Zen Painting and Other Practices

Paint 2 strokes , up and down.  Take a breath. Step back and observe the strokes. Reflect upon your life.

I have been painting my last room of childhood (from age 15 to 18), and the trim of several rooms of my family house for two weeks now.  I know that it shouldn’t take this long.  But the real work that is occurring here, is not the painting, but the final touches on the “inner-work” of the past two years.

In the last two years, I had to –

  1. Figure out a new meaning for my life, after
    • dropping out of grad school due to a health crisis ( or rather to avert a mental health crisis)
    • turning 50
    • coming to terms that I would never have children
  2. Balance my imbalanced system that
    • had gained 30 pounds in 3 years
    • was anxious and nearly manic
    • was fearful and tired of a life I didn’t know how to manage
  3. Grieve the losses
    • of the dreams that I had dreamed that hadn’t come true in 50 years
    • of my father – still alive but from whom I will be  forever estranged due to his mental illness
    • of my cousin Lewis, who was the older brother I never had, who died of a heart attack
    • the many loves, that never were, and never will be
  4. Heal and Forgive
    • my past self
  5. Build
    • my confidence
    • my sense of peace
    • my love for myself
  6. Transform
    • my experience
    • my relationships
    • my life into something I love living

So if it takes 2 weeks to paint a room while processing what brings us to peace, or 2 years to heal a life … it is well worth it.

My accomplishment after 50 years of living?

I love my life more than I ever had … and I am ready for 50 more years, please : )

Sept 5 2015 - Me in Vallejo by the garage - goofy and pretty in pink - soft edit

 

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