A quick entry to share my painting experience today in our Painting Out Loud workshop. Aha moments come when we connect with ourselves in the present moment. Happy Reading!
Recently I have been reading In Search of the Miraculous: Healing into Consciousness by Mada Dalian. It is filled with ageless wisdom that brings a new level of understanding to the journey of healing and personal transformation. It's also a step-by-step road map or "how to" guide to healing and becoming more conscious and free. It covers topics such as the purpose and development of the ego, the seven paths of surrender, transforming thoughts into self-awareness and transforming fears, pain, and suffering to find inner strength and wholeness.
In Chapter 4 Mada writes, “Whenever you become aware of a negative thought, immediately neutralize its energy by abandoning it. To help you abandon thoughts, remind yourself that the thought is separate from you and has nothing to do with your being. Seeing it this way neither suppresses the thought nor feeds it.”
Yesterday I was in a conflict with someone, and this morning, as I facilitated the Painting Out Loud workshop, I was still feeling the residual upset inside. We were a small group of five, and so I joined in the painting experience. Selecting a small canvas that someone had painted and left behind weeks ago, I began by painting the thoughts and feelings that were stewing inside of me. First the blame: “You disappointed me.” “You hurt me.” Followed by ownership of my feelings: “I’m angry.” “I’m triggered.” “I’m sad.”
“Sad” seemed to be the predominant feeling, and I painted the word “sad” in dark green across two-thirds of the canvas. While painting it, I contemplated a passage from Mada’s text. How can I abandon my negative thoughts? I don’t think I know how without suppressing my feelings.
For ease of painting when working on a tiny piece, reorientation of the canvas is often required. In the rotating process, an upside down “sad” looked more like “dog,” and the shift in focus allowed me to disidentify with the sadness. I was delighted to find “dog” and began happily playing and exploring with color. It was that simple—I let go of the heavier thoughts and instead choose to engage with the lightness and joy in the present moment.
Ruminating over last night’s conflict was of no benefit to me. Quite the contrary, it was making me feel worse about myself, the situation, and the other person. I was adding layers of suffering onto a conflict that was in the past.
Mada goes on to write in her book, “When you simply abandon your negative thoughts without judgement and repression, you automatically experience self-acceptance and inner relaxation.”
That was my experience today and is also why I feel comfortable sharing my humanness with you all now. Mada also created a healing modality--the Self-Healing Dalian Method. The technique guides you to go inside, beyond the mind, to find clarity and understanding from your inner wisdom. I will use it later to come to a greater understanding of why I was triggered by yesterday’s conflict. I am still curious to know, but I don't need to struggle like a dog chasing her tail in senseless rumination and analysis.
Click below to learn more about the Self-Healing Dalian Method and Painting Out Loud.
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Madeleine Newkirk, Artist, Spiritual Junkie, Dalian Method and Art Process Facilitator.