and some poetry and art for your heart
Hello beautiful people!
I want to share with you a recent win in my life:
I finished a painting that I worked on for 3 months!
The painting was an artistic stretch for me. As some of you may know, my journey towards creative expression has been an ongoing process of emotional alchemy. As I never studied art I had to overcome all the voices in my head that told me:
you can't do this! You are never going to be able to paint this!
In fact this is what art came to represent for me: a means, a tool of liberating myself. A way to excavate my spirit from the drudgery of daily life that is in large defined by all our limiting beliefs and fears.
The finished painting/end result? A mere bonus.
Albeit, one that my dopamine addicted brain appreciates, too. Of course, I LOVE IT when other people love my art and get moved by it.
(Which is exactly what happened with this piece and why I am so excited to share it with you! I hope you enjoy this beautiful collaboration between Marieke, Roger and me)
But if someone looks at my painting and says: ah, it's nice or beautiful. Or, godforbid, you are so talented.
Well, …I feel there is a missed opportunity for a deeper intimacy to be had.
When my art gets dismissed as 'talent’, I feel there is no acknowledgment and no curiosity about what it took to get to the end result. It's as if talent was enough for me to sit down and do what I did. Almost magically without any struggle.
There is no mention of all the moments of overcoming my inner insecurity and reluctance, in order to finish what I had set out to do (without knowing how to do it!).
To cut it short, what I do feel like a big WIN and something that I DO want to celebrate myself for and share the joy with you…
is the faith I had in setting out to do what seemed like the impossible for me.
It's the trusting the impulses that move through me and following the breadcrumbs that light me up and that lead to something beautiful
it's the continuous practice of focus and determination that hold tremendous power
it's the ongoing alchemy of my neurosis by transforming it into movement, color and ultimately art
it's the humbleness and gratitude that arise from realizing that I am willing to drop in deeper and follow that which sustains and nourishes me. The whispers of spirit beating through my heart, reminding me of the LOVE that is.
it's the prayer, the surrender to something greater than me, that is embedded in every inch of it
If you see all of that when you look at art, then I feel there is a true seeing, beyond labels like 'talent’ or 'beautiful'. A real intimacy between the art, the artist and the seer.
And so why am I calling this article 'the power of self-celebration'? The above is the obvious reason, of course. But there is more.
I wonder how you felt reading my above self-celebration? Were you enjoying it? (Thinking: good on her!)
or were you annoyed by it? (thinking: gee, she is so full of herself, who cares anyways?)
The reason I'm asking is because depending on where on the spectrum you fell might be telling on how critical you are towards yourself and whether it's easy to shift your attention on what's giving you joy instead or not.
Self-celebration is a powerful antidote to the very ubiquitous inner critic that causes so much of our suffering.
We all know it well, that inner voice that says: ah, I should have known better, done it differently. Why am I making it so difficult? What's wrong with me? etc.
It's the part of us that is obsessed with pointing out all the things that are wrong, or at least not a 100% right.
That part gets way too much airtime, if you ask me. It contracts us. It's the part that stops us from trying the impossible. And makes us feel small and hide our gifts.
But here comes the secret: it's more of a habit than anything else.
A mental knack that we learned and adopted from school, parents and society. And contrary to what it wants to make us believe (which is that we need it in order to improve), it's actually incredibly disempowering.
So how do we change the habit?
Embodiment, as you know, is about practice. It's about being true to what feels good inside. To follow the subtle currents of joy and pleasure that light us up.
Self-celebration is like taking a snapshot of those exact moments and keeping them close. Naming them is claiming them.
Wow, when I did that, it felt so good, and so alive! I am saying it out loud as to keep the memory close and by sharing it with you I create a mutual imprint that can uplift us both!!!
That's true self-celebration. It's not just to give ourselves a pep-talk when we need it, even though that's also good and necessary sometimes.
It's so we can create a habit around noticing and therefore anchoring those moments of aliveness in our bodies!
The more you notice what lights you up, the more you light up. It's a simple form of using the power of attention: energy flows where attention goes. Which is to say, we feed what we focus on.
If we never focus on what feels truly good inside, we never take those beautiful seeds to the next level. By failing to water them, we miss the chance of growing flowers.
And that's why it's so important for me to share the above with you. In a way creating art can be such a lonely place. There is no one there to witness the process, only the end result, which as already mentioned often falls short. So I say what happened to me during the creative journey here, in order to fully anchor it in my being, to remember and to inspire. Because…
There is one last thing to say here: by practicing self-celebration we give others permission to do the same. We give them permission to celebrate what is good and alive in their lives. Isn't that a wonderful gift to give to each other?
In that spirit: What moments of joy and aliveness do you celebrate in your life? I would love to hear!
If you like what you read, you can buy me a coffee! Thank you!
Kasia Patzelt is an Artist, Laughter Yogi, and Embodiment Coach. She helps people to release trauma and learn the art of self-compassion through embodiment practices and creativity.
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