On my art table: Finding beauty in the darkness

finding beauty in the darkness art journal page

There is beauty in the darkness, if only we are brave enough to find it!

But how often are we willing to even acknowledge our bad habits; our insecurities and fears; our anxieties. How often do we stop and reflect on our inner voice, and on how mean it can be sometimes…oftentimes? How often do we justify our bad behavior by blaming someone else for the way we may have acted out? We have a choice in every moment: we can choose anger or acceptance; irritation or flow.

This does not mean we have to put up with bad behavior – it simply is about how we choose to react to it. We can respond to situations by ranting and raving; acting out in anger or irritation…and often, that is our default. Or we can calmly address the problem at hand, or assert our boundaries and simply walk away from someone else’s drama.


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Finding beauty in the darkness

I recently had the opportunity to choose my reaction to a situation that arose when my family was over for Christmas. What happened was this:

My mom put a pan of milk to boil and a while later, she went for a shower. She didn’t tell me to watch the milk, so I assumed it had boiled. When I went into the kitchen a while later, I was greeted with the smell of burnt milk and a huge mess to clean up.

I could have responded with irritation and anger – and yes, those emotions did arise for a while. But I took a few deep breaths and just let it go as I started cleaning up the mess. My anger wouldn’t have helped the situation; I knew mom forgot because this wasn’t part of her routine {she was visiting me, after all, and was not in the comfort of her own home, where she has a rhythm and a way of doing things}; and I knew my anger would only spoil the atmosphere at home and come back to haunt me.

This ability to find the light in the darkness….to accept situations as they arise…to understand that every adversity can make us stronger…can change the way we view – and live – our lives.

Just like the play of shadow and light in this painting – of luscious purples and pinks juxtaposed against mustard yellows and pops of white, neon pink, and blue.

Healing with art

There is so much joy and healing that I find at the painty table. It’s a joy I wish everyone could experience. Which is why I created a mini art + soul ecourse called Atomic Lotus. Included in the course is a simple spoken word meditation, a curated guided meditation, journaling questions, and an art journal project from start to finish. The art portion contains over an hour of video, broken down into easy to watch segments, which makes it perfect even for the most busy people to watch and create! You can find all the details on the course and sign up here.

Before you go, tell me this: How do you find beauty in the darkness?

Posted in Art Journaling, Mindset for artists, Soulful living and tagged , , , , .

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. I have experienced similar circumstances like the one you have mentioned about boiling milk. How many times it must have happened in my home that the visiting parents or in-laws turned on the RO tap to fill the jug and then forgot about it leading to flooding in the kitchen. This gave me a lot of practice about choosing my reaction. Choosing my reaction is also helpful in dealing with the spillage kid makes at home almost everyday. Practicing art, gives immense joy – how true is that.

    • And these situations can be really annoying! I know I’ve been guilty of acting out before. But I’ve become better with the years at choosing how I react to situations – it does wonders for my peace of mind. Often I can go to the art journal to work through my anger or irritation, getting it out safely on the page and then transforming it into a thing of beauty. Art is magicks for me!

  2. I used to be really short-tempered earlier, but now I’m improving day after day. Art does help heal, be it drawing or any other form.

    I love the painting you have shown here, such bold use of colors!

    • I used to be a Latin spitfire, too! Easy to anger and easy to cool down too. My parents say I’ve changed a whole 180 degrees. I’ll just have to trust them. 😉

      And yes, art – in any form – heals! I’ve experienced that many times!

      I’m so glad you liked the paining. Thank you!!

  3. Today only I just lost my balance because of a situation that affected my inner self as well. To respond is great but I believe if you have stored up anger inside that will surely come out no matter what! Nice one! ?

  4. This is a journey I’m on, yet I write poetry and am able to release that way. Art is something I should take up again. I used to draw often. Sketching was my method.

  5. What a stunning piece of Art, Shinj. And even more beautiful thoughts to go with it. Thank you for sharing a piece of your wisdom with us. Yes, it’s upto us how we chose to respond or react. I try and flow with “respond” as a “reaction” culminates into warfare. Lol!

    Given today’s times of short attention spans and hustle bustle of things that need to be accomplished, our tempers are also on the brink of a break down. It’s easy to give in, and not give out. Choosing the later creates so much calm and peace around us. And when we look at the hindsight of things, they were actually minuscule to have elicited such a strong reaction. And it does take a while to ease back to our calm spaces, once we have blown up. So I guess, I’ll go with calm too. 🙂

  6. And yes, absolutely terrific to have you link up. Welcome to #WordlessWednesday. We look forward to all your surreal posts. <3

  7. I am trying to be more mindful of my emotions and less reactive. You’re right in that sometimes, an emotional response does not help the situation. I think I can find beauty in darkness after the darkness has passed. Although, sometimes when darkness takes over {depression or anxiety in my case}, it has given voice to some creative works that would not have been there otherwise

    • And that creativity is also one of the gifts of darkness. This post was speaking more to emotional responses rather than anxiety or depression. Both those require completely different tools to work through! I find what I call “mood art” to be a very powerful way to work through depression and anxiety without letting them overtake me completely, like they used to.

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