From Anxiousness and A+ in Art to Being Me in Art Expression

During my high school days, art class was my favourite subject. It was my home where I felt safe, secure and a real sense of belonging. It was where I most felt comfortable and where I could be seen and recognised for my talent. At the time it gave me status and a feeling of worth; many accolades came my way from my family, friends at school and teachers for what I could do.

To keep the status and the momentum of making things, I felt like I had to be amazing at all facets of art. I would try all different types of mediums and styles and research endlessly, looking for more, more, more. It was a never-ending thirst for knowledge and more recognition.

If I stopped I felt like someone else would be waiting in the wings to take my place and that my golden ticket of belonging would be pulled from my grasp at any time. Without art, who was I in this vast world? Who would see me for who I thought I was? I wanted to be seen and honoured for my art, not for the truly amazing young woman I was within.

It was always about outside pursuits and not from what I held within that brought me glory, or so I thought at the time, but boy has that changed! I realised that I was consumed by making and creating art – being prolific at every aspect of this was what I strived for, it was what I lived for.

But what was I taking on in my body from these endless pursuits to be seen – was I truly living? What quality was I really bringing to my art?

During this time I was very anxious and my hands would shake quite considerably. I would use food as a distraction, to numb myself from the continual feeling of tiredness and anxiety I felt from the push to always be doing more; especially at dinner and after school when I would fill myself with a lot of carbohydrates or chocolate. My friends would always comment on how calm I always seemed, especially during exam periods or if we had a major assignment due, but internally I was a complete mess of nervous energy.

My level of anxiety and nervous energy continued well into my twenties when my body said enough is enough and I was diagnosed with RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in my right arm, which was due to my continual drive and force to be a someone that truly wasn’t me. This was when I found Universal Medicine and the lived wisdom of Serge Benhayon. I realised that from my continual drive and pressure to be recognised for my art I was actually pushing away all I really ever wanted, and that was to be seen for who I truly was.

The way to change that was simple, to truly love and recognise myself for whom I was. This opened up my whole way of being in and with the world. It was an ever-growing and undoing of old habits and choices that I peeled back bit by bit when I was ready to be honest with myself and my body.

With the continual loving support of some inspiring esoteric practitioners and the lived teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I changed the way I ate, gradually feeling into what worked and what didn’t. I now care for myself with a level of preciousness and depth of love I never knew possible, finding that through my own gentle breath my shaky hands have completely disappeared and so has my RSI. These beautiful changes have also flowed through into my art practice.

I no longer feel an attachment to what I make and only paint or draw when I feel to; there is no push or pressure to produce art because I am enough, and what I bring by just being me is simply amazing.

My art expression now comes through with a new light that flows from the stillness of my body in that moment. When I allow myself the space and truly feel what is there to be expressed, then painting and drawing open up a path of my life that is there to be shared with everyone. I feel that my art allows others to be inspired and shine their own unique essence too, in whatever ways they choose, and that is a pretty amazing sight to behold.

I now know that my love is an A+ and we all claim top marks in love no matter what, for simply just being ourselves. That definitely deserves many glorious shiny gold stars in my book.

I am forever inspired by the glorious shining star Serge Benhayon, and the many stars of Universal Medicine.

By Kelly Zarb, Retail Manager, Melbourne, Australia

Further Reading:
What Causes Anxiousness?
Learning About Feeling Confident in my Expression Through HeART

651 thoughts on “From Anxiousness and A+ in Art to Being Me in Art Expression

  1. Thank you Kelly for sharing, your experiences of needing art to give you value are very relatable, for me it was getting high marks and I’m sure seeking recognition can come from any part of life. It’s a good reminder of how much self love there is to live still when recognition comes up, and that all we truly need comes from within.

  2. Once we know true love and have felt it in life, we have the choice to only ever hold that as our standard or bare minimum. We do not need to accept anything lesser, however, so many times we still do, and this is where we take a sliding scale down recognition hill. It takes a lot to hold love and not drop below this especially in a world where recognition is celebrated over love.

  3. We all crave love, but when love is not available in other words offered to us, we can easily want recognition as this is the closes substitute (but never even as close as fullfilling as love). Recognition can only come for what we do and not who we are, hence we always fall short and are left craving for more when we choose to accept recognition over true love.

  4. To identify as an artist (or athlete, or doctor or any profession for that matter) one gives up on who one truly is and this in itself is a recipe for anxiety.

  5. Playing sport was my thing, so that every aspect was considered, to allow sports to be taken into my old age, but now with the Livingness the way of sport has lost any appeal as my body is feeling amazing with simply walking and light weight training and this inspired me so much that anything else other than this Loving rhythm feels like a distraction.

  6. This need to be good, to be recognised for being good is a very deep pattern that starts in childhood. We can be so accustomed to it that we don’t actually know it is there till one of the patterns shows itself in our behaviour. Therefore, it is worth choosing to build a relationship with the humbleness of ‘I wonder why’ when we do whatever it is we do, to let go of these ingrained beliefs and patterns of behaviour and feel what it feels like to not have this ‘need’ running our lives and governing our choices.

  7. There is such a difference between someone who is trying to be the best out of a feeling of being not enough and someone who is giving their all because they feel how amazing they are and just love to express all that. The first wears the person out as it is not natural to us and we will go over the borders of what our body can do. The second will be in honour of the body as when we know we are amazing we also know we need to honour and respect what our body can do and how it can do it.

  8. “….. we all claim top marks in love no matter what, for simply just being ourselves.” To discover and then live realising we do not have ‘to do or be something’ to be fulfilled and fulfill our purpose turns on its head the conditioned approach to life – and it is amazing!

  9. I too get a sharp pain running down my right forearm whenever I get a sense of pushing myself. I don’t have to be doing a lot, just that slightest desire for recognition is enough for it to go ‘Stop’.

    1. This is actually a gift Fumiyo and it is great that you are appreciating the true communications of your body!

  10. Our body is incredibly honest about the way we live and its’ impact. We may choose to ignore or override the messages but if we are interested in working out what works and what doesn’t then a whole new lived experience is waiting for us to come home to.

  11. Our expression is so different when we come from needing recognition or approval verses when our expression naturally comes from who we are – There comes a point when we begin to realise that who we are is enough and that what we do is simply a small part of that.

  12. When we let go of the ‘self’ and allow ourselves to be part of a great flow we are then bringing a different quality and flavour to our work that has the potential to offer a deeper healing to another.

  13. When we have an attachment to anything we are doing and look for recognition we create a lot of tension and anxiety in the body. When we realise that we are amazing just as we are and bring this amazingness to all we do our star shines brightly for all to behold their own amazingness.

    1. Noticing and identifying attachment is a great first step in disentangling oneself from the clutches and chains of the need for recognition and hence lack of self-worth.

  14. When we ‘try’ and ‘strive’ to do anything in pursuit of recognition we lose connection with the amazing being we naturally are.

  15. ‘I feel that my art allows others to be inspired and shine their own unique essence too, in whatever ways they choose, and that is a pretty amazing sight to behold.’
    This is what art is truly about: offering wisdom, communication that we are so much more than the life we live on earth, insight and opportunities for each to grow.

  16. In life, we tend to settle for either what it works for us and makes us feel great about oneself or what does not work and makes us feel bad about oneself. That predominates and shadows everything else. We live detaching from the fact that whatever we concentrate in, is just one bit of the whole we call us (and in the case of the negative, it is not even true).

  17. It truly is far more empowering the feel the confirmation of who we are from within, from our connection to the love we are in essence rather than seeking something from outside of ourselves through what we do. For we realise that through this connection, all that we do is then an expression of all that we already are, confirmed as such with every movement made.

    1. Yes indeed, all that we do is all that we already are and therefore the focus we can bring to the quality of our movements will be the seeds we sow that pay great dividends and be a confirmation of all that we already are.

  18. ” finding that through my own gentle breath my shaky hands have completely disappeared and so has my RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) ” . This is so wonderful is it not amazing how dedication to being who one is, brings about the healing of what one is not.

  19. The way that we have perverted any sort of creativity into competition striving, achieving, is so far from what the true purpose of expression is that no metaphor is worthy of such a dire dichotomy.

    1. So true Chris, we have certainly lost the true meaning and purpose of these healing arts, through the way we have allowed them to be bastardised, and instead becoming an avenue or platform for indulgence, distraction, identification and comfort. This is a complete corruption of the true power on offer through these healing arts when expressed with true connection.

    2. So true Chris, when we try to be ‘better’ than another through competition we loose connection with ourself as we strive to fulfill an external goal rather than just expressing ourself in full.

  20. I had a similar thing with singing Kelly. I was recognised for my voice early in life and from then on used it as a way to feel accepted, valued, worthy of love (attention was my version of love then). I reached a point where there was no joy in it for me anymore – it was all about what others thought. After a number of years of this I stopped singing altogether and focused on me – my relationship with myself, and giving myself all the things I thought others gave me when I sang. I statrted singing again about 3 years ago , and although when I first started I could still feel the need for recognition, I now simply love singing for the pure, unrestrained joy of expressing in this way. This is all with heartfelt thanks to Serge, Miranda and Michael Benhayon and Chris James for their inspiration and dedication.

  21. This is beautiful to read about, ‘I now care for myself with a level of preciousness and depth of love I never knew possible’, and the changes it has brought to your life.

  22. Inspiration is on offer as a connection from within that is expressed outwards. It can only come from the inner connection and thank goodness for Universal Medicine and the Gentle Breath Meditation showing me how to reconnect with who I am.

  23. How much does our drive to be accepted in life really harm our body. No matter our flavor of drive, art, exercise, sport, horse riding, partying etc anything done with the push and drive talked about in this article takes our body to some point of stress. Whether that be RSI, or other injuries. Is it time to consider our body in the equation of life?

    1. I appreciate your reminder that drive has so many different flavours and it is the one that is pertinent to us, that we have to develop a relationship with so we can get underneath it to experience a different way in our bodies.

  24. What is shared here can be applied to any thing. I especially love the change in pushing herself to do art constantly to the steady solidness to feel when to express her beauty and love through art that Kelly has shared with us here.

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