Perfection’s Illusion by Kate Langlois
June 13, 2013
Brush in one hand, pen in another I wield
My tools forging image and word to shine
Out in the world in full light of sun
No quiet content in the folds of slumber deep
But in the billboards of broken hearts and cities
Where stores rewritten, re-imagined
Fill the empty vacuums of wilted hearts
Excerpt No Quiet Content 2012 Kate Langlois
A show-down with my own behavior? Yes, I had one.
Have you ever caught yourself stuck in a moment, in a pattern you seem to have cycled through before? Sometimes we barely witness it in a conscious manner and instead trudge along unaware of a way to move out of it in an intentional way. Imagine this time though; what if you were awakened with a heightened awareness of this pattern’s existence.
If do we recognize a pattern we want to change, what are the tools to help us do that? Most of us aren’t exactly raised with such specific instruction by our parents or teachers. Mainly we’re just banking on sheer willpower to try and change right?
Recently I found myself in a show-down of sorts with my own behavior and became determined to drop my façade of an old story. My story was about admitting I wasn’t perfect. That no way, no how could I continue to maintain the premise that I could keep all ‘my stuff’ together. Yeah, okay, I knew that I wasn’t perfect. I knew I didn’t have everything all neatly organized and picture-perfect, but on some level I was still putting on the front that I was.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.
Honestly it sometimes takes us finally getting pissed off at our patterns big time to break out and make a change. So come on-grab a shovel! There’s weightlessness, spaces that open up when we unload the adhesions that don’t actually resonate with us!
Aah hold up, first the vehicle! Intentional Creativity, brought into my toolbox by none other than Shiloh Sophia McCloud, is my transport for roughing this terrain. So this time, instead of spinning my wheels, I remind myself to delve into this transformative tool. In this way I’m holding up my imaginary spyglass to both myself and the world around me.
If I don’t like what I see, I ask for what is needed and change the lens, adjust the course.
Seeing and thinking about things (such as being stuck in a pattern), is only one layer. So we add multi-dimensionality to the spectrum to start dreaming our ideal outcome into form with paint, personal symbols and words. Information is revealed to us over time.
My perspective is then tweaked in how I view these messy parts of my life. The outcome is often nothing less than powerful and life-shifting. One thing I discovered was that refocusing on Self Care was definitely needed!
Consider the process as an extraction of sorts from our inner world to the outer world in form and color. Moving through this life with this awareness that we can steer our way through obstacles where in the past we may have been stuck, empowers and inspires, lifting us up to perspectives previously unimagined.
A few days ago I sat in the garden pulling up some weeds. Gardening, hand (& feet) to earth is one of the most calming acts to me. It allows for the space to invite in new thoughts and ideas; questions too. What came up for me was that I actually wouldn’t enjoy the garden as much without those wild, untamed, ‘messy’ parts.
Always leave a corner of the garden overgrown and wild. That’s where the fairies live.
-Maria Doglio (my mama)
How can centerdness and messiness inform eachother?
They do. It is a weave.
Undeniably, those wild parts of the garden are fraught with mystery and creative fire. They provide structure and foundation for the more visibly ‘orderly’ areas which wouldn’t be as such without these intensely fierce and rambling spaces. Standing in my center peering into the borders of my life, into ‘the messy’, I’m letting my centeredness and the messy inform each other. This back and forth weaving is forging a stronger me.
So yes, I’ve unwittingly found myself back again in my center seeing my same life with renewed vision. It’s true! Right smack dab in the midst of life’s mess, I’m learning to see sparks of luster in the frayed ends of imperfection that is my life. How can this be? We all know, or so we tell ourselves that everything must be in order. Keep up appearances and all that, striving for some semblance of unreachable perfection. Perfection outlined by ‘others’. Well at long last I can say ‘no thank you very much’ and I’m off to dance in the weeds with the fairies!
From here I getting to unfurl my wings a bit more and witness a ME that seems to always have been there just waiting for me to return. And after all, if we don’t keep spinning the giant wheel of perspective to try a new angle on for size, the alternative just might find us stuck in one that doesn’t suit us terribly well.
Okay so the pieces of my life don’t match up quite as seamlessly as I once thought they should. Instead, I’m seeing that the quirky imperfection fits me just fine. As I Embrace the Messy I’m discovering I truly do like it that way.
And you? Are you ready to see the beauty in the midst of your imperfect life and embrace the messy? What would it mean for you to embrace the messy in your own life right where you are?
Kate Langlois is a Visionary Artist and Color or Woman Teacher creating paintings in the style of the Contemporary Symbolism Movement. Her JOY is in painting with women and girls to spark their own unique creative paths. Kate’s images give voice to her own journey and to women throughout the world in the shadows, without pathways for such expressions. Her paintings are a celebration of all women, and connection to the mystery beyond the physical world we all play in.
Photo by Gina Fong
All artwork © 2013 Kate Langlois