See that painting? It could be said that I painted that this weekend.
I mean, it did indeed seem to come from my hands and brush, as I enjoyed, for the second time, a most amazing painting workshop (**details below if that interests you).
But I’m not including it here because I think it’s Great Art. I’m including it here because I didn’t paint it.
Yes, I began by trying hard to make a good and worthwhile painting. And yes as a result, I started out careful, uptight, and proper.
Because I’m human (in case you were wondering.) And most humans think that if we’re going to do a thing at all, we had dang well better be good at it.
Sing on key or don’t sing, dance well or sit this one out, be good at the sport, the relationship, the writing, the “inner work,” or else stop it, and be ashamed of your lack of skill and the foolishness of even trying.
So most of us don’t even attempt to do things we’re not good at. Not comfortably, that’s for sure.
Because doing anything becomes all about being seen.
As a self.
A good or bad self.
And that convoluted center of all things is maintained by constant attention, constant comparison and constant evaluation of its performance.
Performance being the operative word. The self is play-acting for an audience at all times.
So it had better be good.
We spend lifetimes polishing this presentation. We can’t afford for some ridiculous incompetence to just waltz in and destroy all that carefully-honed image-making.
Which is why, as I looked around in this weekend’s workshop, all the participants were frozen to some degree. Everyone, even the professional artists, despairing of looking foolish, paralyzed by possible inadequacy, furtively glancing around to see if others were better at this than they.
Never-mind that all of the work in that room was fascinating, even from the most basic beginners.
And then luckily for me, creativity said, “Ok that’s enough, honey. Move over and hand me the brush.”
Creativity, consciousness, ideas, wisdom, Source, God, love, spirit, awareness…
Many different words, all the same stuff.
It wanted to paint. Its way, its colors, its ideas.
I didn’t have to let it, of course. I could have overridden when I quite clearly heard, “Keep going” after I was positive this painting was done.
But besides how very off that would have felt, how dumb would that have been?
Because unlike Judy, consciousness has vast, limitless ideas, knows how to play, and isn’t careful or afraid of wrongness.
What fool would shut that down?
So Judy got out of the way and something bigger played with paint.
And it became very clear that Judy doing a “good” painting or liking it or looking good to others was irrelevant and completely not the plan.
In fact, for me to evaluate and critique as usual, or even to say, “Yeah it’s not great but…”
would have been just plain rude.
It wasn’t my painting and none of my business whether I liked it or not.
So it painted. Long after others started new pages.
Now, full disclosure- Judy got high from this take-over. Totally blissed out.
Sounds weird, maybe, and perhaps it is. The thing is…
What do we think integrating spirituality into everyday life looks like?
Does enlightenment, whatever that may be, require withdrawal from our world?
“Bye kids, there’s snacks in the fridge, I’m off to the cave forever?”
Maybe enlightenment exists right here in this world, in this existence, as it is, at all times.
With all its complexities and sports failures and lack of money and fights with the spouse. With all the computer watching and golf and music making and laughing and kissing and holding the paint brush…
Living, in it and also, not. Inside this life and also, outside.
Both. And. Including.
Painting with us, painting through us.
We are the painting, the paint, and the hand moving the brush.
Not that consciousness needs us to know this.
Which is why life goes on.
As a painting,
** The Painting Experience:https://www.processarts.com
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"Creativity is Intelligence, having fun." --Albert Einstein
"If you want to surrender to creativity, surrender to creation." -- Judith Orloff