This IS your life. It already started

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“This is your life. It already started.”

These words brushed across my ear as I was stretching my body into a forward fold.

I had just spent the last couple of hours painting. I was trying to stand and paint. I sit all day so I try to paint standing now. Counterbalance my day with my night.

I was changing my painting a bit, getting freer with it. I started this painting a while ago and I reached a point and simply stopped. It’s a habit I have. To start something, reach a point, stop, and walk away from it. I sometimes think I have a fear of completion. But I’ve been working on that idea. Finishing things. Do you have that problem? I love to start things, it’s all exciting and fresh and new and then I become critical and stop. I’ve really been trying to not do that with art.Not being afraid of what the outcome will be but simply trying it. What’s the worst that could happen? I’m releasing the fear…fear of, well, probably tons of shit. But it’s better to just try it and actually do the art, than have a ton of blank or canvases half-finished sitting around me. If I am going to buy the canvases, I need to fucking paint on them.

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I’ve been working on discovering a safe place to paint from. I have so many critics in my head that I have had to learn to shut them up so I can just get shit done. I’ve started to do that with meditation on the breath. And more than that, awareness of the breath and meditation on my art. I am aware of my breath, that I am breathing, where I am sending that breath (when I paint it’s usually to my hand to help me make smoother strokes). It’s been creating more of a tranquil space. My mind kind of leaves for a while…takes a break from the day life, and I just flow. I just create. I just, paint. Most of the time it’s not any good, lol. But I’m less scared about that and more excited about the release I am experience and about the space I can visit for a while to relax.

So I was in this space when I had taken a moment to consider my painting. The voices suddenly decided to make an appearance again. “Name it Creative Energy” came into my mind. I looked at the painting, heard the name and liked it…saw how I could grow it and how that idea gave my painting life. Gave it a direction. Before I had just been painting, but now…now I knew where I had been painting from and what I was painting. I became excited about visualizing what that name meant and what I wanted to do with the painting now. “Make that area pulse more, add life here, why is this so dull, make it stand out…”And the voices started to grow, I was losing my breath. I was leaving the meditation state.

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I looked at my bookshelf, picked up a book, and opened up a page. I have no idea why. I haven’t looked at this book in ten years, but I opened it and read:

“Listening carefully to the tone, where or how does it move and in which direction? When you discover the answer, the tone itself will reveal many directions. do not try to control it yourself!” – Miyajima Sensei

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I instantly focused on my breath, quieted my mind, went back to my easel and began painting again. I trusted in my connection to the universe and didn’t try to control my brush. I had been given a name for the painting, and I breathed that into my body and embraced that concept, and I breathed it out through my brush onto the canvas.

I continued painting for a while and came to a natural stopping point. And it was here that I was in that forward fold. I was doing some gentle yoga moves to release my muscles and my body. I was slowly releasing the intensity of painting and equally as slowly was allowing the mind back in.

And I started thinking…I wonder if people will like this new direction…I wonder what everyone is doing…I wonder if I have a text message…I wonder if so-and-so is angry at me because I needed to stay home and do art…I wonder if it’s stupid that I chose to stay home and do art instead of going out…I should have just gone out…I’m not going to have any friends…well, I do have so-and-so and so-and-so…I’m not completely alone…but I won’t have those friends…they should be okay I’m in this space…You can imagine this went on for a few more thoughts and it ultimately it ended with an, “as soon as I’m…” statement. I have this vision of who I should be and what my life should look like. And most of my thoughts end there. I think it’s one reason I don’t finish paintings…I have an idea of something, but I’m scared it won’t turn out. And so my thoughts turned to, As soon as I’m…

A new voice piqued in and shrugged, and said, “This IS your life. It already started. Don’t miss out on what’s happening now for what you are hoping for in the future. The future will come regardless, enjoy now so you can enjoy the future. Live now.”

I’m making the choices and the decisions right now that are not only making me happy, feeling healthy and right, but are also growing me for the future I think the universe has planned. But to get there, I have to live now.

This IS your life. It already started. Don’t miss out on today waiting for tomorrow.

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Your comfort zone

You hear all of the time how you should get out of your comfort zone. That safe place where your soul resides. And it’s true. Get the hell out, get some exploration in your energy. Try new things. Have new experiences. Push your limits and discover the vast nature of your self.

But don’t forget about your comfort zone. I know, it sounds counter intuitive. You’re supposed to be expanding that zone, getting out of it and creating a new one right? Yes. But visit that old zone for a moment or two. Remember who you were in that zone and how far you’ve come. Appreciate your new development and the new self you have become. But also don’t forget that just because you’ve had new and exciting and fabulous experiences, it doesn’t mean you need to create a new routine out of them.

Make sure your experimental self aligns with the self you are trying to become. Sometimes we can get caught up with all of the new and exciting and eye-openers you have experienced and could continue to experience. This world is a vast entity and new experiences are boundless. But new experiences lead you down new paths. And sometimes that’s the path you are supposed to be walking. That fork in the road that whispers to your soul and your soul whimpers to experience. Other times it’s just a path. Somebody’s path, but a path you dabble in but don’t remain on.

Branch out, be experimental and go with the flow. But the flow will need to go around a rock at some point and when that moment arrives, evaluate the road to the left and the road to the right. You end up at the same place, but the experiences are different and you that merges is altered. So every once-in-a-while, return to your comfort zone. It’s a place of strength and confidence. A place of familiarity. Take a moment to meditate. Reflect on your life and your intentions. And follow the path that makes sense. Don’t get caught up in the rapids. Quiet your mind and align your soul.

Meditation with the gods

For an hour I sat and meditated with the gods.

I look up at the sky as I feel the first drops of rain on my face. I felt refreshed and invigorated. The moment was perfect. I took several breaths in, appreciating the water dampening my hoodie but not my spirits.

It was gorgeous outside. And I thought back to the last time I had felt so free. A smile crept across my face as I realized it had been so long and that I was excited for the unexpected, spontaneous visit to the gods. I remembered the text I had sent the friend I was supposed to be meeting up with who had texted me to tell me he was two hours delayed: No worries. I’ll go meditate with the gods.

There was something about just phrasing it that way that set it up for a divine experience.

To be clear, I was at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. A magnificent rock garden. It wasn’t my plan to be there, alone. But the universe knew…and had known all along because for some reason I had my camera and Mala beads with me.

And it was raining.

I saw people hiding under rocks to stay dry. Huddled in or leaving the park all together because of the storm. For me it was the most appropriate weather and I danced in it. I felt so alive and invigorated.

It was the connection to nature I had been missing. And I am a water soul.

 

I gently wandered around, deep into my freedom, trusting in my feet to lead me. I remember watching the rain fall into a puddle. I had never really taken the time to do that before, but the rain was whispering to me to watch. So I watched. And when I had drank in enough, I wandered on.

...trusting in my feet to lead.
…trusting in my feet to lead.

The storm was quieting and I found myself at the top of some rocks looking across (Manitou? The Springs?)…I took my camera out and shot a few, drawing in the air and earth energy. I had been burned out by fire energy for so long. I needed exposure to the other elements. And I drew myself into the moment, and sat quietly…

And I realized I was becoming happy with who I am. And that for the first time in years, I was living for me. I’ve always wanted to go to be Garden of the Gods alone but never did. Never really felt comfortable leaving my relationship behind (clearly unhealthy). For years I was in a manipulated, unhealthy space and hadn’t been making decisions for myself or for my needs. Sitting on top of those rocks, I knew that I was living a day of fate, and transformation. I knew that snake energy I had been drawing on was there helping me shed my old skin, and that I was becoming the new me. I’m still not sure who that is, but I knew in that moment, that I was where I was supposed to be and that I was grateful. That life was good and would continue to be good as long as I trusted in myself and the universe. That the earth was beautiful and I needed to connect with that energy more often. So many things went through my mind and I sat with the moment and observed. And it wasn’t amongst my normal chatter, but it was like a slow stream in a still mind…and I just paid attention…

The universe had given me a little shove that morning, and I had gratefully responded.

I smiled, gave myself a hug, and took off my Kali Ma Mala beads. And I sat quietly. And I sat still. And I sat grateful for all of the demons I had already consumed. I sat feeling grateful for the fearlessness and courage I was gaining and that had brought me out into the earth and rain. I sat with my freedom. And I sat with my self. For an hour I sat…

And meditated with the gods.

 

For an hour I sat and meditated with the gods.
For an hour I sat and meditated with the gods.

 

 

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An after thought…the music I was listening to. Music is huge in my life and I remember, standing in the rain, listening to the storm and wondering what I would put on my iPod…I would occasionally take the head phones off to listen to the sounds of nature, but I settled on Alcest. They are a french band and I’ve never understood the lyrics. But it felt appropriate to listen to while I wandered the gardens. While writing this post I put Faiseurs de Mondes, (click the link to listen) the song I really connected with. I decided to look up the lyrics and they seemed pretty appropriate to the experience so I thought I’d share. Please listen to it as well, it’s so beautiful.

Makers of the worlds 

Your ageless eyes
Are penetrating mirrors,
Shaping and beautifying the world

By their reflection.
The edge of the woods, far away
Becomes a moving temple, iridescent,
Celebrating the birth of spring.

And these immense mountains,
Wanting to join the heavens,
Whirling
Above out heads.

This reality around us,
Is the one you have chosen
And your dreams cover our sphere
With an ideal painting,
Unfolding in the light of your eyes,
At the sound of your voice.

But a series of moments

(via audreyhepburncomplex)

What is this thing called life? The existence we walked through day by day hour by hour minute by minute? And is it really the second by second that counts?

I often begin a yoga class, scanning myself to become aware of who I am right at that moment. Who I am emotionally spiritually and physically. But what does that really mean? I am not my goals I am not my career. Am I as transient as my emotions? As scattered as my thoughts?

I am energy. Creative and destructive.

That is so abstract I’m not sure what that means. I understand creating and destroying… But I may not understand the reason behind it. But I love where my imagination takes me. Creating and destroying, That dichotomy is infinite… And then so am I.

What is this thing called reality? Is my reality the same as your reality,

Every time I walk onto a yoga mat I’m reminded that I’m in a moment. And that moment is the only moment I will ever have like that moment. It is unique. It is an experience and an expression of who I am at that moment. I am the conglomerate of all of my experiences thoughts emotions up to that point.

I am but a series of moments.

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Journey

We are all on our own journey, and I just caught a glimpse of mine.

Journey, path, well-travelled? Or in the brushes?
Look down, see your feet, where are they walking?
Look deep, into the seat of your soul, where do you wander?

We drift, we direct, we control, we let go.
We experience, we love, we hurt, we grow.

The path I am on is mine.
I am living my life.
People influence, people judge, people teach me…
I, make the choices. I, live the life.

I can let my full weird out.
I can live in the flourishing world of my nerdom.
I am allowed to be me. Just me. In my entirety, as I journey through this life.

 

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Let the rain fall

Rain is so cleansing. The purity of the water as it falls reminds me that emotions are of the moment.

For me it is a return to my natural state. Like it is cleaning all the residue of the past from me. It trickle’s down my spine and balances my Chakras.

The rain isn’t forgetting. Rather it is revealing. It washes all the carefully laid veneers. It smears my mascara and reveals my soul.

Veneer gone. My heart is vulnerable to the truth. What truth will be revealed to me today? What do I need to learn?

Thank you nature, for bringing the rain.

Passion

Do you feel that passion? The kind that keeps you up at night the kind that drives you forward? The Kind of passion that you think about every waking hour, Dream about through the night, And constantly crave?

The kind that you won’t let you settle for second-best. The passion that gives your life meaning? It gives you spice And entices you to dance with it.

The kind that isn’t comfortable but keeps pushing you to your edge making you explore your own abyss.

Passion that regularly taps you on the shoulders remind you that it’s there. It’s seductive. It’s mesmerizing. It has you entranced so you think of nothing else.

This passion comforts and claws. It torments and soothes. It is the devil and the angel. It is the vixen and the virgin. It bursts and flows through your veins. Part of your innate being, part of your soul.

That passion ignites fires and boils the waters. It is everything and nothing. It is infinite.

It is that kundalini snake coiled at your spine, that begs for exploration.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Go now and explore. Don’t get comfortable. It’s a journey.

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I don’t know why, I swallowed a fly…I guess I’ll die

It’s one of those days. Maybe it’s the weather…the weather that forces you inside, into your introspective depths.  And as I explore my soul and self, I find myself unworthy.

I was recently called an “American” in the derogatory sense that “I have everything but still want the one thing I don’t have.” Or something like that. It’s weighing on my heart. It was a response to a statement that I had made about my being successful. And in some ways I am successful. I have a great career in the area I choose (Art Director), I teach yoga, I’m learning the violin, I do my own art, I have amazing friends and family…and yet I want a special connection with someone.

Admittedly I may be watching too many Ally McBeal reruns.

But right now I am overwhelmed with sadness, and I’m not really sure why. Well, that’s not true, I didn’t swallow a fly, but I swallowed a mountain of unworthiness. I am not the amazing artist I want to be, and don’t deserve to be called an artist. I am not the amazing meditator/yogi I want to be, and don’t deserve to be teaching. I am not even a whole, satisfied, happy person, so I don’t deserve a special connection with someone I love.

As is said often about me, I’m amazing on paper, but in reality, it turns out I’m just a Monet (yes, flashback to Clueless, how embarrassing.) I half-ass most of my stuff and try to blur it out so everything thinks I am amazing but if you look closely, it’s mediocre. It’s like I love and leave quickly so I don’t have to dive into the depths and see my truth. I live in complete antithesis of how I want to live.

 

If only I could live up to my full potential. Bring the notes on the paper swirling into life and luminescence.  I don’t want to be as bright as the sun, for that is my balance. I want to be quiet and soulful like the moon. I would like to bloom into the void lotus I am, softly unfolding and sharing my velvet petals one at a time.

I’m caught up in my head though, too concerned about society than myself. Too wrapped up in axioms and mores that may not be mine. And if I’m not careful, I will swallow the mediocre, marinate in it, become it, and I guess I’ll die.

Potential

 

My soul is a bit crazy

Feeling a bit crazy

It’s amazing all the shit that can happen. And it’s so fucking stupid that here I am again…still with an aching heart and a confused soul. It all really does happen all at once and in a mean fury. Or maybe I just refused to recognize the warning signs so the universe needed to slap me in the face. And the punchline is that I just need to focus on myself.

It’s so interesting how you can be living life thinking that you are supporting yourself and living for yourself and then to all of a sudden realize you have no idea who you are or what you need and that you’ve just been barely surviving and not actually nurturing your soul. I’ve been doing and accomplishing so much over the years. I have been forging an amazing life and feel pretty damn successful for my age in a variety of areas. And don’t get me wrong, I feel great about it and know that they are all steps to living the life I dream of. My life is still all about art, yoga and music. But despite the fact that those are really the only three things in my life (outside of friends and family) I am stressed the fuck out, sleeping all the time, not working out and eating like shit.

It’s like a whirlwind has picked me up and is swinging me around and around and around and I have no idea how to find a dristi, a focal point, and yet I keep going. And it’s sad, I’m not too sure when this whirlwind came. I’m not sure how long I’ve been picked up into it. I realize that I could easily say it was a few months ago, back in September, when I had car problems, I was the sole designer for my job, all of my freelance clients needed something, blah blah blah. I think it’s been longer than a few months.  I think I haven’t been cultivating a calming energy…probably since I graduated college. Damn. Seven fucking years.

Feeling a bit crazy
Feeling a bit crazy

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done a lot in those seven years and it has been amazing. I was focused on building the life I wanted and of which I dreamed (yes, I just redid that sentence so I didn’t end on a preposition.) But now it may be time to cultivate a space for myself so I have time to fucking enjoy what I’ve been building. I am tired. I need to now slow down and enjoy it all. That’s not at all to say I’m going to stop progressing, but I think for a moment, I can slow down and just spend time loving…loving myself, loving my art, loving my family and friends, loving my job, loving my cats, fuck, just loving life. I can take a moment to rest and relax. Maybe read a few of the hundreds of books I own (I literally have purchased probably 25-50 new books and have had the time to read not even one of them.)

I do work a lot. And that’s good and fine. But I need to find the time to curl up on the floor in my 10lb blanket (Love love love and love to my Mom for making it!! Here’s the concept behind it.), cuddling with my cats, enjoying their company. Or even getting back to my personal art and enjoying what I with that. I probably could be an amazing artist. Some of my recent work is pretty damn good. I surprised myself anyway…and I do want to play the violin…just for myself. I basically love to express myself and I have given myself little time to explore my self-expression. And that is central to my life.

I have a pretty awesome life. I’ve been moving so fast I didn’t even realize it. I mean, I “knew” it but now it’s time I fucking slow down, rest up and enjoy it!

 

Experiencing a merge

Tonight I feel like I connected with myself. The first time in a long time. And I wasn’t even trying. After a long, exhausting and painful day, I slopped down and had some dinner. Turned on the computer and tried to disconnect with reality. And I was succeeding. And then I was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to do art. Not do any specific kind of art, I just wanted to be making lines, no purpose, no design, just art. I slept the computer, turned on Type O Negative, grabbed oil pastels (because I don’t usually work with them, just thought they would make less of a mess), and sat down with a big pad of paper.

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I just started making lines. No real purpose. I had seen a few images today I had connected with and was thinking about their lines and what I liked about them. It turned into a very awkwardly drawn body. I stared a

t it and suddenly knew that I should draw the energy centers. I started with the root chakra, making a very large red blur of color. And while I was doing that, I remembered some visions I had just before drifting to sleep last night and knew that was what I was supposed to be doing. And I proceeded drawing the other energy centers. And I really just focused on the way the color left the pastel and went on to the paper, the beautiful, uneven lines it made. And I watched as my hand moved the pastel across the page, how my fingers held the pastel and how my wrist turned as I made circles with the pastels. Pete Steele was singing in the background. It was a really intimate phenomenological moment. That one when you literally watch like an outsider what you are doing and yet at the same time being consciously/unconsciously(?) intentional in movement. Time stopped. I stayed on one color and focused on that energy center for as long as I was drawn to it. I noticed how I responded to various colors. Sometimes my hand moved quicker, sometimes slower. And then I realized I was out of space, still had to do the last chakra and that I really wanted to stretch my legs. No idea how much time passed. I stretched while looking at what I had spent time doing.

And I realized, maybe for the first time, I read myself in my art. It was like I had done a tarot reading…I was looking and could read in my art exactly where I was at as a human being. What I needed to be working on and what I needed to do to grow. I was excited to quiet my mind for long enough to listen to my energy. It’s been so long since I’ve felt quiet. I find it, at times, during yoga. In yoga class I feel my muscles like I watched my hand. I feel the pleasure of stretching them and releasing the emotions from them. But it doesn’t carry with me. But I had another little taste of the calm tonight. I felt that moment where the ethereal and corporal meet…where they merge and connect. You feel the beauty of each of them, simultaneously.