Nixing Goals and Finding Freedom.

In many of my conversations lately, the topic of doing something big has come up.

Creating big waves, reaching big audiences, having big travels to do big work.

For a long time, I thought this was what I wanted, too.  So, I gave myself goals.  I made plans.  I structured my life.

A few weeks ago, with an impending birthday on the horizon, I felt like I had to do something to commemorate this time.  I had to have some goal in the weeks leading up to it:  an increased meditation practice, painting daily, and, of course as it always does, the idea to lose weight came up with a quick veto from my husband.  (Thank goodness for him.)

Every idea I had felt like a trap.  Like I was putting a cage around myself.  What if I didn’t feel like meditating on a particular day?  What if I didn’t feel like painting?  What is the purpose in forcing myself to do something if my entire being is pushing against it?

So instead of making a goal, I made none.

And I’ve been doing things that have really surprised me.

Lifting weights, for one.  I’m not sure where this motivation came from, and I have no idea why I’m doing it.  I don’t care to get stronger, I don’t care to look more muscular, I don’t care to track my lifts and progress.

It just feels good.  So I stopped thinking about it and just started doing it.

I’ve also stopped wearing makeup.  Not really intentionally.  One day I just didn’t feel like putting it on.  That day turned into a week, and though I’m sure I’m not quitting makeup forever, right now it feels good.

And it’s changing me, even though I really didn’t mean it to.

Like today, in between sets, I looked at myself in the mirror.  I saw my tiny belly – not a six pack abs, not particularly flat – just sitting gently on top of my hips.  I thought it looked adorable.  Who thinks their belly looks adorable?  In it I could see that second glass of wine I had last night, the peanut butter cereal I ate in the morning, and the happy roundness of someone who wasn’t paralyzed at the dinner table.

That belly looked like freedom.

And my face showed a gentle pinkness with the exertion of the weights.  Something I probably wouldn’t have seen with the foundation I wear to cover my acne scars, and to hide my acne that shows my hormones are not quite balanced.  I could see the blemishes, but I also saw bright eyes.  I saw skin that was breathing, that had air.  In my skin, I saw freedom.

Right now, freedom is more important to me than anything else.  If someone likes what I do, great.  If someone wants to come to my classes, fantastic.  If someone wants to buy my art, I’ll happily let them.

But I don’t want to grow it, right now.  I want to breathe.  I want to sit.  I want to be still, and enjoy my second glass of wine, and do things without thinking.  I want to find flow, I want to be in that space where time stops and you just are, in the throes of creation and the ecstasy of movement and the stillness of breath.

I want freedom.  And that’s exactly what I’m getting.

Categories archive, Blog, On Art, Uncategorized

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