Simplicity. Doesn't it feel as though simplicity in life is an unattainable dream that many of us have? It has come up in conversation so frequently lately and I just can't stop thinking about it. There is a reason this is such a theme right now. I know I'm not the only one feeling the weight of how full live feels, the length of the to-do lists, the expectations we hold of ourselves (which are generally much greater than the expectations anyone else would have of us, or that we would have of anyone else). The shoulds and woulds and want to-s... I'm told all the time that this is "just reality". But is it? Really? Does it have to be? My partner would tell me "you can't have your cake and eat it too". Maybe he is right but I'm not really ready to concede to that just yet. I believe there must be a way to strike that incredibly fine balance in life. I just think that there is no "right" answer, no one formula that we can follow.
I believe we have to feel our way through it, weigh up the choices we have along the way and know what and when to let go of things that might be hindering us. Including the negative stories we tend to return to like a default setting when your computer crashes. It takes work to remember those stories aren't always true. You know, the ones that go "of course you crashed... what else could you expect of yourself?", "you aren't good enough", "you aren't intelligent enough", "you aren't brave enough"...
Our minds are so powerful, I think often we don't acknowledge that enough. Thoughts can be intrusive, debilitating, heavy and restricting. I've been researching a lot about emotions the past months, and the thing that stands out to me is how much brain research tells us that emotion and cognition are linked. We forget that too much. Thoughts have such a significant power over our emotions. They can create a sense of darkness around our souls that can be so hard to shake. We have to go forward gently... gently, gently, gently. With compassion. Instead of hanging our head, or turning and trying to walk away, perhaps we just have to carefully peer into the darkness, try to see it for what it is and then slowly i.l.l.u.m.i.n.a.t.e. it. Sit with it. Breathe into it. Speak to it. Show compassion to it. And then gently, and with courage, rise from it.
There is something about this painting... it feels so raw to me. Probably because when I first began it I was feeling so open and raw, tears flowed as freely as the paint. Today I came back to it, and just felt that it needed a little more light. A little more hope, a little more faith. Just like I do, and like so many I know at the moment do. The message seemed clear, "Acknowledge the dark and then illumiate it". So perfectly fitting for all these thoughts surrounding our complex lives, the desire for simplicity, the need for light to illuminate the dark.
"Acknowledge the dark and then illuminate it", Original acrycli on canvas, 30" x 30"
I hope you will give yourself the compassion you need. I hope that you will keep looking up, that you will breathe into the dark moments and be reasuured that there is light in you. It's coming. It will be ok. Illuminate.
With love, light and gratitude...