Picture this…

You’re painting (or insert ‘going about your life’ here) away happily, following the energy, everything feels great, when all of a sudden it’s gone. There’s no more energy. It feels boring, meh, like you’re going through the motions. What happened and how can you get back to that feeling of flow and juice?

Its always helpful to pause here and check in with what happened just prior to the energy stopping? Are you in your body or up in your mind? What were you thinking? Had the judging mind kicked in with things like,‘It’s crap, it looks weird, I can’t paint, who do I think I am? I keep painting the same thing, why can’t I come up with something more original? That’s too much orange. That doesn’t make sense or fit in this painting etc’

The inner critic, ego, judging mind – whatever you want to call it, is the biggest buzz killer. It’s job is to keep you in your box, keep you safe and maintain the status quo. When anything new presents itself, the judging mind’s job is to shoot it down before it even has a chance to take hold. When we listen to this voice and follow it’s instructions to stop what we’re doing or not go towards that thing that just popped into our heads, we lose momentum and come to a halt. We become stuck and don’t know what to do next.

Often when we feel bored or stuck in our painting it’s because we’re avoiding something. We’re stopping ourselves from feeling something or experiencing something. Maybe something feels risky, painful, uncomfortable, scary or overwhelming. This is an opportunity to go towards that thing, to cross the threshold into new territory, to breakthrough. Again the ego will have something to say about this!

Sometimes we can feel really frustrated with the painting process and want to just get away from it, to finish this stupid painting and start a new one. We want to escape. It sucks. This is gold. This place of frustration and discomfort is inviting you to stay a while. To allow it. To accept it. To let it be. Can you allow yourself to hate your painting, to want to run away from it and to bravely stay with it? Can you ride the wave of ‘this is shit’ and keep going to see where it brings you? Frustration is energy. It might not feel great, but it’s still energy and the primary job we have in this process is to faithfully follow the energy.

Here are some ways of getting unstuck:

1) Get back into your body and connect with your painting.

2) Ask yourself some questions:

3) Stay in close to your painting. Notice when you step back to look at your painting, you are entering into the space of the judging mind, evaluating and deciding what to do next instead of allowing your intuition and body to guide you.

4) Try painting faster than you normally do, letting go of perfection, planning, thinking and just go with it. 

You might’ve noticed along the way in your painting practice that the intuitive painting principles also translate as good advice in your life in general. Try applying the above suggestions and questions to your life and see what happens!

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