This is the subject of this painting.
You can see that it is dark. The lines quiver and are afraid to move. Trying to come together and collaborate, they can’t. Fear is like a cloud that covers the open sky of possibilities and free choice. No, you can’t do this, fear says, and you get constricted. You don’t see farther than your immediate confrontation with the thing that frightens you. It seems there is no way to avoid or escape it. It is hard to see anything anyway. This is a very narrow point of view.
Naturally, the relief from fear happens when somehow you manage to open the sky of more possibilities again. How about infinite possibilities?
Within our system of who we are, there is the open sky viewpoint, already a part of us that never leaves. All we have to do is enter the state in which we can experience this openness. Making art is one of the best ways. (Meditating, dancing, singing, remembering what you are thankful for, these are some of the other ways.)
So imagine: Something triggered your fear. Perhaps you started to uproot a belief that you had held for a long time, and used to think that it was very important for your safety. Now you start to see how this belief stops you from flourishing and you want to change the situation. The subconscious refuses to change, and suddenly you are afraid. It is as if you think very quickly: What am I doing? I am taking away my protection! A dark cloud covers your open view. There is nobody there to help and it is you against your fear. What to do?
Draw or paint the fear, if you like drawing or painting. Where do you feel the fear? How does it feel? How can you describe in visual effects the way you feel? Ask your intuition to paint for you. Be the hands and eyes of intuition. Whatever ideas come, do them. After all it is just a drawing.
As you paint, you pay attention to how you feel. And you can detect where in the painting your description is true to your experience and where it is not exact enough. So you correct yourself to make a good description, as only you, looking from inside of yourself can know.
From being totally engaged in a confrontation and a fight for life, you change your state to being curious, playing with effects that you invent as you go, and trying out expressions. You pay attention to what feels true and not. Inevitably you start feeling good as there is joy in following your intuition. You start paying attention to the composition, which indeed is a wider view of everything, and without any effort, you are already in a deeper state, a calmer state, a wiser state, a loving state.
Fear cannot stay in such an environment. Fear is the vibration of being cornered by danger. It cannot keep its strength inside of a loving, playful, and curious environment.
And while you are still in this loving state, which is your true nature, ask yourself: What do I really want to do now? What does my true nature want to do?
I used to be a graphic designer and an illustrator. I became involved with the Chan Meditation Center and studied meditation and Buddhist knowledge with the late Master Sheng-yen from Taiwan. For twelve years I was in a process of deepening my meditation. I had many more experiences and insights and my life changed. After having illustrated more than 40 children’s books and writing two of them, I left this career too and went to New York University to study art therapy.