“Begin with nothing until you have considered how it is to be finished”, was written in my fortune cookie the other night. I kept it but put it aside. The sentence did not quite sit comfortably. In clearing out space for a new commission, I found it under a pile of stuff. Immediately I knew why it did not sit well with my experience.
Knowing the final shape of what I am about to create is so contrary to what I am about to do. In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle writes that the optimal stages of being are acceptance, joy, and enthusiasm.Living in any other state tends to cause suffering for oneself and/or others. He emphasizes that enthusiasm is not the most constant state, but that is necessary for the birth of ideas, projects, new pathways. Once that is underway, generally joy takes over and, depending on the circumstances, acceptance is most likely a state we may be in as we continue to nourish the “project”, modify it, move away for a while to gain perspective, or even decide to abandon it. In my experience, I have never even consider how I will finish any of my pieces. In fact, I generally cannot judge the merits of what I finished until I gain the “morning-after” perspective.
As I look around for other examples of birthing, the first one that comes to mind is my most physical experience with it. I knew I wanted a child. I had no idea what he would look like when finished! From conception to the most beautiful rainy day in May, when he was finally out of my womb, my husband and I planned many things, including a warm bath to immitate the feeling of the womb. As he lay on top of my chest and looked at me, neither him nor I wanted to be separated. It was like..so,..that is what you look like! He is not even finished, he continues to grow and change. Now at nearly 33 and a father himself, he looks and acts like nothing I could have considered.The only thing I needed to consider is that I would be able to support him as he was starting out in the world. I had a job, a partner, and the enthusiasm for forecasting the best of circumstances.
So is with anything I want to birth. It starts witht enthusiasm. I want to create something. The feelings are not foreign to wanting to mother. In my paintings, I want to say something without speaking. I am not sure how it will grow. I can feel the seed of something new deep within me and I have a deep desire to play with visual objects, with the texture and feel of the paint and the surface or the space. All I need to consider is time and space. It is irrelevant if it will be finished. It is a primal desire to create. The hows simply show up. I go to the art store, or I take a walk, or I read something, or a heard someone speak a random sentence. Back in the studio, somehow it all gets incorporated. In the end, the piece gets seen, someone wants it, or sees something in it and commissions a more personal one. If not, it stays in my basement waiting to be seen another time. I accept for was born and abide in joy. The experience was deeply rewarding.
For those of you practicing the Law of Attraction, birthing anything is a wonderful teaching tool to make your dreams come true. Start with a deep desire to manifest your dream, but only focus on what you want to say with the dream. This is the birth of enthusiasm. Brainstorm, chat, read, meditate, go window shopping or actual shopping that will contribute to the manifestation. Stay in that enthusiasm and consider what time you will dedicate to the necessary tasks, the doing part. Never disregard the BEING part. Let joy take over and do not worry how is to be finished. Accept when it is not working. Step aside, allow time to review, re-group and again let new enthusiasm take over. I promise that the morning after will reward you with the success you need, even though it may not look like what you thougth it would!
Good thing that I have Adam (my son)!