Living in Costa Rica these past 6 months has brought the fast paced, verging on assaulting energy of New York to an alarming halt. I call it the white noise of the jungle. The symphony of cicadas, the trickle of a nearby stream or if you're lucky, one of Costa Rica's many waterfalls. Getting your mind off things is not exactly a difficult task to accomplish here the same way as it is back in my hometown in New York. Costa Rica has some of the most beautiful natural landscaping on the planet. But part of living in a house in the jungle is dealing with water problems, power outages, car troubles etc. Today, my friends and I have found ourselves dealing with those problems. All of those problems. With no internet to work on personal projects, no water to shower with, no gas to cook with, and a car that's at the mechanic for the week, we were stranded in our house atop a moderately strenuous hike up the mountain side . Luckily with a stocked fridge of vegetables and other food items, we were going to be okay. We have acclimatized to this sort of thing happening in Costa Rica by now. It's never not frustrating, however.
Today I really felt that frustration. I felt it in my body. One thing to understand is that emotions are felt in your body. Really bring your awareness to how thinking a thought or feeling an emotion generates a physical response in your body. If you think of biting into a lemon, your mouth will go sour and produce saliva. Thinking this thought generates a physical response. Thinking of your grandmothers funeral may produce an emotion which generates a physical sensation in your body. Maybe a sinking in your heart, an hollowness in your gut, a numbness over your face, heat over your cheeks. Really feeling and experiencing these sensations in our bodies is how we can better connect with ourselves.
Then there is emotional trauma, which become stored in the body. It can be accessed through tuning into and feeling these various sensations within your body associated with the emotional trigger you're experiencing. Emotional triggers are severe emotional responses to something. These triggers can be attributed back to early age trauma. In this example, my emotional trigger was the water and electricity being out. Now, can all of powerfully strong emotions generated from my situation be solely from this one little occurrence? No. It was the house problems which had triggered a memory within my emotional body calling me back to the time I first felt that feeling and became traumatized from it in some way.
Imagine that these sensations in your body have a voice and want to be heard. They are aspects of you, trying to tell to you about what you are feeling. Today my mind told me I was frustrated with not having internet to email back a few of my clients who had scheduled channeled readings with me. I was frustrated that I could not work on my website the way I had planned to. So I connected to that aspect of me that was frustrated and gave him a voice. I could feel the staccato in my belly, the crawling in my skin, the sharpness in my chest. He was 5 years old. He told me he was angry. He said he wasn't allowed to be angry.
Someone had shown him in some way that was traumatic for him that anger is not an appropriate emotion to experience. To adults, anger is an inconvenient emotion for their children to experience. So they stifle this valid human emotion of anger in their child because they themselves don't know how to process their own anger they've now produced, completely unaware that they are teaching their child to not process an emotion. This child will go through life not knowing how to process an emotion that every human being processes. An emotion that is important to understand how to process in a healthy way so as to prevent a potentially dangerous expression of this emotion, such as violence. This is developmental trauma. The child has not learned how to deal with or properly move through a negative emotion so as to reach a more positive emotional state.
Because, at a young age, someone had shown me in some way that was traumatic for me that anger is not an appropriate emotion to experience, I developed a belief that anger is a wrong feeling to feel, and I experienced a mirror of that feeling. I was judging myself for having a very human response to a very frustrating situation. The same way the 5 year old aspect of me was ridiculed and shamed for experiencing the human emotion of anger, I had learned from that point forward that it was not okay to be angry. So I suppressed the aspect of me that feels anger until this day.
With no car, no water, no gas to cook with, or internet to use, I felt powerless to my situation. I felt like through all my efforts to initiate, I had no control over accomplishing anything. Powerlessness was the vibration I was working with. So I connected to that aspect of me that felt powerless and gave him a voice. I closed my eyes and explored the root of this powerless feeling. Immediately I became aware of the omnipresent powerful void located right where my ribs meet. Surrendering to this feeling was particularly challenging. It was a feeling as if you took a super charged energy vacuum to the center of my being and had it violently suck away at my energy body. Leaving rips and tears all over my auric field. My arms felt especially weak. As if vital life force was drained from them. Brittle and lifeless. I recognized the significance of this. Hands are what you "do" things with. This feeling of being powerless is the opposite of "doing." This is why my hands felt drained of life force. I knew from here that this aspect of me that felt powerless wanted to "do" something. And "do" something using my hands particularly. I had some paints and a few canvases I picked up in San Jose laying around I always meant to get to. I decided, with literally nothing left to do with myself for the day, I want to create something. Tapping into that void over my solar plexus I knew that aspect of me wanted to create something.
I had already been aware of creative blocks I have. I also knew that I would be preoccupied with making it look perfect. That I had to make art "right" to win others approval of me and my artwork. This is what has always plagued me. I'm aware of this highly expressive, emotional, lyrical nature of my being. It has just been blocked. *When you can appreciate beauty or artistry in someone or something it is because it already exists within you. You are remembering a piece of your soul, this is why it strikes a cord within your being. I've always been mesmerized by this sort of thing. Art, poetry, music, dance, theater, performing arts, all things which produce a sort of multidimensional poetic experience for me. So I've always known it was in me. I just didn't know how to access it or express it. I'm also aware of this eagerness within me to share my aesthetic. But because of learning from a young age that my aesthetic is wrong, and being shamed or rejected for it, I created this hyper awareness of what I was doing at all times. Constantly checking in to see if I'm walking right, talking right, smiling at the right time. Doing everything in my power to please other people so as to avoid rejection from them and feel shame as a result. This part of my inner child lovingly created a barrier to protect the other part of my inner child that is afraid of shame and rejection. Completely blocking my creativity to keep me safe from the pain of shame and rejection. My creative block was a coping mechanism designed to keep me emotionally safe.
I proceeded to close my eyes and become present with this feeling. Immediately my attention was drawn to the void. A feeling I had been trying to push away I had realized instead was a feeling I was meant to invite. This is my creation energy. This is the initiator, the artist, the dancer, the musician. My suppressed self was this void. My creator self. This feeling I learned to suppress had been dormant for so long that when I would feel it again I always assumed it was something negative, when in reality it was just an uncomfortable sensation I was not used to feeling after suppressing it all these years. It was so alive. Almost like it was dancing. Tuning into it I heard a voice in my head say "this part of your thinks differently." I knew what he meant. He was telling me I normally think in my head, but tuning into this energy I could not use my head. I had to feel. I was experiencing my thoughts as opposed to thinking of thoughts. I saw that the void inside of me was painful because it was consuming me. Consuming me because I was not feeding it the energy to create with. This part of me wanted to create without expectation. Paint without being concerned about the result or without trying to produce a positive response from myself or from others.
For the first time I was able to paint a picture without thinking. Where, normally, I would be preoccupied by not producing the perfect paint stroke, this time my "imperfect" strokes just became the foundation of a new creation. A new energy to be transformed into something else. I no longer attached myself to what I was creating. I created just to create instead of creating to produce something. It's the sole process of creating that is the art.
For those of you that don't know, I am a channel. When I channel someone's lost loved one or spirit guide, there is a massive current of energy shooting through my body. In order to be a clear channel you have to step out of your own way and surrender to what is coming through. Channeling occurs in the gamma ray frequency which is the very quiet still wavelength of our brain that is accessed typically through deep meditative states. In order to channel you cannot think at the same time. You just have to start speaking or writing and the energy flowing through you will direct you as opposed to your mind directing you. I found this to be no different from painting artwork.
As I began painting, where I would normally get stuck in my mind "thinking" about what to create and the right way to do it, this time I let my brush be my guide. I was stunned to feel the same feeling I feel when I am channeling higher dimensional beings. This was the energy from what I thought was a void I was blocking, but once I released that block I began to paint without attachment. Each moment I stopped while painting to admire what I painted so far, I would get stuck again. Because I attached myself to the product of what I was creating before it was a finished piece.
*If you stop mid-channeling your art and attach yourself to what was created, it can be very difficult to move forward with what you're creating, because you are seeing the brush stroke you have painted already as done. Something has already been created and the desire to create something has already been fulfilled from the satisfaction of what you've already created. This creates attachment. You cannot move forward and finish something that's already been finished when you stopped and became attached to your work in progress. You cannot fulfil an desire that has already been satisfied. Because art has already been produced. By that point, your perfectly symmetrical yellow paint stroke you've painted and now attached to has now been assigned a meaning, now been assigned a story, now been assigned a sentiment. By deciding what it already is, you've sealed its fate. You have eliminated its potential of what it could have become. You cannot see the next brush stroke to be made because of the story of the first brush stroke has already been told. By stopping to admire or overthink what you're creating, you are introducing the mind to an intuitive process that exists without the mind. So how do we move forward? Remind yourself that there is no wrong color to use. There is no wrong brush stroke to make. Try not to attach yourself to what you're creating until after all of that creative energy has been channeled into your piece of art. *We live in a universe of infinite potentiality. What this means is energy, which is everything, can never be destroyed only transformed. Matter has the potential to be transformed into anything. Therefore, the mineral on the ground has the potential to be a lamp. This acorn in the dirt has the potential to be an apartment building. Your "imperfect" brush stroke has the potential to be transformed into whatever you want it to be so as long as you do not limit its potential by attaching yourself to your artwork before it's finished. Your fruit canvas can become a moonlight landscape if you let go of your fixed idea of what you're trying to create. Being fixed in an idea with art blocks receptivity. Meaning you will not be able to receive feed from your intuition if you're too structured. This is not to say you cannot set out to paint a bunch of fruit if that's what you want to do. I just ask that you to be open and receptive to its potential to become anything so as to not block your creative channel.
Through this process I was able to understand that art is about the process of creating rather than the product of creating. It's not about the satisfaction of what you have created. It's about expressing an energy within you that wants to be expressed. This time, painting was the medium. I channeled my inner child, who was full of creative life force energy but believed he was powerless, into a painting.
I took this as a lesson for life, as well. *we are divine creators by nature. Life is about the process of creating. It is about enjoying the journey of life, not about the destination. This is not to say you can never stop and admire your life or your work, but if you're creating your work solely for it to be admired by others than you are not authentically creating. Art is emotion. Creating is channeling. From my perspective, art is not art unless you are expressing yourself.
I am going to apply this concept to the canvas of my life. So I will continue creating my life as I am, leading with my heart, not my mind. Not look back unless I need to draw from knowledge or experience. I find that when you are living in flow there is no time to look back. Once one thing has been created, the energy urgently wants to know where it can go next. Where can I express more of this vital creative force energy? I've been channeling this energy into art, blog posts, video projects, and my new website. What's interesting is that I've noticed the more I create in this channeled sort of way, the less I am even wanting to stop halfway through to attach myself to my creations. Because the product of my creation is not why I'm creating. It's about the process, as I mentioned earlier.
*Attachment in and of itself is not bad. But to attach to something implies a fear or reluctance to let go of that thing. Letting go is a part of life. Releasing your creations to the universe is not losing that thing. It's actually integrating with the creative energy all around us. We are all interconnected beings, therefore your creations are always a part of you.
After painting this piece, immediately I wanted to paint another and express another feeling within me through art. I felt surge of energy channeling through me urging me to grab a new canvas. It was late, nearly 1am and I needed to get some rest. It was almost painful to stifle that energy. I noticed the more that I stopped to look at and attach to my creation, the more that creative energy dwindled. I knew from here on out that I just need to keep creating and not look back with the knowing that this piece of art will always exist. There is all the time in the world to sit and admire it, but for now, I want to create more.