Focused on Breathing

Focused on Breathing by Lidia Kenig Scher
Focused on Breathing (c) by Lidia Kenig Scher

I find it quite easy to slip out of the present moment these days, don’t you? So many things clamor for my attention now. I want to stay focused on the task at hand, yet the season beckons me outwardly. I want to go out, meet friends, travel, be free, or…just be lazy. With social media and mobile devices added to the mixture, some days it takes an extraordinary effort to shut out the world, remain centered and exercise task and feelings’ discernment.

It helps me to know that summer is the season of fire in the Asian healing arts’ cycle of five elements. It is the most yang energy, when the body undergoes the most vigorous metabolic processes. The heart and the small intestines are particularly sensitive and we tend to want to naturally feel joy. Our Spirits, our minds and our bodies are all ruled by the fire element. Thus, we feel expansive, can be easily distracted and love to be physically active. Fire energy invites superficiality and chaotic behavior, so our emotions can be quite extreme. One minute we can laugh flamboyantly and just as easily get into a funk.

Summer is also the season of light and of bright ideas and we can expect mostly fortunate outcomes. Asian medicine however, reminds us that these auspicious times come from staying grounded and present, otherwise the energy can be potentially destructive; we can wear ourselves out, experience anger and despair and suddenly, the joy we seek turns to pain and sadness.

A few days ago, I found myself experiencing such extreme emotions and as usual, I turned to painting for solace and balance. I always find it in the studio, where peace and harmony reign, so I started working on a sample for my art classes and Focused on Breathing just happened!

Working with acrylic paint diluted with a very runny medium aptly called “pouring medium”, I let the colors play with each other without aim, thus taking advantage of the natural tendency to be lazy. As I poured layer upon layer, the bright colors, just jumped out of the bottles and onto this little 6” x 6” cradled board, riding the playful nature of the season. Then I remember that I was painting this as learning experience.

So I became very quiet and very inward and focused on my breathing, following the rise and fall of my abdomen. I sensed my root chakra, at the base of the spine gently vibrate, and next felt a rush of orange colored light rise to the second chakra, the seat of creativity. Next, I experienced the chi-life force moving up to the solar plexus chakra-the seat of the will, located between the belly button and the heart center.  I opened my eyes and found three square plastic beads. The square shape symbolizes the grounding energy of earth, so I promptly glued them onto the canvas.

Red stands for the color of the root chakra, orange for the second chakra and yellow for the third chakra. When each of these three energy centers are balanced, we achieve the sense of well-being that allows us to create freely, have healthy relationships, and act guided by the will of God, which is kind, accepting and focused on the greatest good. With such preparation, reaching the heart center is easy.

When we act guided by the heart-mind, taking on the distractions and chaotic energy of summer, becomes a joyful learning experience. We are able to take in new information, come up with amazing new ideas, share our bright light with others and discover the joy we were seeking. Thus we savor the happiness that comes from gratefulness, from being of help without burning out, from creating and from sharing. It all comes from being focused and just breathe; the only way to stay fully present and have the fun that summer offers.

I found all that by painting this little jewel. I am happy to help you to experience a healthy and balanced summer. Get the painting, it is extremely well priced; contemplate it, focus on breathing and then go to the beach!

Have a great week!



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