Some works come easily and flow through me almost as if I have nothing to do with them but act as the vessel. Not so with this one. I fought and fought with this painting.
It started off as the one in the middle with all the reds at the top. Initially, it was my favorite in that whole bunch I was working on at the time. I loved it that day when I took the pic below sooo much and thought it was nearly finished...but then things took a downward turn. I kept messing it up. I was trying too hard with it; my expectations were so high from the very beginning that every time I touched it I was disappointed.
Each time I would go out to the studio I would try and try to make it something better, more significant. Then for the past week I moved it to a dark area in the studio and have literally been hiding from it.
In a parallel universe, the same sort of thing was going on in my yoga practice. One of my favorite things in the world to do besides love on my babies and paint is to practice yoga. Thanks to this journey into getting to know myself better, as well as wonderful community of friends and teachers at Exhale, my daily practice has become a well that I draw endless amounts of strength, energy and inspiration from.
The elusive handstand is something I attempt nearly every class. When the kids and I are horsing around in the playroom, we often do our handstand hops. (My five-year-old is pretty fantastic, BTW.) I am far from getting it, but every day I try. As my teacher Brooke says, "You will never improve at a posture if you don't at least attempt it. it is in the trying that you grow." Sometimes I can't even get my hips over my shoulders, sometimes I get it and hang on for a second, sometimes I fall.
This morning in class I tried. And lo and behold I caught some air. I could tell I did something differently because this attempt felt effortless. For what felt like an eternity (but was probably more like 8 seconds), I hung out in my handstand. I could feel the love and support of my teacher from across the room. For some crazy reason, my mind wandered to my art sketchbook from Senior Year in high school, and this particular sketch I had done that had always seemed sort of random but all of a sudden made perfect sense: