I am not an artist. I am bored by museums. I hardly even have the patience to color with my 6-year-old nephew. But I do have one exception to my non-interest in the arts: Rangoli folk art from India. Rangoli are decorative designs made on the floors of living rooms and courtyards during Hindu festivals. The intricate patterns are typically created with materials like colored rice, dry flour, colored sand and flower petals.
This art is not only pretty—seriously gorgeous, actually—but it also holds so much symbolism for me. And as a writer, I think that is what fuels my intense love for it.
It’s the way the intense colors complement each other, how each section looks like nothing until the final work is complete; and how you never know exactly how it will all come together at the end. It’s like healing.
For years, I was searching for plans and doctors and answers so I could put myself back together again. I was constantly looking for some kind of how-to-guide. Looking back on my healing process now, I understand how it all works—a perfect ebb and flow of leading yourself into your own beautiful ending.
The Rangoli artist works intensely, getting lost in his design. He doesn’t look away for opinions and outside sources of inspiration. He trusts his ability to use the materials he has, whatever they may be, and make beautiful art. His environment, whether it is sitting on a perfectly polished wooden floor or cold concrete in a courtyard, it does not affect the quality of his work. He embraces the challenge and presses forward.
Like the Rangoli artist, the rules I learned for healing are also simple:
1. Focus on the colors
The dark moments and minutes and days will come and go. Acknowledge them and then turn away. You can always choose what you see. Focus on the colors that lift your spirits, sing to your soul and heal you to the core. Wrap yourself in them, put them on your bathroom mirror and paint your fingernails blue. Do whatever you have to do to keep your focus toward the bright.
2. Trust your intuition
It always knows best. Even if you don’t know exactly which piece of the puzzle goes where at all times, you are built with an inner compass to know how to get to the finish line. Trust you are getting somewhere great even if you can’t see where.
Take the best of all the things you know and mix them together. Never feel obligated to follow just one way of looking at or doing things. Use all your experiences, practices and best ideas and integrate them into your life.
4. Hold excitement for the process
Stay excited. Be on the adventure. Know the process of all of the pieces coming together is just as important as the end result. Your picture will reveal itself one day; the more optimism you have along the way, the quicker the awesomeness will seem to come.