If you are feeling lost, then you have found something to paint about. Well, express it however you feel it. Paint, draw, sing, write, make music, dance. However you express yourself, just don’t dismiss this feeling. It’s a good sign. Find the magic in feeling lost.

Feeling lost is a part of being human. It’s inevitable that we will feel lost at times. It’s the space that marks a plateau between where we were and where we’re going. Between knowing who we are and realizing we don’t know who we are, and beginning on a new journey of self-discovery. It’s a space to wander in, and an opportunity to rediscover ourselves. It’s a shift that signifies change, a time when momentum begins to roll in a new direction.

Really, the word “lost” can take many forms. I often use that term when I’m referring fondly to a flow state sort of space. When it comes to working, I think of being lost in the piece I’m working on as a way that I am tapping into the subconscious and leaving the material world behind for a while. This is dedicated time for discovery. There is a healthy amount of allowing whatever may happen and not being tied to any preconceived notion of how something should go or turn out. I think this sense of redefining the idea of “lost” has helped me to see feeling lost as an opportunity.

Feeling lost may seem different from what I described above, but it actually can be quite similar. It’s just the mindset about it that’s different. Believe me, I have felt lost many times. This painting is a product of feeling lost and painting my way through it. It also serves as a reminder of who and where I am in this moment. It shapeshifted through so many iterations, and maybe I’ll share all that another time… but all along, through the many stages of the process as well as the finish, it has very much been a depiction of that journey.

Feeling lost is essential to our growth. It’s true that when we feel lost, we can also feel confused and that can be frustrating. It’s something that we want to try to control, and it can give us a sense of not knowing where to go. It’s a feeling of a lack of direction or purpose, and when it arises, can even have us feeling like giving up. When we’re feeling this, we should try to remember that without it, we would not know the feeling of continuing on, experiencing the wonder in the sensation of what we’re feeling, and pushing past that lost feeling. We would not eventually know how truly wonderful finding ourselves showing up again can feel. In order to get there, though, it’s important in those times to let go of our want to control what happens, to be open to options and new ways of being, to opportunities and the possibility of new directions.

We can learn so much when we feel lost. We can learn how to sit with our discomfort and make use of it. We can learn about ourselves and others, our tendencies and temperament, the things that feel familiar, what we don’t know, our strengths, weaknesses, and take the opportunity to understand what our brain chatter tends to focus on, then redirect and transform those inner dialogs to create new neural pathways. This is the time when we can create strategies for seeing ourselves and be found again, with the realization that in that world of found, there are varying levels of unknowns and vast spaces waiting for us to wander in.

Feeling lost signifies a disconnect between who we are on the inside and the persona we display on the outside. It’s important not to fight the realization of this dichotomy. The fighting is in our minds, and that’s where our feelings stem from. When we let go of the internal fight, and lose the outer masking, we accept feeling lost as a way of seeing ourselves in the moment we’re in, in all its truth, honesty and deeper connection to what it is we’re searching for, and why we’re feeling disconnected from that. It’s important to remember that it’s a feeling, and we can work with it.

If we can take the essence of exploration and apply it to when we’re feeling lost, we can truly harness that unknown state, and this is where growth can truly happen. It may not feel easy at times, but the moments of feeling lost are often when we have a feeling of awakening within our grasp. Not giving up at this moment is key to breaking out of that feeling lost, and experiencing the waking up to the realization that something needs to change. This is when the act of being attentive to what we feel in our core will peel back the layers of our outer identity, and reveal something truly wonderful.

This is where the magic is. Keep going. This is the opportunity to reconnect with yourself. Make that journey your work. This is your story.