Never argue with...
The first thought that runs through my head is this, “I would love to paint for an hour or two.” Right away, before doing all the to-dos because that would feel like freedom.
My response thought was, “I don’t even own any paints or supplies.” The argument with instinct begins.
To which my wiser brain said, “Go to Michaels and buy some because that will feel like freedom.”
I have a prayer journal that I write in each day. I express gratitude for the good things from the day before and ask for what I’m needing or desiring that day. One thing I wrote on Saturday was, “Please help me focus on feelings of freedom, success, joy and fun.”
How could I not listen to my instinct? I was receiving loud and clear the exact thing I was asking for, all I had to do was bravely follow along. I’ve learned the hard way enough times to always listen to and follow my instinct. I trust there’s something there, even if I don’t fully understand, and do my best to go with what is calling me.
You know what? I did it, I went Michaels right when they opened, got watercolors, brushes, and paper. I have no technical painting skills, and as I set out to paint I recalled a couple of things from the two guided painting classes I’ve taken. It’s no masterpiece but I did it and that’s all that matters right now. Also, hooray for YouTube and the amazing people who create videos to teach you just about anything. I watched a couple on watercolors for beginners and on Tuesday tried again.
After just two short sessions I can feel a new energy building inside, what I want to paint and create next. Will it take some time to gain skill? Sure, that’s what makes it fun! The ability to watch myself learn and make progress is exciting. Just like when we’re new to yoga and over time we get stronger, gain confidence, and build a repertoire of poses we thought we’d never do.
The hardest part about trusting and following our instinct is the first step, giving ourselves permission to follow it even when the outcome is unknown, unpredictable, breaks 'the rules" and quite possibly pointless. Everything else unfolds from that courageous first step.
There are two important take aways I’d love to leave you with. The first is clarity. When you know what you’re seeking, it’s easier to recognize. That’s one way my prayer journal is so helpful, it allows me to state my desires clearly, which then helps me know when I’m being guided toward fulfillment.
The next is how to get to clarity. It requires quiet and stillness. All spiritual traditions have an element of these two qualities. If you can begin each day with a few minutes a sitting still, with no noise from the world, to simply be grateful for the good you already possess and to ask what your heart desires, you’ll be more prepared to recognize it when it arrives.
If you need some inspiration, here’s what I do each day: I get my tea, then sit at my desk and before I look at my phone or turn on the computer, I open my prayer journal and write for two to five minutes. It’s quick and easy, yet powerful in the way it focuses my energy. I usually forget exactly what I write, surrendering my prayers to that which is greater than us, and have faith that in time the answers will flow in, in perfect ways, under grace, for all good.
Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu
May all beings be free and happy.
(Hint: you are a being, may you be free and happy)
If you enjoyed or were inspired by what you read, please use the Like and Share buttons below. With Gratitude, Cathy