I am grateful for the library because that is where I am now.. no computer for now and that may be a blessing in disguise. I found a "computer guy" in town.. he came this morning to pick up the computer and get rid of a virus and clean her up... A big change in attitude today even with a packed laundromat. It was an opportunity to be pleasant amongst the chaos. Picked up a new color for the bedroom too. A good day
I find it amazing how some days one wakes and just feels great and other times.. not so much. I feel good today, and I am sure it is because I am aware of life's blessings. This is where my focus is.. the good stuff, all those wonderful things that are going right in my life. The students I work with, watching them produce some amazing, creative work - a big blessing. I love it when I am giving a student the opportunity to express themselves in some way and it "clicks". I am feeling good that I was able to help someone special financially and in return it came back to me four-fold! Today is a day I want to open my arms and take it all in. I want to embrace each moment and because this is what I WANT and focusing on that, that is what the Universe provides more of. Placing your focus on the good stuff and more good stuff is what appears. Namaste'
Today a very nice man helped my mom with the wheelchair, went to the car with us to help some more and brought the chair back to the office... So many very kind people :-) Thank you to all of you out there that hold doors open, are patient with others that are disabled, and do it all with a big smile.
If you read the comment underneath this post, you'll know where the inspiration for this came from. Laura inspired this idea for me to post my gratitude for the many things I am blessed with. "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was thank you, that would suffice"is one of my favorite quotes from Meister Eckhart. Yesterday, while at class, a previous student came by with her mom and dropped off a HUGE bin filled with art supplies. Paints, paints, paints... feathers, wood, beads, chenille, gems, foamie stuff... and empty oranizers! Thank you .. Thank you. I will not have to buy paints for awhile and those sculpey molds are just the things I was looking for. I am soooo very grateful! Life is good :-)
I thought about it in the shower and while driving to class.
What came up is the unpredictablness of life and how I deal with it. We expect certain things done in a certain way, other people's behaviours, just because it's been this way... and when something comes along to disturb the peace... well, here's where the challenge comes.
How present can I remain.
I tried not to react, but I did. I fell into victim mode,
yeah, I could easily had a full blown out temper tantrum :-)
and then I remembered,
"don't shoot the messenger"
and I looked at it much more deeply.
I looked at my habitual behaviour. Stuff we repeatedly do from our past childhood.
Then, I looked at what was really happening behind all this. What was the REAL issue here and... Why is it pushing my button?
I began thinking about my habits, my rituals, my addictions... all those things that bring comfort to me, and the things that help to bring ease into my life.
Take astrology for instance.
Every day I read my personalized horoscope for the day right along with the general ones.. These include planetary aspects, rising signs, what house the moon is in...
It is ritual... and most likely an addiction andI wondered if I could be more intuitive without it.
This caught my attention:
It is from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. -Shraddha: Faith, trust. We need to trust in the intelligence of the Universe and welcome any experiences that come our way. It is about accepting and loving what is, rather than what we think should be.
This message spoke to my heart about the matter and I began to relax into seeing there might be other alternatives, other options, solutions to be had (instead of pouting).
It's been my ongoing intention to remain in the present moment and allow life to unfold, not always to my whim, not always how I think it should be, but delve into the unpredictableness of life and see what the Universe has in store for me. Sometimes I blow it.
I must say, I see growth. I bounce back more quickly, look at where the resistance is and cut through it easier... faster... but of course, some instances are more challenging than others, and I forget.
It's an interesting concept, bowing. It is a sign of respect - humbleness. And we bow from the gut. Maybe I need to bow, to honor my gut, follow my gut and see where that takes me.
My Sunday doodle while relaxing with hubby. He coloring (took my markers) and me doodling and mandala-making. Although the "should-haves" danced around my head, I relaxed.
Doodling is the art of allowing.
It's later that I "see" what my subconscious wants to say to me.
The image is on the edge, but it's not very high, so if I fall off, I won't have a long way to go.
It's not a big risk.
I noticed a mitten (winter) on one side and a butterfly on the other (summer).
The extremes again. The duality of life.
As a body, water is at the level of the throat chakra. To me it's symbolizing my emotional expression, something I have been more comfortable with, but still need to conscious of. To express my feelings has been a challenge for me, but I am working with it.
The creative eye, the third eye, is peering through two mountains. Two obstacles.
One I know, the other I'm not sure about..
Snow behind me, falling into the water. Coldness melting into the open seas.
Ah. That is my cold, seperate-self, the one that can push other's away.. it is the self that gets caught up in ego stuff, the need to be right.
melt away... melt away...
I am not seperate, but part of the whole.
I am the ocean and the drop.
We all are.
And it is through love, that the realization happens.
We each carry our light and that light is to be shared with others.
It is the talents we have that are to be spread out into the world, the light of our true self, the light of the divine within us, each of us, that needs to be given away in order for it to be returned to us.
see, the doodle can tell us many important things :-)
My husband and I exhibited our art together, which is still up. Photos on the art blog :-) This was one of the highlights of our year. Very exciting! Great energy. We've got so many more ideas cooking :-) I have learned so much about my Self these past few months, and where I find myself in balance. My art, my spiritual path are highest priorities for me and sharing what I find. My husband and I walk together on this path moving towards a special place where we can share with others. The most important lesson for me has been to connect with my heart center, keep the heart open, using the breath to stay centered and in the moment. Some harder lessons of "space" and letting go, looking at a bigger picture, attachment.. these were the challenges and knocked me off my center. But, I get back up. I try to do better and find compassion for my self. Yoga helps. It is one of my activities that grounds me, humbles me, and keeps my heart open. A blessing of community. Have a most wonderful day... and be grateful :-) Namaste'
So much has come together for me in the last month or so. Not sure if it's the meditating along with the reading, the show.. my life back to where I want it to be as far as work is concerned. I'm guessing it is all of it. It's because it is what I want. Where I want it all to be.
Focusing on that, what I do want rather than what I don't.
Most of the summer, I was focused on just that.. what I DIDN'T want and that is exactly what I got.. more of what I didn't want.. It was the moving away from experience rather than the moving towards experience.
I want this.
Working with the assemblages has been such a blessing. They've all come together easily for the most part. Anything that didn't, I left to sit with awhile. It was when I pushed rather than went with the flow - that it didn't fall into place.
Sometimes I just walked away and worked on another piece until it some how clicked. Many times it was the rummaging throught stuff that the perfect piece was found and then the flow came back. Wonderful.
It's pretty much a lesson of life. Stop pushing, resisting, but rather focus on what it is you do want, focus on the end result or the feeling it would provoke instead.
and stop carrying other people's baggage!
If something is unclear, ask questions, even if it is to yourself.
Choosing to move towards that which brings me the greatest joy, the best feelings, towards that which feels full of love. Respond to the experience of each blessed moment.
If there is one thing I have learned, it is the importance of spending time in nature. The power that Nature brings to us... soothing quality of water (until there is too much of it)... clean, clear blue skies (until there is too much of it).. Nature teaches us the importance of balance. We appreciate rain, when there is too little of it and the sun when there is too much. Balance of the elements. Balance in our lives. Appreciating when our lives are in balance, each time working harder to maintain it. It is appreciated more so when we lose that balance and then find it again. It is difficult to maintain. We fall into drama, allow fears, worries and other's opinions, to control our decisions... fear of what? What or who are we listening to, allowing our judgement to be contaminated? We all need to be media-free for awhile. Turn off the TV, the radio, your cell, computer, and whatever gadget you may be addicted to and spend some alone time, quiet time... just listening. Listen to nature. Listen to your Self. Your wise, sacred and divine Self. Pass the chatter of ego, you will eventually hear Her or Him. Please remind me of this.
Lessons from Life on the issue of balance... Swan speaks of commitment among other things.
I've noticed how I have commited to things this year that I was unable to complete. It's not something I relish. I like to honor my commitments... but I have been remiss in this area.
I have over committed.. AGAIN. Maybe I'm just naive, thinking I can do more than I am capable of.
My mother used to say my eyes were bigger than my stomach... and this has held true for more than my food appetite.. It is my wanting to participate in all those cool projects, interesting jobs and those things that challenge me to move outside the box.
yes.. yes.. yes.. one too many times. ok, more than ONE too many times.
I'm thinking we should have a mute button on us. I am just too quick on the words without thinking it through. Too impulsive. I should practice, "I'll get back to you"....
Swan has such grace and I've lost it a few times this summer. MELTDOWN is being kind.
Swans mate for life, which is why they are thought to symbolize commitment... and if I had unlimited time to bring forward all that I've committed to, then I don't really have a problem.
Unfortunately, other's don't see it this way.
As far as the balance thing, over-committing means it leaves scant time for my own stuff... my "thinking process" time, my own art, mandalas, journaling, blogging, my upcoming show of assemblages and shrines... what-in-the-world-was-I-thinking?!? The new moon eclipse brought up a buried old dream/solution. Starting a morning only Art & Yoga camp for preschoolers 4 days a week next summer. Saying goodbye to 25 years of camp art. There are attachments, but I know I need this for my sanity. It is time to let go.
Mercury retrograde was not very nice to me this time around... I went to Wordpress for a bit, because I think I may have deleted something terribly important while I tried to get rid of some squawking chicken sounding bogus anti virus thingy.... go here: http://doegrozart.wordpress.com and for more art stuff.. http://mandalas4me.wordpress.com see you there... bring on some balance!!!!!!!
Coming to the computer, I find all sorts of messages... Well, actually, ALL of life has messages for you if you are one to look for them :-) I walked outside the other day and this was my first one. Yes, what a life I have! For the past few months, it feels as though all four burners have been on high. Life is cooking with all sorts of jobs, projects, obligations with family care, tax prep, art show, clients being added to the list of to-do's ... My plate was not only full, but overflowing. My pendulum had swung to the extreme right........ and you all know, when it swings one way, it needs to swing back the other way. The other extreme is what I felt yesterday and it is lingering now. I'm depleted. I want to rest, regroup, clean up the mess in order to move on to the next project. Messages today seem to validate that feeling:
"You might also take frequent breaks throughout the course of today and focus on creating a serene mind-set. The more centered you are, the easier it will be to calmly get your points across." "Allow yourself a break in the action " Centered. That is what I would like to be, feel.. The middle way. The Tao. No extremes, just centered in the middle. I don't see myself as being still, but move to the right a little and work, move a little to the left and rest (play). The above astrological messages give voice to what I need to do.. small bites, a little time here and there to balance out the energy. The sun is opposite my natal Neptune, calling for the balance of energetic giving of myself vs. the dreamy down time of doing some art work for myself. I have to sneak it in, but what my body really wants is fullness of play - yes, the other extreme of a vacation! But for now, in finding the middle ground, I will take frequent breaks.
I just had to share this wonderful poem. It was on Sue's blog with her wonderful mandalas and it touched me. I don't cry easily, but I did because it felt so true. This is what I believe.. that it is Love that changes, heals, creates, and fills us with Joy.
If you have Love, anything is possible.
Love Is The New Religion
On the surface of the world right now there is war and violence and things seem dark
But calmly and quietly, at the same time, something else is happening underground
An inner revolution is taking place and certain individuals are being called to a higher light
It is a silent revolution
From the inside out
From the ground up
It is time for me to reveal myself
I am an embedded agent of a secret, undercover
Clandestine Global operation
A spiritual conspiracy
We have sleeper cells in every nation on the planet
You won't see us on the T.V.
You won't read about us in the newspaper
You won't hear about us on the radio
We don't seek any glory
We don't wear any uniform
We come in all shapes and sizes
Colors and styles
Most of us work anonymously
We are quietly working behind the scenes in every country and culture of the world
Cities big and small, mountains and valleys, in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands
You could pass by one of us on the street and not even notice
We go undercover
We remain behind the scenes
It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit
But simply that the work gets done
Occasionally we spot each other in the street
We give a quiet nod and continue on our way so no one will notice
During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs
But behind the false storefront at night is where the real work takes place
Some call us the "Conscious Army"
We are slowly creating a new world with the power of our minds and hearts
We follow, with passion and joy
Our orders from the Central Command
The Spiritual Intelligence Agency
We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no ones is looking
Meditation and prayer
Random acts of kindness
We each express ourselves in our own unique ways with our own unique gifts and talents
"Be the change you want to see in the world"
That is the motto that fills our hearts
We know it is the only way real transformation takes place
We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the oceans combined
Our work is slow and meticulous
Like the formation of mountains
It is not even visible at first glance
And yet with it entire tectonic plates shall be moved in the centuries to come
Love is the new religion of the 21st century
You don't have to be a highly educated person
Or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it
It comes from the intelligence of the heart
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings
A friend from the Mandala Oasis group wasn't feeling well and when I went into my studio I did this mandala holding the intention of healing.
She gives a lot, has a big heart.. a very encouraging person.
As I was just allowing, I thought about balance. It's when we are out of balance that we become sick.. even with a simple cold. Sometimes it's the imbalance of taking care of others without giving ourselves some nurturing.
Us, nature... everything must be in balance in order to function to the best of it's ability. We've all been there.
As I was coloring it, courage entered my thoughts. I thought of the lion, fire, and the courage it took to change.
It takes courage to heal. Healing means something needs to change. Whether it be our diet, balancing work and play, releasing worries or grief... the big stuff needs more change and that takes a lot more courage.
I watched my husband transform his lifestyle due to a health scare. It took courage to say no to so many things that he took for granted and became comfortable with.
When we become so embedded into a certain way of living, it is hard to change. Our comfort level becomes disturbed. Warning. Warning.. change or die.
With so much information about smoking, why do people still smoke... or drink too much... or eat too much.. because it's hard to change. It takes a lot of courage.
This is what this little mandala had to say to me. It spoke to me of courage.
It takes courage to do art and put it out there. To sing your song, to be your true self.
e.e. cummings said it so well...
" To be nobody else
in a world which is doing it's best,
night and day,
to make you everybody else -
means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight,
and never stop fighting."
As I teach, the hardest part is to get this across. We all want to belong, so we conform. We copy. We wear what's in style, play the same music... it's all about comfort and sometimes being different is not so comfortable... and that's why it takes a huge amount of courage to be yourself. It takes you out of the comfort zone... "what will They think???"
Do that what brings you joy in play and work.
How courageous can you be today... in your art, your relationships...your clothing... ?
Balance and moderation are key to living a healthy life. How does one bring this balance between work and play, eating a balanced diet, exercise this temple we live in and give of ourself while leaving time for ourselves.. This is my challenge and my journey in discovering ways of being grounded (practical, responsible, left-brained, Virgo rising) while allowing my soul to soar to those wild places of creative expression (my wild imagination, freedom-loving adventures, right-brained, risk taking abandonment, Sun in Aquarius :-)
I love to create and decorate. We now have a store front that exhibits paintings, assemblages, photography, jewelry, pottery and other unique gift items. I'm a mural artist which also extends to painting on anything else. And the tile idea, I have to give credit to my friend Emelio, who I have painted many tiles for.... I also teach art to kids. Kids are good for your art. They free you up!