Thursday, September 23, 2010

Right Brain, Engaged!

I am not a painter. I think that people who get by calling themselves painters generally have some quantifiable, or at least observed, degree of skill and I don't claim such a thing. So, I don't call myself a painter; but, I have begun to paint.

For the last year or so I have intended many times to purchase my own beginner paint kit, but never got around to it. You know how it goes. This Tuesday, though, I felt this urge to research art classes in the area and ended up registering myself for a class scheduled to meet that very night. Whitney Ferre ( is a local artist by accident who founded The Creative Fitness Center in Nashville, then began to paint. In that order. In this "Painting Made Easy" class she told us about her vision to open a kind of gym for the right brain; a place where people could come exercise the muscles of creativity. She had gathered painters, sculptors, bookmakers, and other artists to teach classes about using art to create change and The Creative Fitness Center was born. She had incredible success and now teaches painting classes all across the country as part of her Creative Fitness program and encourages people to activate and engage the right brain daily to experience calm, success, health, and creativity in all the areas of their lives. I thought I was going to a "paint blue here, green, here, and fill in the holes with blue" class- which would have been fine (again, not a painter)- and ended up inspired.

I painted last night and look forward to doing so again tonight. It's incredibly meditative, humbling, and calming to spend time entirely in my right brain and allow the calculating, planning, and logic of my left brain to rest for a while. There are truly no wrong answers with a paintbrush. If a color seems off, I paint over it. If I don't like the way the painting evolves, I paint over it. If I spill water on the canvass, I paint over it.

There's also something humbling in painting over what I am proud of. I painted a flower last night, and my mother told me this morning that it was a nice painting of a flower. I would have been pleased had someone simply recognized it as a flower, but she actually thought it looked nice! Tonight, I will paint over it. I will force my Ego to watch as I paint over that which I worked hard at and am proud of, and I will send alpha waves and calm energy off into the space around me. Woosah!

Maybe someday I will be a painter but tonight I will paint over my flower, work at conquering Ego, engage my right brain, and end the day feeling accomplished and at peace with myself and my work. Not too shabby for Daryn.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Truth Be Told

The thing about a funk is that even though it's all in our heads, it can make everything seem dull and flat. I've been in a bit of a funk lately and I am deciding today to get over it. If it's all in my head, and I believe that it is, then I get to tell the funk where it can go. To be in a funk is a choice. Today, I choose light. I choose to smile more and sulk less. India Arie has a song that says, "I choose to be the best that I can be. I choose to be authentic in everything. I choose. My past don't dictate who I am. I choose!" Today, I choose to do something brave. I choose to be kind when my impulse is to be impatient. I choose to do better, be thankful, see beauty, and give joy. I choose to be honest with myself. That's a big one. Do you lie to yourself? I bet we all do. Man, I can lie to myself. I can buy that. I'm not flaky. I'll do it later. Ay, carumba! Cut it out, D! A friend of mine asked me for some relationship advice last night and I said, "Just be honest. Don't be afraid of being honest, even if you're confused, because if the other person can't handle your honesty then you've found the deal-breaker." We have to be honest with ourselves and with each other. Just say the truth! Wouldn't our relationships be so much more substantial if we knew the truth about one another? I crave- that's crave- substantial, honest, brave relationships. I say brave because it's not at all easy, this being honest. Honesty uncovers brokenness and pain that we've worked incredibly hard to hide, but when someone sticks around after you let him or her in deep enough to see those things... that's what it's all about. To give and receive love from the people who know who you are, honestly... that is exciting! That is where relationships of depth and substance and life are cultivated- out of honesty. We should all hope to have these people with whom we can do the heavy lifting and deep digging of honest relationship. Being dishonest will put you in a funk, and that's a place nobody ought to be found. Not for long, anyways. So, today I choose to tell my funk where to go. Honestly!