I pause for sometime to let the excitement settle down for a moment. I read through the page again, look at all the beautiful paintings. I close my eyes; no, it’s not just the excitement to play with colours, it’s not just the impulse to get into another course, it something deeper and bigger than what I have ever felt but I can’t put a name to it. I take few deep breaths and press the sign up button.
The next four weeks fly away with the things that were on the schedule and also with the things I never saw coming. I lose my track of time and date.
By the time we bring our daughter back home after 5 days ordeal at the hospital, I am overwhelmed and exhausted. My body needs to rest but my heart needs to heal from the emotional roller coaster. I log in to the class of Flora Bowely’s Bloom true course. I watch the class video with my little girl who is still very weak and tired but amazed to see Flora playing with the colours and music. While I set up my paintings she joins me and her eyes lit up when she gets a canvas and dips her brush into mummy’s special paints. As we both paint side by side an immense sense of gratitude and peace starts to heal my heart.
As the strokes of warm colours cover the blank canvas I feel alive again. I feel excited to try all the different tools and colours. I start to connect with all the other wonderful creative women of this group. We share our excitement, our fear, our works. It feels amazing to see so many different paintings using the same technic and colour schemes. I feel ready for the next step.
I bring out my new colour palate, I feel a little unsure but remind myself “ there is no right or wrong way, there is no formula, there is no mistake, you can always change it later”. I trust Flora’s word and keep painting with layers of blue and green. I look at the painting again and a rush of self-doubt washes me over. I stop. I desperately look for meaning into these layers of colours. I feel an urge to know where is this painting going. I know I need to let go of any preconceived idea but the uncertainty suffocates me. I check our group’s updates. So many amazing paintings, their layers are so perfectly placed, such a nice display of vibrant colours, perfect placement of different strokes. I look at my painting again. Some colours are too bold, some areas are too smudgy, and they don’t make any sense yet. I don’t like it. I ask myself “Why”?
Is it because my introvert side never felt comfortable to stand out, to make bold choices, to take the unconventional path or to follow the road less travelled?
Is it my hard coded logical brain needs the comfort of familiar pattern, too afraid to take risk, too weak to embrace the uncertainty?
Suddenly this painting with all its overlapping marks, bold colours, white patches and dark circles becomes a reflection of all the mistakes I have made in life, all the things I wish I had done differently, all the things that went wrong despite my best effort. Every time I look at the canvas I despise the whole process. Part of me just wants to wipe out all “wrong strokes, wrong colours”. But I don’t react, just walk away from it.
My mind starts to play all her tricks “the scarcity technique” ‘you don’t have enough time, right colours, a good studio, to create a beautiful painting’. Then comes the “comparison complex” ‘everybody else have figured it out, their paintings are amazing, they are more talented’. Followed by “self doubt”, ‘so what do you thing you are doing?Have you ever done any art work? It’s a ridiculous dream, it’s never going to work. You should have started earlier.’
I don’t fight with all these thoughts. I don’t push them away.I know they are here to protect me from the heartbreak of a shattered dream. I just let them to be there. I don’t act to them anymore, I become ‘A Gentle Rebel’.
I go out for a walk in the nature. I take a slow walk, stopping many times to look at the beautiful autumn colours. I enjoy the sunshine while my girls blow bubbles. I see them playing and laughing for the simplest of reason. I think of how sick my daughter was just a few days ago. I think of the very fragile nature of our life and why it is so wroth of nurturing, enjoying and living with a passion and dream. This reminds me of all of those instances when life suddenly changed its courses and landed me in a different but better place than what I planned for. How following my heart led me to experience many magical moments and brought immense joy. I start to see beauty around me. I feel grateful for this quite afternoon.
I bring out the canvas and paints again. I let my guard down. I let go of my need to control, the urge to plan everything, the desire to be perfect and the fear of uncertainty. I feel ready to open my heart to the whispers of the universe, to the guidance of the divine force and to experience the beauty from within.
‘The uncertainty’ now brings more possibility. “The mess” is just the beginning of a new story unravelling all its mystery.
With love and gratitude