When we like a situation or a particular object we associate with pleasure, we can’t imagine having to relinquish it. Being forced to change habitual behaviors we balk, and when we have to let go of a loved one, the pain seems unbearable.
In truth, whenever we are forced to change, most of us fight it with all our might. Letting go requires effort and if I can be blunt, it may even imply faulty imagination skills. Emotions play a big part too. What will it be like on the other side?
It starts with a thought and as the Buddha taught, “with our thoughts we create our world”.
We constantly create mental constructs about how things should unfold in our lives, and often even in someone else’s life. Our point of reference is always a story—thoughts we corralled from incidents that stopped us on our tracks, from hearsay, advertising, movies, family history and that left an imprint known as emotion.
Emotions are physiological experiences, or states of awareness that provide us with information about the world. When in the course of our lives we encounter circumstances that in some way recreate the original incidents, the thoughts get an additional charge and become feelings.
A feeling is our conscious awareness of the emotion itself. Feelings allow us to further solidify the original experience by qualifying it.
Repeated thoughts create beliefs that easily incorporate into our subconscious to form the very core of the stories we live by. When emotional charge is added, feelings become tightly wrapped around this energy mix. It is called pain and it renders us unable to discern what is real and what we made up.
Humans do not like pain. Just take a look at what opioids have caused in our society. From numbness we respond to the world in ways that do not serve the fluid nature of phenomena and miss the opportunity to grow and thrive.
We focus on the pain and miss the lesson!
We sink into fear when a relationship ends by creating a story of blame, either about ourselves or the other. We can’t accept it as good, because we are unable to imagine something better. We wallow in grief when someone we loved dies because we cannot visualize a life without them. We get angry when things don’t go the way we thought they would, and cannot consider that it was our unconscious thinking that attracted that situation to us.
Our attachment to our stories keeps us from living in fulfillment unless we become conscious and learn to relinquish them by identifying the emotion behind what we want to hold on, feel what it elicited, name it and contemplate its validity, and then take the action dictated by our findings.
Unwittingly, that is exactly how this artwork was completed and what I learned in the process. In preparing for an upcoming holiday sale, I wanted to create a realistic landscape. I told myself a story of how easy it would sell, that people are more drawn to realism, and that I should just create a “realistic landscape series”.
In spite of my considerable ability to depict a photo-realistic scene, it wasn’t coming together. As I washed out several portions, several times, until most of the paper was nearly blank, I realized that I was becoming emotionally entangled in making it happen and frustration set in. Soon I witnessed anger rise as I picked up red ink and allowed it to move through the surface in a somewhat random fashion. When I scanned my body to see the results of the emotional charge, I relax my clenched teeth, released the story and surrendered to the present moment.
I then played with the inks and the various tools creating texture and added little white circles and black lines without naming anything. I knew I that I would later learn when contemplating the completed art.
The calmness that ensued after I named the emotion: frustration and anger; gave me the space to redirect my thoughts and notice that the original story compromised my truth…What makes my art worth creating and installed on someone’s wall is the wisdom unveiled in the process of painting without mental constructs. This is what I offer my clients and collectors.
What I learn afterwards in meditation helps me to understand the message and the energy that those who purchase may come to recognize to help them lead more fulfilling lives.
I don’t want to reveal the entire plot, but…Spoiler Alert!
The art taught me about releasing densities in all forms, and offered a preview of what the Golden Void, the consciousness where Divine Presence is most deeply felt looks like. It instructed me about evolving, activating and awakening the higher brain functions. At such level, we understand and experience being Light and possess a fully functioning Light body that spills over our everyday lives. Our mind opens to our spiritual nature and ushers in the next phase of our human evolution on Earth.
This process would be more expedient if we can let go of the stories we created.
So… what do you think the red shapes bobbing about in the foreground represent?
As you ponder, I offer another hint said to have been uttered by the Buddha,
“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Click on The Golden Void to purchase it now!