Painting Your Life: Using Art to Become a Creator
If you are feeling down and out I can let you in on a quick way to turn your mood (and possibly your life) around. It’s all about perspective really. We can take some concepts used in art and apply them to human happiness. Art is all about observation really, and the skills we develop as artists can be applied to many things, including peace of mind and happiness.
Let’s say you set up a still life on your table. Maybe some fruit or a nice bouquet of flowers and a charming old-fashioned oil lamp. You can take that subject and look at it from many different angles and see many different things. Each angle or perspective would be different though no less correct. What each individual perspective has in common other than the subject matter itself is that it’s an incomplete view of the subject at hand. You can approach the subject from one angle and it will look totally different when you zoom in from a different direction. We can apply this idea to our own lives by simply remembering that we can’t always see the full picture when it comes to a person, a thing, or a situation.
This idea helps us to be more tolerant toward others, and it helps us maintain our own sense of peace when we feel life is treating us unfairly. Remember when considering the subject of yourself, the most important perspective you should be concerned with is your own; because you have the most complete picture of yourself as a person. You alone have access to your thoughts and all the myriad of variables and circumstances that cause you to make the decisions you do. Everyone else just has pieces of the puzzle, you have the full picture and it’s up to you to decide how you want to look at it. Just remember, good or bad you are the one who has to live in your head. On that note, I should add that consistency will go a long way toward preserving your sanity and peace of mind. While the side of ourselves we present to different people might differ in some ways if we can keep our facts somewhat consistent we’ll keep our lives simpler in the long run.
In the art world, we understand that not only does our perspective alter the image we see, so too does the lighting. Generally speaking, the brighter something is the more positively we view it. We all know a room that is lit up is generally a lot less frightening and imposing as the thought of something hiding in the darkness. We can take this idea of lighting and compare it with gratitude. Gratitude is like the light we shine into the darkness that chases away the shadows of our fears and reveals to us the blessings we truly have. The more we shine the light of gratitude, the more we are able to see those blessings that were once hidden from us.
If we were to go back to the still-life analogy, we can start off by striking a match or sparking a lighter in a darkened room. We have a small amount of light that allows us to find a bowl of fruit or flowers to paint then we notice a lantern we can turn on. The lantern gives us a better view of the room and from there we’ve illuminated the door which we can pass through to see a beautiful sunset for us to paint ablaze with all the beauty and splendor nature possesses.
I should also add that what you put in is key. If you had ignored the fact you had a match or a flashlight and just focused on the darkness and wandered in said darkness you probably would have stubbed your toe or bumped your shin. Next, you might have stumbled around the room cursing and knocked over the table or stepped on the cat and gotten clawed.
The law of Karma or the law of Attraction is real; you get what you give. If you are an angry bitter person you’ll have an angry bitter life. If you are peaceful and loving, chances are your life will be peaceful and loving as well. Think of it as making a sandwich. If you put good healthy ingredients into the sandwich you’ll have a wholesome tasty lunch. If you squeeze a bunch of hate and angst and anger between a couple of slices of apathy you’re bound to get a s**t sandwich. Just simple logic.
Now most of our power comes from within, from the perspective we choose to look at things, and from the light we choose to shine; our power comes from how we choose to ACT in situations (thoughtfully, mindfully, aware, as opposed to reacting blindly or emotionally).
We can choose to paint a happy scene and happy places, or we can choose to paint a scary terrifying scene of our own personal hell and focus on that for half of forever. It’s up to us what kind of subject matter we want to focus on… You are the god of your own universe as am I, but we’re also co-creating with all the other gods and goddesses around us, it’s important to honor that and our ability to choose, and how necessary that ability is sometimes.
Think about all the different perspectives that are out there and surround yourself with the people who build and empower you to become the kind of person you want to be. Keep the healthy mirrors around you; cherish the people who will believe in you and lift you up. They will give you strength when you are feeling weak. They will make you smile when you want to cry.
Surround yourself with people who reinforce your perspective of good in yourself and the world. When you encounter negative people who try and cut you down or make you feel small remember they are coming from their own small perspective. Try and see them in another light and hold space for the beauty that’s inherent within, while respecting that sometimes the best way to do that is with space.
Finally, remember the words of Bob Ross while you are painting your life,
“This is your world, you can make it however you want.”
Written by Rebecca River
Shared with permission from original author.
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