I have painted the beautiful planters and boxes my husband makes, for about a year, but the time has come for me to stop. I moved house about five months ago (yes, again) and with it the path I was taking turned a corner and up ahead was a crossroads.
Excited about the new house, with my own room to work and paint and the pleasure at thinking I would be able to sit downstairs instead of in bed for hours whilst painting, was short lived. After a couple of months I found that I didn't have the energy to undercoat and topcoat the boxes, that just painting one was exhausting. I took on a friend to help me work, to do the long arm movement painting, but still I found sitting down to paint extremely hard and painful and the enjoyment started to leave me.
About eight weeks ago, I was still just about painting but struggling badly. I had so many lovely ideas of what to paint and my painting had definitely improved over the months I had been doing it, but the love of what I was doing stopped ... and then I stopped.
I have waited. I told my friends that I had 'lost my mojo' but that it would come back, ordered new paintbrushes to help me do a better job, but still, nothing. No joy, no energy and no desire to paint.
Finally, over the last few days, having stopped beating myself up and feeling guilty about the few boxes that I had been asked to do but haven't been able to, I gave myself the space to take another peek in my soul to try to see what has happened. I expected to see a dull, drab and colourless soul, because that was how I was feeling ...
... but this is what I saw. MY SOUL LOOKS GLORIOUS! ... in full flower... full of the flowers, hedgehogs, butterflies, birds and bees that I have painted and what's more, they are not just flat paintings but are now three dimensional - they are full of the joy I had when painting them and the happiness of the people I painted them for! After too much time indoors feeling agoraphobic, I had managed to 'get back out there' a little. I have met lots of new people and been to craft shows and fairs selling our planters and taking orders, have loved talking to so many people and have made new friends. I guess this was the purpose of painting, for me. I needed to re-learn how to communicate physically with people and my painting served this need and brought the flowers I had painted in my soul, to life!
I have grown my soul in ways I never dreamed of, not realising any of it at the time. I was just travelling the path. Now I have stopped to look I realise I have lots of 'other' plans and things going on that excite me that could just be possible, despite my disabilities. I still have to be mindful that perhaps I had been doing too much and had 'burnt out' a little again, but stopping at the crossroads for a rest before turning a corner has done me no harm.
So, don't be sad for me. I was sad and disappointed with myself and felt I had given up - but now I know I haven't, I have just moved on, and the experience I have enjoyed of selling again (always loved selling when I worked in retail) means I will now be selling idea's - mine and my friends - developing the market I run with my husband to be even better for the community and trying to make more things happen, all for good and all for Growing My Own SOUL a whole lot more!
Thank you to my friends and fellow stallholders for supporting me and accepting me for who I am over the last few months ... it is what I needed and had been craving, for such a long time. God Bless You x