While attending Graduate school at Adler University. I was just learning about Art Therapy and Adlerian Theory. Sadie Dreikurs; a pioneering Adlerian Art Therapist, wrote a book titled: Cows can be Purple: My life and Art Therapy.
Dreikurs story made an impact on me. In short, when she was 6 years old, her teacher gave her an outline of a cow and was instructed to fill it in. She filled it with purple. Her teacher shamed her by stating "Cows are not purple, they are brown" and proceeded to tear apart her picture. She was then provided another outline of a cow, in which she was instructed to fill in "correctly"- She refused.
What this story taught me was at the heart of each of us is a purple cow.
We get to define our narrative. We get to be persistent, fearless, and challenge those who want to put us in a box. Life is not black and white, we get to live in the middle.
What's with the Cow?
"I was a girl smashed between a beloved younger brother and a beautiful older sister. I was purple from the start. I wanted my purple cow to be pretty like my sister and mischievous like my brother."
- Sadie Dreikurs