Conversations…anger vs darkness

I have some amazing conversations with people…I’d like to share them here.

Not Me

And yeah, your ex was….. a little dark one.

Not me:

it always makes me laugh when people are so angry at god for things that happen in their lives. some people have a really hard time at life. those born with disabilities, into horrible poverty, horrible conditions, suffering of all kinds. some of them blame god, some blame the real reasons for their abject poverty (government, society, etc), and some blame themselves. the ones that blame god are the real fools. like, how can you blame the universe of infinite everything and neverending nothing for miniscule human issues? do we care what happens in a bacteria colony on a piece of discarded gum? perspective.

Me

As long as you are blaming someone/something anger lives with you…and that just ruins your own life

Mindfulness

The practitioner that focuses on mindfulness
Advances like a fire,
Consuming the chains of bondage
Both great and small.

The Buddha

 Remember to remember, when you remember.

Sogyal Rinpoche

 

Maelstrom

Existing in a maelstrom.
Flowing confusion, violent disquiet. Chaos ensues, mayhem usurps repose. Peace is found in the perspective.

20130919-105600.jpg

It’s time

It’s time to become me

It’s time to discover

 

Discover my voice

Discover my passions

Discover my secret desires

 

My actions do not reflect the person I want to be…

 

Reflect my love

Reflect my creative

Reflect my intentions

 

Cultivate the art of repetition

 

Habit of yoga

Habit of art

Habit of health

 

It’s time to discover

It’s time to become me

 

I'm not sure the artist here.
I’m not sure the artist here.

Anger at an Adage

I sometimes don’t like when I have moments of enlightenment. And it’s not that I don’t like being enlightened, but it’s frustrating to look at the repercussions of said enlightenment. For example, I’ve always considered the adage that how you are on the inside is a reflected in your external environment to be true for me. And on a regular basis I am surprised about what I see going on with me. It’s funny how I can know such things but how easily they can slip aside…how easily they are forgotten when my world gets a little crazy. Astrologically speaking, I am a cancer. And true to form I cycle like the moon. And I guess it’s about this time in the cycle when I look around realize how much control I’ve lost. Or rather, where my focus is. I’m really been trying to focus on work, yoga and eating healthier right now. And when I look around, my dedicated yoga area is clean, clear and pulsating wonderful bright vibes. It’s calling to me and I want to go and practice. My home yoga practice has been phenomenal and my body is grateful. I’ve even started a meditation practice. Nothing too amazing or consistent, but still, it exists 🙂 And my work area isn’t bad. It’s not great, but when I throw myself into my work I get a little disorganized. In this area, if I’m organized it means I’m not passionately focused on a project so much that I ignore everything else. Looking at my area, you can tell I’ve been decently productive in my work. I even completed three projects this weekend and worked on a few personal pieces. I was pretty happy. I have healthy food in the fridge and I’m pretty solid. But my room.

My room.

I feel like an adolescent that needs to be grounded until I clean my room. It’s a disaster area. I mean, dangerous. And hell, I’ve locked my cat in my room a ton of times this month simply because it’s so crazy I didn’t even see her in there. And my sex life is the exact same. I have a little sex goddess in me somewhere but there is so much other crap whirling around I can’t seem to locate her. And at this stage, it’s such a disaster area I’m a little frightened to even go there.

That damn adage, dude…The external reflects the internal. And it always sneaks up on me. I need to set an alert, everyday, to stop and look around. Evaluate what I see and figure out what the hell is going on on the inside. I get caught up so much in the go go go, achieve achieve achieve, produce produce produce, that I am missing what’s happening around me. And as a result, I’m missing on what’s going on inside of me.

And of course, this is why my focus has been on yoga…but it’s time I take my yoga off of my mat and into my world. The fantasy I live in, explore in, vibrate in when on the mat is a far cry from my life off of the mat. That acceptance, peace, calm and love that flows and emanates from me as I flow through my postures…I can’t seem to hold onto it. I can’t seem to intertwine and meld that energy into my subtle body. To blend and integrate and hold onto that feeling throughout the day. Something’s in my way. I’m in my way. My Samskara’s.

Isn’t that a bit titillating?

The chance to explore me as I am now. Not who I was, but who I am right now. To get to know me…it could be a life-changing experience 😉 And maybe in a couple months, when the moon shines her nurturing light on me once again in fullness, my external environment will reflect calm, peaceful, adoring and satiated vibrations.

 

meditationArea

Prioritizing a spiritual practice?

I’m trying to clean out some crap from my apartment and I found a bag full of information I received at a health fair last year. I’m going through recipes, trying to decide if I will try them or if I should just throw them away (I kept the almond pancake recipe but not the granola recipe.) I reviewed information for a Health Coach and pondered if that is perhaps something that would help me align my goals with my actual lifestyle. And then I came to this hand out on “the Integrated Nutrition Plan: 12 Steps to Better Health” (pictured below). I was reading the 12 steps in order.

  1. Drink more water (well, I already drink a fair share of water, but word, I can probably use to increase the amount).
  2. Practice cooking (yep, definitely something I am trying to integrate into my life).
  3. Increase whole grains (eh, maybe, not sold on that one)
  4. Increase sweet vegetables (yeah, yeah, the veggie thing. True enough)
  5. Increase leafy green vegetables (okay, more health stuff, sweet…I get it, eat clean and healthy)

12steps

I scanned through the next few realizing that they were all food and then skipped ahead to number 12: Develop a spiritual practice. The only thing I could think of was why was this at the end of the list? Granted, the fine print does say you can pick the steps in whatever order you want; however, my personality type appreciates the numbers and would follow that. Okay, and that may be a different issue altogether, but I do think that the list suggests a best practice. But that’s beside the point, actually. Because really, it just helped me realize how essential my spiritual practice is in my life. And it’s one that is often neglected. I’ve gone to maybe 2-3 yoga classes this year…but the amount of bars I’ve been too, well, drastically exceeds that number. And when I think about it, my current state of being reflects that. I’m overwhelmed, I feel behind, I feel like my apartment is a disaster, I eat like shit and I haven’t done any art in ages. Yoga calms me, brings me into myself and really encourages me to treat my body as the beautiful temple it is. Yoga makes me want to be healthier…yoga is my impetus for doing the 12 steps of nutritional health. Unfortunately me just thinking about it and wanting to be healthy isn’t my impetus, or it isn’t strong enough to make it happen. That want, that thought process, is overshadowed by responsibilities, by stress, by a busy, multifaceted life. I can really suck at times when dealing with stress and it’s my spiritual practice that brings me home, that brings me into light and that invigorates my soul that I make better health decisions. I need my spiritual practice to do art. It creates a healthy space in my life for creativity. It balances me and allows me to align with the universe so I can learn my truth and speak it through my art, and in all areas of my life.

 

These are all great and important steps. It’s awesome for me to recognize I want to start with step 12 and cultivate my spiritual practice.

 

When I have my spiritual practice I am united with myself and can approach life with a clear mind and beautiful inclinations. I open myself up to the vibrant and illuminating aspects of life. I have a clean, comforting space in which I live a productive and serene life. It’s my spiritual life that helps me choose to have a salad over a frozen entree at work, and to cook fish and veggies over ordering pizza for dinner. It’s because I have the 12th step, having my spiritual practice, that I choose to embody steps 1-11. It’s amazing to realize this b/c I know instead of trying to do several of these steps all at once and feeling the failure of integrating those steps into my lifestyle, that if I just embrace my spiritual practice, my yoga and meditation, that the rest will fall into place.

Meditation

Compassion

Compassion…sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering or misfortunes of others.

Such a noble and wonderful notion. Buddha says that living a life of compassion is living in happiness. And I can see it. Being able to just sympathize with others, without judgment, without expectations, knowing that they are a kindred suffering soul that simply needs understanding.

I find that from afar I can cultivate compassion. But I struggle with those closest to me. I guess I think it’s hard to feel compassion for others when they’re experiences, what they are going through negatively impacts me. And because of that, I lack acceptance. It really saddens me, to know that I am this way, that my anger and fury are stronger than my love and compassion. That if something is painful to me, I can’t still look upon that person with understanding.

Compassion is difficult for me, a challenge. I admire those that can step away from their own selves and accept whatever happens. And accept it in a way that is both mundane and precious. To have a deepening understanding of another soul, to share and express openly, with compassion and love. To have debates, discussions, both verbal and non, to feel like someone’s presence is a dialogue. To know that whatever the outcome is, it’ll be alright b/c you came to the situation with compassion.

To have that, to cultivate that, is something I am striving for. I am at a loss on how to achieve it, but I am trying. I am starting with just trying to have compassion and love for myself. To allow myself to be who I am, and not trying to be what I admire and love in others. So hard. And it’s a long journey that will toil in my mind. One that will force me to question my own reality, opinions, beliefs…question me.

 
Photography Prints
 

Artist statements

Recently on Facebook, we (Minaxus Production Studio) asked if artist statements make a difference. It was a bit surprising to hear how much people actually prefer to read the artists intent behind a piece. Much of the time we consider art to be our expressions, but interpreted however the viewer wants/needs to interpret it. To influence a viewer into seeing something specific seems a bit taboo, manipulative. But fans stated they like to read what the artist was thinking at the time and that, at times, it can help develop an appreciation for the piece.

I feel like when I was in school we had this debate. To influence or not to influence. To BE influenced, or to not be influenced. I may still be on the fence about this. But I guess if I really thought about it, the viewer doesn’t have to read or even agree with the artist statements or intent if they don’t want to. But it may be better to include that intent in the event that the viewer wants it. And really, we asked our fans and they said YES to including them with our work.

As of late, that has been what we have been trying to do. We uploaded tons of our pieces to our various galleries without an artist description, having initially chosen to leave interpretation solely up to the viewer. However, we are now going back through and writing this description, adding the intent and thought process behind the piece. It’s still an interesting concept that could be debated. We have created something visual to experience, and the written word and intention was requested. I wonder if this applies to all artwork or to some of the more abstract, actually. Many of our pieces are abstract and it takes spending a few moments with the piece, soaking it in, to help truly see it. Reading about it first will help direct you to our personal experience with the piece, but hopefully you’ll spend a few more moments on your own, experiencing it from your own perspective and experiences.

Satisfaction in the effort?

There’s an article on Tiny Buddha today about being happy whether or not you succeed. And I’m simply not sure how I feel about that. I paint. I  love painting. And that makes me happy. But I want to sell my paintings. Share them with the world. And in fact, I just  had my first purchase. I was super excited. Interestingly enough, I haven’t really told anyone. I was satisfied internally. I didn’t need the outside congrats or approval. But I know that selling it makes me happy. And that after trying to sell my art, if I didn’t, I would be crushed. I would feel like I failed.

 

Maybe it’s more than just believing in our ability to succeed; maybe happiness is believing in our ability to be content and satisfied whether we do or not. ~ Tiny Buddha article (link above)

 

I am not sure about this. It comes down to dreams and goals and life. I mean, I’m sure it’s all well and good to just try to be satisfied with simply living. But if you keep failing, how can you sustain that life. If you are supposed to be happy with just the effort, what happens when that puts you on the side of a street holding a paper sign with plastic bags around your feet? I  know somebody whose dream is killing that person. It’s so stressful and has wielded so little success that the soul dies a little bit each day. Trying isn’t enough. This person wants to succeed and live a life doing what that person is passionate about, not being stuck in some cubicle doing data work. It causes desperation, makes that person choose terrible people to try to help in efforts (since the dream requires other band members), makes that person push away people that only want to offer love and support because time is running out and extraneous people are simply that – extraneous. The effort isn’t enough, and it’s quite possible that if success does not happen, that person will die, hating life and resentful. Choosing to pursue a dream and giving an entire life to it, just to fail…and we are supposed to be okay with that kind of thing?

 

Anger
Anger

It seems like statements and articles like this example from Tiny Buddha are made by people who have already succeeded. It’s much easier for them to say that the effort would have been enough, or should be enough, when they aren’t failing at their dreams, living in the trenches. And maybe I’m wrong. Hell, I just sold my first painting, maybe I have no room to talk either. I work in a field I love, well, two fields: Art and yoga…my life isn’t terrible. But the empath in my watches those around me fail and flail and live a life in pain because of a dream. Because of the desire to do something larger in this life than just sit at a desk. How do you tell someone who is investing everything in a dream…and still failing…that they should be satisfied that they tried?

 

Am I just being totally Western and harsh? Maybe I’m naive. I just want to believe that dreams can come true. That effort and passion count for something. That we can reach the end of our rainbows for that pot of gold…

 

Just haven’t really seen that yet, I guess.