Michelangelo, Atlas (Prisoner)

Prisoners in Stone

Michelangelo, Atlas (Prisoner)
Michelangelo, Atlas (Prisoner)

This past spring I was fortunate enough to see some of Michelangelo’s famous works while in Italy.  I saw the intricate detail of his paintings in the Sistine Chapel in Rome and the incredible perspective of David in Florence.  But the pieces which really stood out to me where dubbed the Prisoners in Stone.  Michelangelo had been commissioned to complete some sculptures for the tomb of Pope Julius II who had also commissioned the Sistine Chapel.  The project was terminated so the sculptures were never finished.  Michelangelo worked differently than other artists.   Instead of creating a plan of attack beforehand, he allowed the sculpture to reveal itself in the stone.  Using his intuition and mind’s eye, he would simply chisel away what didn’t belong.  The Prisoners are incredible works in that one can see the artists’ rough initial strokes alongside highly finished and polished parts of the piece all still encased in a large slab of stone.  These unfinished pieces were haunting.  The figures did appear to be trapped in the solid rock surrounding them.  They reminded me of my journey and the one I take with my clients.

My journey these past few years has been in identifying the “stone” which had kept me stuck and immobile then chipping away at anything which is not me.  So often my frustration, anger, depression, and sadness came from holding on to the stone which was not me.  By chiseling away all that was not me, I released my true self, freeing me from my self-created prison.  In the same way, I now release others from their unwanted stone.  The stone which surrounds and traps them are society, family, religious, and national views, values and mores which do not fit them.  The process is one of revealing not creation.  I had a client this summer who came to me for life purpose work but was skeptical that I could tell her what she was meant to be.  I can’t and I told her so.  But what I did was to help her see and then chisel way all the stone which was not authentic to her.  We did not create her life purpose; we just took away everything which was not her to reveal her truth.  Setting her free into her person life purpose.

Our stone surrounds us because we find comfort and security in it.  But it is a comfort built on fear and not freedom.  Chisel away parts of you which no longer serve you, which may have never served you.  Then see what is revealed, see what is set free, and step out of your prison and into your unique life.  Be patient with your self during the process.  Just as in Michelangelo’s works, the forearm may be precisely perfect and polished while the foot may be nothing more than a few rough chisel marks.  We are all a work in progress.  Rejoice in those parts which are complete and know that someday all of you will be entirely, happily, joyfully exposed.

Ready to take a step toward breaking down the stone wall you have created and releasing your unique Type-ME?

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