Several years ago I attended my first weekend retreat. Eve, the facilitator, came up from Boulder, Colorado to guide and nurture the eight women who had signed up for this July retreat held in a rustic cabin located at the base of the Crazy Mountains. The flowers were in bloom, the grasses green, and the trees alive with cones and the smells of summer. I didn’t know much about it, other than we would explore our spirituality and connection within. New to all of this stuff, I was bright eyed and nervous. What would I find in there? Who was I? How would others see me?
After a day of singing, walking quietly through the forest, and journaling, we sat down under candlelight with art paper and supplies. Eve said, “It’s time to draw.” I looked at her as if in a deer in headlights, “I’m suppose to draw?” I said, “I don’t know how to draw!” I could feel my stomach tightening, and fears of judgment hanging between my ears. “You can draw” Eve replied, “Pick up a brush, and just start drawing, see what comes out of you.”
I hadn’t picked up a crayon, much less a paintbrush, since 5th grade, but I stepped through the fear, and put brush to paper. We began to sing as we painted, and what slowly immersed itself from my hand was a beautiful sunflower. I couldn’t believe I could paint!
The sunflower has been with me since, and not just in a physical sense, but also in representing my spirit blossoming throughout the years. It represents the dissolving of my untrue beliefs of “not being an artist, singer, musician, dancer, or writer.” To seeing, and knowing, that I am all of these things.
You can spend your life living in a box of your false beliefs, which subdues your true potential, or you can see your beliefs for what they are (not reality), step through them, and open up and allow all of what you are capable of out into the world. It starts with getting out of your comfort zone. That is where you find your potential, not doing what you always do, but doing things that you fear, and secretly knowing it would be good for you.
You have these opportunities every day, whether it’s speaking to a friend about something that is bothering you, trying a new class or activity that taps into your creativity, or walking into a room of strangers and reaching out a hand of hello. You know you are stretching your comfort zone when thinking about it makes your heart go faster, your palms sweat, or nervous butterflies fly around in your stomach.
Today, take out a blank piece of paper, a set of colored pencils, crayons, paints, or water colors (buy some if you don’t have any), and sit down with yourself for 30 minutes. Notice if your beliefs surface like, “I can’t draw,” “I don’t know how to draw,” etc., and just put the brush to the paper and see what comes out. Notice the judgments that may come as you draw. Tell yourself they are not true, and what you are creating is magic.
There are no “suppose to’s” or “shoulds/shouldn’ts” when creating. It is your spirit, your energy, your intuition coming onto that paper, and that is the most beautiful gift you can give yourself and the world!
The sunflower hangs in my living room, reminding me that anything is possible; it is only my beliefs that hold me back. I continue to draw and paint, and incorporate it into the workshops and retreats I facilitate as well. As I choose to step through the fear of my beliefs, I choose to let go of the binds that hold back my creativity, and allow myself to be all that I can be in this life.