A year ago I crossed paths with a wonderful stranger, and to this day, I carry within my soul the exchanged energy and the inspiration bestowed. It was one of those moments of elevated existence that forces our egos to bow down and acknowledge spirit. Being available to this kind of awareness is a blessing and a skill we should all practice because it is through this awareness that we touch the divine. And that day in early March it was certainly a divine encounter.
I was catching a train to south Florida and it felt very much like my life was following the sequence of a movie. You know the one where it opens with a young adult beginning a journey, and we watch as they stare out of a window while a countryside rolls past, lost in reverie. Well, that was me. I had been waiting at a train station for about an hour, watching unknown faces roll past and gather in the lobby awaiting the next departure.
A week earlier I received a call that my father had died unexpectedly, and I, 24 years old, was traveling to bury him. My mind hadn’t yet wrapped completely around what was happening. But there I stood….waiting to board a train that would hurl me toward a ceremony to lay to rest a life that I hadn’t even come to fully know.
Inside of my being, I was both empty and full. My thoughts were ceaseless. And while I stood waiting, a smiling face greeted me.
We began a conversation.
It is often said that the eyes offer a glimpse into the soul. Immediately the eyes of this unexpected stranger filled with compassion and understanding after revealing the reason for my journey.
She told me that in life, it is perfectly okay to take moments of release and pour out the residue that experiences stuff us full with. Completely unguarded expression with no fear or concern of judgement is needed. How many of us can say we have actually done this? Just opened ourselves and empty out our disappoints and stress, or relieve our thoughts that have been colliding inside causing pressure. Instead, we carry it inside. Weighing down our spirit. I know I certainly did. It was then at that moment I was shown a different perspective.
I was given a blank canvas.
For the greater part of my life I had been silent. I kept everything inside…anger, sadness, fear, frustration, ALL of it. I didn’t share much and rare moments when I tried I would get stumbled in my words before they really came. Maybe it was a fear of vulnerability…a fear to let my heart be opened. But this encounter helped me to see a different way. The stress of carrying all of the bubbling energy, cascading thoughts and feelings within was painful. Like trying to hold back a waterfall with a tiny dam, when the very nature of it is to flow onward. I didn’t realize how great the discomfort was until I decided to open my heart and release. And now, when I try to hold back, I can feel the pressure squeeze as if threatening my very life force. I have always believed that life is a series of experiences that our souls are made to have. But when held in, we risk allowing life to have us. Experiences and emotions are designed to flow through us and transform us.
I found that the importance of discovering and embracing a blank canvas to release is vital. It is good to find a way to channel our energy and emotions. Whether it is through words, art, music, dance or even a simple conversation. We experience soo much in a lifetime that seem to pass so quickly. We feel pain. We suffer disappointments. We deal blows from losing loved ones. It is all absorbed by our being. But the human soul cannot be contained. When we attempt to do so by bottling our thoughts and emotions, we become overwhelmed.
The human soul is not meant to be contained. Awareness of this truth helps to reveal the source of discomfort and dis-ease. It liberates the spirit to find happiness and clarity. The human soul should not be contained. We must stretch ourselves past the boundries perceived in this physical existence created by societal conformities.
We are so much more.
It is our responsibility, as many other inspirational figures have risen to take, who have come before us, to search for blank canvases, to express all that flows into us, painting the world with all the vibrant colors that come forth.
And this is my choice. Painting each canvas as it comes, starting here…
Sometimes we just need an open heart and attentive ears to act as a blank canvas. And if you need one, here you can find that BLANK CANVAS