When I learned that the mind was no different than a muscle, and with training, I could bend it to my will, my life changed forever. That night, and perhaps for the first time in my entire life, I asked myself this simple question: What would my life look like if I could have anything?
I took a deep breath and encouraged my mind to wander.
Instantly a wave of contentment covered me like a warm blanket. A soft smile spread across my lips, and my eyebrows, which up until that point, had expressed themselves mostly when they were frowning, finally seemed to relax.
In my mind’s eye I saw myself inside a huge, extremely old, home. The kind of house made out of stone. The kind that is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Somewhere in Europe, I think?
As I walk across the kitchen, the tiles feel cool beneath my bare feet. There are copper pots hanging along the wall, and a huge, heavy door that opens to a large patio.
As I walk outside, I am greeted by a flood of sunshine. I feel the warmth on my olive skin, and my long, happy-looking hair and the lose fitting, white dress I am wearing, both toss to and from in the gentle breeze. I feel a deep sense of gratitude. This is what it feels like to have everything I could possibly want. This is what it feels like to feel alive.
Before me I see row upon row of trees. A beautiful, sprawling orchard. My orchard. The air feels slightly damp, and smells like rich earth and the color green. There is a hint of sweetness in the air.
He is there. My soul mate. My life partner. We are there together, holding hands and smiling. Full of love for each other, this life, this dream, this place.
I see this woman, this other me, and I step into her. I feel what it feels like to have her life. This house, this orchard, this skin, this hair, this peace, this soul mate, this happiness.
I began playing this scene in my mind like a song on repeat whenever I felt afraid, uncertain and/or anxious. With practice, I got to the point where I could close my eyes, and with a deep breath, be there instantly. Over the years, I have played this scene in my mind hundreds of times.
Today I am dumbfounded at how similar my life has been shaped to look like my day dream: A far away, exotic location, my sun-drenched skin, my healthy hair, the white, flowing dress, the pots hanging from the walls, the heavy doors opening to a deck overlooking an orchard, my soul mate, my contentment, my peace, my happiness.
I share this with you not to inspire envy or to boast. I share this with you because what seemed like a fantasy a few years ago became my reality. So I ask you: What is your paradise?
This blog was created to share my belief that the art making process can be a vehicle for empowerment.
I am living proof.