Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lesson of the Century: Am I Being True to My Self? Part 2

Continued from Part 1: Am I Being True to My Self?

All of these qualifiers or adjectives that we use to describe ourselves or allow ourselves to be described by are just ideas. They are extremely relative and can change from moment to moment and person to person. One person may consider my art to be brilliant and another may consider it to be horrid and not to even be considered 'art.' If I can accept that my art is all the adjectives imaginable, both all at once and never, I can be open to any reaction. In this way I could find benefit in considering a point of view different than my own. If, on the other hand, I am attached to the idea that all my art is great, I will not be able to learn and grow from the work that is not-so-great. A valid criticism that could help me would undoubtedly go unheeded.

Through my practice of detaching from ‘being’ a painter and all of the judgments about the work, I actually become freer. If I am less caught up in what others might think, it is more likely I will take more risks in the work and discover more than I ever imagined possible. Both in my art and in myself. In this example, being true to myself is painting authentically. For me that means I might not ever paint a vase of flowers. I love flowers. They are exquisitely beautiful, but I just don’t see myself painting them. 

If the person who created this, um, outdoor installation (see photos) was self- conscious about this piece, they may not have created it and I would not have smiled as I passed by today.  Some may call it art, others may call it hideous,
I just kinda like it...

Please post your thoughts by clicking 'comments' below.

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...

Please post your contributions by clicking 'comments.'

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Twelve Days Of Christmas Campaign

My Two Cents, Twelve Stamps, and No Excuses...

Mid-December, as I browsed the net for artists' work, I was led to an artist group, MIRCA and MIRCA Tour For Human Rights. I wanted to share this information with you and let you know how you can easily get involved.

Write-A-Thon Cases:

Write a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a lifeWrite a letter, save a life

Throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas, thousands of letters were sent on behalf of the prisoners of conscience like the people pictured above.  Amnesty International‘s (AI) Global Write-A-Thon empowers individuals like you and me to take a small step that can help save a person's life.  You can find out more about each person's situation by clicking their photograph.  Also, here is another link with additional information: AI Blog 2009 Global Write-A-Thon.   Success stories can be read here: SUCCESS!

If so moved, you can still write letters.  For all of the people pictured above, I wrote the letters, sent them to officials in their country, sent copies to appropriate embassies here in the US.  I also sent a card or a letter of encouragement to each person above.   Next,  I rejoined  AI's Urgent Action Network to continue the effort throughout the year.  Through AI I can make a small effort that can result in a large positive impact to promote peace and non-violence and further human rights around the world.

Post your thoughts by clicking 'comments' below.

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