Going into the Wilderness through Art

IMG_0836The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.     ~Albert Einstein

Am I just getting old or is time speeding up? People in my circle just seem to be getting hit left and right with major life challenges. As we enter the new world, it is becoming increasingly more important to check in with our spirit, soul, selves frequently throughout the day. One way to do that is to make some art. A daily art making practice has the capacity to be a mini-visionquest, and you can bring food and water!

Creativity is part of our true nature. That means that everyone (whether you consider yourself to be a creative person or not) needs to create. But…

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. ~ Alan Alda

To be inspired and allow the creative spirit to come through, you need to be present like in meditation. You need to be able to receive the signal. It doesn’t matter how clever or talented you are if you are not connected. A state of allowing what is present right now is the most conducive. What am I feeling, thinking? Allow whatever is there to bubble up without editing. Notice the resistance but let it go.

Scribble technique: To practice, take a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Get centered and still for a moment. Then when you are ready start to scribble. Up and Down, left and right. Circular, jagged. Keep going until you come to a stopping place. Now just take a look. Turn the paper around and pick a spot to go in with color. Use markers or pastels to start coloring in sections that get your attention.IMG_0837

Afterwards take a look and start writing down associations. What got uncovered? Revealed? Discovered? What is trying to get your attention? What do you want to change? Feel free to add or subtract. Date it and give your art a title and you are done.

Making art gives us a chance to stop and get into a relaxed state. No matter how fast time is going, we don’t need to be racing around trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. That’s the old paradigm. When we are tight and tense and wishing things weren’t as they are, we are denying ourselves. We can neutralize external pressures by taking time to expand into the vibration of our own spirit, soul, selves. Making art is one way to do that.

PS: The first scribble is called “Hummmmmmm…” and is a reminder for me to chant throughout the day. The second is called “Healing Light” and looks a lot like the cast on my broken arm (another story) that needed attention.

Nowhereland

We only need to take the first step beyond all that we have known for reality to begin to unfold itself before us. ~ Adyashanti

IMG_1485In Chasing Serenity, Maya C. is in constant conflict with reality because of her helplessness over her son’s drug addiction. That is until she takes the final step into Nowhereland. To go to Nowhereland is elementary, my darlings. All you have to do is drop into this present moment. The portal is right here with you all the time, but ego-mind can’t see it. The mind is too busy comparing, analyzing, remembering, future tripping, worrying, and judging to notice that door right here all the time.

Dropping In

Take a deep breath in and hold it for a moment of time. Exhale slowly. The first step is to stop stressing and obsessing and create a safe place for your spirit/soul/self to come into and merge with the body. Check your adrenal glands in the middle of your back just above the kidneys. Tell your adrenal glands that it’s safe to relax. There are no tigers chasing you. Then drop in.

Dropping in is simply dropping your awareness down from thinking and doing to feeling and being. Breathe in again and as you exhale bring your whole being on line into a state of neutrality. Neutrality is when there are no distinctions between things. There is no black or white, good or bad. Everything just is as it is. We are as we are. The ego mind will argue with this. “But, but, but…” it says. Remember before you go chasing (or running from) a thought that all your other glands shut down when the adrenals start pumping adrenaline and cortisol into the system. It’s the other glands that release the subtle, sweet nectar of love and bliss. Do you like love and bliss? Thinking, any and all thinking, shuts down the other glands!

IMG_5178Think Less. Be More.

The mind is persistent and sneaky. Before you know it, it will slip back into action. If thoughts come back in, you are back in duality. Think less. Be more. Thoughts are attachments. Detach. Let go. Quit holding on. American culture seems to support holding on to stuff. How much stuff can you hold on to? That’s a sign of success. The opposite is surrender. I am at peace with my self as I am, and the world as it is. That can be a tough affirmation for the mind. “But, but, but…,” it will protest.

Stop fighting with reality. Go back to the breath. Deep breath in. Hold it. Exhale slowly and let the thoughts dissolve. Melt into the exhale and take that final step into Nowhereland. Open that door that is always right here all the time, and swim on through to the other side.

The Self is a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. ~Carl Jung.

I Get Mad When I’m Sad

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Somewhere between hurt and happy is healing.       ~A. O. Sullivan

One thing you learn growing up in an alcoholic home is how to cover up grief with anger. It’s a very handy trick. Grief makes you feel vulnerable, and it’s not okay to feel vulnerable. Anger serves as a good cover up. Blame works well too.

The grief can be ancient, from past generations even. No one may be able to connect the dots anymore. All that’s left is the anger. I could feel the depth of sadness and loss in my parents, but that’s the other thing you learn – don’t talk about it. I see it all the time in couples who fight. Fighting is often just a reaction to the threat or fear of loss of love.

The other night, I found myself in a sleepless state with a whole laundry list of complaints going through my head. Nothing was right!

It reminded me of a Thanksgiving a few years back when one young member of the family, whose parents were going through a divorce, declared, “I’m not thankful for anything!” when it was her turn to share around the dining table. We all got a chuckle out of it, but in retrospect I think it was a grief reaction.

When I finally gained some perspective amidst the tossing and turning, I remembered that there had been a recent death in the family. It took awhile, but soon I was able to just watch as the little kid in me had a tantrum about it.

This poem came out of that experience.

I Get Mad When I’m Sad

We have fleas. I hurt my knees. I’m neurotic as hell. My nose runs, and my feet smell. I gained weight on my diet. I’m sure you’re dying to try it.

I tell everyone what to do. What’s wrong with you? I’m really good at correcting and pointing out mistakes. What were you thinking, for goodness sakes?

With an air of superiority, I cover up my own, push them into the “under the rug” zone. I’m getting lazier as we speak. I’d do more but my energy level’s bleak.

I’m jealous and angry half the time. Penis envy.…Why don’t I have mine?

My husband said, “You need some humor, honey.” I hit my funny bone, and that wasn’t so funny.

Life is a beach I can’t seem to reach. Something is missing….

Oh, yeah. Someone is missing. We’ve had a death in the family.

But I don’t have time for grieving.

There’s a death in the family. I’m having a hard time believing.

I get mad when I’m sad.