Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lesson of the Century

As I learn and grow, I realize there is yet more to grow and learn.  Certain life lessons re-emerge and come around again and again until they are finally transcended. I have many, but one that is under all of them is, "Am I being true to my Self?"   For me it truly is the lesson of the century.  One thing I am learning is that being true to ones Self is not selfish it is Self-full.  It is moving beyond the limitations that the mind, the ego, or the small self puts on us and discovering our true nature or true Self.

After a lesson with my spiritual teacher  I wrote this question on my hand with indelible ink as a friendly reminder.   In this way I can remember and remember and remember.  The art in the photo is detail from a large work in progress which has the general theme of letting go of things that no longer serve us.   These 'things" are in many forms:  such as physical stuff,  ideas,  emotions,  personality,  roles,  habits....   It seems that the problem is not really with these things,  it is with our relationship to them.  For example, when we actually believe we are our personality traits,  we can be devastated when something comes up in our lives that questions that view!  Therefore letting go is recognizing that all these things are tools that are appropriate some of the time but not all of the time.  This letting go is what some call being detached or non-attached.

In my personal story, if I believe the sentence "I am a good painter," then I am attached and this does not serve me well.  There is no room for anything else.  The minute someone criticizes my work, I will be crushed.  I may question my choice to paint and may even fall prey to artist's block or some other destructive activity.  If I practice detaching and recognizing that painting is something I do this is a start.  Then I can look at the judgments or qualifiers like 'great,' good,' 'mediocre,'  'lousy,'  and  'horrid.'

 To be continued in part 2 on Thursday...

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