Inhabiting Myself Well

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
— Anais Nin

There are days of self doubt, disappointment and disillusionment.  They come seemingly out of nowhere but I suspect this is not true.  They come when I am right smack in the middle of painting day after day and having paintings that seem stagnant, not moving forward.   They come when I need to expand and grow but am holding back.  They come when I have stopped trusting the process and I have fallen out of love.  They come when I lose my courage and don’t want to face what is right before me.   Today I am having one of these days.

So what story am I telling myself as I walk into the studio today?  Am I just wasting my time?  Is art a worthwhile endeavor, it seems too selfish?  How am I helping others?  Am I courageous enough to continue day after day not knowing where all my efforts will lead?  Am I good enough?

This perspective is made up by me and takes up residence inside me, and as long as it is there, I am not Inhabiting Myself Well.  These discouraging thoughts hurt and paralyze me.  I feel bad all over.  They cause self-doubt and if I believed this perspective I would walk out of the studio and be terrified to paint again. 

I know, however, my thoughts are only stories.  And I have choice on how I move through my day, day in and day out.  It is up to me, to create the experience with my painting and in the studio that my heart and soul desire to have. So, it is up to me to change my thoughts and ask how much good do I want to experience?   It is up to me to refocus myself to saying Yes! to my curiosity, Yes! to the mystery,  Yes! to the sweet quiet voice that says an emphatic YES! to all of Life.  It is worth the risk for it is far too painful to live these stories devoid of all joy and Love. 

So, I will go out of my studio, take time to contemplate, and then come back into the studio ready to follow the yeses as the painting leads me with a heart full of confidence, curiosity, courage, Love and joy.  I will come back to paint,  saying Yes! to my Life and Loves, Inhabiting Myself Well........ 


Here is a link to a colleague of mine who writes of “expansion and contraction” which I found quite helpful and timely……