Letting my inner-child out to play January 05 2015, 0 Comments
A little over a year ago, before the holidays, my friend Jennifer shared with me that she had read a great article about New Year and its customs. Its author suggested choosing a theme for the next 12-month chapter over the traditional “resolutions” and explained the potential benefits. The main one being breaking the good ol’ cycle that more often than not ends in feelings of failure: intention – motivation – action – less action – de-motivation – guilt.
Jennifer’s theme for 2014 was to be “LISTEN”.
The idea immediately resonated with me and I decided to try it on for size. I sat with it for a few days and allowed my theme to be revealed. The word that kept coming up was “FLOW” and it became my theme for the year.
I shared the idea with my husband Nathan and he really liked it, so he decided to play along. His theme became “SHINE”. And on New Year’s Day he suggested we do something significant, some sort of ritual to really embrace and anchor our chosen themes. Why not paint it?
Sounds like it should be fun, right? Not for me. I was terrified. I’ve actually always been terrified of anything I’m not immediately good at, and tend to stay away from those things because of the intense self-judgment they trigger. Painting is most definitely on that list.
My wonderful hubby gently and lovingly convinced me to give it a try. “Just have fun with it and go with the flow… It’s your theme, so why not get started on it right now?” He gave me a few tips on how to use the paint, some information about the brushes and told me it was impossible to do it “wrong”... And off we went.
It ended up being a very liberating and healing experience. And I was so excited about the result: I loved my painting! It represented my theme perfectly and made me smile every time I looked at it. It went on to inspire me all year, which to me was the whole purpose of the exercise. Here are FLOW and SHINE.
Now, as the end of the year was approaching, Nathan & I talked about repeating the experience, and perhaps even making it an annual tradition. My mind started spinning. And the old perfectionist part of me went into figuring-out-and-planning mode: How can I top last year’s painting? I can’t paint the same thing, so what am I going to paint? Can’t use the same colors, so which colors will I use? But I love last year’s colors!
And every time those thought came up, I thanked them for bringing up their concerns and gently reassured that fearful part of me. Everything was going to be just fine. It’s just painting. It’s fun. And it’s impossible to do it wrong.
My theme for this year is “BE STIL. ALLOW.” and the painting that came through is very interesting to me. One of my first comments was “It looks like a child painted it…” (and that was not a compliment). My husband looked at me and smiled, and told me that was a beautiful thing.
I’m not in love with my painting like I was last year (at least not yet), but it has already taught me a few things. And I have a feeling it will keep growing on me…
It doesn’t represent the initial idea I had for my theme, but it has already made me realize that perhaps this theme holds a lot more than I thought. The colors are not what I would normally be drawn to, but they soften my heart every time I look at them. And its child-like quality puts me in touch with the little girl in me and brings tears to my eyes.
My painting may not be what I wanted it to be, but I think it’s exactly what I needed it to be…
Happy New Year everyone!
And here's Nathan's gorgeous painting. His theme for 2015 is "EASE".