Can Art Really Help People Feel Safe?: A Gallery Talk


Earlier this month I was speaking to a crowd gathered at the gallery where my current exhibit is being held, eager to learn about the effect of art on one’s environment.

I spoke about the energy and vibrational field present in every object, human-made or natural, in birds and fish, in dogs and all animals, in our vegetation, in the stars, sun, moon…in everything! Sharing a sentence from the ancient sacred religious and philosophical teachings from India, the Upanishads, “When a blade of grass is cut, the whole universe quivers”, I emphasized that what is in artworks — a combination of the artist’s intention, the energy of the materials and that of the colors, shapes and textures — have great influence on viewers and even more on those who install the art in their homes.

Art, I said, may have an insidious or benevolent voice, depending on the above mentioned factors. But this apparently inconspicuous voice never shuts off, and like “a blade of grass…cut” continuously affects the livelihood of the household or the business where it resides.

When someone creates a sacred object with intentions to heal and protect, they may use prayer to focus on thoughts that are best for those who commission it and to actively engage the help of a greater power, such as God, the angels, Spirit, Allah or the Universe, while creating it. These practices result, is very powerful art.

MSR Door Protector by Lidia KenigThe signature art I call Door Protectors, is an example of such creations, and is perhaps a twist on other symbols commonly used for personal protection, such as the Christian cross, images of Jesus, or the Evil Eye, the Buddhist Abhaya Mudra hand or the Jewish Mezuzah.

In all cases, the aforementioned symbols are either worn or are affixed somewhere near an entrance to a space. The ancient art and science of Feng Shui places great emphasis on entry doors to any space as a portal between random energy and the more controlled energy of the lived-in environment, and as an important element that provides conscious opportunities to shift from one mindset and onto another.

In fact, the state and placement of the front door in any home or business is the most important determinant of the health and well-being of the people who use the space.

Thus, the Door Protectors I have been creating for the past 8 years are always installed above the front door, and are filled with images, crystals, objects and other symbols that I intuited to be beneficial for the people who requested the art.  At the center of all the paintings there is an ancient Sanskrit mantra written in Tibetan script, called the Wish Granting Jewel Mantra, and it is the mantra I continuously chant as I paint and tap into the Divine heart.

After the paintings are completed, I help the home owners or business executives install the art with intention and consult with them as needed to insure that they will derive maximum benefits from the customized artwork.

In addition to the nearly unbelievable stories of growth, unexpected income, health related occurrences that caused people to resolve previously elusive physical symptoms, and shifts in jobs, friendships and difficult relationships, that I collected over the years, three of the attendees to the gallery talk stated that they purposely came to the presentation because they owned Door Protectors I created for them and were eager to tell others about the positive effects said art form has had in their lives.

Stories ranged from feeling rudderless and now able to refocus their minds into a satisfying life direction, to summoning the courage to ask for a divorce and feeling free and yes, protected in all endeavors, to a corporate lawyer who by working daily with the art, shifted the fortunes and the culture of a well-respected law firm. A young rescue worker stationed in Florida during the recent ravages of hurricane Irma found his living quarters nearly intact and livable upon return, even though it was located amongst many inundated units. He stated that he connects with his Door Protector daily.

When people asked that I identify what specifically makes the art protective, I started by focusing on the ancient mantra’s 12 syllables. These are the visual equivalents of 12 recommended Buddhist practices leading to a fulfilling life. The colors, shapes, textures and other objects in the mixed media paintings provide visual cues people need to feel empowered to lead a purposeful life. Together, they comprise the essence of the protection the art provides.

In other words, when a person is engaged in doing what they love, cares deeply for the well-being of others and compassionately acts on it; when one speaks, thinks and acts guided by love, and sees every life situation as a learning experience, he/she will feel empowered. Such practices form a personal shield that cannot be easily pierced.

The sacred art can help people feel safe because it constantly mirrors and informs its owners on the state of their shields.

If you are interested in commissioning a Door Protector or want to start by ordering a print, please go to,  Door Protectors 

 

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Uncountable Flowers


Uncountable Flowers by Lidia Kenig
Uncountable Flowers by Lidia Kenig (c)

“I have been a seeker and I still am,

but I stopped asking the books and the stars.

I started listening to the teaching of my soul.”

Rumi

Looking into the amethyst sea I notice the morning fog lifting to reveal on its mirrored surface tiny stars fallen from the azure sky as night was parting.

“What a gift”, I thought.

Uncountable flowers are blossoming on golden stems growing amidst massive fronds of earth.

On this glorious new day, Gaia turned to pure gold to reveal its true nature; unlimited abundance.

Industrious millipedes feast in the wee hours scrubbing the shoots’ roots clean to expose vibrant health.

The air is pregnant with joy and I breathe it all in the here and now.

I am listening to the teaching of my soul.

_________________________________

My way of listening to my soul is by painting, and on the morning of the Jewish Day of Atonement, the prescribed fasting, prayers and silence turned into more than six hours of co-creation.

But it took ten more days of looking into the amethyst sea until I began to see that Spirit was in its flowing waters. And much like the beautiful purple crystal of the same name, it was inviting me to connect more deeply with the energy of Divinity, and uncover spiritual lessons etched in my present life situations.

In the lifting fog I could see that I was still trapped by mind constructs that do not serve me. The art was beckoning me to get out of a cage that is keyless.

The millipedes’ appearance and the overabundance of pure gold provided clues that I needed to dig deep into my upbringing and clear the past.

Millipedes make their home in damp, dark spots burrowed in the soil or under plant debris on forest floors. They munch on rotting leaves, wood and other moist, decaying vegetation. These scavengers function as important plant decomposers in nature, recycling nutrients back into the soil like earthworms.

The slow yet effective arthropods were teaching me to patiently and deeply munch away at the thought patterns acquired in childhood, and created from observing my parents behaviors, my extended family’s reactions and my interactions with other people. The past (decaying vegetation) needed to be decomposed, yet its roots had rich nutrients that could be recycled into lessons learned and integrated.

Old patterns can indeed enrich our lives. I do this when I recycle them as paintings carrying spiritual guidance, and then use these to help others uncover what in their lives need to be scavenged away. And as the delicate gold leaves floating in the water imply; there is much wealth present in my life:  I do what I love and I am supported by wonderful collectors, students, friends and family.

The tiny stars scattered on the water provide additional insights about the art that I co-create with Spirit.  Seeking Divine guidance is only one part of the equation. The other part is to act on what I have intuited and closely monitor my thoughts when I am not painting, meditating or teaching.

When we trust divine guidance, and move in the world propelled by that guidance, what we manifest is in alignment with our path in this lifetime.

As I finally focused on the magical flowers blossoming out of pure gold I knew I was listening to the teaching of my soul. I understood my lesson and felt as if I had wings. My chest expanded to accommodate joy and then, I remembered another of Rumi’s lessons,

“I looked in temples, churches, and mosques. But I found the Divine within my heart.”

And for the first time, I noticed that the flowers were everywhere. They were uncountable!

May this painting provide you with many blessings.  Go to, Uncountable Flowers to purchase it now.

 

Finding Oneness


Finding Oneness by Lidia Kenig-Scher
Finding Oneness By Lidia Kenig-Scher

After I finished this painting, I could not understand what was teaching me. Every morning I would sit with it in meditation, and…nothing.

Placing it next to my computer, hoping for the writing to flow and a title, I could see that in fact, flowing may be involved. And the gold background with the silver swirls seemed to imply that there was something rich about it all.

The wordless words made its appearance again, so I knew that the art’s message was important, yet I was not ready to understand it. So I moved on, I painted another picture and wrote about other things.

It all changed months later after a week-long meditation retreat, when Patience rewarded me. The morning after, I felt pulled to the art, sensing that this was the time for me to hear what it had been eager to show me.

The gray tight arc on the bottom of the canvas guided me in and swept me into a dimension of shape, color, texture and line. The “letters” that appear to emanate from the wave, quickly moved me on to a bright angel-like figure in the center.

I kept on being pulled in and out of the canvas as I followed one curve and landed on another, until eventually my eyes and my body moved to the large sinuous forms above, where I instantly felt physically and emotionally cradled.

A breezy lightness caressed me and I began to make mellifluous sounds I had never known.

It was as if I was experiencing the entire universe both within me and outside of me in perfect orchestration. I was sometimes water and then I was earth. I became the wind and then I was light.

I saw the delightful sounds etched in the gold letters flow harmoniously about and I was happy.

Without a doubt I knew I found the state of Oneness.

The art was teaching me how to apply this knowledge in my everyday life. Look at the lines as if they are tree branches cast in the river. They are light, free, unencumbered by the past, not worried about the future.

Could I be a tree branch when I am in the grips of an emotionally charged situation?

The watery shapes mimic the currents of a river. As in life, when a situation or relationship stops us on our tracks and we get blinded by blaming, anger, guilt, and regret; we could instead acknowledge that we are stuck and carefully observe the terrain around us until we can begin to see and appreciate its riches.

Could I just breathe in the moment and see the goodness in the problem?

It may mean changing our vantage point to examine how we perceive what was happening. We could decide to see the other as a catalyst for what we needed to learn in that relationship. We could also look at the other as a mirror for what is lacking in our lives. And we could notice that the firm hand of the Divine was pushing us to learn a very necessary life lesson but we were afraid to look deeply.

Instead of being imprisoned by our emotions, or frozen with fear, we can be patient, remain alert and with gentleness of spirit, we could allow for the next wave-breath to release the grip the particular “rock” had on us.

It may take for us to move in and out of the situation. We may have to be gingerly pulled from rock to cove, until we become aware that we were never powerless, not we were ever alone.

Ahh…the riches!

If we could notice angels around us like in the painting, we will know that Spirit was present all the time, counseling us to float along with the currents as witnesses and reminding us that we are not separate from one another or anything.

Spirit is there even when the wind blows colder, and the waters turn murky and stormy. In embracing what we see as good or judge bad as being perfectly orchestrated for our growth, we find the crystalline clarity known as wisdom. It comes from our heart; it is Oneness and renders us very powerful.

May you be inspired to discover Oneness and make delicious sounds you never knew. Put this painting on your wall by clicking on Finding Oneness now.

Continue reading “Finding Oneness”

The Pain that Makes us Aware


From the Depths to the Light by Lidia Kenig-Scher
From the Depths to the Light by Lidia Kenig-Scher

You want to feel good, no? Yeah, we all do; and what we do and acquire in order to fulfill our yearning to feel happier!

When the discontent that was playing in the background becomes so painful that there is nothing available to assuage the suffering, we get busy with all-consuming projects, we buy new cosmetics, get a new toy, we plan a trip…

Eventually the pain can no longer be ignored; we get sick, have an accident, a relationship breaks down and cannot be easily repaired.

And then we have to decide to look at what hurts with compassion, or choose to succumb to the misery and give our power away.

“This pain is not to make you sad, remember. That’s where people go on missing…. This pain is just to make you more alert–because people become alert only when the arrow goes deep into their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they don’t become alert. When life is easy, comfortable, convenient, who cares? Who bothers to become alert?” * said Osho Rajneesh

So it is with major life events that seem out of our control. The death of a loved one causes us to confront grief and loss, and in the breakup of a primary relationship, we may also experience shame, confusion and fear.

When we are fired from a job, our sense of self and our security are challenged, but in the midst of an earthquake or a flood, every physiological need is at risk, as our very survival is in question. Yet Osho continues to suggest that “those are the occasions when, if [we] use them, [we] can become aware. 
The arrow is hurting: it can be used. The pain is not to make [us] miserable, the pain is to make [us] more aware! And when [we] are aware, misery disappears.”*

Such is the subject of this painting. It invites us to courageously dive into the original background discontent and go a little deeper, so that we may be able to bring ourselves back into balance and experience a transformational growth spurt.

Fear keeps us in avoidance mode, whereas when we are physically hurting we have no choice but to look at the source of the pain. In inaction, we can search for the knot that is holding the suffering.

Suffering forces us to explore the present for clues that mirror our sorry situation and discern what has come up for healing. In darkness we may see possibilities.

Possibilities are the jewels pain provides. Healing ensues when we are aware of its gifts.

The painting facilitates this by luring viewers to dive into the turbulent waters, hang on to slippery silk strings, grab some hurling jewels and look at the faceted crystals flowing upwards from the bottom, refusing to sink into the abyss. Mirror-like pieces float about and whirling brush strokes surge upwards from a knot midpoint on the bottom.

Knots are provocative; more so is a knot under water.  It implies that there something anchoring it. But we are unable to see it at first because the actual knot here is at the bottom of the canvas!

Most disconcerting is that in order to find the knot and what is anchoring it; we need to swim against the current, implying that when facing a present obstacle, we cannot apply old solutions to resolve it. We must allow ourselves to be swept by the strong currents of emotion and in reliving the pain we can untie the hold it has on our life and that keeps us from moving freely in the here and now.

Do you see that there is light at the top?

We can only emerge whole and healed if we are willing to forgive ourselves and “the other” we perceive as wronging us. Then we can untie the old pain and see the pieces of our ego-mind hurling and swirling through the sea of our suffering toward the transformation that ensues when we reach the clear light of a new day (the understanding).

Water (emotions) can be our ally in acknowledging and embracing our deeply rooted suffering (ego). Befriending it, the ego ceases to be the needy child constantly craving and aimlessly moving as it realizes that it too can win by attaching to our inner power and fueling our passions.

In forgiveness, our heart/mind is at the helm unleashing huge gushes of love. Peace and harmony envelop us. In Oneness with the entire Universe, we accept the gift of healing and our power to create a new life chapter.

If you are willing to let pain bring you awareness, this painting is for you. Only prints are available at, From the Depths to the Light.

*Crying in your loneliness, From Take it Easy, Osho Rashneesh. Volume 2 Chapter 12

 

Like Love Was Raining


Raining Love by Lidia Kenig (c) 2017
Raining Love by Lidia Kenig (c) 2017

This past weekend I was working on a commissioned silk tie, and while the art was drying, I started cleaning up the studio. I picked up an unfinished painting left over by a student who became disillusioned at her inability to “create what was in [her] head” and I thought…There is so much ink here, why not play with it?

Alcohol based inks are easy to reconstitute, simply by re-wetting all or portions of a painting with clear alcohol and, since I had nothing in my head, I began by rubbing off areas of what looked like stones on the shores of a pond.

Gently pouring more alcohol I encouraged some of the middle portions of the former pond to drip and expand. When I turned the image, I decided that what was intended to be the sky looked better at the bottom.

When I gingerly edged the darker shapes with a cotton tip, a beautiful yellow strip appeared among the clearest of blue tints. And by carefully spraying alcohol, the original edges of the “pond” were erased. The resulting jewel-like shapes were truly pleasing. I added purple dots with a stubby marker, and played with the rose colored tip of another.

With fascination I observed how five drops of Magenta ink “bloomed” into the typical spread when colored dyes land on the Yupo paper and an almost dry brush helped me mimic blossoms seeming to appear from nowhere.

It wasn’t until today, and after experiencing a powerful solar eclipse, that I understood the significance of what I had created and how it all reflected the celestial event.

Gazing at the art I instantly relived the physical, emotional and spiritual journey when I was, more or less in alignment with 2 significant forces; the yang sun and the yin moon.

Illumination and introspection collided at the moment when the moon covered much of the sun’s light; and even though just 69% of the moon blocked the sun’s glare, its power was profound.

The normally busy and noisy park where I was became quiet near and during the 2 minutes when the two celestial bodies reached the near totality.

In silence we beheld the sight of the waning black gibbous moon acquiring the brilliant orange headpiece formed by the sun.

The light turned a cool gray with green overtones, casting dusk-like shadows beneath the trees, and little jewel-like duplicates of what was seen above, showed up on the ground among the trees’ foliage.

As the moon began to move away from the sun, children and adults, many perfect strangers to one another, slowly started moving about, smiling and embracing each other.

There was magic as we witnessed darkness disappearing and the sun shining once again. Showers of light poured down and turned into bright pink spots on the vegetation and on people’s faces.

It was like Love was raining upon the earth.

Solar eclipses are magical gifts surprising us with a rare moment of darkness when it should be light. It makes us stop and observe our role in a constantly moving planet, orbiting around the sun, while the moon orbits around the earth. And it is the moon’s travel around the earth that impacts tides, flora and fauna and causes eclipses when it aligns in a certain way with the earth and the sun.

The moon also affects our emotional life, and solar eclipses offer a cosmic experience of introspection’s value and importance. It tells that we must honor the darkness within with gravitas, loving-kindness and perspective; trusting that whatever at a moment is shadowing our inner light, it will soon pass. In time, we will once again feel as if Love was Raining to heal the wounds and flowers may appear, as if from nowhere to add joy and breathe new life into the day.

Original art is available here, to be a constant reminder of the wonderful eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017. Who knows? Beholding it may cause you to always walk around with a smile etched on your face!

A final thought,

Never insist on painting what’s in your head. Take up a brush, or whatever, and let your heart guide you to what needs to be created through you.

Adventures in Crumbling Structures


July 9 by Lidia Kenig
July 9 by Lidia Kenig

It was on July 9th and on my mother’s birthday that I started working on this painting. The colors showed up while I was meditating, and somehow I knew that it would become a significant creation. I completed it on July 29th, my birthday.

As I sat contemplating on a proper title, thoughts of clearing up old wounds appeared, encouraging me to identify mental habits or constructs that required change in order to further evolve into the bright beacon shining lights of love here on earth.

And I saw that the mental process easily dovetailed that of birthing the art. The painting however, showed me the attitude I needed to maintain throughout the discovery period.

When you think that our conflicting mental constructs are rooted in childhood, and if undetected, continue to affect us well into adulthood, an adventurous spirit is most useful.

The painting’s rose colored background permeates everything. It can even be seen through the grayed blue crumbling structure on the bottom. Can this be Gaia eventually rising healed and embracing a mantle of bright green growth to become whole again?

Destruction of past hurts is possible and even liberating.

Pink colored skies are hard to ignore and even harder to not cause feelings of wonderment. It helped me understand that exploring old wounds was best done with the same demeanor.

Gaia, the benevolent looking shape on the right appears to carelessly utter playful sounds into the pink space. These melodies merge with the warm sunlight streaming down to help heal the cracks on the bottom.

Mother Earth seems aware of the activity, yet her attention is focused on a teal colored glass. Might there be jewels lurking in the cracks of habits and emotions created long ago?

Indeed I noticed feelings of not belonging, not being good enough and an inner need to be outwardly validated lurking on the canvas bottom. These constructs continue to affect my present, yet the painting showed me that now there was an opportunity to quit tormenting myself.

I saw that although I couldn’t pinpoint the genesis of the pain; it was rooted in the past and it was time to let it go.

Meditating and painting meditatively allowed me to see the essence of the pain and have the courage to transform it. July 9th and July 29th are dates that speak to me of generational pain and of allowing crumbling structures to naturally become the fertile soil for new growth.

In the silence I can always reach my heart center, hear my true voice and find the freedom of forgiveness.

Creating allows me to connect with the consciousness that is and in experiencing this bond, I trust. I feel love, joy, abundance and total acceptance. When I paint, I dwell in the state of grace where delight abounds. This feeling continues as I sit in front of the art to write about it and pick a title.

May I tempt you to get the art; original or blessed prints, sit with it and adventurously explore your old pain?

From this narrative you can see that, if allowed to crumble, it will invite in the spiritual and emotional evolution to help you become a bright beacon of Love in the world.

The art is also intended as an object of beauty, delight and joy. Get July 9th now!

Out of the Fog


AB Door Protector by Lidia Kenig-Scher
AB Door Protector by Lidia Kenig-Scher

The gray clouds recede and as the sky clears, brilliant blue hues appear.

The fog vanishes at the edge of the world, unveiling an iridescent gold mandala edged by puffy hearts.

The steady and pulsating energy at the center of the mandala causes additional hearts to be released spreading into the vastness of space and gathering at the top to form a crown.

Like the sun’s corona (crown), the aura of plasma that extends into space and is most easily seen during a total eclipse; this mandala/sun brings forth sudden explosions of pure love from its steady and calm nucleus.

This sun’s explosions are called coronal mass ejections, and in this Door protector, the powerful particles arrange themselves into the Tibetan syllables of the Wish Granting Jewel mantra.

As the mantra unfolds, it releases whimsical beings that joyously dance or happily and confidently perform acrobatics.

The black figures balance a Carnelian crystal on their heads with grace and ease. Carnelian is the stone of inspired action. The other figures hold aloft Citrines, the crystal of success, prosperity and joy. There are no leaders or followers in this group. Each contribute their unique skills and talents and all acknowledge themselves as divine beings capable of bringing peace and harmony to the world.

This Door Protector invites transformation and reassures its owner that the change will be joyous-the funny beings; if he allows the veils of illusion, incorrect perceptions, and conditioning to burn away like fog and be replaced by the bright light of awareness; the mantra’s teachings and the influence of the crystals.

Aaron’s parents own a Door Protector and his father has a print hanging in his very corporate office. So the recent college graduate requested a sacred art for himself to help with transitioning, and to cultivate the necessary frame of mind and attitude to find a clear direction for his life, select work that he loved, encounter prosperity and be surrounded with love.

As I worked on the art, I noticed that at times the colors, textures and shapes flowed easily, while there were periods when it all simply stalled. Toward the end I was surprised when some of the script smeared, and I had to re write it. When I checked in with Aaron*, we realized that the stalled times coincided with periods of doubt and confusion, and that the smears appeared when he feared sliding back into self-destructive behaviors.

When I installed the art Aaron confessed that even though I had mentioned that what I paint comes from him, the “coincidences” caused him to emotionally re-center. He was now able to trust the guidance from a higher power, and recognized the gifts of awareness behind each of his actions.

Aaron knew that his art reflected not only who he was, but who he was committed to evolve, as he matured.  This young man was ready to carry his art as a personal mirror to his summer residence, trusting that if he focused on the mandala’s center when doubts arose, becoming centered in his own “sun” would be easier. And that by contemplating the mantra’s lessons during his daily meditation practice; the path he needs to travel in this lifetime would become clear.  Thereafter, the Door Protector would move with him wherever he went.

The nascent knowingness Aaron was experiencing would spur him to take inspired action and manifest his dreams. And because he embraced his ability to bring groups of people together in harmonious creativity, he would be rewarded with ample examples of grace manifesting in his life.

If you lack clarity, doubt the direction you are traveling in life or engage in addictive behaviors, you may decide to mimic Aaron and commission your own sacred art. You can go to Ordering a Door Protector and read about the differences between originals and prints, make a choice and perhaps read more stories about this sacred art and the people who work and live with them for many years now, elsewhere on this blog.

*Name has been changed to protect the client’s privacy

Planting a Garden of Love and Compassion


The Garden of Love and Compassion by Lidia Kenig Scher
The Garden of Love and Compassion by Lidia Kenig-Scher

One day, Aniruddha, a poor farmer working in the fields spotted a holy man whom he deemed very hungry and even poorer than he and offered his only bowl of rice. This meant that the farmer would have nothing to eat that day. Aniruddha went back to his labors and forgot all about having given his rice away. Suddenly a rabbit hopped alongside the farmer and jumped on his back. The surprised farmer tried to brush it off but the rabbit wouldn’t budge. He shook it off, tried to knock it down, but the rabbit would not detach.

Confused and annoyed the farmer ran home to his wife, crying, “Get this rabbit off my back!” The wife was even more confused, because by this time the rabbit had turned into solid gold! She flipped the rabbit into the air and it hit the floor with an enormous crackling sound.  One of its golden legs broke off but… another one magically grew in its place.

From that day on, whenever the farmer and his wife needed money, they would break off a piece of the golden rabbit and thereafter, Aniruddha was never poor. The Golden Rabbit was his reward for selflessly giving. 

Aniruddha and the Golden Rabbit is a Jataka Tale,  Collection of stories depicting the Buddha’s past lives showing behaviors leading to enlightenment. In these stories, the Buddha is often depicted as an animal)


The painting started with a coral colored ground and as I sat observing the luscious pigment, my chest swelled with joy. I felt a sense of optimism akin to seeing the sun rising over the horizon at the height of summer. Then, a blue second layer invited the fiery orange to dance. It was as if a vast and constantly moving sky was announcing the start of a magnificent day and inviting me and you to play. Lovely celestial music arose from the center of soft cottony pink rolls and bright yellow streamers heralded riots of laughter to the amusement of billowy lavender beings that seemed to grow out of the sea of fire.

I called the painting The Garden of Love and Compassion, as it reminded me of Aniruddha’s tale, and saw that our lives are like a garden. Whatever seeds we sow, with our thoughts, our beliefs and our actions will grow and blossom.

We can decide to grow seeds of compassion, embracing not only our foibles, but those of others whom we may perceive as hurting or bothering us, or we can pick to harvest the blossoms of fear, separateness and resentment.

We may choose to bring joy and understanding to whatever we are doing, or we can complain and blame others for our life situation.

We can decide to see through the eyes of love and kindness, or we can notice poverty and swiftly flee.

We may punish those who are less able by giving them even less, or we can share our wealth and like the farmer, shake the Golden Rabbit to keep sowing abundance at all levels and reap a deep sense of satisfaction.

We can see ourselves and others as Buddhas, or we can put on the goggles of enmity and embrace wars near and far.

Won’t you play with me in this beautiful garden and make your heart the fertile ground for more seeds of Love and Compassion? You can find the art by clicking on The Garden of Love and Compassion and harvest the blooms of Joy now and at any time of the year. Who knows, you may find a golden rabbit stuck on your back!

*Please note that this post has been edited and updated from the original one published in 2014. I felt compelled to re-read it first, then refresh it with new material and insights as an antidote to strong emotions I felt bubbling around me. May you enjoy the new version even more. Have a lovely week!

 

As Above not so Below


As Above Not So Below by Lidia Kenig (c)
As Above Not So Below by Lidia Kenig

Ever thought you were so close, you could almost touch Divinity? Maybe you were meditating; perhaps you were contemplating your present lot in life and felt utter peace and contentment. All is right; you thought…

And out of nowhere something changed!

While sitting and breathing, you were in bliss, your life was flowing smoothly, you cared less about the opinions of others and the “reality” these opinions portrayed was meaningless. In such moment, you were fully present with everything and everybody.

Breathing in…Breathing out…You were with God…

Then you got up from the cushion and poof; you disconnected.

Your mind quickly shifted and you had to pay rent, put food on the table, get on with that job, clean the house, do the laundry, study the great religions, do your sit ups, get ready for a meeting…

You left bliss in the cushion and shifted focus to your “real job” because, as above was not so below.

Thoughts…

Yet amidst your busy mind, Existence screamed that all of it is real and there are not two worlds!

When the shirt you picked out was missing a button, it was life telling you to stop and remember that there is no you-and-Spirit. It is all one.

When you overcooked the oatmeal, it was your heart showing that Spirit exists in it and cannot do life without you.

Breath in…Breath out.

All that Is, is Oneness.

Looking for the car keys, you hear the small voice within acknowledging that your obligations are real, but you can handle them by relying on the bliss your experienced in the cushion.

Bliss is real!

Breath in…Breath out.

You found the keys when you allowed space for light filled Love to surround you.

Breath in…Breath out.

Spotting the perfect outfit for the meeting, you begin to visualize others at the table smiling.

You smile too. There is no you and them; Namaste.

Acknowledging the divinity you share, you relate to others as you relate to God.

Breath in…Breath out. All are Divine.

You will do sit ups when you get home tonight. It may be a great way to release the day that was and focus on personal nourishment.

You remember that obstacles, fears, deadlines, obligations, commitments live along bliss, contentment, and peace.

Breath in…Breath out.

Sipping tea, you observe the thoughts that create suffering and admit that these are real forces.  Yet you can always introduce a more empowering thought.

Breath in…Breath out.

The heart opens revealing the truth; you are Consciousness. You are the awareness seeing events and circumstances constantly moving and evolving.

Meditation is the training.

As you live what you learned in the cushion, you start experiencing life as Above; peace and contentment. Then, so it will be Below.

Breath in…Breath out, you bridge Heaven and Earth.

This is your real job.

So turn the engine on and get going!

This mixed media with acrylic on wood is 18” x 24” x 2”. It is ready to hang and help you visualize Existence clamoring to be befriended as a partner, and to trust the voice of your heart, the Spirit-Within-You, to fulfill the only job you are here to do. Click on As Above Not So Below to purchase this very special painting partner.

A Humbling Retreat


The signs were all there. I slept poorly, I was still tired when I awoke, the studios were in disarray and I had to scramble to clean up and tidy them in time for each class.

I began to hide papers for a “later review”, and reviewing didn’t happen. One day I noticed that commissions that heretofore poured in, began to trickle.

The many other things in my life that slowed to a halt caught my attention, especially when I did not feel like painting.

Was I depressed? Did I contract an illness?

A skimpily attended street fair last week helped me decide that I was not energetically balanced and that a retreat may allow for whatever needed to be released to surface, then heal it and integrate it into my life.

As I consider dis-ease a sign of imbalance and misalignment in the body-mind-energy field continuum, I knew that disregarding what was happening may seriously endanger my life.

I decided to fast and meditate for as long as I needed, and started by preparing a familiar lemonade drink called Master Cleanse. The next day I sluggishly got up to swallow warm salted water and later had the first of the 7 lemonade glasses I intended to consume, plus several cups of green tea and 2 spoonfuls of olive oil.

Lidia Door Protector

Sitting in silence in front of my personal Door Protector, I allowed sadness, anger, negative thoughts and behaviors to surface. I simply watched, as I had no answers. Several hours must have gone by before I took a nap, had more drinks and went outside for some fresh air.

I consulted the Ancient Chinese Oracle I-Ching, which confirmed that I had been following a negative thought pattern that yielded likewise behaviors, compounded by old stories playing in the background.  I needed to stop this trend with an attitude reboot.

Day 2 was a combination of lemonade, tea, olive oil, walks, showers and deep meditation to begin healing what Eckhart Tolle calls “the pain body”; the emotional hurts  accumulated from negative emotions not faced, accepted, and released when they arose and that eventually become a semi-autonomous psychic entity.

Chanting, meditations, card readings and crystal allies, while facing my Door Protector, offered healing suggestions. But no clear guidelines as to how to integrate all that had surfaced.

On the cusp of Summer Solstice I connected with my wonderful coach and BFFF– extra F for Fairy godmother.  I always find in her a heart filled with love and compassion, wisdom beyond this world, and a mutually nourishing vessel. We agreed to talk the next morning and I went to sleep.

I knew I slumbered deeply when I awoke disoriented. But the sun was shining when I did my morning rituals in front of my altar followed by a sincere desire to heal. I picked 2 crystals from the original reading and the card I pulled was still puzzling. It was The Master.

Sitting by my sacred art I was ready for Coach Kimberly, who has the uncanny ability to hold space for what needs to unfold in her client’s life, judgment free. I began to see clearly that regardless of any praise I receive, or accolades I garner from collectors and students, I tend to disregard or downplay them. I saw that I dislike getting gifts, and that when faced with compliments, my old stories resurface to deny merit to my intuition, my actions and my feelings. When I receive compliments, I assign them to my superb skill set, God’s working through me, or sheer luck.

I realized that in denying the wisdom that came from my life experience, or in judging myself pompous when I rejoice in what others think of me, I became misaligned with my nature. I saw that in giving credit to my schooling when I successfully completed a design project, or when my students were grateful for lessons I taught them, I was actually implying that I do not matter.  When I view my client’s milestones after a Feng Shui consultation, or when they mention receiving benefits from my artworks, and assign this to my ability to let Spirit work through me; I am denying my Divinity.

Integration ensued when I owned my unique wisdom and aligned with the purpose I was born to fulfill. It happened when I committed to release the past and its shackles, opened my heart wider and embraced the pain body, while affirming that it is because of the sorrow that I am now a being of light able to offer its brilliance to others, fly skies of freedom by creating, and stand firm on the earth through deep human connections.

The 3-day retreat was deeply humbling and nourishing. I am grateful for my Door Protector and for my BFFF. You can read more about Door Protectors, commission your own or purchase a blessed print.

Divine and wise me looks forward to a new commission received today!