The Gift of Shame

“…real freedom is not about getting away from what is troubling us but rather about going into and through it.We emerge with a few scars and probably a little less skin, but emerge we do, no longer bypassing our less flattering qualities. This is fierce, unconditional love for ourselves, alive with spiritual boldness that serves us all.”

– Robert Augustus Masters (Spiritual Bypassing – When Spitiruality Disconnects Us from What Really Matters )
A few weeks ago in honor of Halloween and Day of the Dead, we decided to have a funeral for Shame. Nothing too fancy, we would paint as we normally do on Saturday morning, but also build an altar in the middle of our gathering table so after we finished painting, we could “lay our shame to rest”. It was amazing what happened because at the end of  the painting session, we all came to the same conclusion, we didn’t feel like we could lay our shame to rest because it was still very much a part of us and it wouldn’t feel right to bury it because it for sure wasn’t dead! Burying Shame felt like another way to push aside valuable information we are given about our interior. Instead of being ashamed of the shame, we could come to see its’ presence as a gift and something to get curious about and explore. 
What an incredible idea! What if, instead of locking away the parts of  ourselves that feel too yucky to show to the world, we brought them out into the light and began to love the them? What if we were all really honest about our shame and started talking about it to people every day?  This is what we cultivate in the studio. Honesty and and working to meet our wholeness are the things that come up again and again at Nectar. Working in this way isn’t always easy. Process Painting is invisible work and something not easily explained, but it is potent and when we are ready, it can be absolutely life changing.
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