Creating and Talking About Transformational Art That Invites Beauty, Harmony and Healing
Author: Lidia Kenig-Scher
I am here and at this time in history to be truly helpful. I am a spiritual being learning through my human experience how to take part in connecting heaven and earth. My tools are my paintings. What I create and what I teach others to create and/or contemplate becomes the vehicle for spiritual growth and lifelong learning. Through art is how I serve.
Over the course of my life, I created curricula that enabled many specialized groups to learn through the arts, to better understand the “3 Rs”; to practice spiritual inquiry and to live and work in harmonious environments. I believe that through art we can experience the range of emotions from sorrow to joy and come away filled with incredible beauty and the peace that comes from understanding the truth of who we are.
As such, and through the practice of painting and sculpture, and writing, I learned to connect to the Spirit-Within-Me for guidance and support, thus I do not to worry about what to say and what to do. I play, I dream and aim to experience life as the perfect playground to heal and grow.
My purpose is to heal and help others heal, to love and to share the wisdom I gathered on my journeys. As I invite others to join me, heaven and earth rejoice. Together we dwell in Paradise, Shambhala, or Nirvana…The Pure Land of Light and Love…
Allow me to show you the light that you are and that burns brightly within your heart.
This is the place from where I speak your truth. You are a vessel, ready for divine revelation. You are divine life itself. We are one.
Every action you take, every word you utter and every thought that pops up is me, the divine within you, guiding every facet of your life journey, and this happens with great generosity and compassion so that you may blossom into all that you are and can be…I love you deeply!I
t is time to let go so you can be. Release old identities no longer adequate for your britches. Take the step into the new direction. I know that you have enough spiritual intelligence to shift perspectives and see what lies ahead. Thus you can be the vessel of the truth that we are, urging you to take the plunge.
Don’t hesitate, don’t fear. Embrace the change, welcome this gift of grace, woman! See it as an opportunity for your brilliance to shine in the world. Honor what was and focus on what is becoming!
While everything around us is always moving and changing, at this time, we seem to be navigating a boatload filled with uncertainty.
The political climate is one of deep divisiveness. The meaning of truth is questioned and twisted at every turn, crucial decisions are made without regards to precedence or future consequences and natural occurrences such as devastating fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes rule the day along with a deadly virus that crippled the world’s economy and forced us all to maintain social distance. Thus far, it is unclear where the invader is, how it attaches to humans and when, if ever will it go away, even with the several vaccines that have become available.
In this scenario, crafting goals and making plans beyond the present moment has shown to be fruitless, and making decisions is not an easy endeavor. When the ground beneath us sems to be muddy, we humans revert to anxiety, fear, and mistrust.
Could it be that instead of dreading, we could perceive what has befallen us as a way to thrive?
The many reasons to feel powerless are based on our perceptions of what is happening to us, but what if we perceive uncertainty, anxiety, unfairness, lack of control and requisite social distance as happening for us? What if by being present to what is happening, we realize that it is simply natural, that it is part of our growth and that we are given the opportunity to shift into a new way of living, relating, and thriving on this planet?
What if our daily outlook was that of curiosity?
Moreover, what if women were to take the lead in bringing about a powerful planetary shift and provide the rightful balance to our world? Wouldn’t you then think that instead of being mired in disarray, what is happening is the perfectly natural order?
If women are to lead this transformation, we must learn to speak with our authentic voices and stand in our power. We need to grow the confidence muscle that it is uniquely ours and come on the other side of chaos by modeling the thoughts and behaviors that we want others to consider.
Over the last few years, and due to what I viewed as extraordinary personal circumstances, I was able to reflect on my life experience as well as consider the lives of other women who thrive in what could be perceived as difficult times and, during happy periods. These people are creative, not only artistically, but creativity plays a role in all they do and think. These women and I found peace, contentment, and lasting happiness when we learned to value ourselves, love who we have become, are able to be present to what shows up, as we travel life’s roads, gravitate to other women who have high vibrational energy and practice the art of allowing life to fiercely love us.
To be Nobody-but yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight
I wonder about you, my dear readers, how do you respond to the above quote?
I bet that some of you do not always feel very real. Maybe you have become aware that you often speak with a tentative voice, choosing to not say anything at all when you should have. Perhaps you second guess what you said in a meeting or to your mate and kids. Do you feel responsible for your family, for how your kids are doing, or for how the family unit has evolved, especially over this pandemic?
Have you taken courses or read and practiced ways to manifest your dreams and have been disappointed with the results? Do you feel powerless to make positive changes in your life, such as losing weight, finding a new relationship, or improving the one you are in at present? Do you want to increase your income, change careers, or move your place of residence? Have you crafted goals and made new year’s resolutions that were abandoned around February? In short, do you often feel powerless and blame the government, the economy, or the virus?
I was there and shifted my thinking to trusting that obstacles and perceived misfortunes were happening for me: I became very curious.
Ready to “fight the hardest battle”, I decided to draw on the wisdom derived from looking at these questions, reviewed the wealth of available material on goal setting and resolutions, and surveyed the results, then paired these with what I know has worked for me and others. I realized that I was experiencing a paradigm shift instead going to war, and I needed to share my discoveries with others as a practice so they too could live a fulfilled life.
A fulfilled life is achieved through living creatively.
As many of you know, I am an artist who paints intuitively; I call it painting from the heart. I also teach others to create as I do and mentor my clients to use what I create (art and interiors) to grow spiritually.
It is my belief that there is no aspect of our lives that is separate from our spiritual journey.
My spiritual journey is my creative process, and it informs every aspect of my life. To wit, I designed a yearlong course to help others learn the practical tools I use to guide me from morning ‘till night, help me speak my authentic voice, stand in my power, and manifest my dreams, always. The curriculum is not intended for people to become artists, although artists have benefitted greatly from my classes. The syllabus helps people learn to live creatively.
Through meditation, painting and journaling, by working with crystals, with ancient and modern wisdom and by being supported by a caring community, members will practice trusting the messages they hear and summon the courage to heed its guidance. Participants will commit to learn the personal lessons they glean and will endeavor to incorporate them into their everyday existence. By applying the same creative energy that is at the very center of each being to every area of their lives, students can practice living authentically and express their unique essence and originality to go from uncertainty to living a fulfilled life.
When the student is ready
the teacher appears.
When the student is truly ready
the teacher disappears.
My first class is next Sunday, January 17th from 3 to 6 pm est on the Zoom platform. If you desire to join me in this paradigm shift, or would like more information, please email me and I will send you a detailed sequence of the expected activities for each of the next 15 months. In the end, I am sure you will be walking about spreading joy!
My goal as an artist is to create art that makes people look at the world in a different way, said Autumn de Forest, whose artistic genius was discovered at the tender age of 8, had been painting since she was 5 and now at 18, she has become a widely known influencer, creator and philanthropist.
I remember when my mother had to take me to an art teacher to prove to my school teachers that I was the one who had painted the head of two horses after class one day, when I was that week’s classroom monitor. After tidying up, I found a pad of paper and some watercolors, and decided to have fun.
I was 10 years old when my artistic aptitude was recognized and was 12 when I entered art school. I did not have Autumn’s insight or resources then. As a child, I just wanted to create, to paint, to make clay pieces. Most of the grownups around me called my early endeavors playtime, while my father saw my artistic inclinations as not worth pursuing. It took me decades to understand how I create, what propels me to do so, and grasp the impact of what I create. I too want to help people look at the world in a different way, although my emphasis is on bringing through images that cause people to look deeply into their inner world and uncover their authentic selves to live a creative life. I know that it is the most rewarding way to look at the world differently!
The painting above, A Cupful of Cravings is a 30″ x 40″ acrylic on canvas that depicts a glittery yet rudimentary gold cup against a diffused gold background. A colorful array of froth is happily oozing from the cup. Whatever the shapes imply, these are funny, playful, beguiling to the senses.
Such are the things that we love, that we desire, that we get attached to, the must-haves we focus on for a time, and until a new shiny object, an idea, an endeavor, a relationship take center stage. We humans do that a lot. We fill our lives with things, we crowd our schedules with to-dos, with activities, and self-imposed deadlines we think that came from our jobs or commitments when these actually arose from lifestyle choices we created thinking it would make us happy.
Was this the inspiration for the painting? Not really. I begin with a meditation session where I let go of everything. I am grounded, in touch with the earth and open to the heavens by just breathing. Eventually I go into the studio and pick a surface to paint on, select colors, then…something takes over. I am not fully aware of how the art unfolds, although I am very present to the process. It ends on its own accord and a contemplation follows. I sit in front of the painting until I am moved to write about it, until it names itself. There is no hurry.
The writing that arises from meditating with the art has over time become life lessons for me and for the buyers and viewers either through my blog or they were attracted to the art online or at an exhibit. My lesson is personal. It is what I need to learn from the vibration in the painting at a particular step in my life journey. Viewers may have slightly different experiences and these shift over time, as what they need to learn is also unique, it is layered, and it changes over time.
This painting started years ago as an exploration into the suffering that comes from becoming attached to things and situations that are essentially impermanent and naturally changing, as desires, or the latest must-haves. Over the past ten months, as the world is gripped by an elusive virus that caused friends, relatives and strangers to be very ill, to die, and to live in isolation, what we now crave is not only very real, it is vastly different.
During quarantine we are learning to live with less. Our commitments have shifted, and in general, we have more time and desire less “things”. We find contentment in creating. We cook, we bake, we paint, we rearrange our furniture, deepen our relationships, and re-examine how we relate to ourselves and to those with whom we share space. We work differently, and we live differently. We are learning to be grateful for what we have now. Pema Chodron wrote that being satisfied and grateful with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way.
With my artworks, always vibrating with love and possibility, and poised to have an enormous impact on the people who own them and their environment. With the Door Protectors that have proven themselves to make such a difference in people’s lives, and the painting from the heart classes, shown to powerfully shift how students view creativity and self-expression, I look at my life and feel so grateful, so blessed to have my readers, my social media followers and my clients and collectors, and see how these people have indeed, enriched me. I am proud to live a meaningful life, allowing what needs to blossom through me as me and for the greatest benefit of all. I help those who come to me because they are ready to look at the world creatively.
When I painted these images, I had no idea what the presidential election in the United States would bring. Uncertainty, divisiveness, and fear were the prevailing feelings, no matter where we were in the political spectrum. The tallied results this past week, converted fear into dread as we realized the extent of the societal continental divide and the work that lies ahead.
As the winning camp now celebrates, the other half, and yes, it is HALF-let this sink in so we can fully grasp the magnitude and import of the divide- they provide anger with equal fervor. Then I saw that I had painted the seismic shift that will be needed to bring about balance, to guide us to build bridges toward each other.
I did not understand that the fireworks I was guided to paint, represented a future that could manifest if we collectively tapped into the wisdom that lives in our hearts, and access the ancestral knowledge that is beyond knowing. Now, this is a tall order!
We must begin by no longer trying to make sense of the others’ actions or state of mind and accept it fully; we could try walking with a soft gait instead and see others with gentle eyes. We must relinquish the customary fast-paced, constantly moving canter of the conscious intellectual mind that confers labels, wants canned answers and sure-fire yet outdated recipes to resolve conflict. We must learn to meander and appear casual, curious, spontaneous as if we were dancing, yet in deep concentration, feeling the truth in each motion, and allowing for what is emerging to express itself through us. It is time that we listen rather than demand to know, to force, speak or direct and try flowing with the music.
Let us stop seeking logical answers and be open to inspiration. Let us become an empty vessel and allow for our minds to soften, to be receptive and permeable. Let us pose questions that lead to more questions and be patient. Let us relinquish the needs of our insecure ego-mind and receive what is needed, when it is needed, by the heart-mind; our connection to Spirit. Let us trust that what needs to be known, shall be, but acknowledge that at the present moment, all is well and all is right and that our innate wisdom, divinity and interconnection will deliver us into greater love, joy and wellness.
I understand our frustration with what we perceive as wrong and unfair, with the inability to comprehend our neighbors, some of our family members, the political talking heads and the slogans. We feel scattered and waiver from hopefulness to despair in the same breath, yet change will come about from looking within and identifying the source of the deep divide:
What we reject in “the other” are traits, behaviors and ideas that are deeply buried within ourselves.
When we lift the veil of ignorance that sees others as the enemy instead of accepting them as symptoms of an inner wound, or dis-ease we can heal, we will be able to make the seismic shift we seek and realize lasting peace.
Inner healing comes about when we no longer blame others, when we accept that taking sides and aligning ourselves along dividing camps, perpetuates conflict and oppression and leads to destruction. Seeking to unravel the stale patterning that got us here leads to construction, creation, cooperation, and acceptance.
As I ended meditating with this painting, I heard my heart rejoicing. I saw fireworks erupting in my inner sky and all around my room. I knew I was touched with grace at the truth of what I had just written. I understood that the present suffering can help us grow if we are willing to find a way to heal through it.
No mud, no lotus, wrote Thich Nhat Hanh. Without grit, there is no pearl. When we know how to suffer, we manifest a Seismic Shift. Let the art inspire and guide you toward it by installing it in your personal space and create ripples of joy in your life and that of all whom you touch.
It is safe to state that we are living in very chaotic times
Due to a dangerous and difficult to locate and control virus, we have been forced to curtail human interactions involving a dramatic shift in work, commerce and play habits.
Our social life happens largely on web-based platforms offering opportunities for meetings, celebrations, burials and a 24-hour news cycle that broadcasts, in detail, the atrocities and mayhem-physical, psychological, and emotional, that humans inflict on one another all over the world.
We have also become more aware of natural harrowing events, social injustice issues and political discourse, that causes us to feel distraught, confused and pulled in directions most often guided by primal concerns.
Seeking to find relief, some of us blame a certain group of people we perceive as inept, or wrong-headed and commiserate with the ones who seem to share our lot in life.
Some groups spin conspiracy theories, plant seeds of mistrust and are even willing to use lethal weapons to defend their views. Others feel so overwhelmed with what they see and hear that they retreat to a mental cave, while many relinquish power to false heroes who look and sound as if they will surely rescue, confer clarity and uplift them.
With their filters firmly in place, each faction organizes demonstrations, writes petitions, raises funds, donates living necessities, and joins with their tribe to promote their beliefs. These beliefs are often based on hidden wounds or pent up anger. They become hollow powers that must be fiercely defended.
Unfortunately, these factions are not able to perceive divergent views and actions as opportunities for healing, cannot imagine walking in “the other” shoes and suffer for failing to follow the guidance of their internal compass: their hearts.
Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia traveled together, attended the opera, and enjoyed a long friendship by accepting and respecting each other’s ideas.
I found myself aligning with one of these factions and created this painting at a time I perceived to be at the height of social conflict. It took me nearly a month of living with the art to come up with what it was trying to teach me about fear, strife, taking sides, supreme court justices, and giving power away.
When finished, I invited reactions and commentary from visitors and noticed that none perceived the fear I felt while painting. I even encouraged some to look at how the red forces and the purple shapes engaged in a “battle” to prevail. Were the red beings the loving ones? Were the purple beings mightier? Which were being swallowed by the other? Is red kinder than purple? Is purple more spiritual?
While a friend appreciated the shapes and their “struggle”, she proposed that this was a depiction of the perfect order of the universe and an example of harmony, or yin and yang. Each textured form was moving about the galaxy being just who they were; gases, nebulae, exploding stars, planets collapsing and new ones being born.
Nature was being natural.
When none whom I showed the art interpreted conflict, and when even many perceived the bright colors and shapes as playful and hopeful, I recognized that the struggle was within me and that painting assisted me in seeing beyond what was possible at the time.
I experienced the powerful emotions while creating the art and, in the end, I painted the vision of what was to be: a world where there is no need to take sides. I do not mean that opposing forces do not exist. Ginsburg and Scalia publicly expressed diametrically opposing views. It is just that opposition is the way nature shifts. And, in each opposite, the seed of the other exists and can transform both in a constant cycle of moving and changing.
When we understand conflict as natural, we are no longer afraid.
We have witnessed how, in time, the land recovers and transforms from volcanic eruptions or devastating storms and fires when humans get out of the way. When we perceive conflict and become curious we are not afraid.
Seeing that conflicts around us mirror conflicts within ourselves and knowing that we can transform these into valuable assets, renders us immensely powerful. Since we control our thoughts and perceptions, there is no need to defend anything.
When we accept that we all experience inner conflict when exposed to aggressive behavior; when we feel compelled to defend our position, or when we hear dissonant words and feel hurt; we would do well to remember that it all starts within and that it is natural. It is the Perfect Order and an opportunity for personal growth.
Osho said that “…the conflict is in man. Unless it is resolved there, it cannot be resolved anywhere else. The politics is within [us]; between the two parts of the mind.”
In accepting opposition as natural, we create harmony and in healing ourselves first, we help others heal as well.
Acceptance of what is does not imply that we retreat until it is over. We know that when a fire burns out of control, we do not add more fire. While it is natural to move to control a raging fire, it will eventually subside when what fuels it ends.
With understanding, the seed of peace arises within us and we can focus on bringing balance in our own lives, instead of fixing conflict.
Only we can transform conflict with our own, built-in powerful tool: our hearts.
Please click on Perfect Order and purchase the original or a well-priced print. Beholding it and allowing its vibration to affect your space, may open new avenues of understanding the shared world we inhabit.
Notorious RBG and Antonin accepted their differences as natural. Their filter was respect so they had fun with each other‘s shared views. Their respect for the perfect order spawned harmony.
I invite you to ponder how the colors, textures and composition in this acrylic on canvas painting affect you. Look closely, what does the art may want to communicate to you?
If you decide to go beyond seeing it on this essay, read on. I like to share my experience painting and meditating with what I call, Love’s Great Waves, to have a glimpse into what you may find when you are attracted to a particular artwork and wish to learn more about yourself and your spiritual and emotional journey through it.
Last night I had a rough one. I slept poorly, I tossed and turned and finally at the crack of dawn I decided to get up and contemplate the painting in front of my bed. I had brought it in just before turning in, and maybe its energy disrupted my sleep. However, I was willing to converse with the images and learn what it wanted to tell me.
Originally, I called it Eruption, so I boldly started by asking the art which of the erupting current events carried the best material. Would it be the raging fires on the West Coast, the already busy and devastating hurricane season in the south Atlantic, the various demonstrations and riots highlighting the deep divisions racking the United States and many parts of the world, or the Covid-19 virus that is keeping us separate from each other physically and ideologically?
The painting stated that it was about all of it, but from the perspective of the heart-mind and not the ego-mind. Then it invited me to visualize my consciousness diving into the textured yellow-green mass as if that were a tsunami and allow myself to be tumbled to and fro until I would be forced to surrender my useless intelligence and become mindless, no longer capable of knowing anything.
As soon as I dove in, the sound alone precluded thinking but I soon felt fear gripping me. However, the force of the water was so tremendous that I had no choice but to surrender to its power.
I recalled the times I was shown Spirit’s eagerness for me to understand that fear is an ego-mind thought and that in allowing it to just be and flow, my life would move with perfect synchronicity and grace and all that I needed would simply manifest.
And it has!
So, I let the waves toss and tumble me without trying to understand, as there is no logic when we are shown the magic behind letting go and receiving.
Then it happened. The sound changed and became a familiar drumming accompanied by a soft melody, seeming to arise from the magenta ink underneath and behind the waves. The color made inroads on the ocean, created bubbles on the sea’s surface and rose into the sky mingling with the wind.
I knew I was hearing the heart of the world beating in unison with my own heart. I knew it because peace overtook me and for the first time, I understood trust and felt bliss. I understood beyond the shadow of a doubt that trusting the wisdom of the heart leaves no room for fear, for deception, for misdeeds, for equivocation, for hate, for anger and divisiveness. These emotions are phantoms produced by the ego-mind creating stories that look and feel real enough to terrorize us until we embrace them and see them for what they are: illusions.
When we stop trying to control or understand the natural and man-made situations that grip our attention, especially those that attract high drama into our lives, and accept what is, we are able to hear the heart’s wisdom and acknowledge that what is scaring us is not happening to us but for us. Trusting, we can ride the waves of emotion, allow them to roar, move and shake us until they wash us upon Love’s shining shore.
Ultimately the art is teaching me to open to the genius of life itself and to the power of Love. It’s reminding me to be present to what triggers the emotional “tsunamis” and not contribute to make them grow in my mind. It encourages me to not engage with social media outrage and propaganda and have compassion for what is happening. Is asking that I respond from the heart that beats in unison with the heart of the world. In particular, it is cautioning me to be alert to the signposts on the road– what I consume-food, life situations and news and discern if the guidance I receive to act is heart or fear based.
How do you tell the difference? Genuine guidance is filled with compassion, it brings peace and acceptance without pain, fear, or anger. When your heart and the heart of the world beat in unison, you feel at home, safe and protected. All noise disappears. You start living, laughing out loud, dancing with joy, rocking to love, feeling blessed and broadcasting light all around you. You positively affect the world.
If what you see are scare tactics and deception that renders you powerless feeling guilty and overwhelmed by what is happening; then this guidance to act does not come from the genius of life. It is not truth.
Love’s Great Waves encourages you to hold your hands in prayer and bow your head gently to honor your heart. This is a sign of true surrender to its wisdom and guidance. I invite you to own the painting, accept the sublime unconditional wisdom and affection at your core and feel blessed as you never had before.
This painting started as a demonstration piece for an online class when I collaborated with my dear friend, the uber talented, Kimberly Ward Manning. We had been working on the class’s flow and the technology for over a week, and the care and attention we put into the planning paid off. During the event we both felt good, the students clearly enjoyed the processes we shared, and this was confirmed by the glowing evaluations we received afterwards.
Kim and I were quite clear in our intentions. We knew that we could share our life experiences and in doing so, we help to realign humanity to its purpose. We wished to help bring forth the vibration of harmony and teach others to scan their lives for what is no longer a vibrational match for whom they have become and with gratefulness, release any pain it may have caused but keep the precious gifts of learning they acquired. We desired to assist people, especially women, to move into the energy of love, kindness, and peace, as a prerequisite to functioning in the world from what Kim calls Sacred Voice.
The output of our first event together demonstrated that the participants were ready to shift their vibration and were willing to summon the courage to be vulnerable in portraying it visually in a painting.
We painted together in our individual home studios reconvening once to check in and to observe the in-progress paintings from different sides to decide which was the most effective view to proceed. After the second session ended, we journaled by asking the painting for a teaching or a message it was carrying within the colors, textures and feel, as a prompt.
For obvious reasons, I did my meditation and journaling the next morning, and the painting offered me the following words,
As per your intention, embedded in this art is the importance of being a vibrational match for who you really aspire to be. When we tolerate situations and people that are not aligned with the energy of love, kindness, and peace, we not only contribute to the planet’s misalignment, but increase the imbalance. That is because we are all interconnected, as in “as above, so below”. What manifests on the outside in the form of events and people in your life are mirrors reflecting your thoughts, beliefs and emotions.
When you follow the wise words “know thyself” and take responsibility for your whole life, and especially your thoughts, you change the energy of the planet. This self-knowing has a lot to do with being thoroughly acquainted with your heart; both the physical heart and the energy center that vibrates as love and is connected to Source.
Speaking with Sacred Voice starts with knowing the heart’s voice, the way it speaks and its reactions to life situations. By attuning to your heart, you can discern when it sings with joy and glee, and when is quiet and offers you time to reflect and redirect. This is when you can play and allow your heart to lead your life. You will notice when you encounter and release conditioned reactions and pre-conceived notions of reality. You will pay attention and manage beliefs that run in your mind like the broken records of long ago. You will also become adept at catching yourself resisting anything.
You will take heed of the times when you surrender expectation and embrace curiosity. You will also see yourself easily accepting gifts, praise, trust, happiness and yes, LOVE. In fact, you will be centered in love and become aware that grace is a gift you deserve and that brings you into greater fulfillment. You will see and feel bliss as LOVE’s gift and be compelled to pass it on.
This painting is telling you that you are the embodiment of grace and are poised to be showered with joy. It says that you have demolished walls and obstacles you had previously built to protect yourself. You did that because you realized that they were like sandcastles and that if you just poured love, the castle would disappear with the next wave.
As with all the other paintings, there are encoded messages within the images. The messages are particular to me and to the person who is attracted to the art. These encoded messages are different for me and the viewer. If you are called to own the art, go to Surrendered into Love and start working with its bright colors, fabulous textures, and powerful language!
The quality of our lives during and after the eventual end of the virus deterrent social distancing is entirely up to each of us. It is dependent on the thoughts and beliefs that guide our actions in the world.
Personally, this period has given me the opportunity to observe what has manifested around me and for me, engage in deep inner listening and make decisions to make significant changes where I noticed areas that seemed at odds with an existence filled with grace and ease.
I call it an optimal state of thriving.
Worthy of examination was the physical condition I found myself in. Convalescing from a heart attack I rather welcomed the COVID-19 pandemic retreat just a few weeks into the healing process when I had to balance restorative practices with work-related activities. Forced to slow down, I focused more deeply on the spiritual meaning of a “blocked heart”, and wrote about it in the post, Un Unblocked Heart when I formulated a new vision to live by moving forward.
Buoyed by my committed intentions, I was thrown off when debilitating pain on my upper back overwhelmed me. Weeks of continued chiropractic and Reiki treatments provided temporary relief while trust provided balance.
I know not to force action yet stay grounded in the always alert, non-judgmental, loving, encouraging and solid gold awareness.
Our body-mind-continuum is prodigious at self-healing, pain is not to make us miserable but to make us alert. Discomfort causes us to inquire into the emotions that hold the hurt in place.
Emotions do not respond to harsh treatment, yet it is important to not wallow in the pain. Inquiring involves embracing and gentle questioning. As to the pain behind my heart, it became clear that I had to learn to practice extreme self-care not only to stay alive, but to take care of my basic needs. However, I was unclear about how to demonstrate my commitment to self-care over and above honoring my skills and talents, taking my medicines, exercising more and reviewing my eating habits so I could lose weight.
My way to tackle a spiritual conundrum has been to meditate and paint.
Thus, in the process of creating and meditating with the art I call Still There, I realized that the densities accumulated in my physical body, simply mirrored what was in my heart and on my mind, and in all I was involved in. Underneath my usual optimistic demeanor, my need to be busy all the time, my perfectionistic tendencies and my desire to be acknowledged and loved, were very destructive feelings that eroded what manner of happiness I could experience.
It’s not that I hadn’t explore my densities. I actually worked on piercing them, as in the painting I call Piercing Densities. Yet, five years later, I was still carrying a deep sorrow, unrepentant guilt, shame and frustration at my inability to enjoy a harmonious relationship with a family member, and packed the pain in body weight.
The dark mass I had pierced in the previous painting was also in the new one, although less dense. Could I penetrate it or dissolve it? When I compared the two paintings, the new one shows more clarity. The pink light of love is still behind it but now interlaces it. Turquoise colored gentle waters swirl all around it and streaks of golden healing light wash over the mass. And it is no longer black! Instead it is covered with violet energy, implying that this time, we both have powerful divine forces helping us in dissolving the pain and releasing thoughts and beliefs that are unhelpful.
I was ready to surrender to this benevolent energy, but I had to focus solely on myself.
My wisdom files say that I cannot fix anyone, moreover, there is nothing to fix and much to learn. Trying to “fix it” repeatedly kept us both stuck in an unproductive and vicious cycle.
In a recent contemplating session with the painting I discovered two magical flowing “robes” dotted with gold and seeming to emerge from a blob that no longer feels ominous. In fact, as the robes move, pink confetti sprays unconditional love into the form.
For the last few weeks, I was able to visualize my loved one filled with benevolent lights. I embraced myself with the same brilliance. I let go of disempowering beliefs and know that in caring for my well-being I am creating a more powerful environment where in time, we can both thrive in grace and with ease.
The pain on my back eased and I shed a considerable amount of body mass. I feel healthy and whole.
If you are called to uncover your own densities, I suggest that you purchase this 9” x 12” acrylic on a canvas panel and carry out a similar healing process and in time, come to dwell in an optimal state of thriving.
A surreal landscape seen through unrecognizable greenery is crowned by heavily textured warm yellow and orange shapes. We are not sure if this represents a wall, curtains above a window, or if we are looking at a bright sunshine. Is it a landscape within a landscape? Could it be that we are looking at the past we are ready to release from a place where new growth is taking place?
I worked on this diptych over several weeks and nearly completed it during a 6-hours online art festival called Buubblefest, where artists of all disciplines created inside a 6 feet “bubble” while the general public watched. It was designed to keep everyone safe from contracting the COVID-19 virus in the Spring of 2020 and in many ways, it defines the art.
Meditating with the finished painting this past week, I immediately grasped what it was teaching me. In contemplating the flow of my life over the last 5 months, I saw that while physically and mentally unable to engage in seeking work, the work nonetheless showed up as wonderful clients, art commissions. original art and prints sold. Then, I found myself easily and effectively helping others in ways I had not previously acknowledged. The trend continued as the pandemic caused society to come to a stand still and retreat indoors 2 months into my recovery.
I began to see that the universe was delivering clear messages about taking time to go inward, be more self-reliant, trust my instincts, allow for people and situations to come to me, be helpful toward others, and just be and do what feels good and right naturally and without trying to achieve anything.
As some parts of the country started the process of opening for business without positive health data, the inner work we have all been doing sharpened our consciousness, so that when we witnessed injustice and inequality we could no longer turn away; we found ourselves unable to ignore an old societal wound in need of healing.
Now we demand concrete change and are willing to work for it. Massive protests and demonstrations all over the world indicate that the oppressed are being heard and hopefully this will lead to positive changes.
Many readers may see themselves reflected in my experience and realize that in fact, these last few months bore many gifts. For what these events mirror back to us may begin the process of healing at all levels.
Personally, I realized that I was ready to let go of the destructive thought patterns and behaviors still latent in my life and that kept me from allowing myself to live life fully. If I take the painting as depicting a window, I see that it reflects my deep commitment to let go of past relationships that are not mutually enriching. I am ready to admit to self-sabotage, fear, sadness, disappointments, and sorrow and work to transform them into self-respect, trust, joy, hopefulness, and laughter. No longer do I wonder about what amazing feat I need to accomplish following my heart attack earlier this year, or ponder what a momentous shift I meant to go through to justify missing death by a thinnest of hairs.
From my “window”, I am affected by the current political climate and long overdue societal unrest and respond by creating work that will surely affect people and spaces in positive ways. When I feel physical pain and look into the spiritual jewels and teachings these bring, I see that I already released lots of densities from my body and the lighter me loves the way I feel and look. The self-love I bestow upon myself has already yielded acceptance, peace, compassion and understanding toward what I wish to change and enabled me to shift my perspective to trusting life’s rhythms.
I look into my inner window and my heart says, “It is time to live without inherited false mind constructs and allow for the truth of who I am to come forth manifesting what needs to come through me as me in benefit to all!”
If this resonates, it is time for you to purchase It Is Time. Layaway is available by contacting me via email!
Like many of you, I have been keeping social distance for the past 8 weeks and, while I miss the physical contact with my loved ones, I have not lacked the emotional connections. In fact, communications with family, friends, neighbors, and clients have become even more frequent and daresay, more meaningful.
The quarantine keeping us from contracting or passing on viral infection, is indeed difficult for the economy, but is actually a blessing in so many ways.
It is not hard to see improvements in our environment. This past weekend I passed a pond I walked by for the past 20 years. At this time in Spring it is completely covered with green algae. Last Sunday it was so clear, I could see the bottom! Frogs were singing and a family of swans with their cygnets were happily gliding on the glassy surface. The unusual photos of lions napping on an empty highway on Kruger National Park, South Africa and a herd of goats frolicking on deserted streets in Wales clearly points to the impact of humans practicing social distancing.
Families are learning how to spend their time together in creative ways and maybe becoming closer. Some of my friends tell me that despite some difficult moments, they are getting to know their families and children anew and see this as a positive development. At the individual level, we are all discovering new skills, grappling with new emotions, noticing what we miss and not, and discerning how we spend our time. Many of us are paying close attention to what brings value and joy to our existence.
As the world is undergoing a massive transformation, we are being stretched in many ways. We are exercising spiritual, emotional, and mental muscles we never knew we had in exploring ways to thrive at this time in history. If we perceive the pandemic as a gift, we are examining our goals, our vows and the intentions we set for ourselves, perhaps in January, and are now assessing their relevance in an attempt to envision our lives beyond face masks, 6’ of separation and lines at the grocery store.
With limited movement and fewer choices, we are forced to look inward, be more reflective and a new consciousness is arising.
It is in this environment that I created this 12” x 12” acrylic painting a few weeks ago and decided to alter the way I interpret and title my work after completion. I offered the image to my good friend and coach, Kimberly Ward Manning. I asked her to meditate with the painting and come up with a title and interpretation. What follows are her words in italics.
As I look at the painting, what first comes to mind is a garden. In the foreground is a hedge with an opening that leads beyond. The greens and yellows look and feel like a celebration, and the energy rises in ecstasy, into the stars, the Higher Mind, eternity, wherever. It feels more than hopeful — it’s joyful.
As I sat with the piece longer, another meaning came forward. The circles in the foreground are beings/souls. They are being called to the green/yellow area in the middle to ascend in consciousness. Some have already gone and are showing their ascension in the different levels of energy/understanding/love. Everything is shifting higher. Again, the whole feeling is powerfully positive.
There is a calling with this piece. It is asking us to enter and do something — go higher, go inward and up/outward, join together in this journey. In both interpretations, the individual circles meld into pure energy. There is no longer separate self/selves. We are each part of this One, which in my meditation shows up as this mass of energies in the painting.
Overall, it feels like an initiation, a calling, a rising up. Like a secret garden behind a manicured hedge — magical, mystical, marvelous, powerful.
I invite all of you to take in the image and see how view it, and how it may assist you in experiencing this unusual time in your life. What is in your garden? What are you called to move into? What shifts are you urged to undertake?
Are you ready to emerge with A New Consciousness? Click on the link to see the painting up close and perhaps you will be called to own it.