What a weekend! As many of you might know, I am a super creative person and to do as many creative things as I can outside my work. I have always been a fan of art, paintings, airbrushing etc. and this year I got the opportunity to take part as a model at the World Bodypainting Festival. Luckily, it is also held in Austria and even not quite far from my home place down South, so I got to enjoy the sun, lakes, beautiful people, great artists, AND my family.
Before I give you a recap of the weekend, I would like to quickly touch a topic that most of us do not feel too comfortable about: Being naked. Especially being naked in front of other people. Even if it might be your best friend, your boyfriend or your mother. We often feel ashamed and insecure and are not happy with our bodies, the way we look. We keep comparing ourselves to “perfect” models in the media and get totally crazy about working out in order to have a sexy, slim and strong body.
The problem here is that a lot of people NEVER get happy with the way they look, no matter how much time they sacrifice for healthy living/eating/exercising. I used to hate certain parts of my body and was ashamed of them, however, If there is ONE thing I have learnt through Yoga, then it was ACCEPTANCE. Accepting myself, the way I look, the way my body is shaped. I actually even started loving that I am different and started noticing how each one of us is shaped differently and HAS THE SAME PROBLEM. We are all sitting in the same boat, we all have to face the same challenge of accepting our ‘imperfect bodies’ and searching for our own happiness. For that matter, the Body Painting Festival was a nice step for me to enjoy being myself, and to be surrounded by so many people who feel the same way.
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself”
——- Thich Nhat Hanh
We started the days quite early and registered at 9am, set up the colours and got ready until 10:30- when the artists began with the actual painting. It took quite some time to get the whole body painted (around 5-6 hours) and the days were loooong, BUT at the same time, it was such a great experience that I would not want to miss 1 minute of it.
The theme of Friday’s show was “Inner Fears”.
My artist, an Italian lady called Arianna Barlini is a true talent and such an inspiration. Her interpretation on the topic was the following:
“We are all affected from fears that usually turn out to be only inner fears. Often these fears represent our limits that we can’t overcome for a sort of mental block that keeps us from taking action , keeping us from reaching that goals that we would like to achieve in life. Our number one focus should be to try to defeat inner fears and live life according to our will. (…)
MY ART WORK
The Labyrinth represents human’s inner fears. The first labyrinth that we know of in history is the one of Crete Island in Greece, where the Minotaur was stuck (a monster half man, half bull) and where Theseus volunteered to get in to kill him. Theseus will defeat the Minotaur and will be able to get out of the labyrinth thanks to a red thread that Ariadne gave him as a gift. The Minotaur represents our fears that I drawn in the back part of the body with the helmet and the spear, symbol of the fight between the Minotaur and Theseus. Ariadne’s thread represents the help that we can get from somebody with is indeed the resolution to win on our fears and get out the dark and see the light. “
We had a ton of fun on the set and I even had the chance to work on my Italian, which I have been quite lazy with.
In the evening it was finally time to present the painting plus do a little dance on the stage. Yes, it was a real competition. Gosh I was so nervous, after all you are standing on a stage, completely naked, covered in paint and are supposed to perform an impromptu dance in front of hundreds of people, another couple of hundreds of cameras and journalists. What does a Yogi do in such a situation? Well, I closed my eyes, sat down in a corner for 5 minutes, went into a short meditation and imagined myself on the stage doing an awesome performance. It helped me to get motivated and I really enjoyed every second of it!
AND….. guess what happened… WE MADE IT TO THE FINALS!!!!
The theme for the finals was “Avantgarde” and after almost 6 hours of standing still and getting painted all over, I ended up looking like this:
I also modeled on Saturday for an Amateur artist, who was absolutely amazing. But more of that on the NamasteYoga Facebook page in the next couple of days. So come on over and remember: BE YOURSELF!!
Have you ever tried/seen/taken part at an Body Painting event? Would you feel comfortable getting painted while standing naked in public? Are you happy with your body shape?