I was recently in NYC to attend my son’s white coat ceremony. His Dean explained the significance of the white coat as a “tabula rasa”, or, “clean slate” and the idea that there are times in our lives when we get to start with a clean canvas and layer on our newly acquired knowledge and experiences onto our canvas. A fresh start and an opportunity to create something new.
Like my children, I am currently experiencing this clean slate in my own life. Staring at my blank canvas, I tentatively anticipate my next brushstroke. I already have a few masterpieces in my gallery so why is it so difficult to lay down the next portrait in my life? Something about having my paint brushes stripped from me unceremoniously.
I feel like this next portrait is supposed to be my life’s ultimate work and that terrifies me, what if I mess it up? My first few brush strokes, writing my blogs and teaching yoga have given me my heart and voice back. Even though it feels excruciatingly slow laying down my colors like I’m blindfolded this time around, I am feeling my way through this painting, does it feel good? Does it feel right?
During this trip, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC for the first time. I had exactly one hour and was determined to soak up some of the energy of that magnificent place.
I needed to start somewhere so the docent recommended the European art gallery. I’m not the type of person who can spend an entire day in a museum and truthfully, I was interested in soaking up the light of the paintings and the energy in each room from the people visiting as well as the building and art itself.
The security guard directed me to the renaissance artists located in the opposite wing where I got to see some of my favorite Monet’s and Van Gogh’s. Somehow, I found myself in the Modern art section and standing in front of a Jackson Pollock painting. There is something about his random, not-so random placement of colors that I find soothing. I spent my few last minutes soaking up his paintings before I left.
My experiences on this trip that I noticed the most, and I believe it was because people felt my energy and my light, were how kind, helpful and open people were with me. People riding buses were so friendly and struck up conversations that were priceless. First responders, in town to commemorate the anniversary of 911 shared stories of messed up travel plans and how they finally made it to NY to honor their loved ones and make their way back home again.
I met a woman in a bakery who struck up a conversation with me, newly moved to the city, being a mom and artist and a woman of Indian descent she shared with me her conflict about being a working mother, homemaker and feeling she was not doing anything well.
I would have liked to discuss this topic further because it was near and dear to my heart and I felt such compassion for her, I wanted her to know that it’s all going to be alright and she is doing an amazing job! Something I would have appreciated had someone told me when I went through the same feelings of self-doubt.
My amazement for the connection I felt with the people in NYC and with my son were directly related to my feeling of contentment and being in a good place. I am sure of this. I don’t believe in coincidences.