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Hello there.  It’s been a while.  I’ve been away doing other stuff but mostly I’ve been switching off and trying to let everything go.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of emptying my mind of noise and distraction, clearing away all the input and clutter and allowing myself to become a blank canvas, an empty vessel.  Clear and empty of everything so that I can just wait to see what comes up, what rises to the surface.  I’m hoping for bubbles of pure brilliance and genius……

In the meantime there’s been a lot of contemplation, a lot more cold swims and cycling.  I’ve read more books and I’ve painted and doodled my way through quite a few sketchbooks.  I think I must have been suffering some kind of overwhelm this year and I felt pulled to clear my mind and energy for what was to come.  I had no idea a few months ago what that was to be but that was ok.  Sometimes it’s good to switch off, turn off the TV, the news, the computer and the phone and just disappear.

The reason I started thinking about blank canvases was that I had a used painting canvas that I wanted to clean up and re-use for something else (sometimes you hit a wall with a painting and that is the end of that!)  I looked online for how to clean up a canvas and I read that I could soak it in vegetable oil before scraping off the paint, scrubbing it, allowing it to dry, and then using a primer to get it back to a good, usable condition.

A bit long-winded and tedious but I thought that a little effort might save me some cash and a journey to the shops.  So I set about cleaning my canvas and as I went through this painstaking process it started me thinking about our lives and how much like paintings they are.  Each experience another layer of paint on the canvas.  Layer upon layer upon layer.  Sometimes this can turn into a beautiful work of art and other times it just becomes one big, muddy mess.  Through the process of cleaning my canvas I started to realise that this is exactly the same process I seem to have been applying to my own life in recent years.  A process of unravelling.  Scraping away at the layers, one by one, to see what’s underneath.  Becoming a blank canvas so I can start anew.  Letting go of what’s no longer needed in order to move forward.

This year it seemed important to let everything go and not make any plans.  We wanted to see if allowing space for something to arise was a good enough plan in itself.  It turned out it was.  What arose was a housesit in Copenhagen for the entire summer.  A rare opportunity to spend the summer in one of Europe’s most dynamic cities, living in a nice residential area close to the centre.  Gold dust in other words.  We have been talking about moving to a city for a while but wanted a non-committal way to do it.  What better that a three-month housesit?

It was hard this year to let go of worrying and planning and second-guessing but I’m glad we did.  Otherwise we wouldn’t be here now.  I think Rumi sums it up well.

“Who would write on a page already filled with writings?

Who would plant a sapling where one is already planted?

One would look for an empty page and virgin soil.

Become bare like the earth so the Beloved may plant His seed, become a blank page so His pen may write upon you.”

~ Rumi

What do you think?  Is becoming a blank canvas a good idea or should life be more planned? ♥

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4 Comments

Justí · July 23, 2017 at 7:17 pm

Hi Elizabeth! How are you? Yes, go blank & let things come as & when they need to. It takes faith & a certain optimistic resilience to fend off worry, but new possibilities can appear from out of the blue with this method & project you into all sorts of fresh exciting futures. I imagine it’s of benefit to have a companion with whom you can share ideas, pool resources & enjoy another set of skills & talents. Phil seems to be enjoying his new home & city, I hope you too are finding it conducive to your creativity & well being.

Have fun & take care, Jus x

    elizabeth · July 23, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    I’m good thanks Justin. Yes, a like-minded companion is always a bonus. Phil is enjoying it here although not so much tonight doing deliveries in the pouring rain! It’s very different to be wandering around a city rather than the empty open fields I am used to but as cities go it is fairly relaxed and I enjoy cycling around and having a swim in the sea every morning. I think that’s what keeps me sane. Hope all is well with you x

Ashley · July 24, 2017 at 1:08 am

Yes Elizabeth Rumi’s words ring true, we need a clean canvas to make a clean start, and for many that means letting go of security in things, grievances held ( forgiveness and removing resentment is one of the greatest cleaners toward new start for many), living moment by moment without any expectations but living in an attitude of gratitude, appreciating every moment our Beloved gives to us, and enjoying him in it all. Blessings to you in this new season of your journey.

    elizabeth · July 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Thank you. I think you have summed it up – the idea of being able to let go and live moment by moment with gratitude and without expectations. It’s a good focus to move forward with!

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