Reviving a Lost Love for Oil Painting: Repurposing Fear

Yesterday I awoke with an incessant urge to paint. It had been 6 years since I had picked up my oil paints and allowed myself to create with them. This desire was so strong, I changed my plans for the entire day, giving myself the space to follow through with my inner wishes. I want to do more of that in my life: notice what I truly long for and pursue it. There's a childlike quality about it, maybe it's self-centered, but it's a keen awareness of needs that is playful and explorative.  

I unearthed my ancient oil paints. 

I unearthed my ancient oil paints. 

I was afraid I'd forgotten how to paint; to dictate colors, compose, and allow an image to come forth. I quieted that fear by dropping expectations and allowing myself to play. If nothing particularly lovely came to fruition, I was at peace with that. The result? My soul sang on the canvas. It was released in expansive landscapes, skies, and a sunset.   

Oil painting 1 : Landscape and sky with plenty of room to breathe. 

Oil painting 1 : Landscape and sky with plenty of room to breathe. 

Color and creation make me feel alive. It's in my jewelry, paintings, even my home and wardrobe. I'm thankful to have seized my soul's wish to create with paint yesterday. Otherwise, these two paintings would not exist in the world as they now do. I hope  when you feel a desire, you allow yourself to chase it too.  

Oil painting 2: vibrant Colorado sunset over the mountain range 

Oil painting 2: vibrant Colorado sunset over the mountain range 

"Feel the fear and do it anyway." That's advice I've heard and followed through on. It's okay to be afraid as long as you move through it. And on the other side, it isn't scary, it's empowering. Yesterday I greeted my fear of not being able to create a painting. I acknowledged it and kindly asked it to step aside because my soul longed to paint. This month, I'm vowing to keep doing just that... feel the fear and do it anyway.

I realize my fear of painting was about perfection and rejection; if I couldn't do a painting perfectly, I was afraid to make one at all because it might be rejected (by myself and others). Yesterday when I dropped my expectation of perfection, the process and product were fun, fulfilling, and authentic.  

What fears are holding you back today? Fears serve a purpose, often the intention is to keep us unexposed, safe, not risking rejection; homeostasis. However, to live more fully, we need to repurpose our fear by acknowledging the reason(s) it exists and asking the braver side of us to step in. Say, "Hello, Fear. I see you there and know you're trying to protect me. Thanks for you input, but I can handle this today."  Then take action. Even a small step.... Today!