The Great Release


The Great Release by Lidia Kenig

I often liken painting with being immersed in God, because when I am in the studio, it appears that the Universe orchestrates a joyful dance with the materials and processes so that the right procedure, the perfect color delivered in the perfect way, lands on a canvas without my physical involvement.

It may sound otherworldly, but I often feel like a puppet on a string, except that the strings are made up of pure light, and as painting progresses, light pours out in all directions, but I become the one generating it.  If I were to describe the overall emotion, I would call it love.

The studio is my happy place where I love openly and where I feel unconditionally loved. It is where, with unabashed trust I allow colors, textures and images to appear on the canvas. It is where I practice trusting life.

Thus, I was not surprised at the images in the completed canvas when I began the post painting meditation. I saw a bright sunrise above a fiery earth, facing a deep blue ocean below. Perhaps there are buildings in the distance, but there are no people about in this slice of Summertime.

My slice of summer was bittersweet. Long held traditions ended and relationships shifted or expired, yet I had many rewarding experiences reconnecting with old clients, successfully designing residential spaces, serendipitously finding places to exhibit artworks, attracting painting commissions and receiving heartfelt testimonials about my art and my designed interiors.  Like when I create, I was deeply present to what landed on my life canvas and in meditation, I reflected on the emotions that emerged and the people and situations that provoked the feelings.

I felt like I was being carried into a new life cycle, and consciously allowed all of it to coexist by trusting in its inherent rightness. As such, on the second meditation, I considered that the “fiery earth” I originally saw in the painting, could also be looked at as the very precious antique cloth that is my life.

I can’t prove that we have had many lives and accumulated what in Buddhism is called karma, which ripens in each lifetime. I noticed that not all the experiences and people that show up in our present life are a product of our thoughts and deeds in this life. Some seem to come from some other place and time. We can see strong patterns operating in people’s lives that can either help them grow in a supportive way or challenges them to become stronger. In all cases, when we become aware of these threads, often through meditation, that seem to run our lives and take inspired action, we gain much wisdom and can lead very fulfilling lives.

In my first meditation with the painting, I saw a starry sky receding to make way for the light of the sun. The land below is still smoldering from ravaging fires above the great ocean. The wind helps the ashes and debris to fly off into the ether. The bits blowing away depict the things, people, relationships, thoughts, emotions and life patterns being released from the mind, which is represented by the landscape. The rising tide washes away the last bits of live fire as a new day begins. The sun shines upon the parched land, spreading bits of light to help the ashes transform eventually into fertile soil.

On another day meditating with the painting, I focused on the textured “land” and began to see it as precious antique tapestry. All my life experiences, my mishaps and my triumphs in this or any other lifetimes have given my soul much material from which to create the rich cloth that is my life now and that could not have existed without such journey. Yet, in time, some threads on the cloth wear out and must be discarded because they no longer provide a viable structure to the tapestry. A good restorer can seamlessly weave new threads, place the worn-out ones into the recycle bin and lovingly return the cloth to its original glory.

I looked at the difficult changes that occurred this summer as worn out threads that needed to leave my life. In emptying the recycle bin I saw an opportunity to release old emotional baggage and lovingly weave new patterns into my life tapestry.  I appreciate what I learned from the outworn threads and admire the beauty and power of the parts that remain. Its overall stability accepts the new strength being provided by new material and trusts that, restored to its brilliance, it will gracefully carry me into a new life cycle!

I recently shared this painting, but not my interpretations with several clients as a meditation. In most cases, the revelations were quite powerful; all had to do with letting go of old patterns of thought!

The Great Release invites you to look within and let go of what no longer makes your life tapestry strong. Isn’t time to weave the shiny new threads to carry you, as if by magic into your best life?

Call it self-love and take inspired action; find the painting’s purchase options here in, The Great Release.

 

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.

Moonlight Rebirth Meditation


A moonlight meditation in images
Moonlight Rebirth Meditation by Lidia Kenig-Scher

Awoke shortly after sunrise and as usual, I prepared for meditation. Instead of doing a contemplative exercise, I slid into the studio to make painting the contemplation. I picked a 40” x 30” blank canvas and as I sat in front of the canvas, some words and sentences bubbled up.

Arising, releasing pain, sorrow, guilt, shame, tiredness, frustration, danced in my mind’s eye. A certain pride for having persevered in spite of the many naysayers, including me; a visceral urge to break away, to say good bye to the past, without attempting to change it or squash it emerged, giving me a sense of peace and acceptance never before felt.

Eventually I was moved to pick up a jar of fluid Prussian Blue acrylic paint along with a flat wide brush. I loved how the inky paint flowed onto the canvas!

The last thing I remember was reaching for the cellophane that had covered the brand-new canvas and diluting thick Iridescent White acrylic paint with a little water and colorless polymer.

Twelve hours later I emerged from the studio and fell into a deep slumber. I awoke the next morning feeling lighter, smiling broadly and remembering a dream where Divine beings were guiding me to swim in loving waters of changing colors.

In the dream, the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin was showing me objects beaming with light floating in the water around me. I recognized some of my paintings, a home I had recently designed, students’ artworks, sculptures and photos of happy and grateful people. These were all things and situations that I created in my life and that coexisted with painful situations, interactions and sadness. I realized that Kwan Yin and all the other angels were showing me how blessed I am, as my past became the rich fertilizer that now helps flourish the life cycle I am sailing into.

For the next 10 days I looked at the painting before I turned in for the day and immediately upon waking. Each day I wrote in my journal, knowing that lessons and title would eventually come forth clearly. I noticed that the day I began to paint, coincided with a full moon and a partial eclipse, best observed in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Boston area the moon showed its fullness with alluring brilliance. It was easy to take in its beauty on a hot summer night.

The moon is a symbol of the spiritual aspects of femininity- intuition, psychic abilities, creativity and wisdom. Its phases remind us that all things on Earth have a natural cycle. Water evaporates from the ocean and falls down again as rain. Fruit falls from a tree, carrying a seed that grows into a new tree.

Because of the moon’s connection to water and the tides, it is said to represent our emotions and our subconscious mind – what we see on the surface often does not reflect what is going on underneath, nor does it reveal its vast depths. We must go deeper and explore.

When the moon is completely illuminated, it represents completion, the height of power, the realization of our desires and the peak of clarity. It is a time to celebrate our growth, take note of what progress we have made and reflect on how far we have come.

An eclipse invites us to see what is hidden and release it to the light; the art’s meaning and its title became clearer now.

Several decades ago I was privileged to learn a meditation called Moonlight Rebirth, from my most revered teacher, HH Lin Yun, Rinpoche. A few days ago, as I was again contemplating the painting, I began to practice it and immediately I knew that this is what I had painted!

Practicing this meditation, we are able to touch oneness, when spiritual powers can reach through time and space. A profound physical and mental healing takes place enabling us to “wipe the slate clean”, so to speak and begin anew. Aware of the effects of the moon upon the earth, this practice can improve luck, spur new growth, diminish anger and increase the sense of peace and well-being.

The meditation, the intention, the creative process and the dream are all depicted in the art. Are you the lucky buyer now willing to summon courage, unflinchingly look in the inner mirror and feel Oneness?

Even if you are not ready to shift yet, Moonlight Rebirth Meditation, with its colors, images and textures will infuse any space where it is installed, with bliss, peace and joy. Purchase includes the meditation instructions and one practice session with me to “wipe the slate clean”, own your gifts and sail into a new life cycle.

 

 

In Alignment with the Heart


Aligned with the Heart by Lidia Kenig-Scher
Aligned with the Heart by Lidia Kenig-Scher

Ahhh, what a wonderful year just ended!

What began with a fall on black ice and a concussion followed by sheer bewilderment while carrying out the simplest of tasks, unfolded and culminated in an array of fortunate events, fruitful lessons, a total energy shift and a feeling of peace.

A few of my long-time clients pulled me back into creating successful interiors in beautiful places near and far away and I learned new ways to deliver good design. Some asked me to design furniture and commissioned paintings and I practiced with diverse ways of painting from the heart. Others simply called to relay the impact my artworks and the interiors I created had on their lives and my eyes filled with tears of joy. More people now own Door Protectors and report awesome results and I felt grateful. My students not only created beautiful artworks, but a few began painting professionally and held successful exhibits. My heart expanded at these gifts of grace.

At the spiritual level the shift was also remarkable. In awe I witnessed many more events having not only positive effects on me, but on those around me. Last January I pledged to look within to fully uncover my light and as usual, I did this through the practice of meditation and intuitive painting. As I immersed myself in the process of creating new paintings for a Spring exhibit I consciously invited Divine Light to merge in my heart and then allow it to shimmer and shine all around me. I began to feel good even when faced with what I normally would deem negatively. Gratitude at the simplest things became a way of life.

In the process, I became a better human and had a very successful solo art exhibit. I also can proudly state that I know happiness and that I am blessed.

When the light in our hearts is fully turned on, we leave behind conscious and unconscious prisons of the mind; fear dies, worry is in the past and love takes over unabashedly in the here and now. We begin to trust that Life has our back, assistance coated in unconditional love is always available and the right circumstances open up. Help shows up in unexpected places and a cheering crowd applauds when we most need it.

As we become present to the miraculous beauty that seeks to live through us, as us and for the benefit of all humanity, we are grace and are in grace; we are aligned with the Divine Light that lives within our hearts.

Aligned with the Heart is a painting I created to depict my fruitful year of learning and good fortune and celebrate all of you who are in my life. It is a small alcohol inks on yupo that packs a lot of light and plenty of happy blessings. I would be honored if you purchase it here.

And Happy New Year 2019!!!

 

 

Dancing to the Rhythm of Joy


The Rhythm of Joy by Lidia Kenig-Scher
The Rhythm of Joy by Lidia Kenig-Scher

The night before, I fell asleep bathed in the full Buck Moon shining brightly through my bedroom window. Yet it was still dark when I awoke and decided to go for a walk on the bike path. I arrived at a clearing just as the sun was peeking over the horizon and I could still see the stars being rapidly swallowed by the fiery splendor.

I leaned against a rock to marvel at the spectacle.

Everything appeared so sharp; the colors seemed brighter and the sky more spacious. I could clearly hear the fullness of nature’s silence and noticed that it mirrored my mood and the rhythm of my beating heart.

A palpable energy shift was unfolding. I felt lucky, invincible and powerful as I walked back home, keenly focused on every breath and on every step.

Two days later I turned a significant age milestone.

Perhaps I was buoyed by the love of my family and friends who joyously feted me with month-long impromptu celebrations. Maybe I was inspired by the last of the parties that took place on a gorgeous summer day where moments of beauty, love and joy intermingled as if it were divine music, when a week later I began this painting.

I went into the studio after my customary meditation…just breathing…just being.

As I started to paint, a sunrise began to appear on the canvas, and when the first session was over I noticed on the left, the precious moment I had witnessed earlier; the time when night and stars give way to the powerful light of the sun.

Once more, it took my breath away. I leaned against a chair and marveled at the spectacle.

When the sky and the ground were completed, I began painting random dots on the foreground but soon I became again engrossed in the sky’s beauty. Another day I was guided to mix red, purple, yellow and green with a palette knife and began to feverishly apply it over the dotted images. By the end of the session, the manic palette dabs shaped themselves into silhouettes and over the next couple of days, dancing figures appeared while haphazard markings made with a gold leaf pen defined the moving bodies.

Upon completion, I leaned on the meditation cushion and marveled at the spectacle.

Everything was now sharp; the colors were bright and the sky looked quite spacious. I could clearly see that the fullness of nature’s silence mirrored my mood and the rhythm of my beating heart; The Rhythm of Joy!

I invite you to Purchase the painting, or a print now and begin to shift your energy to The Rhythm of Joy

Let me know how it went.

 

Of Storms and Oysters


Of Storms and Oysters
Of Storms and Oysters by Lidia Kenig (c) 2018

a day a while ago
i took out my shiny boat
to roam the High Seas

paddling i was
laughing out loud
and free
living the High Life
when the sky turned gray

clouds thickened
winds howled so loud
i couldn’t hear myself think

good thing!

my shiny boat capsized
and I lost all I owned
i felt scared
sad
lonely and unloved

where those seals I spotted ahead?
are there dolphins surfing on the waves?
i really couldn’t see
blinded by rain
i felt so cold

not ready to perish
i began to swim with zest
furious waves tossed me about
until i came to rest
and caught the glassy rays

this must be Heaven
I said
God was showing me the way

my spirit soared
my arms forged ahead
until I saw the Sun
a brightness I have never seen
then i knew i be alright

the Light outside
was deep within me too
i would survive this Storm

and here I am
writing this to prove
that all storms
give way to the sun
and pearly oysters

good thing!

of Storms and Oysters
I am building myself
a shiny new boat

lidia kenig-scher
may, 2018

Art has sold, but you can always find insightful, provocative and inspiring art on http://www.lidiascherart.com or follow me on facebook and instagram

The Light in the Soul


Light In the Soul by Lidia Kenig-Scher (c)
Light In the Soul by Lidia Kenig-Scher (c)

Do you normally feel rapturous joy? I remember feeling it as I dragged orange acrylic paint into creamy yellow to cover the canvas. This sense continued beyond writing my signature.

If you have been following my writing, you know that the physical act of creating is separate from the mental, emotional and spiritual part of naming the piece and dialoguing about what showed up on the canvas.

Pre-painting I sit quietly and use my breath to clear my mind. I observe thoughts come and I let them go, until I am possessed by the silence and a sense of openness akin to the endless sky.

At some point I move into the studio and pick up what I will use to go on an adventure of sorts. Akin to a shamanic journey, I use the surface as a portal, then materials, colors, textures and shapes show up along the way and become part of a life lesson I will learn and hopefully integrate and release after the painting is completed.

The finished art moves to a prominent place where I can contemplate the images to discern what it’s teaching me, what it wants to be called and how to best describe it for others to get the most benefits.

Sometimes the art sits in my bedroom for several weeks before I understand the theme, or the life lesson. At other times it moves out until its time comes.

This painting went to an exhibit so I had to call upon my Spirit Guides for quick help in naming it until I was ready to have a longer conversation with it.

I looked at the flat female figure with an empty head and holes in her energy centers dancing in a sea of golden and white light. Her childlike demeanor beckoned me in. I merged with her and I felt bright and beautiful.

An Ancient Chinese proverb came to mind…

When there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person.

I now see that the painting is showing me that in consciously inviting Divine Light, I became beautiful.  “You are radiant” became an often heard comment.

Childlike giddiness prevails as I visualize my salt and pepper hair turning into strands of Cerulean Blue and Red Cadmium Light. I notice that calmness pervades my present interactions with strangers, loved ones and friends. People seem eager to learn about my “jewels” –the wisdom they perceive in the words I speak.

When there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation.

So I tell of times of honoring my truth when I could have otherwise caved in and of trusting the voice in my heart to uncover the light within. Divinity enters, Grace unfolds and my work becomes visible to those who need it. By owning the art or taking my classes, folks can invite Divine Light.

When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

I explain that those who are en-lightened are not special. They are committed to water the seeds of goodness wherever they are. They embrace what is and respect everyone’s journey. They spread unconditional love, unbounded joy, infinite possibility, total forgiveness and sheer equanimity. They transform collective fear, insecurity, jealousy, anger and despair by healing their gardens first in whatever ways they can.

My way is to put forth images conceived in love and light that raise the vibration of the places where they are installed. They provide a mirror for those who behold it so they may uncover their own Light.

At a recent art exhibit a receptionist commented that she was no artist, but during the six weeks that she sat in front of The Light in the Soul, she felt inspired to look at her work and her life differently. For the first time she noticed that she was creating (Light) all the time by the way in which she thought and behaved. She began to understand her uniqueness; her power to bring forth that which only she could.

If you want to experience en-lightenment, bring The Light of the Soul into your space and feel rapturous joy!

Not Easy to Let Go


The Golden Void by Lidia Kenig (c)2017
The Golden Void by Lidia Kenig (c)2017

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!

Storm


Storm by Lidia Kenig
Storm by Lidia Kenig (c)

Most of us are not storm chasers, and many more of us close doors and windows when it’s very windy, when it rains very hard, or when snow is blowing. We learned as children to fear lightning, and even when we wear rain gear, we run for the nearest shelter when it pours.

I get it. It is one of those unpredictable and uncontrollable events, and we get scared.

Storms allow us to experience destruction. We witness changes in the landscape, as trees may be torn down, houses reduced to rubble and cars damaged. People suffer deeply and some may perish. It is scary.

Yet storms can be cleansing, as the destructive energy moves through, pulling weak roots and burying what may no longer work or need transformation.

Storms can teach hard lessons…

When our lives are not flowing, when our thoughts keep us stuck in a situation, when there is inaction based on fear, an inner storm can cause as profound shifts as outer storms.

When we didn’t get the job we wanted; when we had an accident, or the house we pined for went to another buyer; we didn’t pay attention. When we had a difficult disagreement with a co-worker, or with someone we love; we didn’t notice patterns.

Instead, we reacted emotionally by perceiving events as befallen to us. The more chaotic and stormier things got; the more we panicked. It was scary.

If we are able to get over our shock and pay close attention, we may see that what is being destroyed are actually aspects of ourselves that were unstable. If we get calm enough to see howling winds as powerful cleansing agents with messages, we will notice that our attachment to what we think we own-ideas, opinions, or property, kept us from seeing what needed changing long before the present forced purging.

We chose to ignore that we bought property in a flood plain because we just loved that house! We elected to overlook cracks in relationships, and we decided to dwell in total exhaustion when every night we returned from work listless. We were so tired that we couldn’t remember the last time we had a romantic dinner with our mate, or relished attending the ballet with dear friends. When we arrived at a meeting breathless, we told ourselves that this is the way to succeed.

Instead of witnessing our storms, we relinquish our power to others, or to nature. We suffer because we look at the surface of what goes on in our lives and blame “circumstances” for our misfortunes.

Storms bring some of the greatest gifts…

When we look deeper, we may notice that what is being destroyed, just like in nature, are weakly rooted elements in our lives.

If you ever doubt this, just take a trip to Hawaii. With three out of five active volcanoes, Kilauea, Hawaii’s most famous one, erupts frequently and unpredictably. Yet volcanic activity has added land mass and the state can boast being one of the world’s most diverse eco-systems, housing lush rainforests of incomparable beauty.

Meditating with this painting I saw that playing with a new technique affording little control and requiring long drying time, forced me to pay close attention to what unfolded every day. The mixture of pouring medium, acrylic paint and silicone was quite fluid, so that if I moved the art ever so slightly, I could cause dramatic changes. And if I were impatient with the drying process, I could see some unpleasant results.

I did just that; I touched an almost dried area and it set in an unlikable way, but I knew that unpredictable and uncontrollable events lead to surprisingly good results. Thus, I transformed what I disliked by adding complementary textural paints.

The art now resembled a storm and the red blobs wrapped in gold and arising from it, became a metaphor for the gifts (volcanic eruptions) we allow in our lives when we consider that like the outer storms, our disasters turn out to be the best thing that happened to us!

As we allow ourselves to walk slowly when it rains, or be fully present when we witness severe weather patterns; if we can release the grip on fear; we invite awareness that leads to inspired action, and begin to understand how outer storms mimic rhythms in our life.

Storm was juried into a local holiday event, starting in December. If you purchase it now, you can get ahead of the season of giving and enjoy it for years to come to remind you to accept any and all storms. They may bring pain, but they also bring gifts!

In the Gap


In the Gap by Lidia Kenig
In the Gap by Lidia Kenig (c) 2017

Disappointed because something did not go as you envisioned? You may want to follow along and find out how I went about transforming my suffering.

Disappointment comes from wanting events and circumstances to be different from what they are while forgetting that the wanting comes from mental constructs we created but are not grounded in reality.

We move through life guided by thoughts and images we acquired and adopted as our own, from stories in movies, books and advertising that our society implicitly accepts as normative.

As such, our degree of happiness is measured on “shoulds” and “musts” that conform to what we tell ourselves is the norm.

The house with the white picket fence; the perfect mate with the perfect children who grow up smart and successful and go on to lead perfect lives, are someone else’s stories. The successful entrepreneur who played with a widget in the garage and became a multi-millionaire, and the bartender who was “discovered” by a movie tycoon are also great stories; just not ours.

When our relationships are “flawed”, when what we experience differs from what we thought, we desperately try to bring them into the perfection story line instead of welcoming them as learning experiences and explore the gifts of growth they offer.

Mired in disappointment, we focus on what did not go our way, and belittle what delighted us.

I painted this 6” x 6” x 1.25” cradled wood when I was learning a new technique. My newbie’s clumsiness with the behavior of the paints and the various mediums involved yielded an uninteresting surface. Colors I thought would pop and provide contrast got buried in layers underneath, unable to rise due to the consistency of my mixture.

Instead of trashing it, I set it aside to allow the paint to dry and cure.

Over the next few weeks, the square block would attract my attention. One day I playfully rubbed gold to add interest to the textural layers, but the art was not yet finished with me.

It would take yet another session, after dismissing all mental constructs about being faithful to the technique, that an important life lesson presented itself for healing and integration. I knew that the lesson had nothing to do with the failed technique.

When the background unhappiness about a recent big project became loud enough, I returned to the art seeking space and ease the anxiety. Instead, my openness to remove the obstacles standing in the way of joyousness allowed the painting process to yield understandings of the blocks I faced outside the studio.

Unexpectedly I witnessed the impact that family and close relationships can have on our sense of success, and I realized that in this instance, I measured my success based on the terms I perceive that my family respects. On those terms, I failed miserably!

As I began adding fuchsia-colored dots, I was able to relinquish the lovely but untrue story about some of these relationships. As dots continued on the sides of the canvas, whimsical white shapes appeared, enabling me to shut off my mind and focus on the clarity whiteness affords. Suddenly I saw the hidden yellows, and by adding more, I was able to visually increase the sense of light I sought with the rubbed gold.

The light may be helpful as I begin to relate differently with the people whose standards I took as my own. White lines may guide me as I learn to measure an event’s success the way I do when creating art: by the joy I feel. And how enriched I am when I notice similar feelings on viewers’ faces!

The painting became this morning’s meditation. In the images I see the vastness of the universe filled with possibility. I still don’t know what the new relationships will look like, including the one with myself. Yet with each colored dot I breathe deeply and release fear. Marveling at each whimsical shape I notice how fleetingly they move and how uncontained they are.

The shimmering gold reminds me that beneath its reflective layer there are still hidden colors clamoring to come through. What needs to be transformed is well-rooted in my psyche, and needs time, lots of self-love and compassion to safely surface.

The art mirrors the gap where I now dwell. As when I paint, it is in nothingness that truth shows up singing a clear tune, and sporting perfect colors, shapes and textures.

Creating meaningful lives need no stories, because truth shows up when we are patient and trust in the perfection of our very own path.

May you decide to transform your suffering by purchasing In the Gap