In reviewing this year’s news cycle and my personal news, I see a hardened, more entrenched societal divide at all levels. I also recognize that albeit not politically, I too experienced significant dissension in my life.
What about you? Did you find yourself consumed by outside conflict and did not notice it in your day-to-day life? Or like me, you looked in the mirror and realized that the “wars” were just as present in your world?
Even if we choose to hide in a cave, we are affected by what occurs around us. Looking closer, we will see that we are affected because in some way, what surrounds us, reflects what is going on in our inner world. In other words, the landscape is trying to show us that the storm is also in our homes or businesses.
I call obstacles a growth opportunity.
Just as when we are in an educational setting, the quality and breadth of what we learn is marked by our readiness to engage in the lessons, our willingness to be challenged, our present skillset, and an explorer’s mindset.
I daresay that acknowledging our interconnection to all things and experiences brings about the most dramatic breakthroughs. And taking responsibility for our part in conflict is truly transformational!
How do we expand our skillset and the willingness to see obstacles as crucial to our happiness and the well-being of our community? We could quietly and intently sit outside by a stream and just watch and hear nature or focus our eyes with an open heart on the painting I titled Wind and Water.
Wind and water immediately bring to mind a sense of flow or movement. Wind can be a gentle, caressing breeze or morph into a raging hurricane. Water can be a swirling eddy, a calm lake, a gentle stream or a killer tsunami.
Wind is caused by a difference in pressure from one area to another area on the surface of the Earth. Air naturally moves from high to low pressure, and when it does so, it is called wind. The “cause” of the wind is the Sun’s uneven heating of the ever-moving Earth’s surface.
When rain falls on earth, it either seeps into the ground or becomes runoff-water, which flows downhill into rivers and lakes, on its journey towards the sea. A small creek flows downhill until it merges into larger streams and rivers. Rivers eventually end up flowing into the ocean.
Wind patterns affect water currents. The larger and more spread out is a body of water, the more its molecules are exposed to air and are influenced by wind speed, direction and relative humidity, Water temperature affected by the sun and the earth’s curvature, determines how quickly the water particles are moved. A water molecule that is moving very quickly is more likely to burst from the water surface into the air, thus creating waves.
Understanding interconnection in nature offers us with a mirror into how all else, including our lives, can naturally thrive.
Wind is air in its active aspect. It represents the vital breath of the universe, or what I call Spirit or Source; the divine realm. It is the “fung” in the art and science of Feng Shui. Wind causes movement. Water is the “shui” and as shown, dependent on wind to move, but is also affected by the sun, the moon and the earth. It is akin to life itself. Nothing can thrive without it. It represents our life journey, the human spirit and our emotions.
Our breath is our “wind“ and how it flows is dictated by the available pathways or “ch’i” within us. Ch’i is our life force; it is how Spirit flows within us. A block in the flow of ch’i causes problems; when our breathing has a regular and easy rhythm we feel well. Thoughts and emotions regulate our breathing patterns and cause the biggest blockages. How we perceive a threat determines how easily we breathe. If we sense space, our inner channels are open and we flow like a calm stream.
Fear causes uneven pressure on our entire system. It is a thought not aligned with Spirit.
When fear appears as anger our system becomes blocked by heat. When fear shows up as depression, is like a weak wind gust; ripples appear on smooth water. As the sadness persists, we are overcome with emotional gusts that renders us powerless. The longer the wind blows on the open water of despair, the larger the waves of suffering.
The painting depicts the interrelatedness of the elements with a bright and colorful demeanor. We notice the winds’ patterns and acknowledge that they may change at any moment, but we do not fear it. The water flows smoothly in the middle ground offering a paradox. The bright colors in the foreground implying blossoms on swaying vegetation demand our attention. As we see the firm ground supporting the growth we can be amused by the movement and form created by the wind.
The more we contemplate Wind and Water, the alcohol inks painting on yupo featured here and that is beautifully framed, the more at peace we feel. In time, it becomes easier to look within but without fear, to explore what is behind our current divide.
Because we are interbeings, when we bring harmony to our world by using our thoughts to affect our wind and our water, we take a small step into bringing harmony to the entire planet!