I accepted this commission with much excitement from a client who had added a room in her home to be her new office. She asked me to use the colors and the inspiration from a painting of a difference size she had seen on my website. I did not know that in completing the painting, we would both learn to walk on stormy seas!
You know that I paint intuitively by focusing on the client’s needs; those spoken and those whispered by Spirit as it guides my hand. The acrylic pouring process used in this art is rather unpredictable and somewhat difficult to control. Trust tends to be the best approach to creating with the technique and it easily dovetails with my painting mindset.
It turned out that I wasn’t in a trusting state of mind.
The projected 2 to 3 weeks’ timeline took nearly 8 weeks, three canvases, a freak accident and lots of patience from the artist and the client.
First I snagged the last canvas locally available in the requested size and I was psyched. Next I sat in meditation. I waited; waited some more and I felt very conflicted.
Thoughts of my client danced in my head. I knew her to be a successful marketing guru and a warm and caring individual who did not have an easy relationship with abstract art or with spiritually guided works. I also knew that she loved my art, appreciated my creativity, had attended my classes and ordered this painting based on an abstract one she saw on my website.
With my ego fully in charge, doubts and fear popped up. By mid-December, the painting that I completed reflected anger and frustration. My ego wanted to “fix it” and I neglected to respect the truth of my work.
I did not entertain that this painting was not unlike the Door Protectors I create or the spiritually conceived art I paint when I consciously agree to be a channel for the creations that the Universe sends me. And I rejected the implication that the anger and frustration I painted was channeled from the client.
I later found out that it had!
The day before New Year’s, and with a car packed for a holiday trip, I slipped on black ice just outside my house, needed 4 staples on my scalp and was diagnosed with a concussion. As I laid on my bed that night, I recognized that I allowed my mind run the show.
As I healed, I considered that my client may have experienced the emotions now imprinted in the first painting and with limited use of my thinking faculties; I went about mending us both through another painting.
In the weeks that followed, I could not help but practice letting the ego-mind rest and recede to be the servant it’s meant to be. I went back to relying on the most trusting source of truth; the heart-mind. In between naps, I chanted, I prayed, I contemplated and did simple, mindless tasks.
I was also guided to start another painting, as the second one did not reflect the original model.
One morning I went into the studio, turned up the volume on a musical version of the Wish Granting Jewel mantra I chant and write on the Door Protectors and became a vessel for Divine Will. As I aligned with higher guidance I felt balanced, whole and filled with Light and Love and began to prepare the paints without expectations. I did not look at the sample, I simply allowed Light and Love to illuminate and guide my actions.
I called this final painting I Can Walk on Stormy Seas, after the second line in the refrain of You Raise Me Up, a song beautifully performed by Josh Groban, music written by Rolf Lovland with lyrics by Brendan Graham. It certainly reflected the process of creating the commission.
When I delivered the painting and shared the process with the client, she confirmed that prior to my accident, she had experienced anger and frustration precisely around the time I started creating her artwork. In turn, I shared with her how I surrendered to the healing process: I released my grip on trying to complete what was not ready. I became still and as expressed in the song’s lyrics; by just “waiting in the silence” I created an opening. I became a passage for Spirit to come and “sit awhile with me”.
In the end, I created a tool for us both to give up on the anger, forgive ourselves and the source of frustration and come, at any time “when [our] hearts burdened be”, to trust that Spirit will raise us up to walk on stormy Seas.
I am so grateful for my clients, my friends, my students, my neighbors and my family who reached out to help me heal with Reiki treatments, chiropractic care, prayers, texts, calls, love and laughter.
With all this help I Can Walk on Stormy Seas to be “more than I can be”!