Yogic principle to take to my art: Patience

I’m going to have a series of posts about my continuing work at bringing the principles I use in my yoga practice to my painting practice. The first principle is patience.

Patience is a very useful thing to cultivate in all of life. Now I am not a particularly patient person but in my family I am a regular Dalai Lama of patience and calm. My father will swear and rave when he can’t think of a crossword puzzle clue and my mother is prone to outbursts of anger when the cats sit near their food bowls and look at her when she’s doing something else. So you see where I’m coming from.

I have cultivated patience in my yoga practice. Everyday I will turn up to my mat and I do my poses and I wait patiently for my body to respond. I wait patiently in pigeon pose, in forward bends as well as in boat pose and plank and headstand. Sometimes I wait for my body to respond and make more space and sometimes I wait for the strength to build. The thing is I am willing to wait for this, to be patient. I do the ‘work’ and I wait for my hips to become more flexible and my core to be stronger. And it happens, miraculously.

This would be an absolute boon to my painting practice. To just turn up and paint and wait patiently for ideas and for new skill to present itself to me. No more berating myself that I should be able to work competently in ink despite never having practiced it much. Or to just expect to have infinite ideas of what to paint and how. Also it would be helpful to have patience when reaping the rewards of my painting, to realise that it takes time to build up a painting career. Sometimes you have to do all you can and then step back and wait.

What’s the rush anyway?

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