Instead of Living with Fear


Playing with Fear by Lidia Kenig-Scher

Today I like to focus on the elephant in the room: FEAR.

Unless you have been hiding underground, you will have noticed that a large segment of our neighbors, friends, co-workers and family are experiencing fear to such an extent that many are changing vacation plans, adding security systems to their homes, avoid large gatherings and make it a point to talk to their children about safety. In fact, ads for bulletproof school bags are again ubiquitous and demands for legislators to enact laws that control gun ownership and access to assault weapons reached a fever pitch while traditional and social media forums are filled with anger, fear and despair.

Here in the United States, we are a nation fiercely divided, with each faction blaming the other for their woes. It is all happening amidst a presidential primary election season where over 20 candidates vie for attention in order to qualify for the next round of debates and an incumbent president has chosen to fan the flames of division and fear as a re-election strategy.

It all got crystallized when once again, two unconscious individuals took it upon themselves and went to great lengths, to commit genocide inspired by the idea that some groups of people have more rights to live in this country than others. Both killers felt validated by the constant replay of divisive rhetoric.

While conflict is unavoidable and potentially enriching, how we think about it will determine if we become richer for it or are so emotionally and spiritually crippled that we fail to physically thrive.

On March 1933, a beleaguered nation heard president Franklin D. Roosevelt say in his inaugural speech“So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes the needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” FDR himself had narrowly avoided the bullets of a would-be assassin, two weeks before he spoke these words to a country in the throes of the most severe depression the United States has ever known.

Many in the business community at that time, feeling pinched by the economic decline equated the nation with an invalid afflicted with a mental problem; a paralysis of action. This thinking somehow had to be turned around, toward positive confidence.

Julius Barnes, the Chairman of the Board of the National Chamber of Commerce suggested such metaphor, positing that by changing the “patient’s” thinking, the body would naturally recover its mobility. President Roosevelt became the much needed mental healer for the body nation at that time.

Current research suggests that Mr Barnes was quite accurate in his assertions.

I have no desire to run for president, join the shouters or deliver lofty pronouncements, and we have not yet found an FDR for our times, but I concur that the nucleus of our societal problem lies in WHAT we think and the actions that follow our thinking. Thoughts are real forces and this has been known for millennia.

Our thoughts affect our vibrational field and in turn we affect all who surround us in a viral contagion. Whether or not we accept that we are interconnected, all we have to do is look around; open Facebook or turn on the television, check in with suicidal hotlines and speak with psychotherapists.

Instead of complaining, I have taken the quiet yet industrious route, I create sacred objects that help people, slowly over time, to notice their life patterns, become conscious and shift their thinking toward a more inclusive, compassionate and benevolent existence. When I help people install their commissioned Door Protectors, I teach them how to use the art we co-created to derive the maximum benefit. I remind them that it is like a mirror they can rely upon to reflect their true selves. I suggest they aim their gaze inward and see that fear and anger arise when they imagine a future that does not exist or recall past occurrences that are long gone.

The mantra at the center of this Door Protector is the same mantra that the historical Buddha taught 2600 years ago when he was teaching about building a wholesome and fulfilling life. It’s called the Wish Granting Jewel Mantra.

The Buddha noticed that when his disciples learned, chanted the mantra and were present to its sound and meaning, they became enlightened on the spot. That is because each of the 12 syllables are seeds of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path; the most important tenets at the core of Buddhist philosophy.

The mantra was the Buddha’s way to remind us of our own light and the wisdom that we carry…always. When we look upon the mantra, or hear it, we feel its vibration at our core.

Everything has a vibration and an energy field.

We do not need to be Buddhists to accept Door Protectors into our lives. We simply need to connect to its vibration and through practice, deeply connect with its energy. It happens because what I paint for the owners is channeled through meditation and propelled by my conscious intention to be such conduit for maximum benefit.

I am a better person because I work with my Door Protector and the mantra every day of my life. The testimony of hundreds of clients and collectors for the past 12 years caused me to pause and take note of their effect on people and environments. Everyone has had amazing results in many areas of their lives. They tell me that above all, they are no longer ruled by FEAR and that it has become an easy practice to check-in when in the presence of conflicts, questions and the need to make important decisions.

Some feel truly enlightened!

Thus, I have committed to have as many Door Protectors as possible into people’s homes and businesses, as they affect the owners and all those who see it and pass under it. Instead of living with fear, click on the link in this paragraph, above to commission your own or go the the website Gallery to order a print of your choice and start working with its energies.

The commissioned sacred art carries us throughout our lives. Prints have shown to work for a period of time-months or a couple of years, and help with prescient matters. A print works because in instinctively selecting one, we make an important connection through the images, that will be helpful in our life at this moment in our life path.

Prints are a good way to experience working with Door Protectors.

Go on and order a print today!

Note: The artwork on this post-Playing with Fear, was published in a post in 2011. The original has sold, but copies are available. If you like it, just touch the image and check out your favorite size on the website.

The Wave Always Dies


Arising Wisdom by Lidia Kenig Scher (c) 2016
Arising Wisdom by Lidia Kenig Scher (c) 2016

There is a sea over which waves come and go, but the sea remains the same. The waves are not separate from the sea, but the waves are not the sea. Waves are only forms born of the sea, just appearances which take form and die…The sea is unborn, the wave is taking birth. The sea never dies; the wave always dies. The moment the wave knows that it is the sea, it goes beyond the chain of life and death. But as long as the wave believes that it is a wave it is within the possibility of birth and death”  Osho- Dimensions Beyond the Known, Chapter 2

In a week where many thought they lost their minds, I had to remind myself that life is a field of potentiality and that what is occurring in our world are just appearances which take form and eventually die.

This artwork started out as a demonstration on techniques for creating with alcohol paints on a surface called Yupo. Given the relative lack of control over the media, it is rather easy to see now that continuing to work on the piece over the next few days was a good choice. It mirrored the volatility and emotional content of what was happening around me.

Working with the colors and accepting the quickly changing nature of the inks every time I added an item, I ended painted a turbulent ocean, as in a Tsunami and topped it with both the sun and the moon, as in an eclipse.

Fire and water.

While eclipses are catalysts for change, they also provide portals of choice.

Tsunamis are ocean waves triggered by powerful undersea earthquakes. They bring about deep cleansing to the land, catching and forcefully moving everything in its path.

Both forecast lasting change.

Both eclipses and Tsunamis are natural occurrences.

Like the land, we sometimes need to create powerful internal earthquakes and will profit from deep cleansing.

Eventually the land and the water settle, the wind subsides and the sun provides nourishment to build anew.

It is hard for us humans to comprehend the magnitude of what we see and cannot control, because much like witnessing a huge wave, we can only glimpse the surface of the water.

In the end all storms bring goodness, both human and ecological because we work with what is instead of trying to change the storms’ course.

It is worth remembering that water is always moving seeking the low ground. When the land is high the flow is fast. As the terrain comes closer to the valleys, it becomes a nourishing gentle flow.

In these troubling and confusing times, we must remember that we are the ocean, and so is the wave.

When we begin to see the wave as indestructible, we create and unnatural Tsunami.

The sea never dies; the wave always dies!

Catch the wave of Arising Wisdom here!

The Light of Awareness


The Light of Awareness by Lidia Kenig (c) 2016
The Light of Awareness by Lidia Kenig (c) 2016

Have you ever wondered why you became afraid of the dark? Who told you that not seeing was scary? How did you find out that not knowing was a source of concern?

Psychologists say that the onset of night fear in humans seems to begin at about age 2 and its active stage lasts until 8 or 9 years of age.

As to the culprit, scientist say that given that toddlers spend their waking hours in active imagination mode; their minds are incapable of discerning fiction from reality while at rest. What they are exposed to, fuels their playtime and their dreamtime.

We are keenly aware of the huge role that technology plays in our lives. Fascinated by fast moving images, colorful back-lit screens are in our pockets, and giant televisions are prominently installed in our living rooms and even in bedrooms to, as one client stated, “make it easier to fall asleep and hear the news when I get up in the morning”.

Actually, technology seals in our minds the validity of our fears, and wrecks havoc in our dreamtime.

And, did any of you hear that if you didn’t behave the boogeyman would get you? The various versions of this seemingly light-hearted discipline, embedded in a simple phrase can instill a terrifying case of nighttime anxiety in a young overactive mind and serves to reinforce what children hear and view during the daytime.

So when a bleary-eyed and tired parent tries to convince kids that there are no monsters under the bed, and that they aren’t going to be trapped forever in the dark of the night, children are not convinced. It doesn’t match the stories they hear and are illustrated with images of unlikable, giant voracious spiders capable of doing untold harm to children.

And in the body language of trusted grown-ups, they feel unsafe and in need of protection:
They learn Fear.

While adults provided night lights, “blankies” and teddy bears to help calm our toddler’s insecurities; most of us were never guided to play with our fears and find that they were the product of our malleable mind.

We did not learn that we could look in the dark and playfully engage, or that darkness gives us chances to dream.

Primal fear was applied to all the life situations we were unfamiliar with, including mistrusting our dreams.

Now, fear of the unknown forces us to always seek light not matter what the clock shows. Night lighting interferes with circadian rhythms and hampers our ability to see the wonders of the sky, while vivid images on an ever-present back-lit screen show us examples of those, who under the cover of dark, behave badly and are real boogeyman coming to get us.

Our adult “blankies” and teddy bears became attachments to stimulants, relationships, material goods and false gods.

Embracing fear instead, invites us to turn the light of awareness inward, so we can discern if there is truth in how we perceive a particular incident. Looking within to see if the 2-year old’s active imagination is still counseling us to give our power away to the dark; we can acknowledge the fear, express gratefulness at the opportunity to consider the situation and decide to turn the mind into an ally.

Meditation is the tool I most successfully use to train my mind to be in neutral gear. It is what teaches me to practice awareness so I can dwell in the truth of here and now. And I turn to painting in order to play, engaging my imagination in exploring even the darkest recesses of my mind with the same zeal I used when I was 2 years old.

On the canvas, colors, shapes and textures fearlessly present opportunities to travel far, while brushes and other implements unleash the powerful light of awareness that helps me transform erroneous thoughts, feelings and emotions into playful fireflies that empower and illuminate my path.

My playtime is child-like, not childish.

The painting here invites us to playfully explore the darkness knowing that the only giant voracious spiders lurking in the closet will disappear with The Light of Awareness turned on, bringing the mind into present tense as adults, trusting our dreams and acknowledging that a bright sunshine and a dark moon are equally necessary to lead meaningful and empowered lives. Click on New Painting to purchase the original or blessed limited edition prints and fearlessly embrace the night as a child.

Inner Landscape


Inner Landscape by Lidia Kenig Scher (c)
Inner Landscape by Lidia Kenig Scher (c)

While playing with colors, some embossed paper and acrylic mediums in my studio; I heard a knock on the main door I could not ignore. The event proved to be rather unsettling because even when it was successfully resolved and I was back in my studio, I had to find a way to regain my center and continue to paint. I relied on my tried and true methodology; I pour myself a cup of green tea and focused on the paints, the water, and the canvas and allowed my heart to paint what my soul was straining to tell me.

The rest of the painting session flowed rather smoothly as I happily mixed paint and mediums, dragged deep lines with a palette knife, squeezed paper into mounds and added embossed paper swirls. No hurrying was evident as I waited for the paint’s required drying time. Later on and fully at peace, I played with black markers, added magenta colored accents, and yellows to the now revealed pleasing shapes. I loved the transparency afforded me by the acrylics mixed with mediums!

Today I contemplated the finished art and had the sense that I was looking at a bright outside scene through the parting of a rich semi-sheer rose colored curtain. I felt safe and I smiled remembering my former husband’s often-voiced complaint that I looked at the world through rose-colored lenses. Mind you, I did not take his comment as a negative; I always replied that I have an amazing inner landscape that helped me see abundance, possibility, love and joy in all situations.

I realized that it was this “landscape” that allowed me to paint my soul’s message. The art materials arranged themselves to remind me of my inherent goodness and unlimited powers to see the lessons in the disturbance. I know that I am OK and always will be. I could see clearly that my fearful ego greeted the visitor with feelings of helplessness. Yet my lush inner landscape knows that I may be by myself, but I am never alone.

“In the inner sky, in the inner world, freedom is the highest value-everything else is secondary, even blissfulness, ectasy. There are thousands of flowers, uncountable, but they all become possible in the climate of freedom” said Osho, the mystic Zen master.

Without a strong inner landscape, we dwell in an illusionary cage that safeguards us from hurt, disappointment, and any other limiting beliefs, yet we relate to the world at-large from behind our made up bars. Those who seek love, abundance, success, happiness and well-being need to know that the cage has no keys and that all is possible only in the climate of inner freedom.

Water your inner landscape, my friends. Grow rich thoughts and saw the seeds of gratefulness for the joys you already have. You can start by purchasing this 16” x 20” painting gem as a reminder of who you really are: strong, powerful, healthy wealthy and loved; the world will respond in kind by bringing you love, abundance, safety, freedom, joy and happiness galore. Click now on Inner Landscape to see the art up close and purchase it.

 

Piercing Densities


Piercng Densities-Progress Painting By Lidia Kenig Scher
Piercng Densities-Progress Painting By Lidia Kenig Scher

While there are myriads of weight loss programs, books and exercise gurus clamoring to help us lose weight, the real issue is one of piercing into the density accumulated by thoughts and emotions that contributed to carrying a large body. This density affects not just how we look physically, but many more aspects of our life.

I do not discount the value of programs, books, gurus and the impact of exercising, monitoring eating, counseling and the rest. Yet some people succeed at reducing body mass and most struggle for years. I am part of the latter group and last week I decided to ponder and pierce my densities by asking my heart to help me shine the light on it through painting. I am hoping that my processes can help others see through and conquer their densities for good.

If you have been following my musings, you know that a painting session is preceded by tea and meditation. It is during these preliminary activities, that I sometimes sense a theme ready for exploration. Eventually I walk into the studio without thoughts, unwrap a new canvas and move to select colors, look around for other possible media and finally sit in front of the pristinely stretched fabric until something moves me to the next step.

Over the course of this work’s first painting session, a wide brush caused a large black shape to appear. It was indeed dense yet dynamic. I poured some alcohol on the form as if trying to dissolve it. Alcohol separates the paint, creating lines, or shapes, depending on how it is applied thus revealing the layers underneath. A bright turquoise blue was added, as if to bring in the vastness of sky, coupled with swaths of soft pink to include the perspective of a sunrise, dripping through the “blob”. Some deep red marks showed up just before the canvas was left on a table to dry.

During the next meditation I contemplated that the black density needed to be more decisively impacted, so the red marks became an amorphous shape with circles, the soft pink took on a deeper tint, closer to magenta, and the circles began to house pink spirals, aimed at transforming the dense blackness. Yellow made its appearance to add the clarity of light, and then… a small gold shape I found on the floor, simply flew on to the canvas. Noticing that the paper had a distinct heart shape, I saw it as a clue that love had a lot to do with piercing, and maybe transforming or dissolving the densities in my body.

On the following meditation session, I observed that the new colors and shapes seemed to lie on top of the blackness. None of what I had added seem yet to go in deeply. Mmm…I honored my feelings; I accepted the pain, allowed tears to roll and resolved to bring more light into the fears that created the density and fueled its growth. A deeper yellow was added and some of the spirals got a foil surface, indicating that transformation was indeed at work.

Piercing Densities by Lidia Kenig Scher (c)
Piercing Densities by Lidia Kenig Scher (c)

After a lunch break I felt eager to get back to work. More hearts where added, using enamel gold paint, which after it dries, creates beautiful textures, indicating that sources of love are all around me, yet not from where I crave it. This craving created the pain that became a dense body afraid of deserving love. My new vision, symbolized by splashes of bright green paint, included a huge dose of self-love and self-forgiveness. The center shape became a stand-in for a beating heart infused with so much love and so much light that it truly pierced the black density.

The light infused spirals helped me realize that holding on to how I wished my past to be, kept me from seeing the abundance of love that I have now. It also promoted the same sense of scarcity in many areas of my life. As diluted black paint began to move beyond the center form, I knew I was on to truly piercing and slowly dissolving the pain and begin accepting the past as a crucial part of my life path.  Releasing it enables me to allow love, abundance and joy.

This 30” x 30” painting is available to inspire and transform. Purchase the original or well-priced prints by clicking on Piercing Densities.

Have an awesome week,

Lidia

Nothing Left to Fear


Noting Left to Fear by Lidia Kenig Scher
Nothing Left to Fear (c) by Lidia Kenig Scher

It had to go
All of it
The routine
The false security
The familiarity.

I saw Fear
Turning up the curve
And simply stood
Allowing the wave
To catch me for a moment.

I could have cried
And maybe I did
I could have screamed
And maybe I did
I actually laughed out loud.

I felt the pain
Coming up the rear
And simply walked ahead
Saying goodbye to all
That simply had to go.

As I looked behind
And in front
Gazed right and left
Above and below
I felt myself intact

I have been there before
And I am here now
It was then I realized
That I will be alright
And there was nothing left to fear.

The painting is a 24” x 20” Mixed Media on canvas. It is available to enhance a library, a corner of the seating room, or to help you contemplate what in your life must go. It will then cheerfully reassure you that in fact, there is Nothing Left to Fear. Click on the link to see its rich detail and bright colors and to purchase it now!

Have a fearless week, or…act in spite of fear!!!

Playing with Fear


Playing With Fear by Lidia Kenig Scher {c)
Playing With Fear by Lidia Kenig Scher {c)

Deeply buried inside resides our natural brilliance; our Buddha nature. It takes a great effort to dust the feathers we hide under and emerge transformed. Embracing Fear and playing with it is the only way to move on from the places in our life where we are stuck and unhappy…

Those who have followed me over the past 5 years know that painting is what gives me the most pleasure. I paint for the sheer beauty of the experience and while I hope you all like it and support my work, I create art with abandon. I can do so because… I learned to Play with Fear.

When I recognize Fear’s presence and invite it to be part of the process, an explosion occurs from deep within my soul and I experience unabashed happiness. The transformation renders me grateful for my work, my family, my friends, my clients, my colleagues, my neighbors, my home, my garden, my indoor plants, the seasonal changes, the music I hear, and the choices I make, I am thankful for those I often spend time with and for the people I no longer see. Because I learned to accept and play with Fear, today I stand at the doors of the Temple of Light.

Playing with Fear is accepting that all that I have been and done, it is and has always been just perfect. It is recognizing that I have done my very best given my understandings at the time; or whatever I saw as truth then. I know that it was and is just right, because all of it has served me to be who I am today. I take full responsibility for feeling needy, demanding, loving, caring, boastful, wanting, experimenting, pushy and remorseful, brilliant and stupid, kind and blind. I am and was always riding my “bicycle”.

In control of my handlebars, I don’t always understand who crosses my path at the moment, or the full import of what I am experiencing within and without, but I know that it is happening in the “movie script” I created with my thoughts, my beliefs and therefore my behavior. I pay attention and make connections. I search for the nuggets of learning. As I sincerely apologize to others and myself for my incorrect perceptions, I embrace that I am here to learn and create and that this is my adventure, my journey. But Fear teaches me that the only way to engage in learning and growing is playing with a full deck of cards and with diverse company at the table. So I fumble, I put out my cards; I see what others put out and I Play with Fear.

Playing with Fear is accepting that I may not be right, that the game I am in may not be what I am ready for now or ever; that the partners I am with may not be the ones I will complete the journey with and at all times, honor my feelings. I have the power and responsibility to change course, to put out a new card, to get a new vehicle, to reflect and re-assess directions. On life’s roadways, I need to mind my manners and ride with presence or I may cause harm for myself and others.

Fear also helps me to see that I do not have the right to interfere in another’s learning path. I do not know what is best for them. Best can be seeing their brilliance and accepting those in my life just as they are in their journey, offer love and presence within the relationship. I can help and not enable. I can love and not expect love back. I can share my Light and not wait for another to keep it bright and shining. Play with Fear and dare to enjoy this moment because it is the only one we have.

The original of this painting went to someone who was inspired to invite Fear and Play. You can click to purchase a blessed giclee limited print on canvas of Playing with Fear and see if you can dust your feathers, enter the Temple of Light and find your brilliance! Have a great week…