Unravelling of Mystery with Layers of Colours

Posted by: Naz Laila

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’.


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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



  • suzi poland

    Great post Naz, how lovely of you to include your daughter as a way to help her get well. It sure is a roller coaster course that brings and releases amazing things, hope you enjoy the rest of it.

    • Naz Laila

      Suzi, yes it is an amazing course and have been enjoying it very much. I wasn’t really aware of this healing power of art. It is really helping her. Thanks a lot.

  • Rashid

    Hi Naz,

    Its a wonderful post!!! I also agree with you that the “scarcity technique” and the “Comparison complex” are the two major killers of our creative mind. Our doubts and fear of loosing add more to it. But when we take some time to look at the beauty in the nature, I think it helps us to reconnect with our true self. I think you made an excellent choice to choose to take a walk in the nature which helped push all your worries away.

    It will be great to see some photos of your paintings. Hope to see more posts like this one!!

    • Naz Laila

      Thanks Rashid. You are right, I always find nature with it’s amazing healing power. It has so much to offer us, only if we take the time to enjoy it. My paintings are still in progress and I would upload them here once they are complete.

  • Lyn Carpenter

    Hi Naz,

    I loved this post and I’m right there with you in the “Bloom True” class. I’m so grateful to be aware of my ego’s tricks to attempt to protect itself so I can notice them, then take a deep breath, do a little hula hooping, dance, take an intuitive walk out in nature, and then bravely go back to my canvas and play. It’s amazing progress for me and in the midst of the journey I am starting to believe I AM AN ARTIST! 🙂 I’m so happy to be sharing this 5 week journey with you.


    • Naz Laila

      Lyn, thanks a lot for stopping by. I am so happy to have you with me in this class. I love to be part of this journey with all of you and share our experiences.

  • Sigga Dís

    Love your story. Hope your daughter is better and still helping you with your painting.
    Why are we all struggling with negative thoughts, how come it is so difficult to shout out louth ..I am an artist.. and start believing in our self. I loved Flotas class and I love reading her book again and again trying to follow her advise. Have a beautiful day.

    • Naz Laila

      Sigga, thanks a lot for stopping by. My daughter is getting better and now enjoying this class with me We have got a few canvases for my two girls as well. I love to be part of this journey with all of you and share our experiences.

  • Shelly Penko

    So enjoyed reading this, Naz, as I remember some of these feelings (and different ones as well) that this class brought up for me when I took it last June. I’m excited you’ve decided to continue despite your inner doubts. It takes courage to keep on plugging when the process hits a wall. How wise of you to recognize that it’s temporary, to allow your feelings to appear and accept them. I hope to see what you create. I hope you will allow yourself to share it. ♥ ♥ ♥

    • Naz Laila

      Dear Shelly, thanks a lot for your kind words and sharing your experience. It’s really a process to be brave and find my own voice. My paintings are still in the process of going through different layers and I hope to post them once they are complete.

  • carolyn jeanneret

    Beautiful Naz, just sent your blog link for today to Creative Arts Therapist soul sisters, colleagues and friends – found you via Flora , via Kelly Rae Roberts.

    Beautiful heart journey – transparent and beautiful sharing, we are indeed enough – Right here, right now- I love this sentiment running through the Nia Dance Community too, in creative body acceptance and self love – and how this flows back to art too in a never ending circle.

    Lovely to find you are in Aus. too – in Creative Joy, thankyou –
    Carolyn (Ex Med SW) turned Creative Arts Therapist and Dancer! xxxx

    • Naz Laila

      Carolyn, thanks so much for your kind words and taking the time to read my post. I am very honoured that you have shared my post with your colleagues. Hope we can share more creative experience and joy.

  • Meredith

    Thank you for sharing your story – I love to hear these stories of fear and doubt being overcome with the awakening of self-love and nurturing. I like to think every mark on the canvas is there for a reason, just like every experience in our lives – whether messy or not! I so hope you continue on this brave journey of gentle rebellion! 😉
    By the way – I saw in the comment above you are in Aus? Me too – I’m in Sydney! 🙂 Where abouts in Aus are you?

    Wishing you much creative light and joy!

    • Naz Laila

      Meredith thanks a lot for stopping by and leaving a wonderful comment. This is really a process to take small steps , push through all our doubts and find our voice. You are so right that every experience in our life has a purpose. I am in Melbourne and excited to know that you are in Australia too. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  • Emma

    Lovely piece about vulnerability, thank for sharing it. And I had a look at the Flora Bowley site – I think I might have to try it.

    • Naz Laila

      Hi Emma, So happy that you are here. I am sure you will love Flora’s course. Though it is a painting course but her approach can be applied for any creative process.

  • susi masarweh

    Beautiful, Naz! A very heartfelt story that paints a picture of your internal struggles and journey. I hope your daughter is doing better now.

    • Naz Laila

      Thanks a lot Susi for being here and reading my story. I am so excited to know you all and share our journeys. My daughter is doing much better now.

  • Shannon

    Naz, your vulnerability in this post is admirable. The past few years I’ve been working on being more open and vulnerable.

    I especially love this part, “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’.” It reminds me of the concept of mindfulness and focusing on the process, which is what I strive to do with my painting.



    • Naz Laila

      Shannon, I am so glad to have you here and also in our FB group. “Mindfulness and Focusing’ is something I am working on to practice more each day. To own my story and share my vulnerability has been a big part of my transformation to become a gentle rebel ( I plan to write a post about that process sometime).

  • Yazminh

    Beautiful, tender, thoughtful post, Naz. I feel your pain and strength and beauty all in one. Thanks for sharing your journey and process through the art of life.

    • Naz Laila

      Thanks Yazminh for your kind words. Yes it’s often very hard to share the raw part of our journey but thats where we own our story and start to make trusting connection.

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