Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Friday, May 27, 2011


A fearLESS Friday Post

"The outcome of a painting has to be viewed on the same ground from which it was created--its aliveness, its energy, its vulnerability-in order to be appreciated. This aliveness resides in the painter's face, in the posture, in the change of feeling, and in the heightened awareness of the moment, as well as on the surface of the painting. The outcome is the whole experience, not just a piece of paper with paint on it."  ~Michell Cassou (From her book Life, Paint & Passion)

The little words under the bird say "Be you."  *(Click to enlarge)

I am continually awed by the creative process.

I haven't been painting much lately.  I'm noticing that the more time that goes by between paintings, the greater my resistance.  Last week, when I finally managed to put a paintbrush in my hand and began to dip and dab and get color all over the place, a lightness descended.  Even though there was the surface level anxiety that comes from feeling the void of a blank canvas, a giddy-kind-of-joy came bubbling up.  Painting does that to me.  I feel like a giggling little kid when I  paint.

I painted this particular painting outside on my back deck; the sun was shining, the birds were singing wildly, the breeze was just right...the music from inside the house had me dancing and singing and swaying.  At one point, a hummingbird swooped down super close to me...I felt like it buzzed by just to say hello to me.  It was a beautiful, blessed afternoon.

In the middle of painting, this knowing bubbled to the doesn't matter at all how this painting turns out, the aliveness that I'm feeling right now is what it's all about.

But here's the funny, not surprising thing...the mind has a very sneaky way of edging its way in and messing with a good thing.  It loves to do that.  It loves to stomp on the sacredness of creation and decide that it's really not about the joy at all but about what I can hold in my hands and look at in the end.  And the mind decides that it very much has everything to do with whether others like it.  Or not.  Hmmm.  So conditioned are we to care so much about "good" and "bad," to care so much about someone else's very subjective, fleeting opinion. 

Here's the thing.  I am fiercely committed to calling bullshit on the mind.  I am committed to letting joy be my guide...if something fills me with aliveness and giddiness and inspiration, I will follow it wherever it leads.  I will follow it wherever it leads.  I will follow it wherever it leads.  This is my commitment.

I've asked this question before and I'm sure if you keep coming back here, you'll hear some version of it many times more: 

What if creating could simply be about expressing what is sacred inside?  What if we let go of good and other's opinions and committed to following our joy, our bliss, our giddiness wherever it may so bravely lead?  

Seriously, what if?

**Today's fearLESS Friday stretch:

Pick up a paintbrush, a crayon, a pencil, a pen, a piece of chalk (whatever is easy/simple/available) and simply begin.  Don't think.  Don't plan.  Don't try to decide anything ahead of time.  There are no rules.  Allow your brush (crayon, pencil etc...) to be your guide.  Don't try to figure out what comes next, let your intuition/something beyond your little mind lead the way.  Trust that you will know what comes next when it's time to know.  Just begin.  Follow this moment to the next.  And giggle.  And did I say trust?

"However you begin, trust that the next step will come.  Let the unexpected guide you.  Every stroke will invite another one.  If an image attracts you before you start, welcome it.  But always remember that you cannot know how it will grow.  It will appear in its fullness only as you paint.  ~Michell Cassou  (From her book Life, Paint & Passion)


  1. Julia,

    I love how we connect.

    I just came upstairs to take a quick break to see what new inspirations were waiting for me on my computer.

    Just minutes before reading your giddy, joyful, and blissful posting, I was in my studio with my daughter and her girl-friend preparing posters for their 5th grade graduation party at school.

    We were joyfully splattering paint onto poster board with absolutely no intentions. None at all. It was even OK for us to get spattered by one another. No judgment ... no blame ... all bliss.

    The colors were delicious as they brought out the playfulness in us. The blissfulness of being in the moment.

    Enjoy the wonders of the weekend.

  2. Thank you for inspiring me with this beautiful post, dear friend. "There are no rules"...something I needed to be reminded of today. You are living joy, bliss, and authentic creativity every day.

    Love to you on this beautiful day.

  3. it's a beautiful painting, julia. i will take the words of this post with me when i try painting again.=)


What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia