It is really interesting how music can feel like a shape or a color or the answer to a soul question.
A couple of weeks ago, there was a morning where I woke up feeling really unsettled. I have no idea why. I don’t remember dreaming the night before. But, there were tons of emotions. I feel my emotions really strongly in my chest and my back. That probably sounds weird, but it’s just what I feel. That morning, I felt this really strong clashing feeling. It felt like sharp claws were on opposite sides of my chest and trying to come together, but fighting against resistance in my shoulder blades. I asked my husband to put on some music for grumpiness (because I didn’t know what else to call it). He picked Dvorak’s New World Symphony. I just started squeezing paints out of their tubes. Reds, yellows, oranges, browns. And I spread them out on the canvas. The experience was a jarring and consuming. I felt like the colors and the brush strokes were the emotions trying to get out through my hands. Weirdly, I didn’t have any mental baggage with it. I just wasn’t overthinking (for once).
Have you ever felt anything like that? Writing is like that for me at the best times. I get a flash of something, a place, a feeling, a person. It feels urgent and magical and I love to sit down at my computer and disappear into it.
But, in order to let that happen, I have to be open and willing to see and experience whatever comes.
Contrarily, I actually spend a lot of time trying to manage my emotions. I think that’s a normal human thing. Trying to feel the way that I think I’m supposed to feel – cheerful and energetic in the morning. Patient. Peaceful. Collected. Happy. But that’s not always the way I really feel. In fact, that’s not usually how I feel. I have to work hard to feel those things.
In yoga, we practice mindful observation without judgement. But the judgement of feelings is so pervasive in life, society, and the world that I often don’t even realize I’m doing it. The experience of waking up, noticing a feeling and painting it out was a really satisfying way of exploring it. I can’t say that I have any answers about what the feeling meant, but it has opened me up to a different way of feeling; not judging but meeting my emotions with curiosity instead of trying to make them be something they’re not.
As I explore yoga and art and non-judgmental being, I am coming to believe more and more strongly that the subconscious and our energetic bodies have a lot of wisdom to give if we can find a way to listen.
Sometimes it resonates as a sound that can only be expressed through color and shape. Sometimes it is a picture that needs words to explain it. Friday, I was feeling circles. I don’t know. I just sat down, turned on some noise, and let the feelings paint. Here’s what emerged.
It doesn’t look that impressive but, my god, it felt like the meaning of life. We are individual and we are universal. Makes me think of that Rumi quote, “we are stars wrapped in skin. The light you are seeking has always been within.”
I wish I’d used a canvas or better paper.