Tag Archives: meditation

What are you so angry about?

I usually like to keep my posts about the art, but I recently had an epiphany and felt the need to share. I have been angry most of my adult life. Not that I ran around angry all the time, but it was always there, boiling just beneath the surface. I always blamed it on other people and their behavior. My ex, my family, people in traffic, etc, etc.

Since 2007, I’ve been on a search for inner peace. It’s been a long decade of reading tons of self help books, learning to meditate daily, creating art from my soul and self care. I’ve lost several friends along the way. Mainly because they weren’t comfortable with my changes and the fact that I was now standing up for myself. They didn’t like the “healthy” Paula.

I once had a shaman tell me that some people are like rocks in a backpack. Sometimes on the trail of life, we have to empty the rocks out of our backpack so we can lighten our load and be happy. Let’s just say my backpack was HEAVY with rocks. Not just people, but situations, memories and regrets. However, even after I dropped the rocks on the side of the trail, the anger was still there.

It’s been a long road and I finally feel like I’m moving on to the next decade of my life. The epiphany happened recently, after watching a video on facebook, of all places! Here’s the link: I highly recommend you WATCH this video!
https://www.facebook.com/comedien.voix.doublage/videos/10206832718043784/?hc_ref=OTHER&pnref=story

After I watched it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s so crazy obvious to me now! I have been angry at my 15 year old self for DECADES! I have been mad at myself for all the stupid choices I made, for not just saying NO to that 17 year old boy who got me pregnant. First of all, NO to sex, and then later, NO to marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, everything that happened in my life HAD to happen. If not, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That said, I’ve been carrying this anger around all this time. All the resentment for how my life “could’ve” been or “should’ve” been.

It is what it is.

How can I still be angry at that young girl who was just looking for love and attention? I can’t. The fire has been extinguished. The anger is now sadness. Not a depressed sadness, but a melancholy sadness for all the anger I inflicted on my family and friends and everyone around me.

BUT, it’s OK! I finally GET IT! Now I move on to forgiveness. I have often wondered why, after forgiving literally EVERYONE who ever did me wrong, why was I STILL angry? It’s time to forgive myself. It’s time to tell that 15 year old girl that still lives within me, you’re ok, you’re loved, you’re FORGIVEN.

I will leave you with a work in progress, “The Best of Everything”.

"The Best of Everything", acrylic on 12" vinyl record, work in progress

“The Best of Everything”, acrylic on 12″ vinyl record, work in progress

Inspiration

Sandia Mountains with cloud cover

Sandia Mountains with cloud cover

I’ve been struggling with my life as an artist lately. Having been an artist professionally for over 25 years now, some days are just hard. I had this vision where I would be as an artist by this point in my life. It doesn’t really match up with my reality at the moment. Being an artist is a constant struggle interwoven with moments of inspiration and good days.

Yesterday was a cloudy day in New Mexico, today, more of the same. I’m a desert rat, meaning I love the sun! Cloudy days are great, at first, but then the grey emotions set in and I’m a wreck. It’s the reason I paint bright, happy, joy filled paintings. I NEED the sun in my life.

Most often, my inspiration comes from my morning meditation. I start every day with meditation, it helps me stay in a positive frame of mind, helps me keep my inner peace. Before I meditate, I usually read something inspirational. Currently, I’m reading the book
Simple Abundance, A Day Book of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It has a different entry for every day of the year. It was a gift from a dear family friend. I highly recommend it!

Cactus in bloom on the West Mesa

Cactus in bloom on the West Mesa

On days like today, when my emotions are raw, I need more than a sitting meditation in my studio. I need to get out of the city and reconnect with Mother Earth. My husband, Aaron, was sweet enough to notice what I needed and we took a drive out to the West Mesa for a short walk at the volcanoes. It was a bit chilly and windy, but it was so nice to be under the great expanse of New Mexico sky with the rain clouds looming overhead. The clouds are so much more beautiful when you are outside than when you are sitting in your office with grey light filtering in from the grey sky.

As we were walking back to the car, Aaron and I were talking about our art and music careers and what’s next. It’s the theme of the day. It was the question I meditated on this morning in my studio. Joyfully, the answer came to me on that short walk with the cool New Mexico breeze blowing through my hair.

It’s time to start over. Wipe the slate clean, heck, throw the slate away and start with a new slate! I am going to go silent online for a while. I have a plan, or at least the inspiration for the start of a plan. Being online, with my blog/website, facebook page, twitter profile, Etsy shop, etc etc, puts so much pressure on me to always produce something new. Blog everyday. Post to my feeds. Sell my art. Create more art. Repeat. I am going to take some time off from my online life. I’m going to reinvent myself as an artist. I’m going to make a plan. I’m going to execute that plan. In my studio. With no online presence. I’m going to take a class. Paint new paintings. Build a new website.

When it’s all done, and I have an idea of where I’m going next. When all the work is done, the new website is up, etc. I will be back. I will make a huge splash all at once! I will know exactly where I’m headed, or at least have a much better idea of my plan to get there. I won’t stress myself out getting there. It’s time for the caterpillar to go into it’s cocoon. The Butterfly will see you on the other side!

Aaron and I during our walk at the Volcanoes

Aaron and I during our walk at the Volcanoes

Creativity: Spiral Abstract Series Revisited

Spiral Abstract "Mesmerizing", 8 x 10" oil painting in progress.

“Mesmerizing”, 8 x 10″ oil painting in progress.

Today I worked on a new painting. I’ve truly missed painting daily. I would like to get back to that. I may have to give myself a challenge to make it happen. Haven’t decided what that will be just yet. A painting a day? A larger painting a week? I’ll let you know what I decide in a later post.

My Spiral Abstract Series started way back when in 2002. Throughout the years I have revisited the series and painted series within the series. You may be wondering what is this thing you call a “Spiral Abstract”? Well, I call it the Spiral Abstract Series because every painting starts with a central spiral, usually in yellow. I like to think of it as the “entry point” for my painting.

Staring at a blank canvas can be a bit intimidating if you don’t know where to start. That first twirl of the brush in the counter clock direction is where I start. It breaks up the white of the blank canvas, teasing me with it’s starkness. It’s like taking a jump into the canvas and the spiral is the ripple of the paint spreading over the surface. It represents movement, as if the canvas were spinning out of control.

What comes after the spiral is the abstract part of the painting. It’s expressionist in the process of painting whatever pops into my mind as I mix paint and sometimes use a spray bottle of water to blur lines and create layers of interest.

Sometimes the abstracts morph into something more representational, like a flower or the sun. I paint with oil paints, but because they are water mixable oils, I can use them more like a watercolor. Washes of color rather than brush strokes emerge from the canvas that started out blank and accusing.

The colors, spirals, swirls, marks, flower petals and all elements of the painting come from my Spirit. Called the Muse, God, Holy Spirit, Universe. Whatever you call it, it is something within and without me. It’s all around and it’s the source of all creativity in the Universe. I don’t control it, it tells me where to move the paint to next. Painting is a meditation/prayer for me. It keeps me connected to my source of life. It is my reason for living. It’s the thing I came here to experience.

It’s not easy to describe the creative process. Personally, I think this is because we the artists are merely the channel through which the creative energy passes. It’s a trance state in it’s purest form. I don’t know any other way to say it! So there you go! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading my ramblings! Sign up for blog updates up in the upper right corner of this page. 🙂

Morning Rituals

I watched a video this morning that talked about the morning rituals of successful people. Basically, it said that all successful people have something in common. They have a morning ritual they go through every morning before they start their day. Whether it be exercise or meditation, visualizing or reading, successful people know they must focus themselves to have success in their day.

I too have a morning ritual, though I’m still working on making it an everyday ritual. I have noticed that the days I DON’T do my ritual, usually end up as bad days. There is something to this. The morning ritual helps us to focus our energy and get in the right frame of mind to start our day.

I start my morning ritual with exercise. AFTER I drink a couple cups of coffee of course! Though I will admit, I’ve been thinking about doing away with the coffee. I switched to decaf years ago, so it’s not the caffeine I crave, it’s just the morning ritual I’ve had for the longest amount of time.

After the morning workout I eat a good breakfast, shower, get dressed and head over to my art studio.

This is where the heart of my morning ritual happens. I start with reading. I’m currently reading a book called “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Before that, I read a random chapter from “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life” by Wayne Dyer. In the past, I’ve read a verse from the Bible or another inspirational book. The idea of the reading is to put myself in the frame of mind I need to be in before I meditate/pray.

Once I finish my reading, I start with a prayer. Sometimes it’s for someone or something specific, sometimes I pray for the entire world. I always end with the Reiki prayer that goes something like this:

“Just for today,

I will not worry,

I will not be angry,

I will do my work honestly,

I will be grateful for all the many blessings in my life,

I will be kind to all living beings.”

After my prayers, I meditate with my eyes closed for anywhere between 5-25 minutes. Depending on the day, sometimes it’s difficult to remain quiet for that long. The most important thing about meditation is the practice. It’s never perfect and I’m not trying to be perfect. My goal is to quiet my mind and go within. To connect to my higher power, Divine Source or whatever name/label you give it.

I always feel peaceful and centered when I go through my daily morning ritual. I can get through my day in joy, peace and love. A big part of my prayer is being grateful. Gratitude can do SO much to change your attitude! Gratitude opens the door for more.

Some of my most inspired (In Spirit) paintings and pieces of art come from my meditation practice. It feels to me like my soul is directly connected to my spiritual source when I meditate. The only way to describe it is it’s like Spirit is whispering ideas in my head or sometimes shows me an image in my mind’s eye while I meditate. Many people have told me they can sense the higher energy from these paintings. I’ve always said, they aren’t MY ideas, I’m merely the channel they come through.

Some days I will also write in my journal, things I’m grateful for or things I need to get out of my head.

Some days I feel pressure to get right to work and skip my morning ritual. I always regret that decision. Now that I’ve learned that lesson, I skip my ritual less and less. It usually takes something urgent and dramatic to make me skip it. A call from one of the kids, traveling out of town, camping or just staying home on vacation.

My morning ritual means a lot to me. I don’t think I would last long without it. The exercise gives me energy, the meditation gives me inner peace. I highly recommend giving it a try if you don’t already!

“After Funk”

It happens every time. Inspiration. Flurry of activity. Everything done and posted and blogged about. Funk. I call it the “After Funk”, after I’ve worn myself out with inspiration and feeding my muse with creativity, I get into this “funk”.

What’s next?

Should I go back to painting?

Should I make more dolls?

Should I, should I, should I? I have lots of things on my “to do” list, but I’m not sure what to do next.

I spent the morning cleaning up my sewing mess. Pins scattered, threads hanging out EVERYWHERE! Every flat surface covered with remnants and disorder.

There is a roll of primed canvas in the corner calling out my name. I HAD to have it when I found it for $6 at that flea market in Phoenix. Now it sits, sending guilt my way.

Remember me? Remember all the paintings you were going to make?

Then I get sucked back in to Facebook and lose days. NOT THIS TIME!

Time to meditate, take it easy on myself, get all that “work” done. Tax forms to the accountant, listing digital prints in my Etsy shop. Doctor appointment and walking the dogs in the afternoon.

Eventually, my muse will say, “OK, it’s time to get back to being inspired!” Or, work until inspiration comes. It always comes. 🙂