Artist's Prayer

Give us Your daily Inspiration
So, we can live a Creative Life.
And lead us away from self-doubt,
For to doubt our creativity
Is to doubt Your Voice within us.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What Does ~ Surrender ~ Mean To You?

~ Surrender ~ and 'giving up' are not the same in my personal experience. In fact every time I move into ~surrender~ I am offered a sense of strength, hope, and empowerment derived from 'letting go' of the illusory concept of control over circumstances of life and acknowledging the truth of my complete dependence on something much larger than myself. Though the act of ~surrender~ can be very simple in itself, it requires a subtle, yet much resisted, inner shift, one from being a solitary island in this self-created drama called 'my life,' to taking, a quiet literary, leap of faith by recognizing that by my~self I can only get more frustrated, scared, anxious while awaiting for another 'shoe to drop.'

I've noticed that there's a definite buildup of circumstances before my resistance to ~ surrendering ~ begins to melt away, sometimes by a more or less dramatic outburst of tears of relief that I don't have to do it ALL... change it ALL, fix it ALL... all by my~self... There's a sense of gladness that accompanies my ~surrender~ when I slowly realize that I was never meant to 'take care' of my life alone... nor would I've been able to perform such a monumental task when left to rely solely on my own ideas of what's 'right for me.' Once I accept this simple truth, there's a deep, serene sense of Grace that sets in.... finally I begin to remember who I AM and what my part ~ purpose really is...

~ Surrender ~ also offers me a much needed spiritual sustenance in my creative process, especially in times of my 'creative congestion' when instead of awaiting an inkling from my intuition (or whatever you call the place where all the creative ideas originate) I proceed to use a 'cheap fuel' of technique-driven creative self-expression.... every time I give into this tempting alternative and proceed with a somewhat forceful idea development, sooner or later, I find myself stuck with an 'almost~finished' artwork, that most of the time ends up being 'gesso-ed over' and reborn anew once I let go and surrender to the process itself and 'sacrifice' my stubborn 'worship' of the product.... so far I've collected enough of such 'doubtful mementos' of my insistence on taking mental ownership of the creative process that by now my ~surrendering~ slowly turns into a creative practice that is spiritual in its origin.... My intimate experience of ~surrendering~ has been marked by re-newed clarity of purpose, deep sense of inner peace, being more present to the Now, feeling grateful, and most of all ~ Grace...

What's your take on ~surrender~? Do you equate it with a sense of privately admitted weakness or a new-found strength and hope? Do you practice ~surrender~ on your creative journey? How?

Lastly, I'd like to briefly share my experience of last week's creative group process that I was blessed to be a part of. As I alluded to in my previous post, I facilitated an Intuitive Art~Making workshop for women in Aurora, IL last Monday... til this day I feel in a udder lack of words to describe the experience ( and I am not attempting to exaggerate my reaction). The women that participated in my workshop have few traits in common, they all have experienced trauma and abuse in their lives and currently go through an extreme financial hardship due to the economic limbo.... None of the participants have any past experience with creative self~expression in any form. I was completely stunned and blown away by the genuine and authentic embrace of the process by every single participant, in fact I felt as though I was being taught a lesson in unequivocal TRUST of what was unfolding on each woman's oversized posterboard through collaging, color pencil drawings, and acrylic painting. Perhaps the most touching time came at the end when all of us said in a circle and shared the experience.... every sentence describing the process was embellished with tears.... lots of tears.... I still continue to 'integrate' this beautiful evening and as I attempt to describe it with words I feel that the meaning is gone and what's left is just a 'reporting' that excludes the heart of the matter.... so, I let go, and trust that you can sense my last week's experience...

The following day, on Tuesday, I ended up facilitating an impromptu evening of Effort~Less Creativity for a group of friends... imagine six adults sitting on the floor and coloring mandalas, doodling, drawing and experimenting with simple delights of making marks with crayons, color pencils and markers.... simple and very joyful....


  1. What a grand experience to have had and share! Welled some tears.
    I do appreciate your honesty at surrender, I know the frustration the mounts when I forget to do just that, great thoughts.

  2. Growing up in Belfast, N. Ireland during what was referred to as "The Troubles" there was always a "No" in front of the word surrender. Or it No Surrender was a popular tattoo. Thankfully these days the word has been replaced by words like Hope and Peace. Thanks for your refreshing insight into the word surrender.

  3. Thank You Doris and Lyn for your insightful comments... It's so wonderful to realize yet another perspective on the same subject, a new layer of this universal experience of ~surrendering~...
    Lyn, reading your comment makes me realize how much I have to be greatful for to be able to use the word ~surrender~ completely outside of the context of violence.

  4. This is an interesting thing to consider. Surrender vision boards? The distinction is a different one to consider. From my viewpoint surrender is something entirely different.

    Surrender is not in my creed - that is my viewpoint of it.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Tom Bailey

  5. Thank You, Tom, for your view~point on ~surrender~ and the vision boards, you gave me a valuable idea: what if we could just 'throw' onto the vision/poster boards everything we'd like to surrender, let go of, free ourselves from in our lives....? It's a wonderful idea, certainly worth experimenting with...