As many of you know, I am participating in a five-day art challenge. The goal of the challenge is simply to share our work with other artists.
Today has been the most difficult one for me yet. Yesterday, I learned about the death of a former high school classmate. Given that there have been about four others within the past year, the news affected me deeply.
Today, I woke to weather that matched my mood — dreary. Unlike the last three days, I began the task with little enthusiasm. I found it impossible to get into a rhythm and to let my heart guide my work. As a result, I did not enjoy the process as much, and am not satisfied with the results. As it goes with life in general, I know that there is a morsel of wisdom hidden in today’s experience. Until now, it has escaped me, but it occurs to me that it is less about “doing,” and more about “being.”
Perhaps, I should have heeded my heart’s whispers, and instead of a harried day, chosen one of rest and contemplation. I’ve pushed myself to rise to the art challenge and so far, I’ve had fun doing it. Today, not so much.
I think that our need for a “mental health” day is, less a weakness or an ill-conceived reason to slack off, but an act of love and respect for our own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being. In my case, I wanted to complete the challenge so badly that I allowed it to outweigh my need for a slower pace. In hindsight, I should have respected my true feelings and let go of the self-imposed expectations.
The lesson is that if we ignore our genuine thoughts and feelings, all that we do and are, will undoubtedly suffer the consequences. The real challenge is to surrender to what is and honor it. Today, I did not choose wisely.
In spite of.the end result, here are my three pieces for Day 4: