This morning, interestingly on International self-care day, I decided to sit down and follow Freedom process from the book Rise Above – Free Your Mind One Brushstroke At A Time. Before I tell you about the process, let me back up a little bit.
I have always wanted to paint. But unfortunately apart from having one random painting from school selected at an exhibition when I was young, I have not had any luck in getting any compliments for my painting abilities. I remember entering a private class at school for “better” artists for a painting/coloring exam called “Intermediate” Exam where the teacher told me I was not good enough to be in that class and smirked.
I did pass that exam with a C grade. In my defense, many other people who have better art abilities than mine (million times better) have also ended up with a C grade.
Since then, I have always wanted to paint but I have an internal dialogue inside of me that I am not good enough. So I have literally bought canvases from Amazon or Michaels and never really used them. Same with brushes and paints.
In fact, a few months ago, I friended a person who is an artist but I think I scared her away with my bad painting abilities. She kept postponing my invitation to tea at my place to show her “my really bad art” and then she never came.
But this is about the Freedom process. So let’s get to that.
So I came across this book a few months ago by Whitney Freya.In this book, she uses her Super Soul Flow process and inspires normal people like you and me who are “according to the society” not artistic enough to free our souls from any judgement towards the art.
She believes that the way we paint is the way we do everything else. She has a lot of processes in there. I started with the Freedom process today so will talk only about that and in the future, probably more.
I decided to buy paints, tiny canvases, brushes and palettes again. I gave some colors to my kids and we all had a painting time out for about an hour this morning.
In this process, all I had to do was to take the paint on my brush and paint the canvas one stroke at a time. While painting, I was to be mindful of all the thoughts and doubts that were coming to my mind. I decided to write them out.
And when I did this, I did realize that I do everything the way I paint. I have been definitely upping on my self-compassion but this helped me add light on where I was still needed more love towards myself.
I will warn you, these are vulnerable thoughts. I share, not because I want pity or sympathy, but merely to let you know that we are all human and experience humanity and suffering in different forms in our day to day life.
Here is a list of thoughts that came to me while painting this tiny little canvas:
- What will my school art teacher say about this painting? (As if I am going to magically meet her some day?)
- What will my family say? What a childish work of art?
- Is this in line with rules of art?
- How to perfect this?
- At Least these are chakra colors. Hopefully I am clearing chakras as I do this.
- Maybe it needs more color. Maybe it needs a better artist.
After writing this down though, something magical happened. I felt like drawing two lines like a bird with white color. And then a song started ringing in my head.
It was George Baker’s Una Paloma Blanca. And that is when I realized, I am so caged in my thoughts. And literally, this painting process was showing me all my thoughts that easily apply everywhere else (including what people will think about this blog after I share it)
I now believe that art in any form was made to free your soul from emotions, from hidden fears, to help you see yourself better.
Do you believe somehow at some point your mind and ego took over? You started dividing art by aesthetically pleasing vs everything else instead of letting it be what it was.
Have you seen the children paint? They paint random stuff and they always admire what they do. As adults when people judge them based on their outcome, that is when they understand pleasing vs not pleasing.
So after today, here is a promise I make to myself. I will paint. No matter how unaesthetic. Nobody has to look at it. If it helps me get my self-doubts away, I will do it. I will be me. I will bring my inner bold child out and paint away.
Here is what I felt one more time today.
Your mind cannot take your freedom away. Your self-talk that is masked by society, that is masked by past experiences, that is masked by ignorant beliefs cannot take your freedom away anymore.
If you want to look for freedom from this self-talk, you have to find it within. Through these simple but powerful processes that free you from societal norms that you have put upon yourselves.
This is what self-compassion looks like.
This is what mindfulness looks like.
And these are what my paintings look like 😀
It is being there for yourself in the middle of your suffering and finding freedom from these thoughts that multiply the suffering. It is knowing that you really are a free bird.
Now here is my question for you. Do you like to paint? If yes, do you feel good about your paintings? If yes, that is great.
But if you do not, then buy this book and paint for your soul’s freedom today!
*I do not personally know Whitney Freya and I am not her affiliate. This book link though is an Amazon Affiliate link which means that I will get paid if you buy this book. It does not cost extra to you but I get commission if you buy from this link.
Of course, I am not writing for that. I had a tremendous breakthrough today so thought I should really recommend this book to you!