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Wisdom of the Ages

A Brave Front

Most people know me as a go getter, whatever that is. I’m a doer. I am always trying to make something happen, always hustling. But years of negative messaging from myself and others, in the form of CSA and verbal trauma, and the resulting anxiety and depression, has cut pretty deep into whatever potential I’ve had to be my best self. The result is I’ve become overly sensitive to criticism and more than a little afraid of going after my dreams. Trauma also takes the form of chronic pain, which I appear to carry pretty well. I’ve undergone three surgeries in the last year, in an effort to alleviate my chronic back and neck pain, which I have not discussed publicly, because frankly, who wants to hear about it?

I find the best weapon against negativity in all its forms, is a lightning focus on my mission, the moment to moment bravery of doing my work, where the energy necessary to accomplish it pushes out the negative or superfluous thoughts. That’s what’s at the heart of The Power of Positive Painting, replacing negative thoughts with concrete action. Our intentional focus on method, skill building and mindful creating keeps all the judgement and negativity at bay long enough for us to tap into our limitless creative potential. Negativity is the inevitable result of a mind that is idle or on autopilot. Creatives need direction, focus, structure and purpose to operate at peak performance. Finding connections, comparing values, resolving edges, refining shapes are but a few examples of what I’m doing when I paint. I am addressing each need as it arises, making sure it satisfies my ultimate purpose, which is the universe of the particular painting I am working on. All other concerns are pushed out of my consciousness. There’s no room in my mind for anything else. Some people call this “being in the zone.” I call it survival. I call it bravery.

Starting fresh every day helps keep the negative monsters at bay

Some people, myself definitely included, would not make it through life without their art, which makes sense of the senseless, reveals the humor in the humorless and creates meaning from the meaningless. Isn’t it worth every second it takes to get really good at it?

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