Painting and Emotional Equanimity

There is a fine line between transcending emotions through the process of art making into a positive outcome of a beautiful painting and allowing upsetting emotions to strain you to the point that it can hamper the flow of the creative process.  this happened to me this week during my recent painting.  I spent an entire morning on a drawing for the basis of a painting while stewing in my emotional turmoil after my buttons had been pushed by my mother ( I know I’m not alone in this dynamic).  the result was an awkward, stiff, stifled design that just wasn’t worthy of completing though I’d spent a good couple of hours on it.  I gathered courage to speak my truth to her, still a really difficult thing for one who grew up in a time and place where it wasn’t okay to express emotion.  over the years I’ve had to practice this and my greatest teacher has been my own daughter, Hillary, who has never had any qualms about completely expressing anything and everything to me, no matter how painful for me to hear.  I find it healthy and refreshing and a wonderful step up the evolutionary ladder.  So, drawing upon my daughter’s rainbow warrior energy I set my boundaries with my mother in as calm and respectful manner as possible,  confident in the grounding of my authentic being, knowing I would rile things up, but certain that the end result would be sense of inner peace and safety and a hope of opening my mother’s eyes to certain patterns of behavior.

The next day, after some emotional emailing with my Mom but staying firm in my center, with a knowing that it was the right thing to do, I turned the paper over and started again.  This time with my equanimity restored the process flowed effortlessly and joyously from my calm center.

It’s interesting that I happened to be painting these big, round, yellow sunflowers that I so strongly associate with the solar plexus chakra which is our personal power/will power center. On a cellular level I think the flowers themselves helped me through this process just by being present as my witness and friends, imparting their strength to me.

I added a pair of goldfinches with their nest of eggs- a symbol of nature’s infinite cycle of mothering, raising our young, all with an impulse of love and care that always underlies our process.  Sometime  I wish human relations could be so simple as our winged friends, but then we’d miss out on the emotional richness of our connections with our loved ones, no matter how sticky things can sometimes get, the underlying urge for love is worth it.  I feel this painting has a calm but strong clarity to it and took on a life of it’s own as my companion through a moment in my life.  I am definitely co-creating with spirit.  Peace Mom~

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