I find some transitions hard.
Like going from autumn to winter. Here in Alberta it can happen in less than a day, just as spring can pop out and then be burdened again with snow. Some days, like this morning when Beaumont the Sheepadoodle and I went for our walk, I’m not prepared for the sudden leap backwards from 22C (72F) yesterday to 3C (37F) this morning – my hands were really cold!
Another transition I find challenging is moving from working in my art journal to a canvas. My mind starts chattering about how ‘There are rules when painting on a canvas.” “A canvas can’t be wasted.” “Make it good.” “Don’t mess up.” “This isn’t as much fun…’
Which is what happened when I went back to working on a painting I’d begun a couple of weeks ago in preparation for an art show I’m in next month.
I had an idea of what it ‘should’ be. Big pops of colourful flowers on the background of smaller flowers I’d already painted.
I worked hard to make my vision come into reality.
But it just wasn’t happening. I felt stiff. Confined. Like it was all just turning to muck and mud.
I took a breath. Stepped back. Made myself a cup of tea and contemplated what was going on.
It wasn’t that the painting was awful. It was that my mindset was full of ‘stinkin thinkin’.
I was getting caught up in my expectations of how it should be, versus allowing whatever was seeking to appear to find its way into expression.
I wasn’t letting it be. I was trying to make it become…
And that’s why I was feeling so frustrated and uncomfortable. That’s why the critter was prattling on about how I couldn’t paint. How I wasn’t good enough. How my art sucked.
To find my inner knowing/intuitive self, I had to shut off my thinking mind and get into my ‘belly brain’. I needed to allow myself to sink deep into my body so that I could be present with the process instead of trying to force it into what I was trying to make it become.
It was a great lesson.
Getting stuck in your head. Dousing yourself in self-judgement. Self-criticism. Self-harshness and a desire to control the outcome all play a role in limiting joy, self-expression, creativity and passion.
To live life fully I must release myself from expectations. I must let go of the outcome to fall deeply into the process of being alive in this moment. Right now. Unfolding in all its ineffable mystery.
When I hold on too tightly to the outcome, I lose sight of where I am, what I’m doing, how I’m being in this moment right now.
I’m pretty sure spring leaves don’t tell the tree, I’ll only leaf out if I can be 3 inches long, two inches wide and a certain green hue. And they definitely don’t say, “Oh. And I’ll only unfurl if you promise to not make me turn orange and fall later in the season.” They leaf out fully immersed in the journey of leafing out.
To be fully immersed in my life, I must release my need to control the journey and throw myself with wild abandon into each moment unfurling in the deep unfathomable mystery of life.