What is Intuitive Painting to me?

 Painting at Fire Tree Studios, Austin, TX 

Painting at Fire Tree Studios, Austin, TX 

I feel as if I am standing in a sacred gateway, reflecting on the journey that has led me here, knowing that when I step out into this beautiful vista before me that my life will never be the same. I have been here before. In fact I believe that we can choose to walk through this gateway in every moment. This threshold however, feels like a significant rite of passage to me…from this place, I can see the trapeze bar in sight and am teetering on my toes reaching out for it. In an eternal second, I reflect on and acknowledge my unique process - my painting process, coaching and other Expressive Arts modalities. Each and every twist and turn has its place along my path, in one moment revealing to me my truth in love, in another reflecting my fears.

 Trust

The intuitive painting process combined with meditation practice, somatic body awareness and yoga have taught me to witness passing thoughts, releasing attachment or judgment. When fear or contraction arises, I am now able to acknowledge my false personality, the ego grasping on to less than serving patterns and beliefs. By acknowledging and expressing these parts of myself I am able to return to my connection within, where I am more able trust in my process. I then surrender to limitless possibilities and allow my journey to unfold, like an image in one of my paintings. This trust is at the heart of intuitive painting. My commitment to trusting in my process and trusting in my own inner guidance is crucial to this work. Trust is the foundation of my role as a facilitator, my painting process and upon which I live my life.

 Conscious Relationship

The key relationship that has transformed through this powerful process is my relationship to myself. As I have learned to align with my own inner voice and explore my wholeness, releasing less than serving core beliefs and stories, I am less inclined to seek validation outside of myself. Many of us, from childhood, are conditioned to seek external validation. Through the painting process, I learnt to notice and practice what it feels like when it comes from within. Interestingly, other relationships in my life have followed with equality and acceptance. They often mirror my relationship to myself.

 Shadow Work and Acceptance

Through intuitive painting, the shadow parts of myself are finding their voices within me. Through the potent process of archetype and shadow work, the pleaser, the over-empathiser, the victim, the child, the martyr, the magician, the artist, the charlatan, the hypocrite, the hippie, the damsel to name but a few… are finding their sweet place of acceptance and integration. Thus revealing to me my own blind spots of projection. From this place of awareness and accountability, my acceptance and unconditional positive regard for others is heightened.

 Abundance

Embarking upon working with abundance, I imagined it might shift my relationship to money and prosperity.  Interestingly, what evolved out of this process was an enlightening and powerful shift in my relationship to separation and oneness. A core belief of 'not good enough' that I had held on to for many years, spoke her truth with me through that process, revealing to me ways in which I had been inauthentic with myself and others during that period, manifesting as spiritual bypass, self-doubt, projection, dishonesty, fear and self judgment. It was in that moment that I committed to wholeness, acknowledging that my self worth and patterns of scarcity (less than) are intrinsic to and inform my experience of abundance. I allowed myself to surrender more freely and I continue to practice this everyday.

Process as Teacher

Through the intuitive painting process, I am learning to trust my own internal guidance system. This system, I am realising is one that is guided by intuition and grounded in my body. Being in tune with and listening to my body is my greatest teacher in discerning not only my own emotional and internal states through my painting process, facilitating, coaching and life at large, it also guides me in facilitating and holding space for groups and individuals.

 Holding Space

My experiences and witnessing of holding space as a facilitator in intuitive painting, have empowered me to recognise my sacred role as the ‘gate keeper’, firmly grounded in the harmony of my inner family, trust, presence and my connection to creative source. In holding space, I am learning the subtle and powerful art of modelling the witness. The gift of holding space encompasses not only my needs for safety and freedom of expression, it also discerns and senses the needs and boundaries of those whom I am holding within that space.

 Communication

My training in the expressive arts has taught me the incredible gift of trusting my own internal guidance, recognising my resistance and acting upon my own clarity. I am learning the gift of authentic and honest communication, holding strong boundaries both professional and personal and speaking my truth in love whilst releasing the outcome, irrespective of the fear welling inside…a fear I now recognise as the withdrawal of love from others and myself…illusion.

 Relationship to Source

My relationship to creative source has been and continues to be my sanctuary and my anchor, grounding my experience. So here I am, passing through this sacred gateway, ever evolving, ever learning and growing. The trapeze bar is closer now. I can feel it, arms outspread, heart expanding towards the sunlight and filled with love, gratitude and endless possibilities, and my journey continues….

 These words are inspired in gratitude for the Fire Tree Method,

Melissa - my mentor, soul sister, inspiration and beautiful friend - and

to all of those courageous souls who have journeyed with me in community.