I have begun a third round of painting through my Chakras. My inner expectation messed me up right from the beginning. I had this thought that painting my root chakra would bring about the same beautiful painting that happened the last time. That is never the case. Each time through the chakras seems to be bringing me to a different level of awareness, inviting me deeper and deeper into each chakra to uncover, cleanse and accept more and more of who I am.
Because I came wanting that beautiful painting again, I bumped up against stuff quite quickly. I frustrated myself quite quickly. And I became aware of what I was doing fairly quickly. But, my want for a repeat of beauty overpowered my letting go for longer than it needed to.
Two things were different as I began this painting. I put the paper sideways on the wall, and I painted in blue instead of red and orange. Blue was the only color available to my Creative self most of the way through this process. This painting became of “study in blue.”
I began by making waves of the various shades of blue across the painting. It was challenging to do that. The painting kept ripping free from the tacks that were holding the painting up. I kept having to stop and re-tack up the painting. Then the paper began to wrinkle as the paper got wetter with paint and I could not get a good flow going.
I found myself frustrated with the paper’s wishes. So I turned to circles. I found that the blues curved in such a way that they were inviting two full circles and a half circle. One small in the lower corner. A bright blue circle.
The other began with a deep blue and then go lighter as it echoed outwards. I found once I began that second circle that I spent much of my time on it. It wanted to echo out. I wanted that echo to resemble the ripples of a pond. It wanted to just echo to lighten as it echoed outward. When I let go of my need, the circle began to take form. The echoing began to happen. I found it getting larger and larger, taking over the whole right sheet of paper.
The half-circle was next to the full circle. It was part of the original wave. I grabbed primary blue and put it over that part of the wave. As I did it I became fully aware of what I was doing, of what that half-circle really was.
It connected me back to my second root chakra painting -- to the bottom corner of that painting. I had painting light blue on that corner. I had struggled deeply with that blue. I even scrapped that blue off, so I could get rid of it and allow for the green to flow. When I hit a wall and my teacher confronted me, I realized that I had scraped my tears off the painting.
Here I was painting blue in the same shape, in the same place, when that urge to scrape it off bubbled up in me calling my awareness back to “unfinished business.”
I must have been making some very disgruntled noises because the next thing I knew my teacher was checking in with me. I told her I was fine. I was. I told her I was aware of what was happening. I was. I told her I knew what was next. I did, sort of.
I left the blue. I left it on the painting. I knew it was my tears. And instead of scraping it off, ignoring it, stuffing it back into my Shadow, I let it be on the painting. I let it show up. I acknowledged it. And then I moved on to what was next...
Light. Light shining forth from the space between the half-blue circle and the large echoing circle. Light shining down and behind the bright blue circle.
I grabbed the yellow white and began to put it on in that space. I began to work the yellow in such a way that the texture of the paint illustrated it shining forth from the intersection of the two circles. I worked it behind the blue circle.
When I felt like that was done, I sat down and took in the painting so far. Something more needed to be added to the center of the echoing circle. I stared at that center and awaited the invitation. Purple. Star. Hmmmm.....
I stood up and followed the invitation. I added a purple star. Same purple as all the stars I have painted in the last few months. When I was done I found myself flat on my back...for... a.... long... time. The star had done what it usually did. But it was up.
My teacher let me lay there for a while before coming over to see what was going on. She pointed out to me that each time I paint a star, it is usually the last thing I do and I end up where I am stuck on the floor. She talked with me about how I have bumped up against that star regularly for the last four months. She pointed out that I usually cover it up or wipe it out. I have not dealt with it. She suggested that I needed to deal with it, like I needed to deal with all those mythical images that arose on my grief painting earlier that morning.
She was right. I sat there reflecting upon my various paintings of late and laughed out loud how right she was.
I had painted a purple star in the lower corner of my last throat chakra painting and covered it up with the purple orchid.
I had painted a purple star in my last Spiritual Direction painting, but had not covered it up. It was the last thing I painted though.
I put it up on my last round of painting my Third Eye as the last thing I did and wiped it out first when I came back to the painting to add my Crown.
In my last round of 40 day painting, it appeared in the top corner and over that week, it was wiped out as an explosion of Light. It reappeared near my intertwined hearts and was wiped out the next day.
And just the previous day, it reappeared a third time over the ball of Light wrapped by the green and yellow twirls...the one and only stroke I could add. (I had not had time to wipe it out yet.)
Then my teacher asked me what I did to this purple star? I had used the twirling tool to dull it, soften it somewhat.
She encouraged me to do no more to the painting. Sit there. Take it in. And ask myself what this star means to me, because I need to work through it, not around it, not bump up against it and ignore it, not wipe it out. I need to understand what this myth is for me, accept it, embrace it, welcome it into the silence of my being.
I did that. I sat and nothing came...
I thought about it theologically as I drove home -- thinking about whether the Star of Bethlehem was echoing in my painting, pointing direction. No, that did not seem right.
I sat in silence asking, waiting patiently and not so patiently, day after day for almost two weeks. I followed the guidance of the Sacred and dove deep into a different mythical image hoping it would bring light to this one.
After much patience
After much silence
After much prayer
After much cleansing and healing
The Sacred brought forth the answer to my prayer
bubbling up in silence one morning:
The purple star is the fear that brings me to a paralyzed stop in all that I am doing.
No wonder I wiped it out, covered it up, softened it. Who wants to come face to face with fear?
My teacher is right. I can not move forward in my life unless I look directly into fear.
Martin Laird, in his book Into the Silent Land, gives loving direction when facing fear. He writes “By looking directly into the fear before the mind adds a story we see that fear is not real in the way we thought it was. It is nothing more than ‘a mass of thoughts and feelings and an unpleasant tension in the body’...” Once we realize that, fear itself becomes a vehicle to the deeper silence which is the Great Cloud of Unknowing.
And so, the purple star is pointing direction...a direction into deeper silence and stillness... a direction deep into the Heart of God... with FEAR as teacher.
I will accept that invitation and follow that direction trusting that FEAR will open in the silence of my Soul before The Great Cloud of Unknowning, that is the Sacred.