Illustration from my blog post The Mind’s Home

Art Heals is Mo-Chan’s philanthropy. It continues to unfold with each brush stroke.

June 2018                                      The Child-Self

As I wake up today and greet the morning, a realization rests before me as tangible as the coffee cup on the table.

What makes each day different, new, and exciting despite the same familiar surroundings, is the overpowering presence of my child-self. Sure, I’ve accumulated and possess other selves as well: a wife-self, adult-self, responsible-self, and practical-self etc. But the child-self still reigns my being.

Endeavors such as spending years attempting to become bilingual, teaching myself piano, and my numerous writing and painting projects have not only protected my child-self, but have been integral ‘practices’ in allowing me to stay true to my heart.

During my 35ish year journey, I’ve collected those philosophies which resonate with me: “The Beginner’s Mind,” practicing discernment rather than judgment, listening, and disengagement. Whole new worlds have unfolded and continue to push me to remain flexible in my views, so that I may always see anew.

The child-self isn’t simply an impulse to take your shoes off outside, run around and climb up things. The child-self is more a state of being you feel in your heart. It’s the true you, before an extensive vocabulary of words boxes up your world and view of yourself and what matters to the authentic you.

“Failure” and “success” don’t exist. Colors and shapes arouse visions and ideas that you easily entertain, and before you know it you make yourself believe you are someone or something else in some other world. And everything you see is not defined, rather, everything waits for you to offer it a definition, and lets you change your mind with ease. We lose track of time, and we always come out of the trance with no attachments to what just happened. The outcome never truly matters.. it was always the mind-set meeting the Process.

The common misconception about “growing up” is that by becoming an adult, you forfeit the child-self. An adult is nothing more than another word-a box-that you can choose to let define you or not.

As I picked up the paintbrush and began my more recent art projects with the new-found intention to share, I found that everything coming out was a reflection of the child-self struggling- no, DEMANDING-to be heard. Now, I’m thinking my first message as an artist in this season of my life must be this: don’t forget to protect and nurture your child-self. Those eyes you used to view the world with are a part of you, always. If you have forgotten that part of yourself, then please start to take steps to remember it. How? Go to your sources for inspiration. Start there.

All anyone can do for you is point a finger in a direction. You have to discern which fingers, if any, to follow. I imagine, whatever is a source of pure inspiration for a person, is their “starting point.” So if you’ve lost your way, just go back to that starting point. Your child-self is there.. and in all things, places, and people that resonate deeply with you. We have only to listen and follow our hearts.