What Is Your Location?

Yoga Series 7I painted this last year. For many months I’d been bored with my paintings – a sure sign of a coming growth phase – and was experimenting with new surfaces and techniques. This is the painting where all the experimentation came together. It landed and I was no longer wandering through an experimental geography but had found my new artistic location.

Just as I now locate myself within this arena, we are constantly locating ourselves in our lives. We physically locate ourselves in space (where do you like to sit when you go to the movies?) and we metaphorically locate ourselves, too. “Comfort zone” is a term of location, as is “preference,” as is “community.” “Safety” is a term of location. “Role” and “mine-to-do” are statements of location. What is yours to do? How do you know?

Some locations are given, others are chosen, and most are patterned. What we believe is possible to achieve is most often a pattern location. Children achieve according to how they are patterned; if you’ve never had an adult in your life attend college then you will most likely believe that college is out of your sphere. Economics are identity.

Once I led a group of students from the international center at their high school to the theatre where we were meant to rehearse a play. When we arrived at the theatre I walked through the front doors and the students stopped as if they’d hit a glass wall. They did! When I went back outside I asked what was wrong, a young woman from Cambodia said, “We don’t belong in there.” They’d learned that the theatre was for citizens; it was not for them. They could not imagine themselves there. I had to help them enter the building and locate themselves as “belonging.”

What you can or cannot imagine is a statement of location. Can you see yourself succeed? Can you see yourself painting a painting? Can you see yourself walking on the beach at sunset? How do you locate yourself? What do you imagine is possible?

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