'The Word Surrender'- a field report

(reading time 6 min)

I want! I will! I must! How can I? I still have to do this, I still have to do that. I sit hours, days and many nights in front of the computer. Doing seemingly endless tasks. Calculate, edit, organize. I make mistakes, correct them. Time slips by. Months go by. I'm way behind my schedule. And I just can't change it at all. Despair comes up, dissatisfaction with my pace. I compare myself. Fears are spreading, if I will ever manage and understand all this. 

Only this, then I have made it. And as soon as I get there, the next hurdle appears, the next "this one more". It never stops. And all the while, I feel this longing inside me to find myself. I long for my paints and brushes, to just be able to draw strokes on paper. Just thinking about it opens so many doors in me. They all lead home.

But, now discipline is needed, and I have it! I have it so much that I can't get out of all the doing. Permanent stress, has become a habit for me. David points it out to me more than once, but I think I can't get out of it now. I just have to get this done now. At some point, I suddenly had the thought of having reached a point where I keep finding more reasons to stay in this hurry. All of a sudden, I hear reports of people suddenly hospitalized with brain hemorrhages with different ears. I can understand how this can happen. If I don't find a way to get out of it, something thinks inside me, I'll end up just like that. Even though it's all about what I love, my art, in different ways all the time, I feel how that can become a hamster wheel too. Is it just a phase? I can't answer that question with my mind. My gut says, "No" There are lighter days, but the course keeps leading me into states where I wonder how I got there.

I'm done, so done. Outwardly I'm still functioning amazingly well, but inwardly I'm incredibly exhausted.

I was in this state a few weeks ago and it was the ticket to my painting 'The Word Surrender'. I love the word 'surrender'. To me it sounds softening, warm and purring. When I hear it, I feel goodness. It sounds like a hand lovingly stroking my head. 

When I started my painting 'The Word Surrender' and realized it was evolving from feeling overwhelmed, I immediately had resistance to it. I didn't want to paint THAT! I wanted to paint uplifting images! I feared painting a picture that would stay in my studio because I didn't want anyone to see it. But there was no detour. I was excited to see what the painting would tell me. I hoped for answers to my current situation.

And then, I fell in love with the first foreboding brushstrokes of this figure. This face and its expression reminded me of the faces of people in which you can see lived life. The first wrinkles, telling of experiences and convictions, slowly become visible to everyone. The inside turns more and more to the outside and can no longer be hidden.
I saw how this woman was simply there in her fatigue. She had obviously come to a state where she no longer tried to fight. She had surrendered, probably after long attempts not to do just that. Time stood still. From this pause arose, and only through it, what she had possibly no longer dared to hope for.
'To Surrender', for me, is that which arises from the courage to give up to fight.

I've never had a near-death experience, but I imagine that the moment you realize you're going to die now illustrates very well what I mean by 'surrender'. The total coming to oneself, as if the entire world is contracting into the head of a pin. Complete silence. And at the same time, paradoxically, everything suddenly becomes wide and light.

I am a fighter, and I sometimes forget for a long time that it is possible to win in other ways than by fighting. Whenever I have allowed myself to surrender to a situation, pieces of the puzzle have come together in me in important places of my inner universe. It can be so painful and difficult to accept what you are not actually willing to accept. It often seems like the biggest hurdle of all. So great is the will and also the habit to want to impose me, sometimes even against myself.

Change of scenery:

I've been on a road trip with David and our youngest for a week and a half now. We have actually worked hard for this time off. It has taken almost a year to work on our camper, due to massive water damage and various other necessary repairs. At times, when I have found myself on this moldy job site, I didn't know if we would be able to get our 'Moana' ready to go again. For the last few months, David has been doing most of the work while I have been building, as I described above, my new website. A test of endurance for us, because both caravan and website presented themselves with ever new problems that had to be solved if we wanted to be able to drive off at some point and if I wanted to have a sensible basis for my self-employment at some point. In summary: a lot of work, hardly any time for muse and us.

For this trip, which is supposed to last 4 weeks, I have several wishes. I wish to wean myself from the battlefield of shoulds and musts. I wish to feel my body and mind decompress. I wish to feel my inner self assembling. I wish for time to integrate and for my trust to rise to the surface again. I want time to be there, time to feel and my willingness to really listen. 

On our way through the Alps, I realized that I carry a lot of fears inside me. My fear of heights made me panic uphill, downhill. When considering whether to book the ferry to Sardinia or Sicily, my fear of deep water surfaced and we choose the shorter route. I realized that I only really feel comfortable on relatively shallow, solid ground. My nervous system is on alert quite often. That's rad!
I've filled so much time doing necessary things that I've forgotten how to let things happen. Not that getting these things done hasn't been good, but it's now high time for a course correction.

This journey creates the space where my usual environment, the same old handles and situations can NOT snap shut, like a trap that pushes everything into the subconscious that there is no time for right now.
I'm snatched away from constant doing, no chance to learn about marketing strategies, pursue my coaching, not even start big canvases. No chance to hustle, although I did try to do that in the beginning. My activities are very limited, as is my artistic output. I just have paper and pens with me and just let it come. Sometimes I feel like making spontaneous abstract shapes. Sometimes I draw a tree. Visions for new, large paintings also come to me, but slowly and delicately.

And today I lay on the beach and watched the clouds morph into ever new shapes for minutes. When I noticed that, I knew it would get better now.

Writing this blog article is a need for me, because writing helps me better understand the process I'm in. I'm sitting by the pool, drinking my second cappuccino, and I see a bunch of palm trees in front of me. Surreal somehow. I am so grateful to be able to be here. Everything in me is enjoying. With this feeling I send you greetings wherever you are.

See you soon! Claudia

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1 comment

Beautiful realisation Claudia! We only see the beauty and the light once we have experienced darkness to compare it to x


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