Guest post by Aliya Agbon
I’ve had several attempts at writing this entry because I couldn’t clear my head. Since day one of the community quarantine, I’ve become even more aware of my own thoughts and I had struggles with tuning out the noise. I guess this is what happens when you’re forced to face the four walls of your room for over a hundred days.
An Explosion of Colors
Whenever I have a hard time drowning out the mental chatter, I grab my sketchpad and soft pastels. I use a paper tape to mark my borders and once I have everything set up, I start playing with the colors. There are days when I wake up with an image in mind and the only thing left for me to do is to put that on the pad. These are days when I have to remind myself that art isn’t always about perfection. It’s difficult because I was raised to be a perfectionist. I punish myself over the smallest mistakes and that’s something I’ve been trying to unlearn.
On days when I feel like I need to tap into my inner artist to tell me what to draw, I allow myself a few moments of silence. I learned in a workshop that the universe reveals things to us when our minds are quiet. Some days, I get the message that I’m supposed to receive. Other days, I end up mindlessly filling the pages with color. Whatever the process is, I would always end up with an explosion of colors. My mind somehow becomes more relaxed after an hour’s worth of art. It’s hard to reach this state of calm, but it’s the only way I can stop myself from processing a billion thoughts at once.
Solace Amid the Chaos
It is easy to get sucked into the vortex when you’re unaware of how the situation is negatively affecting you. Our thoughts affect us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually that’s why we really need to pay close attention to it. We may not be able to think straight most of the time, what with everything going on, but it would be good to pay attention to the emotions that arise with each thought. If it makes us feel good, then we should let it linger for a bit. If it makes us feel down, then we should try to take a step back and assess why it’s making us feel that way.
Think of it as tidying up your thoughts ala Marie Kondo. Keep the thoughts that spark joy and say goodbye to the ones that don’t. By eliminating what’s necessary, we make more room for healthier and happier thoughts to surface. It’s weird talking about thoughts as tangible things, but it’s a method that’s helped me whenever I found myself drowning in my own thoughts. Perhaps, once everything is in its rightful place, things will be more clear and the process of thinking won’t be as difficult as it used to be.
About the author:
Aliya is a blogger, writer, photographer, and weekend wave chaser. She is a proud mom of two beagles and is currently based in the Pearl of the Orient Sea.