Breaking the chains

On this second day of Navratri, we'll use creativity and art to help us view ourselves in a completely new light. Yesterday we meditated and journaled about how we're holding ourselves back. Today, we begin by meditating on our inner power and strength. Where does it come from? What does it feel like? What does it look like? Bask in the beauty of your raw, uninhibited power. Next, allow yourself to explore the artificial cages you build for yourself. Where are you holding back? Where are you stopping yourself? Perhaps even think about why you build these cages. Hold that knowledge with love and compassion.

From this deep exploration of self, begin to create. Using whatever materials resonate with you, make a piece of art that represents your fullest power and where you are holding back. You can make this literal, or you can be interpretive. How do you feel when you are limiting yourself and creating a false cage? What would it feel like to step fully into your power?

Going through this same exercise earlier today, I created this piece.

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I felt nervous to share this piece. When I thought about adding it to the post, immediate fears of being made fun of or judged for my artistic abilities surfaced. But this exercise isn't about how pretty you draw, it's about learning to see where we hold ourselves back, and posting this picture is one step in me overcoming my fears.

My drawing depicts a heart - my heart - that is completely chained up. As I meditated on the things I do that keep me small, I noticed a common theme emerging. All of the ways I limit myself are intended to help protect my heart. To stop me from getting "too hurt." I've always been sensitive, feeling everything with the depth of who I am. At some point I decided it was too much, and I began blocking my pain (and pleasure), leaving myself numb. The chained heart is being held in a loving embrace by the wings of a Phoenix. For many reasons the Phoenix represents my power and true self. I hold the Phoenix as a symbol of moving from fear into love, knowing that all of my power comes from being centered and in my heart.