The first time I painted I was about 10 years old. I was at the children’s ward in a hospital in London. I was ill with malaria, admitted into hospital and had been quarantined. Yes it sounds odd to be quarantined for malaria, but there you go, life has its moments.
After about a week, I was released from quarantine and reintegrated back into the ward.
Sometime after breakfast was leisure. Different forms of toys and activities were scheduled to keep the children occupied.
In front of my bed was an easel, set up with paper, some paint and a few paint-brushes. Without any directive, I positioned myself in front of the easel, grabbed a brush and started painting. I envisioned an avenue of trees in a forest path of greens and browns.
I started mixing shades till I became so absorbed, lost in the process, immersed in what I now understand as a ‘state of flow.’ When I finished painting, I had the most indescribable satisfying feeling. Decades later, I recall the experience vividly.
Personally, I love creating; to produce something out of nothing is really the work of gods. It’s the same way I feel about writing and probably why I write regularly. I marvel at how a page starts blank and ends up as a post or an article that inspires people.
In the last few years, I have made some effort to paint more often. This usually happens with my children, as I encourage them to draw and paint.
This time, in a rare occurrence, I was alone and decided to paint impromptu. For someone whose mind is always racing, painting is great form of #mindfulness. I find painting keeps you focussed on your art in a quiet, soothing way. I didn’t think of anything else till the painting was finished. It felt relaxing; to be fully present for a change, focussing on one thing and one thing only.
Truth is, many of us are gifted and enjoy engaging in varying activities. One of my words for the year is ‘balance’ and part of the #inspiration is to avoid being consumed by one aspect of life. Balance creates an opportunity to explore the possibilities that abound when we are open-minded. It’s about experiencing different perspectives and leveraging those qualities that we often put aside.
As humans, we are multidimensional and multitalented beings. Our true strength lies in our uniqueness which comes from combining our various dimensions to form a whole that is like no one else. If you ask me, I would guess that mediocrity arises from over-analysing our abilities and trying to be someone else.
Rather than imitate or suppress our inner-child, we can embrace our rare combination which in itself is our competitive advantage.
Without even trying, we are already well endowed to flourish and contribute uniquely to mankind.
Anyway, it’s too early for this philosophical talk, please rate my painting, should I keep my day job or consider this a viable career option. I don’t have the energy for side hustles, so it’s all or nothing😀.