Paint Your Change

Photo by Tjasa Owen

Photo by Tjasa Owen

Ever wonder why you may want something so badly but end up in the same place year after year?

You may want to feel more energetic, but wake up tired. You want a career you love, but feel trapped in your job decades later. Or want to be in a romantic relationship, or have close friends, but even after endless list making, planning, self-help end up in the same place. 

Paint your change! Get it out of your head and on paper.

Here's why it works. Last week I met a friend, Tjasa Owen (pronounced Tee-asha) for coffee. Like many of us she is trying to balance the fast pace of life while in her case honoring her gift as an artist. Sipping our caffè lattes chatting about life, she opened her moleskine calendar and my heart skipped. There amid scheduled meetings and events, were tiny colorful paint sketches everywhere! It was like seeing inside someone's mind. Felt so real, raw, vulnerable.

I wanted to know everything about it. As she goes about her week, she paints whatever is bouncing around in her head to get the feeling on paper and see it clearly. She doesn't worry about it being perfect or complete, it's the emotional, creative process that matters.

As I listened I wondered: why don't we all use a similar process to paint the change we want. Rather than have our minds use practical strategies, why not let our hearts tap into the powerful feeling living inside the change and transfer it on paper.

Try it. Grab a paintbrush, paint and piece of paper (you can also do this with your kids' colored pencils and sketchbook). Identify something you struggle with. Career change, being healthy, meeting your soulmate, wanting to live in a new part of the world....
Now imagine the change you want. Then visualize it has actually happened!  You have overcome. Good job!  Feel the emotion - the energy - this change gives you. Then paint THAT FEELING.

For example, if you want to get in shape, perhaps the feeling you desire is lightness. You may paint a feather floating in the wind. If you crave more down time, perhaps you really want to feel carefree again so your hand paints you running down a beach at sunrise with a big smile, light beaming onto your flowing hair. If you want to meet your soulmate, maybe you crave connection so an intimate moment of two people laughing at a cafe on a lazy Sunday morning is it.

Whatever captures the feeling inside the change. Paint THAT. Don't make it perfect. Don't let your brain overthink it. Let your heart move the brush. Real, raw, emotional. That's our goal.

Then take your little painting and post it where you'll see it daily. Fridge, bathroom mirror, photographed as a screensaver on your smart phone. Each time you see it, that "feeling" will speak to your heart. You'll radiate the feeling outward, helping you to naturally make decisions that propel you closer to your change. Before you realize, you are living the change.

Want to see inside Tjasa's calendar? Take a peak!