This month, I experimented a little with the concept of freedom. I was working on an art piece on this theme, and around this time we also honoured Swami Kriyananda’s journey to Moksha (on the day of his passing, April 21st). His inner freedom and joy was easily perceptible to anyone who had the blessing to meet him, even briefly. And this is still so for many who are now getting to know him through his videos, smile, voice, writings, and the legacy he left behind.
So, I was contemplating: What are some of the things that bind us? And how do we let them go?! A few things came to mind and related to this art process:
This is how I started the painting:
I really didn’t enjoy the process or the way it turned out till this point. So,after spending some time (very unproductively I might add) disliking it, I let it go.
The next morning over a cup of coffee, as I looked at it in the distance I realized – What if I cut it up?!!! (A revelation, I know! ;)) And with that great excitement, I couldn’t wait for the chance to work on it again…and when I did, it was so freeing!
Sometimes our art just flows and we feel satisfied. But other times it helps so much to take a step back, and then re-visit it, or just throw it away! Either way, letting go is a skill to learn – because when we’re detached, we get to enjoy the outcome so much more!
I’m sure you’ve had amazing lessons with inner freedom and I would love to hear from you if any come to mind! Here are a 3 things I learned that I’d like to share with you:
So, what binds us?
1 – Boxing things: Wanting, needing or obsessing that things be a certain way and having too strong an idea of how we want them to turn out! Experiment with: Breaking the form or structure (Like in this case, literally cutting up the painting to make a new one, ah, joy! ;))
2 – Getting too entangled in the process: If we push too hard, we can get tense, frustrated, irritated and too caught up in the process. Experiment with: Stepping back & reflecting, (Giving ourselves some space can help – take a walk, have some coffee, rest and then perhaps we will see the same painting in a totally different way!)
3 – Not cooperating with the flow: Every art piece can take us on a journey, and we can discover so much about ourselves! The tough work then is making sure we cooperate with a greater flow that’s guiding us! Experiment with: Going with the flow, (perhaps by going within and offering it up to the divine, which is infact the most freeing)!
Ofcourse, we need to have these attitudes towards everything in our lives: dealing with people, our work, maintaining a home, cooking a meal, raising a child, teaching a class etc. If we want to know freedom, we need to apply it in our lives! And if we can apply it to one thing, we will be able to apply it in everything.
I’d love to hear any thoughts you might have and here’s to approaching our lives with greater inner freedom! I leave you with this line from a song by Swami Kriyananda – “Freedom is yours if freedom you give — To all give it freely: In freedom you’ll live!”