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Yet again an act of painting acting as life coach. I've been following my own mantra while painting - striving for balance of color and line throughout, the lights and darks, the thin and thick. It was all moving along just fine but it was somehow off.

Only six or seven hours into it, nearing the end of my energy reserve - it hit me. The painting was too cluttered. I piled up too many things into this one creation and each area was fighting for attention, unable to sit still. I wasn't letting it breathe. I was pushing and pushing more elements into this poor thing and it wasn't letting my eyes rest. So I added emptiness, big neutral, peaceful puddles. All of a sudden, the painting came to life - it had its ying and yang. It was full of energy, captivating but not overwhelming.

And it immediately struck me that this is a direct mirror of my everyday life. I never let myself take a breather. I run at full speed, my task organizer bursting at the seams, like a hamster on its little wheel. And I set the same schedules for the kids, because I feel this pressure to keep up. And everyone is irritated, exhausted, struggling.

So as a result of this conversation with my painting, and in order to not burn out, I decided I'll take a nice long coffee break once in a while. I'll allow myself to have a relaxed lunch. I'll find time for yoga and sauna in my schedule, and I'll ease off the kids. I won't rush to sign them up for more activities so that I feel on par with other involved parents. I'll let them play and relax whenever possible. That's truly my wish for everyone this Holiday season - please take the time to breathe. Even a half hour a day helps. Invariably relaxing brings you to new solutions to old problems.




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