I will never forget this one painting experience: early on, perhaps my 4th or 5th painting ever, painting with a small women’s group in my studio; I reached a point in my painting where I felt ALMOST done.
But there was something still to do. I could feel it. I was drawn towards the middle of my painting. Somehow I knew (intuitively) that I wanted to paint some white in the middle of my painting.
I could feel I wouldn’t feel complete if I didn’t– but “Oh” how I didn’t want to “ruin” it. I had put hours into this painting, playing with texture and marks and I was “liking” how it was coming together. Gulp.
Somehow, with my hand physically shaking, (I will never forget seeing my hand shake as I moved my paintbrush), without knowing exactly what I was even going to paint, I went into the middle of the painting with white on my small brush.
And I did it. My hand physically shaking but I did it.
I’m sure I was holding my breath.
But somehow, just a few strokes of white and I knew it was “enough”. I stood back and looked at my painting and realized I had not “ruined” anything. I could feel the courage in my body pulsing through, the “yes” living in me. I had made it through!
And to this day, that experience lives in me, in my body, a place of courage that I can draw on at other times. I have this painting up in my studio and this is one of the reasons. I know I can leave my comfort zone, and I know I will live through it. I immediately experienced the gift of it, and I still do.
For me, that one brush stroke of freedom makes it all worth it.
Intuitively playing with paint brings you face to face with your own courageous edges—a powerful experience of your capacity to live beyond your comfort zone and create a life with more and more moments living outside the box.