticed about all classes is that no matter how much a teacher prepares, the one thing that is out of the teacher's control is the energy that each student brings into the room. As soon as a student walks in, it is with an energy that is either positive or negative. The interesting thing about energy is that it is contagious, and it spreads. For example, one person who says "Oh my gosh, this is so much fun!" causes those around her to have more fun. On the flip side, one person who says "Why does my piece look so awful? I hate this!" causes the air to get stiff, and causes doubt in the minds of others who also start to wonder whether their pieces are awful.
Aside from my studio, I've taken many classes in other art retreat settings over the years and I've experienced how very debilitating negative energy can become. Once, in a knitting class, there was a student with such negativity that she accused the teacher's pattern to be flawed right in front of everyone. I was shocked. It was so humuiliating for the teacher ... but ultimately, it was humiliating for the student because there were experienced knitters in the room (myself included) who were able to point out to Negative Nellie that there was no flaw in the pattern as we had been able to work right through it without a problem. But the energy that that student cast put a real damper in the room and pretty much devastated the teacher.Don't get me wrong. The responsibility to enter a room with positive energy applies also to teachers and hostesses. How a hostess treats teachers and students, how a teacher treats students, how students treat teachers, and how students treat one another ... all of this matters and all of it affects the outcome of a class.
Each of us brings energy into a room.
And each of us needs to take responsibility for the energy that we bring and spread.