Looking Back Only As Needed

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Looking back
Is an exercise of re-imagining
An examination of story
That can trap you in old patterns
Or release you into your future self
So do it like a sea gull
While walking forward
Look back only as needed
To determine what is wanted.

The other day, as I walked down the trail at the local bay lands bird sanctuary, I noticed the seagulls had come in and were hanging out. They were swooping about in that way they have, then coming in for a landing with their feet all splayed out like pancakes on wings.

Annette only look back

Sumi-e sketch by Annette Wagner, 2016.

One of them landed nearby and I put my pen to paper to sketch it. It waddled away from me, periodically looking over its shoulder back at me. It didn’t keep its eyes on me – it was focused more on where it was heading. But every so often it would look back and check on me to see if I was still there drawing it.

When I was done with my drawing, I asked what words wanted to be come and be written on the page. When the words above came, I was surprised. Wisdom from a seagull was not what I expected, and yet, there it was.

Looking back only as needed.

And suddenly, I got it. It’s a recipe for moving through those stories that latch on and don’t want to let go.

Old stories have a tendency to hang on, and on, and on. The ex who doesn’t move on and you still have to deal with because you have a child to raise. The examples are many. These kinds of stories are way longer lived then I, and probably you too, want. When I’m done, I’m done. And when the story comes back yet again, I admit to ranting at the universe,

“WHEN will this be over?
I am so done with this story!!”

This recipe includes both choice and imagination – two ingredients well known to combine nicely into intention. I choose what story to work with and then I set to work re-imagining it. Pulling the story out of me, asking what is wanted, listening, re-weaving the way I hold the story and how it holds me.

Looking back only as needed is the key element. I know those old stories are not the focus of my life and they do not deserve or need any major chunk of energy from me, but sometimes because they are old stories, like old habits, they suck me in and I invest time and worry on them when all I need to do is look back only as needed.

So, I am divesting myself of this pattern of investing any more energy into these old stories than I need to. My intention is to give them less and less energy until they fade way into old memories and dust. I am moving forward and only looking back as needed, investing only enough energy to to take a quick peek and determine the state of things. Instead I move forward on MY path, investing energy in the things calling my heart and supporting me with love.

What old stories keep sucking you in?
Making you crazy because you are done with them?
How will you practice looking back only as needed?

~ ~ ~

Emergence 2016 small

Bring your paintings and brushes and paints! The next Paint Where You Are is happening SUNDAY MAY 22 at the Cosmic Cowgirls Studio in Healdsburg.

You don’t want to miss one on one mentoring, Art Doctoring, red thread community AND demos and sharing of some of Sue Hoya Sellar’s work. RSVP NOW!

~ ~ ~

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Annette Wagner, M.A., is a Visionary Artist, Color of Woman Intentional Creativity teacher (many thanks to Ms. Shiloh for her teachings!), and Art Doctor.  She paints Contemporary Symbolism and watercolor sumi-e paintings. She works extensively with metaphor, symbol, and color. She is the Managing Editor of the Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine and staff at Shiloh Sophia Studios

Annette studied with American Master painter Sue Hoya Sellars and has a Masters in Women’s Spirituality  from Sofia University. Her background includes over 25 years of hi-tech experience including 21 patents. She is owned by her dancing daughter, two cat beings, the man of her heart, and her Muse. You can view her artwork and read more about Annette at: www.annettewagnerart.com

Author: Annette Wagner

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