** Today's guest post comes from a woman deeply devoted to the creative process and her own soulwork. She is a keeper of feminine wisdom - the kind that comes from the courage and willingness to swim both in joy and the deep, dark places. In person, she is full of fire and all of its warmth, strength, and transformative power - you'll get a taste of that in this post!
I feel blessed that she is one of the amazing contributors for the Spectrum holistic Visual Journaling Workshop, too!
From Kimberly Davis:
WHAT IF I LOVED MY FACE?
A few weekends ago, I was on a soul-stirring, heart-filling, life-changing retreat with five amazing artist-healer friends. In between delicious meals and deeply honest conversations, we painted around a long dining room table.
I’ve come to painting only recently and have never taken technical lessons. I paint intuitively, from my heart, revealing soul secrets and finding places of healing. That said, it doesn’t mean that I am immune to self-doubts and insecurity about my work.
There I was, sitting at the table in this gorgeous mountain home, surrounded by women who love me and who I love, painting a woman’s face. And in that beautiful place of safety, I was struck with a negative self-judgment that sent me spiraling down into the junky home of my inner critic, “Everyone here paints much better faces than me. I don’t know how to paint mouths. Or eyes. Or noses. How on earth do you paint noses? I don’t like noses. I especially don’t like my nose. It’s so broad. And has such big nostrils. I should just forget about painting faces and stick to what I know.”
Part of my practice is to face honestly these moments of vulnerability. I believe that shining a light on shame helps to release it. So I talked with my friends about my fears and I called my husband, who always supports me and provides beautiful guidance. Upon sharing my concerns that my facial proportions are awkward, one very wise friend told me to “Trust the proportions—the proportions are always right.” Another suggested I make the faces my own, meaning that I imbue them with my style. And my husband reminded me that when things get difficult, it usually means there is something to learn.
My smartass reaction would be to say “I need to learn how to paint faces.” But honestly, that’s not my truth. I’ve considered face painting classes and books, but that’s not what I want to paint. It’s not how I want to paint. As an intuitive painter, my work comes from my heart. My work is my heart. And so my faces need to reflect my heart.
That led me to ask the question: WHAT IF I LOVED MY FACE?
What if I loved all my faces—the face I show to the world and the faces I create?
What if I released judgment, concerns about proportion, worries about what people think and simply loved the faces that came from my pen, pencil, and brush?
What if I released old stories about broad noses and thick nostrils and simply loved my face?
WHAT IF I LOVED MY FACE?
And so for the rest of the retreat I painted faces. I trusted the proportions. I imbued them with my style. And all the while I carried the question “What if I loved my face?”
I painted face after face, reaching within to see the beauty in my proportions, in my style, in my face.
And then I was struck with a realization—profound, healing, and slightly profane.
I fucking love my face.
I love the face I see in the mirror. I love the faces I paint and how they reflect my voice. I love how my faces reflect my heart. I felt peaceful and powerful at once as long-held shame melted away and inner criticisms were released.
The beautiful thing is this message is flexible and can suit many needs.
It can be roared as an act of defiance—a shouting down of the negative message we’ve internalized that eat us up inside.
I FUCKING LOVE MY FACE.
Or it can be whispered as a measure of devotion—a deeply compassionate blessing of self-love.
I fucking love my face
What if you loved your face (or hands, or voice, or any other part of you that is bound in shame?)
What if you simply decided that YOU LOVE YOUR FUCKING FACE?
Kimberly Davis practices mindfulness and heart-centered creation in her work as an intuitive painter, fiber artist, and writer. She believes art making can heal our beautiful hearts, help us discover our deepest selves, and radically transform our relationships with each other and our world. She co-owns Stitch Your Art Out, a quilting and knitting shop, where she has inspired and guided women to discover their creative selves for over ten years.
You can visit her website here: http://www.riverstonestudio.com/
* This post is part of a daily celebration of Arts & Health month right here at Hali Karla Arts. Be sure to stop back for inspiration, giveaways, guest posts, more fun info about art & healing, and special announcements and offers. Or you can sign up for my mailing list, for occasional updates and exclusive offers.