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Gremlins

Last week was a DOOZY of a week. There were serious breakthroughs.  


And I blame it all on intuitive painting.


I'm currently taking an online intuitive painting class. For me, there's no end to my curiosity and the joy of learning new things, trying out different skills, and expanding my perspective. One of the many reasons I offer workshops is because I want to hang out with folks who love to learn like I do. But getting to step back into the role of student rather than teacher is so refreshing and energizing for me! And this intuitive painting class is also helping me hone my skills so I can offer you all better workshops and learning experiences.


The way intuitive painting works is that you're focused on the process of painting, not the end result of the painting itself. It's about how you FEEL not about what you produce. And that is VERY hard to let go of for so many of us. Because what that means is that what you end up painting could be ugly, messy, very simple, childlike, off-kilter, weird, nonsensical, and on and on. It could end up looking nice, but it's in letting go of any judgment towards the end result ~ good or bad ~ and that's the hardest part. It's total and complete radical acceptance of whatever comes out from the brush and onto the paper.


And guess what? This means total and complete radical acceptance for yourself.


Yah, cuz that's easy.


Ha.


You may or may not be aware of the voices in your head that criticize everything you do, and everything that you are. If you are aware of them, even slightly, you know how loud they can be. Deafening at times. Especially when we try something new. I mentioned this last week in relation to working on the mural. My inner critic couldn't believe how crazy I was to take on this huge project ~ attempting to do a project that stretched my skills in quite a few different directions. She was having a field day. Luckily, I've been aware of her for quite some time now, and she doesn't hold nearly as much sway over me as she used to. THAT doesn't make her very happy either, by the way.


So during my online class last week I started a painting and there were two major things going on. After working on it for a few days, my intuition told me that I needed to add a lot of red to it. But there was another voice that didn't want to add red, telling me it wouldn't go with the other colors, that I would muck it up and ruin it. But the assignment was that if the inner critic spoke up, we had to stop and jot down what it was saying before continuing on with our painting. So I wrote it down in my notebook and then ~ following my intuition and not my inner judge ~ grabbed the red paint.


As I was painting with all this red, I had this entirely badass download about not stopping too soon. About daring bigger. Being bolder. Telling me not to focus on fine tuning yet. Keep bringing in new elements. That I had barely gotten started and don’t sell yourself short. If you stop now you’ll never see what you can actually accomplish. There will be plenty of time for the details. Just keep adding red for now. (This download was of course one hundred percent related to my quitting my long time career-job and now creating this new life-work path around creativity and art. Because sometimes its hard and I wonder if I'm crazy for setting out on this new venture.)


Painting all the red.

Which leads to the second thing that happened. In talking to a friend about the experience of this workshop/class (really, it's more like a portal!) and reflecting on the challenges of taking on the mural project, I came to a powerful realization.


I discerned a voice, the voice of a small cute fuzzy creature that's been hanging out with me for a long, long time. This voice has been telling me that I should paint big and bold, and to not get bogged down by details. To not worry about being a figurative painter, but to be abstract, loose, and wild. It has been such a lovely companion on my artist's path. I was glad to have it supporting me along the way.



But what I realized this past week, is that what it's ACTUALLY been telling me ~ since 7th grade no less ~ is that I can’t draw. That I am not a doodler. And that I have no skill for details. Better keep it safe and stick to abstracts. And not only that, but because I thought this little guy was on my side, I've been encouraging that voice for the past 15 years. Feeding him a continuous diet of snacks and tasty morsels so he'll stick around, reminding me to stick to abstracts. Reminding me of my limitations. Good grief. What it had also been doing, is consistently keeping my confidence at bay. All these years. It had chewed though my inner power, an inner power cable so to speak, one I didn’t even know that I had. This little dude had been cutting off access to a much more profound and engaging experience of myself, as well as cutting me off from the depths of my painting journey that I didn't even know I could be expressing.


Once I realized what had been happening you can bet your sweet patootie that I immediately and enthusiastically escorted that little critter outside, told it to go on its merry way, and to fend for itself from now on. It was no longer welcome in my house! What a freeing moment!! My gosh.


And so now I can focus on repairing that gnawed power cable, turn on that energy source once again, and shine the light from within me that’s always been there, all along, patiently waiting for this moment.  


So. It turns out I actually CAN do details. I CAN draw. And I AM a doodler. So now I can’t wait to paint details!! Letting my intuition guide me the whole way, of course.


A very detailed drawing, that I drew.

 

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2 Comments


Guest
Mar 26

Woohooo!!! I'm loving this breakthrough for you...and for the world! After YEARS of listening to Baldric (my inner critic), I've learned to question every thought that tells me I can't do something...which is very, though subtly, different from things I don't want to do. Usually, the 'can't' is coming from Baldric. xoxo mel

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I can't believe I'm just seeing this comment! Baldric. It's a fabulous name. Yes, can't and don't want to, very different energy. AND? I have learned just this past week, maybe what we're supposed to be doing all along is EXACTLY what the inner critic is telling us we can't/shouldn't. I mean. What?! How crazy is THAT?! Here's to challenging the Baldrics that live within us and the ones that surround us! 💙

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