Shhhh…listen…

Luke Brown Visionary Art

Yogi Bhajan said, “The greatest tool you have in your life is to listen. Why? If you listen, you will listen sensitively. And you will be shocked how fast you will become intuitive.”

 

How often do you find yourself smiling and nodding, at a loss about which the person in front of you is speaking? How often do you keep mindlessly eating without realizing you are beyond full? Have you found yourself responding to a situation out of pure habit, even though the feelings from which you are responding are long gone?

As a society immersed in constant stimulation, I have discovered that sometimes listening is a challenge. There are tons of things happening right and left and up and down and sometimes what’s present in front of me is lost. It’s sad really. It causes a disconnect not only between myself and those around me whom deserve my attention, but also between me and myself.

Luke Brown Visionary ArtOne of the things I have loved about Yoga and more recently Yoga Nidra, is that it provides the space to listen. When flowing through a vinyasa class, I am able to glide my awareness across my muscles, my skin, my joints, to discover how I physically am feeling. I can feel how deep the pain in my lower back goes, or the strength I am building in my legs. The feeling across my collarbones as I peel my shoulders back becomes a little bit sweeter, the exhale a little deeper. By listening to my body and being a sensate witness, the movements become more exhilarating and fulfilling. And when my body has been heard and I am physically feeling nurtured and satisfied, I can move into my heart space.

How do we know if we have grown, shed, or transformed if we don’t stop to listen? Taking a few moments to listen to my heart opens me up to understanding what lives within the realms of my anahata and to align my heart with my thoughts. What is it that I am truly feeling right now, in this moment? Am I displaying outdated habits and thought patterns, viz. is what I’m doing or thinking serving my current self or my past self? When I take the time to stop and listen to what’s happening within, I enter a space of clarity and understanding. I can see the matrix (my version of it, at any rate), and can systematically examine the quality of my body, heart, and thoughts, and I reveal my truest nature and the essence of Spirit from within.

Listening allows us to feel as an individual and finite existence while simultaneously it engages us in the vastness of consciousness and energy of the eternal. We become a witness and a purusha (Sanskrit: “one who dwells in the city of True Nature.”).

So take a few moments to listen to your body, heart, and mind. Check in with yourself and ask yourself how you truly are. When we find that place within, we become unwavering in our peace, and can extend the art of listening to those who surround us. And we bear witness for them, of their existence, and allow them to be heard.

Below is a meditation from Yogi Bhahan you can incorporate into your practice when you need to align your energies.

Hugs & Love,
Saxxy

 

Meditation Yogi Bhahan

Click the image for more information on this practice. _/\_

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.

 

 

 

A blue artistic attempt

I’m trying to be more free with my personal art. Not so concerned on how it looks as much as trying to find out what my natural voice looks like. I am an artist plagued with the inadequacy disease. I peruse the internet and see all the amazing work everyone else is producing, and I want to produce something similar. However, that is there voice, not mine. I’m not sure what my art looks like yet, so I am trying to just follow my instincts. I imagine that as I feel more comfortable just expressing my self, I can move on to the details (I am not really as detail-oriented as I would like, so this initial finding of my voice seems to be pure expression).I do tend to focus on the details as a designer, at work and in my job, but in my personal art, I seem to let them slide a bit.

 

It’s an interesting thought and process to find my voice. And I should say, my unique voice. The one not trying to mimic all the other great artists out there, but the one that comes from within my heart, soul and thoughts. Maybe through this process I’ll see what chaos is in my  head. Should be interesting. As it stands, here are two of my first attempts to find my voice. The base of the art is an oil pastel piece I did and brought into Photoshop. I would love to  hear feedback.

 

An attempt to find my voice.

 

This attempt is a bit softer.

 

I do get the feeling that they are incomplete. That I am telling a half story with my art as I am prone to do in conversation. Problem is, I can rarely remember the full story…seems to be the case here as well. Not quite sure where to take this and how to finish my thought. Seems to be an adequate reflection of my soul at the moment…I feel like I have just begun a journey and am nowhere near complete to self realization and confidence. So maybe these pieces are complete in their reflection of my personal incompleteness…maybe I am trying to abstractly intellectualize them though…Not sure…would love thoughts though.