My Undoing

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I am aware of an internal pressure to be doing something; it is a melody I hear often in this world of information, production and massive action.  As a child, adults would often ask me “what do you want to be when you grow up?”   I smile living into this memory and recall a feeling of excitement and anticipation.  As time marched on and I became an adult this question morphed; friends, family and strangers would ask me “what do you do?”  Even as a student the questions were “how did you do on that paper or test?” I have been conditioned to do—do— and do some more.   Today the most reoccurring questions asked me are, “do I paint every day?” and “how do I market my work?”

I have been studying marketing for the past several years to fulfill my doer expectations.  This has taken me into the world of Branding, Internet Marketing, Social Media and the Blog.  I have been taught that I need to be blogging 2-3 x’s/week saying something of utmost importance to appeal to the masses and to build my presence and market my art.

After several years I am announcing some good news — I will not be blogging 2 – 3 x/week, nor will my blogs feed the information, production and mass market mania.  This is not my style; there is enough information out there in cyber space on just about every topic imaginable from experts and self-proclaimed gurus.  My interest is living an inspired life. This is the return to the “what I want to BE” that I was asked long ago, this is my undoing.…   My style is sharing my experience with inspiration.  I know the most direct way for me to dance in inspirations aura is to be in gratitude right now!

 

I shift my state of consciousness, actively viewing through the lens of appreciation and gratitude.  This is a feeling I embody—my body relaxes, a soft smile spreads through my demeanor and I feel a sparkle emanate from my eyes. I shift my attention and I become aware of my outer environment.  I see a blue bird hopping along my deck railing, his mate lands on the iron armrest of the chair and a soft chirp fills the air.  I step barefoot onto the deck and feel the penetrating heat of the redwood warmed by the noon sun.   A robin red breast lands on the winters grass and a gently breeze strums the outdoor wind harps* creating a cascade of melodies, wild and free that is born with the wind.  The blue birds chase each other in flight, trees sway, snow hugs the mountaintops in the distance. I am filled with awe, remembering this is the only moment that counts.  My heart swells with radiant warmth as I recognize Loves movement through my being, a natural expression of gratitude’s embrace.

I am reminded I am not the Doer.  I am also reminded when I appreciate and acknowledge my immediate world, I become a conscious participant, co-creating this moment, exciting my passion to explore my inner universe where Love moves deeply beyond the ocean’s boarders into uncharted territories filled with anticipation and excitement.  I continue to practice living from this state of being, allowing the conditioned doer to be transformed into serving inspirations call, creating an atmosphere that is expansive, fun and filled with Love Divine.

I invite you to stop often in your day and allow yourself to appreciate your immediate surroundings whether it is the objective world around you or the subjective world within you. Experience inspiration’s vitalizing power, the most potent energizer I know, 100,000 times more potent then caffeine and it runs infinitely longer then the energizer bunny.

* To view wind harps: www.soundscapesinternational.com

Live in Concert-Birds of Paradise

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Living in the stunning foothills of the San Juan Mountains, winter embraces us with its white blanket and cold embrace from mid November through March, give or take a month depending upon natures whim.

March is celebrated with the annual live music concert performed by the Birds of Paradise featuring a group performance by the red-winged black birds, magpies, stellar jays and several old crows. This time-honored tradition is the harbinger of spring in my remote valley of peace and beauty.

Click on the link below to enjoy this concert. Be aware that the performers eluded being captured by my novice video shooting technique. I stood for 1/2 hour, with my fingers being bitten by the cold and my neck contorting into a posture meant for laying down. I was unable to capture their images but their vocals say it all.

http://youtu.be/3aMimaLzhJc

Please take the time to comment and share the ways you recognize and/or celebrate the return of spring.

Meanwhile in San Diego the Birds of Paradise express their wild beauty without song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Is Art and Art Is Life

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I am participating in a local Makers meeting in my town.  Makers – are do it “yourselfers” (DIY), innovators, recycle and up cycle creators who make anything: fine art, crafts, robots, rockets, toys, movies, beer, baked goods, preserves, organic food, artisan cheeses, and more.  We are creating an interactive venue promoting the local makers to bring their creative endeavors out for public viewing, consumption and education.

The meeting hasn’t started yet and I overheard a local artist share that she hasn’t been painting for a number of months and is just getting started again.  Her voice is apologetic; she is defending her life and its cycles.  I hear this often.

I am repeatedly asked, “Do you paint everyday?”  This is usually followed with the statement,” you are lucky to be doing what you want and “I” have no artistic talent.”  Again I hear the defensive tone that accompanies comparison or wishing that ones life were different.

I do not paint every day.  What I do everyday is live my life.  There is a saying in my spiritual practice Life is Shabda* and Shabda is life.  Another way to express this is Life is art and art is life.
The online etymology dictionary defines art (adj.) “produced with conscious artistry”.  This defines the way I choose to live.  Whether I am painting, writing, hiking, promoting my business, having tea with a friend, shopping, playing or petting my cat, I am a conscious   and grateful creator of my life.

Life is art and art is life.

Steve Jobs said the following “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”.
Viewing from this platform we are all artists, creating in every moment with incredible gifts to share; uniquely expressed and with common experiences along the journey.

I invite you to share in the comment box below how you experience the art of life. Thank you!

(*Shabda – Power of divine love in expression.)

Igniting Inspiration

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My spiritual teacher ignites within me my passion to live an inspired life.  I partake in the Dance with the Eternal Beloved; Its ceaseless melody beckons me, drawing me into Its irresistible embrace, arousing my inspiration. Painting and poetry emerge reflecting the Divines influence as it moves through me.

Playing in the fields of Love is my passion, my inspiration, my muse.

I have no rules to follow when painting or writing, I simply have a burning desire to merge into the flame of the Beloved and share its gifts.

 

Hide, Go Seek and Tag Too.

The minds idea of hide and go seek is:

Avoid pain at all costs and seek pleasures galore…

Demanding a high price.

 

The Beloveds game of hide and go seek is simple.

He whispers and sometimes shouts,

Tag — you’re it!

Now seek Me everywhere.

KS

 

Turning Point

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I am often asked when I decided to become an artist/painter.

I am sitting with my mother holding one of her cool surrendered hands, my sister holding the other.  We her daughters hold vigil, patiently waiting in this last hour of her life.  Softly in the background the music of Simon and Garfunkel is playing, “like a bridge over troubled waters, I will lay me down.”  This is an apt description of my mother’s life, a perfectly written score.

With labored breath she rests comfortable. Then to my surprise she raises her left arm, like a ray of sunlight, reaching upward she takes her last breath with the words of Simon and Garfunkel singing, “sail on silver girl, sail on by….” Silver is my mother’s maiden name. With her last breath I inhale deeply as if taking my very FIRST breath. With unimpeded tears streaming from my eyes, I say to myself: “no more excuses—it’s time to paint”.

Fast forward eight years…I am now writing poetry that accompanies each painting and beyond.

I have come to paint and write poetry while living with my husband in the ponderosa foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains

Valentine’s Day

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This morning I look at calendar and to my surprise its Valentine’s Day. My sense of days and time has taken a back seat recently. Seeing the date I am instantly moved: a day to celebrate Love. I know many people will make the time to remember and honor those they Love.

As I contemplate this my cat, Bundles, jumps into my lap. He is affectionately known as a love suck. He has no problems asking for love, receiving love, and loving right back, thus his name represents a bundle of love.

My own attention now drawn to the Divine, like my cat drawn to me, I too ask to be embraced by Its love bringing me into Its aura where I desire to abide for eternity. Filled with a warmth that spread through my body and tears of gratitude kissing my cheeks I receive this love and share it with those the Divine has me touch today and everyday.

 

Taking Flight

Merging into Your current
My heart takes flight.
Riding on Your ceaseless melody
I become Your hue
Knowing I am returning home.

K.S.  February 14, 2013

Awakened Spirit

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AWAKENED SPIRIT

Awake dear one and know
All that is manifest and un-manifest
Lies within.

This painting took 9 months to complete.  One of the many gifts that came out of this painting is that I witnessed the process of maturation.

I started the painting in October of 2011, the canvas size is 66” x 48”.  As I placed the first layers of paint on the canvas I once again found myself yearning to express the movement of Love I feel within.  My spiritual practice is to cultivate Love, to express It and to see It in all things, manifest and un-manifest.

As the painting took form I found that after 2 months I needed to simply sit with the painting.  Allowing myself to observe and wait while I settled into winter’s embrace.  I allowed my inner vision to focus, concentrate and collect on the subject of Love.

With spring I moved my studio home and I was ready to express winter’s inner movement out onto the canvas. Again came a time where I needed the painting to just be, much like a new plant giving its energy to leaves, stem and flower, creating the right conditions to bear fruit.  I continued with my spiritual practice of cultivating Love, sitting with the painting and just allowing the process of unfoldment.

Summer has come and in early July I completed this painting: Awakened Spirit.
It is truly a beginning.

Gratitude is receptivity in action.

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This morning I was out in the meadow as the sun crested the hill, pouring its life giving rays onto everything it touched including myself.  I closed my eyes and began the silent chant of words that are part of my spiritual practice.  I bring as much love into these words as I am able and then request through the grace of the Divine to show me how to love more deeply, more fully.

Before the request is even complete my whole being is moved by inner warmth, much like the suns light that kisses the morning sky.  I find myself speaking out loud. I am thanking the trees for their splendor, the earth for holding the foundation for the cycles of life and death, the air for is coolness and I appreciatie the gentle song of the last remaining crickets. I thank the Divine for the infinite way It expresses Its love across Its universal body.

Hafiz wrote:

Whereever
God lays his glance
Life starts Clapping.
The
Myriad
Creatures grab their instruments
And join the Song.
Whenever love makes itself known
Against another
Body
The Jewel in the eye starts
To
Dance

The Divine revealed to me that gratitude is receptivity in action.   It has shown me again that receptivity is a willingness to be taught.