Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.
I mean.. we all have them. Shadows that is. They are with us. We cast them. They are part of different elements in our environment. Just there. Not really bothering us or begging to be brought out into the light. Or are they? That is all that resonated with me as I watched Alexa Mead's TEDTalk, "Your Body is my Canvas." Where what began as a fascination with the absence of light led her to painting shadows, which then led her to turning people into paintings. But the part about the shadows though...
Stuck with me.
And left me with a lot of questions. Maybe because there was a time in my life when I honestly thought that everything that met my eye was exactly what it was, and everything that I presented to the world did not leave more to be desired. I was wrong of course.
But what would happen if we completely reimagined how we viewed ourselves? And our shadows? And the world around us? Let's say we brought to light all of our flaws, our other self, the part of us we only see in our dreams.
That side of us that we would cringe to think that someone was paying attention to.
You know that side.. that side of you that houses the person you are when no one is looking.
Or even that person you wish you had just enough courage to be -- in front of everyone else. We would not only reveal to people who we really are, but also allow them to engage with that person. What if we highlighted, glorified and focused on every layer, level and inch of ourselves and our personalities.. the same way that Alexa Meade strokes her paintbrush over the bodies of her subjects?
We'd probably be like her subjects. Bolder. More intriguing. More engaging. More fascinating than we already are. We'd relate to one another on so many more levels than we already do. We'd also never look at people or the world around us with passive eyes, always expecting the expected.
Interesting the way art always has a lesson for us and forces us to think differently and view the world in a new way. I believe that in re-imagining ourselves, bringing our shadows into the light and learning more about them we present to the world who we really are. If Meade's images confuse the way images are perceived, we just may be able to change and control the way we are perceived by others -- when we work with our shadows.
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