As a person in recovery, I work regularly on the blocks in my life that keep me from being happy, such as noticing how tense I get when someone is impatient with me or intentionally hurtful, or trying to be kind to myself when I don’t think I own enough nice things. I used to drink whenever I got a resentment or felt crappy about my life, so it’s something I watch out for. Not that drinking actually made me feel any better. I felt good for only an hour before I drank way too much, and then felt really, really bad. But drinking did do something that I had a hard time doing on my own - it helped me to not care.
The block that has been keeping me from being happy that I have been working on most recently concerns what I have been doing over the last several years to earn a living - teaching others to make art.
I first started creating paintings many years ago as my own way to grieve, to heal, to express both love and sorrow, and to talk to the divine. To me, all artistic expression is prayer. If we are spiritual beings having a human experience, art is what our soul gets out of it. Art turns the mundane into the sacred, and suddenly the simplest things become the most beautiful. Even though teaching others how to express this magnificence within themselves is an honorable endeavor, I no longer had the time or energy to create the paintings my soul needed to create. My visual prayers ceased because I was simplifying techniques in order to explain them to others, something I was good at. But there is danger when we follow money instead of our spirit.
I am now a full-time artist. I pray while I paint. I never leave my beloved. Instead of focusing on the world and the happiness and acceptance of others, I am looking toward my own. My pencils are spiritual. My paper is holy. My intent is omnipresent. I am fearless. I am in love. I am an artist.