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.

 

 

___________________________________________

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.

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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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!

 

A reflection of the heart

She's on the verge of letting go...

The heart. It is not to be taken lightly. It is a motivator, an inventor, an artist, a lover. It’s said that people can discern your state of being by the energy pouring forth from your heart. The quality of the energy is essential. It’s difficult to add a happy veneer to such energy when you are heartbroken. It’s difficult to tame the enthusiasm when you are happy. The heart opens up to the vast, infinite possibilities of the universe. The expanse that we wake up to every day, and influences the decisions we make. My heart aches. I feel the heaviness, the constriction, the knowledge of what has been lost and never will be again.

My heart cries the tears feeding into the River Styx.

I bend, I bow, I love, I hurt. Always I hurt. The sadness begins with the first alarm, permeates by day, marinates by night and infiltrates my dreams. It fuels my subconscious, I never want to think. Trying to wrap my head around my heart is futile, is disturbing, is depressing. Situations change, people change, this I know. My heart still beats to the melody of what was. For how do we let go, of the impressions that we’ve made, the pain that we’ve caused, the anger that we feel? Fuck me, the stupidity, the tears and all of the drunken rages. Those spirits give life to the damaged soul.

The heart is a special part of me. It is not a plaything, or a toy…but I gave it away to a boy.

The energy from my heart is stained with desolation. Residue of pain. Vital energy gone, taken, and given to another, a shadow of me.

The energy of the heart is essential. It is the story of your being, writing the current page of your life. It is a guide, a friend, an enemy. It is the novel you read each day, the lens through which you see. The heart supports you, beats for you, is your lifeline, and yet can betray you. The heart can be your link to the world, the space from which you connect. It is your personal Grimmoire, the spell and curse you cast.

The heart is tremendous. It can weigh you down or lift you up. It can grace your lips with a smile or your cheek with tears. It creates and destroys, is precious and mundane. It is the place of emotions, the place of blood. Both pulsate life.

I gave part of my heart away. And he still has it. Toys with it. A friend with benefits nothing more. To be used and played with. Acknowledged when it suits the lover, discarded when there’s another.

The heart can infuriate, the heart can soothe. The red cadence consumes.

Woman in red painting by MSaxxy

Start with something to say


I just read an article over on The Art of Non-Conformity about having something to say. Chris Guillebeau mainly talks about writing, but it applies to art as well. What is your art saying? What is my art saying? Do I even have something to say? And something quality at that?


I think this concept is why I struggle with art. I always want to express myself, to use my emotional content and portray it on canvas. To use art for catharsis. But it never seems to work out. Or at least the quality is rarely there. It’s almost like my emotions are so wild that I can’t seem to put the details into it. Or maybe emotions just are ugly.

Woman releasing anger
Woman releasing anger
Energy
Energy - protecting oneself

 

Heart and Skull Flourish
Love and Death flourish


They all seem so out of control and I’m not sure that they portray my emotional intent as deeply as I want them to. Perhaps they are just so amateur and if I could just get better, than I would be able to exhibit emotions a bit more purely and intensely. Can you tell what it is I am trying to say? Do you feel the anger? The love? The Passion? I doubt it. But I feel with these paintings I had something I wanted to say…I’m just not that articulate I suppose. My default paintings are flowers. I feel like I have nothing to say when I paint flowers and that they are just kind of there and typical. Even my Ganesha is that way.

Purple flower on Green
Purple flower on Green

 

Ganesha
Ganesha



So yes, starting with something to say is a perfect start. And knowing that clearly is good too. I usually don’t have anything to say when I am playing around with my graphic design. I’m just trying to go for something “cool” and it rarely works out. So that is an amazing thought and one I appreciate and agree with. And then the next step is knowing how to say it and being articulate…that is a struggle. What do I have to say, and how do I say it in a way that is as intense as I want it to be?

Navigating the inner and the outer

Every human being must navigate between the inner life and the outside world, just as the artist must navigate between Poetry and Craft…

We are all artists, in our own ways. We have the same struggles, the same drives…sometimes, it seems, and I could be wrong here, that artists just feel it more. Want to express it more and try to help the world via their own personal expressions of that navigation between their inner selves and their outer selves.


And for some artists, the torment is romantic.

And for some artists, the torment is romantic.


It’s an element that denotes life allowing us to scream out, I AM ALIVE! To get caught up in the mundane necessities of life is to deny an entire human responsibility. Not every one can answer this call. And that’s fine. Each of us is on our own journey and each of us on our own path. I have a path of pain, of extreme human emotion-sometimes mine, sometimes not-that cries out for expression. It dwells so deep within that it hurts. Deep in my Manipura, my personal power and how I relate to the world. It is excruciating and sublime simultaneously. Beautiful and ugly. The polarity I feel towards art, and this deep-seated feeling of needing to express, scares and excites me.


It is a visceral experience that foments existential unrest at times.


Each day is an opportunity for art. Each day a time to succeed or fail. To sit with art, to live with art, to express in art, is a curse and a gift. One that encourages you to explore your soul, you inner deep being, and somehow connect that to the world. the challenge, to not get lost in your soul universe and to remember that there exists an external community to connect with. To be a hermit, is all to easy.

A new year in art


2011 was an interesting year. I made a lot of progress in art, mainly in setting it up on Etsy and Zazzle.. I even sold three paintings. That was encouraging.



So it’s amazing that here I am in 2012 feeling like nothing happened in 2011 and that so much more needs to be done. How many of you feel that way? Need to be more consistent in blogging, in joining etsy teams and forums, in uploading products to Zazzle, in gathering a following, in determining relevant content, updating my website…oh, and let’s not forget about doing art and growing as an artist.



I must say though, that as I look back on previous projects I have worked on, I do feel like I have made enormous strides in my art. What I once thought was amazing is now questionable, and what I am doing now seems superb!


These two are .pdf’s if you want to check them out:
Outside of a Program
Another event program

An inside page to a program.
An inside page to another program. This will be printed on pearlescent paper to give it a wonderful shine.


It just never feels like enough though, does it? Always should be doing more, putting more time into things, life, art…It’s utterly exhausting so that by the time I am sitting down to do some art, I have no energy or brain power to do it. Everybody has to be in a similar situation though. So how do you do it? How do you maintain your life and still have the energy, will and brain power to improve yourself and your art. Create art. Explore your soul. Write music. How do you find the balance in your life, to live a life, and achieve all of your goals?

Talent entrusted to you

“You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you. Go work with it.”




I just read this quote on Facebook. It’s an interesting thought…destiny of sorts. That are souls yearnings, and our natural talents are given to us so we can share them and make an impact on the world in a specific way.


I often wonder if art is a natural talent or an idea that I want to place myself into…an image, I want to become. I have this idea of who I want to be and it’s quotes like this that make me wonder if I am ignoring what I “should” be doing, or if I am trying to achieve just that. I mean, where does the image, and the drive to become that image, come from if it’s not an innate need. Or is the fear I feel telling me that I am indeed not good enough to achieve this image, that the talent isn’t entrusted to me? All the training in the world is not a substitute for natural talent. Do I have enough natural talent to do what it takes? Can I succeed?


There are people who believe in me and believe I am talented. Maybe, in this current state of confusion, I should just trust in them. Haha, I was just reminded of this song:


trust in me siouxsie and the banshees


Natural talent eh? I just want to be an artist. To explain my emotions and thoughts visually. And yet I have this huge wall that keeps me from doing it, and thus making me question myself. I have no artistic style, no idea how to transform my emotions on canvas. I mean, I am a graphic designer by day and that’s all well and cool since I am designing for someone else. It’s not me. I don’t know how to put me on a canvas. I want to put my fear on the canvas and yet am paralyzed and have no idea how to do it. It feels pathetic. I’ve even gone so far as to ask ‘K’ to draw something on a canvas that I can then add paint on. Super lame.

Stress


So I am responsible for the talent that I was entrusted with…what the hell am I talented at? And is it talent I have, or an image of what I want to become?

@Etsy shopping for the holidays


So many things to do. So many avenues to explore. Always such a long never-ending to do list. One of those things on the list, and one that I am proud to have made progress on, is my Etsy shop. I’ve only just really scratched the surface, but I’m glad that I at least have it up and have even sold a couple pieces, Yay! It’s weird, really, to have sold pieces that have been in my closet for years. One impetus for selling my art in this capacity was really to push me to create more. One of my excuses was that my apartment is small and I don’t have storage room. Clearing out pieces I painted years ago allows my art to evolve with me. That’s important. I have changed a lot, and continue to change a lot. My art reflects my confusion of life and of my sense of self. I have no real style, no real consistent approach, nothing. And the art shows that. And it seems a bit amateur because of my mental incertitude. I wish I was better, that I spent more time with it…that I could figure it out. Just another item on my to do list.


But that’s not the point of this, and I apologize for the rambling. Rambling seems to occupy my head and now my writing. So, back to Etsy. I have decided, and feel quite solid in this decision, that as I am trying to become involved in the Etsy world and trying to sell my own art and use that as a viable avenue of income and really just personal growth and exploration, that I needed to support other Etsy members. Etsy tries to create a community and I need to participate more in this community.

MSaxxy Etsy Shop


Becoming more involved in the community. Supporting the community.


So I have decided to buy as many of my Christmas presents off of Etsy this year. All handmade, personalized, and from people just like me. Not the corporations, not the already rich and dominating and powerful. People like me. Here are links to what I have purchased so far:

Etsy gift I bought for my nephew


So, that’s what I have purchased so far. The guys in my life are a bit harder to buy for from Etsy…but I’m going to figure it out. I am determined to not walk into a store or a mall this year. It just seems so impersonal. The sales people there don’t care. They didn’t spend hours making and crafting what they are selling. And you know what. I have loved the interaction with almost all of the people I have purchased from. They message me saying they have their order, I’ve responding with some light conversation, it becomes a personalized, more intimate transaction, and you know, they send their business cards with a little note or at least something hand-written, using my name and really making me feel like they cared. Like they love what they made and want it to go to a good place. It’s been amazing and I love it. Etsy is a great place to shop for the holidays, or really in general. You can find almost anything on Etsy. And really, perusing it has really made me laugh at times. Some things are super funny. I love it. I’m going to try to shop more on Etsy. It really is such a fun, warming, inventive and just all around awesome place to shop and community to be a part of.



I highly recommend, this holiday season, you support your local entrepreneur, buy off of Etsy or do something to help people that are just like me and you.

Blog hope via @RockablePress

After a sleepless weekend of trying to figure out how to better manage Social Media, I made a decision. I keep seeing this  “How to build a successful blog business” ebook from Rockablepress.com. I’ve been hesitant to buy this book mainly because I think I should be able to find everything I need just by perusing sites. However, this has clearly not been working for me. I’ve been trying this social media/blog business for about a year now and still have had no success, no comments, no user interaction. In all honesty, it’s getting pretty old. I’m tired of feeling like a failure. I research all the time how to make this better and I still haven’t been able to do it. Granted, I lack a consistency that is essential to success. But I think it is more than just that. An obvious answer could be that there are so many blogs out there, already established, doing exactly what I am trying to do. So what’s the point? Why do I keep trying? I’m not sure. That existential question of what’s the point when there are so many other more talented designers/artists/yogis out there has been plaguing me for a while. Put me in all out crisis really. Lacking reason, motivation…the understanding of the why. It sucks walking down a path like that. So I am attempting to put the energy out there that says, I want to figure this out. Or I’ll have to give up and decide I was not meant to be a blogger.

To blog or not to blog

And it’s not just about making money on a blog. I already have a few jobs that pay. That’s not what I am after. I am after the interaction. I want to know if others have the same struggles, same excitement and just similar experiences as I do in this world. I don’t think I am so weird that no one has similar experiences. There has to be millions of people out there that like art and yoga. Hell, I’ll appreciate an either/or at these stage. I just want to share and have others share. I guess I just want to jump on the band wagon and do what everyone else is doing, and connect with people like everyone else is. I just want a piece of the online experience/success. I don’t want to be passed by as some ignorant nobody who couldn’t figure it out. I’m not ignorant, and I am a somebody. At least I think I am. Maybe you will too, eventually. I just need some help figuring it all out.

So, I bought the @RockablePress book. I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but I am hoping it was a good investment and it will help me make my blog, my time, my efforts worthy of a good investment and a good ROI as well.

We shall see, and this blog will be the evidence. Here’s to hope.