15. 11. 2018

Why challenges are good

Today session, Nr.4, was the most challenging session to date – in hindsight, I can also say that it was the most powerful session, in which I learnt the most about myself, learnt to honour and trust myself, trust my inner expert and the creative process and that I will be guided. So I apologise for the very lengthy blog today, but I did feel the need to share the many insights ☺

My first challenge was getting started, I had moved my workshop to Thursday, so that I would not be rushed by cleaners, or children etc. The problem was that I didn´t stick to my starting time, I kept pushing it out, putting other things first (client emails) which was stressing me out and putting me under pressure.

Michelle has asked me to always read the brief one line / exercise at a time, so as to help me stay in the moment. It also means that I don´t know what´s coming up and if I don´t understand something, I don´t have time to get help – which is not a bad thing, in fact it teaches me to become more independent and I learn to think vs learning to follow. I had started reading the brief, and didn´t understand it what was required and was unsure of what to do next. I started feeling anxious. What happened next, is where in hindsight, I now know I had the biggest growth – to quote Dr John Demartini – “growth happens on the border of challenge and support”. I learnt to trust my inner expert. I asked myself – what do I know, what feels right, what could I do instead? And so I carried on in the way that I thought would be best – and it was exactly right. As Michelle so insightfully and compassionately analysed in our call afterwards – the challenge was a gift, and I took a step into trusting myself…)

My next challenge was when, I realised that I didn´t have all of the materials and tools ready (only 80% ;-), which got my inner critic into a knot. But I managed to calm him (yes, “him” and his and name is Hermann) – I have enough tools and materials to play with, I’ll just find an alternative to use… and so I did.

The first exercise was drawing with charcoal – which I last worked with as a student in Johannesburg, many lifetimes ago… It was interesting to hold the charcoal in my hand again, at first there was a lot of negative thoughts & emotion coming up – “I will get my hands dirty, and the floor…”, but once I got over that and started working I remember that I used to really enjoy working with charcoal, although I never liked the blackness of it, and I still don´t. The blackness makes me feel uneasy for some reason. In the briefing, Michelle had asked us to draw the symbol that was coming through in the poem and images. I struggled with this exercise, as I didn´t understand the intention, I couldn´t “see” what was being asked for – eventually I thought I would just take “something” – which was the “eye”, which as I worked, became “I”… and much later I saw what my subconscious was trying to tell me – I SEE 😉

Challenges seemed to be my theme for the day, soon I was faced with my next challenge – the wet-in-wet exercise (Michelle assured me that I´m not alone in finding this medium challenging). Using tea and coffee, just wasn´t enough colour and it was very wet, and I grew increasingly impatient with myself – as I didn´t fully understand where all of this was going… (me the control freak always wants a plan ;-). Eventually, I just forced myself to sit down and “do something” and then move on. I played for a while and then I chose to stop and take a tea break, sit out in the sun, gather myself, calm myself. Similar to the drawing, as I let go and “gave up” the images revealed themselves.

Looking at these images now, a day later, I see a common thread – the idea of breaking through the center. I SEE. I learned to reinforce my competency in seeking a solution. I opened up to understanding myself better, with self-compassion and kindness.

In the second last exercise, I didn´t start a painting, I chose to create another collage, based upon the images from the morning. This was because I didn´t feel ready for the painting, and during the meditation at the beginning of the session, I had had a vision of an angel and I knew that I needed to work with my manifesto, I knew I had to tear it up. I had to “tear myself up”, my beliefs.

Tearing up my manifesto, was a liberating feeling. I did it without thinking or ”caring”, I tore up the manifesto and the other images, without worrying whether or not I tear up a form or a shape or a word. I was learning to let go of judgment. I was opening up to be one with the creative process.

There´s a strong repetition of elements emerging in all of my collages and drawings – colour green, gold, rays, light, gifts, center, eye, I. These are symbols, gifts from my soul for me, which I can then research further to attain a deeper understanding of their meaning to me.

The final exercise was free writing, which I would like to share, as it was the writing that helped me to structure my feelings and thoughts and understand what had been happening.

“Fragments. Light. Shattered light. Green. Gold. Yellow. Magenta. Blue. Circles. Wings. Horizons. Breaking up, tearing up, old, existing, to create something new. Breaking up to put together again in a new way. Giving new structure and form. Depth. Centre. Deep. Eyes. I. I eye, my third eye. Soul. Centre of my being. Letting go. Breaking the mold. Shattering the mold. Breaking free. Heaven & ocean. Diving deep. In the deep there is light, twinkling like the stars in the sky. The ocean is a reflection of the heavens. We are all reflections of one another. We are all stars. Circles of light, vibrating, radiating. Energy. Movement. Lots of movement. Emerald. The seeing eye, shatters the mold. Drawing in, driving away. Perception. Duality. What do I see?. What is my perception? I can change my perception. Illusion vs. reality. What is real? Old beliefs shattered. Old paradigms.”

I finished this workshop not feeling elated or inspired, like I have been feeling after the last few sessions. I left it with a lump in my throat and a hint of melancholy. It was only after having spoken to Michelle, that I see clearly the perfect hidden order in everything. She helped me to see, that our challenges are often the biggest gifts. She reminded me that often the start of the workshops, can feel like the honeymoon phase, thereafter struggles appear and that it is important to honour these struggles. At her suggestion, I gave my collage a title, so as to honour the art piece and the struggle, honour that which helped me grow. She reminded me of how I had learned to listen to myself, my needs, I had followed my heart. The creative process holds me, even if she is not there, learn to trust it.

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