This piece was created when I had no doubt about what my life purpose was. I knew I was here to serve through my artwork, yet I was in the grip of the fiercest fear attack I could remember. I could not even do the things I love and felt deep frustration with my inaction. I was unable to talk to anyone about it, for I felt ashamed that with my considerable skills and talents I could not make a life out of it. I also didn’t want to hear the conventional wisdom about an artist’s life; but the problem with conventions is that they become the source of deeply rooted beliefs. So I dug even deeper for the beliefs I knew to be beneficial. You may try this too…
Every morning I dutifully got up and stuck to what I long identified as my good habits. I made a cup of green tea, opened the curtains to let in the light. Rainy, snowy, cloudy or sunshiny, I expressed my unbounded gratefulness for the day, my home, my friends, my family and all those who have helped me to be where I was now. I felt happy as I filled the bird feeder and then, cup in hand, I went back upstairs to meditate. There were many difficult “seatings” that looking back I call “squirmings”. All I could do then was to chant as loud as I could until my mind and my body quieted down. I accepted the pain and was glad for my practice, for amidst the chaos and confusion, I knew that eventually, clarity would follow and I would see into the source of my fears.
One day the knots in my stomach were so searing that I began to pace up and down the stairs until I found myself in the art studio. Immediately the mind chatter ended and a surreal calm enveloped me. No more talking, no more chanting, and no more crying. Swift action ensued, yet I am not sure I could sequentially describe the process of painting the ground, cutting and pasting findings and, allowing for the art processes I could not skip. These became a reflection of what I could not skip in my life. In choosing to paint, I accepted and faced the fear. The long drying time for the glue in the center of the piece, became a metaphor for being inside my mother’s womb and accepting that I am OK now as I was then; I survived and I am doing what I love. I feel the same love. Working on this piece provided me with the opportunity to embrace the fears and see its gifts. I cannot say that I carefully chose what went in this mixed media painting, but I know that my actions were guided by a sense of freedom that sprouted from deep in my heart, and herein lays the key to knowing the source of my fears and making Fear into an ally.
Fear is an emotion arising of feelings created by thoughts. In this instance, we think that our survival is at stake, if we take the action we want. These emotions create an imprint in the energy center called the root or first chakra, located at the base of the spine. Fear is insidious, contagious and renders us powerless.
In last week’s artwork I portrayed how I made fear into a playmate. Today’s painting, The Source of My Fears, endeavors to move us right down into the root center and connect to the earth energies. It is like going back to the womb as grown-ups to realize that we made it this far alive and well. The painting allows us to recall the time when we first came out of the warm and dark waters, dazed and confused, but soon fell into the safety of our mother’s arms. The feelings of love and security we experienced then are still available to us, when we recognize that throughout our lives we have had the same ever present quiet support. All we needed to do is recognize it by moving forward and being true to our dreams. Doing what we love and feels so right moves us right up to the will center, the source of our courage. When we act with Fear as our ally, we are acting from the will center. But when we experience doing what we love consistently, even a little bit each day, our energy moves right up to the heart center, where joy springs forth into deep LOVE; God’s quiet love.
There you have it. Get to the source of your fear. Contemplate it and see it for what it is, a formless thought, frozen in time that created an emotion you can now change through small acts of courage that build tiny successes. The original of The Source of My Fears has sold, but superb museum quality prints or canvas reproductions are available starting at $73.50. Click on the prints section at LidiaScherart.com
Do it and have a courageous week!