Discomfort sometimes points the way…
In intuitive process painting, you find that there are all sorts of ways that your intuition/inner wisdom communicates with you. Sometimes it’s through curiosity, desire, joy, & inspiration – and sometimes, it’s through discomfort. When learning to trust your intuition, one of the challenges is that it never gives you the full picture. Each prompting, each next step usually comes without a clue as to what will come after that, and that can make the discomfort even harder to bear and the prompting even harder to trust. And the inner critic (or Mr. Judgy) loves this because it’s an opening to insert doubt and fear into your thoughts so you’ll keep playing small. (Mr. Judgy thinks small is safe, so he’s really just trying to help, but small is really just small.)
And as I make plans for Painted Crow, this is coming up a lot. You see I’ve got ideas percolating – BIG ideas percolating for me and you and Painted Crow.
And Mr. Judgy is getting all up in my face about it, going from aggressive to wheedling and back again in seconds. Asking me who the hell I think I am? You can’t do that! You’re an introvert – how can you possibly reach out and touch people’s lives?! And then comes the pleading. Wouldn’t you be happier just painting? You could just stay safe and alone in your ivory studio, and not have to worry about getting overwhelmed or failing and feeling the pain of broken dreams.
This is uncomfortable to say the least. And it’s often very tempting to give in to the illusion of safety that it’s promising. Oh, the rest, the quiet, the relief – the LIE! Because this is the same voice that when I am actually painting, tells me that the act of painting itself is too risky.
So this kind of discomfort actually serves as a compass. When all these voices start speaking so loudly, I know they’re trying to drown out my heart, my intuition, so I know I must be doing something right.
Because I know that if I give in to those voices, if I let them drown out my true desire, what they will actually deliver is continuing smallness, confinement, and boredom. And the despair of lost dreams and lost purpose. And that’s a whole different kind of discomfort.
In your life, is discomfort being a compass for you?