I’ve been waiting for inspiration to hit me like a brick.

I’ve been waiting for inspiration to hit me like a brick. I have been waiting and ready.

I have been noticing the things that grab my attention. The issues that show me where I can serve and create change. The conversations I have been having with friends and family that bring excitement. The sensations I feel on days that are overcast and days that have clear blue skies. The physical sensations in my body when I feel strong and when I feel my chronic aches. I notice when there is no aching. I have been noticing when I am triggered and inquire. I notice my neighborhood and the similarities and differences from one street to the next. When I go for a walk in the woods I listen to the sounds the beautiful and the ones that make me look to see whats rustling. When I am around my mother and father I listen to their stories and feel the love they have for each other. When I am with my sisters and brother I notice how they all bring something unique to the table and I am grateful. I watch the wonder in my baby nieces eyes when they look directly into mine. I sit in quiet stillness in the morning in my own company. I savor the taste of a fresh cup of coffee. I feel the softness of Mossie’s fur. When I am motivated to reach out to someone I make the call or send the text. I notice when fear is present and choose love instead. I open up when love is present. I make decisions that excite me. When I create I listen to all the voices in my head until they silence and I enter the flow. I find new colors to use and notice my excitement when something is visually stimulating. I notice courage when I write because I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I notice courage when I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I don’t know a lot of things and it makes me excited cause there is so much to learn and I can begin anew.

I have been waiting for inspiration to hit me like a brick.

If I can stop controlling how inspiration hits, I can notice that its around me everywhere all the time.

Nature, Art, & Meditation…is so Us!

Guys, what do you do when you need a boost of confidence? What do you do to reconnect to yourself and find that inner peace? When that damn self-doubt creeps in?
A blank canvas sometimes can stir up these feelings… all that white space just starring back at you. What will you create? What will happen? How will you do?
I mean seriously, I almost created a workshop called, “Let’s make mistakes!”
I am laughing just thinking about it. Hell I will probably still hold this workshop, cause I need it too! It would be a class specifically for the practice of creating & letting go the attachment to get it right.

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Ever notice in a painting class how everyone makes something different? It’s so very special.
When we are connected to our own uniqueness self-doubts become a whisper instead of a loud voice, they won’t hook us (like Pema Chodrun would say). The route back to our own inner peace becomes easier to navigate.

A blank canvas can turn into an epic adventure of exploring ones soul.

Nature, art, and meditation can free up some of those blocks we come up against. Or I’ll just say it does for me.
Nature stirs up a lot of awe in me. This article by Christopher Bergland describes awe as “that sense of wonder we feel in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.” Click here to read more.
The article asks; “When was the last time you had an awe-inspiring moment that made you say…

“WOW!”?”

I’ll show you one of mine and I’ll never forget it. The moment I laid my eyes on the Grand Tetons back in 2008:

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 (image from web, I wish I could say I took this picture!)
All of a sudden I was very small in comparison to these giant mountains. I felt an expansion, peace, and a connection.

I felt connected to something bigger.

The same article mentions William James an American philosopher and psychologist, who would hiking adventures in the Adirondaks:
“After his epiphanies on the hiking trails, he had a new appreciation for spiritual “openings” as a universal key-hole to higher consciousness accessible to anyone.”

Epiphanies guys… Epiphanies.

Last week I went hiking in the Adirondaks, here I am on Algonquin Mountain (can we say ‘perfect weather’):

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Sometimes I like to raise my hands to the sky. I imagine that I am receiving all there is to receive from the abundance of mother-nature. I also imagine that the universe is opening my heart more while I am opened up like this. It feels good.
This is how I reconnect in nature. It’s inspiration, its glory, its magnitude, its reminder to go with the flow, and to give my gifts to the world. Because that is all she does for us, is give and give and give. And if I end up with any epiphanies then awesome.

It’s quite beautiful…

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A tiny flower can bring a sense of awe. (my pic of a Lady Slipper in the forest.)
The point I am getting at is nature is a good coach. Get in nature to feel the flow and inspiration. Its all around us and there for us whenever we need it.

While creating I find that I go to a place inside that is quiet.

Quiet but also very active, active with inspiration. Where time collapses and all my surface thoughts fade. I connect with the consciousness that is me which is why its feels so good to create. It’s why a lot of my friends who regularly make art can’t not make art.  That freedom allows a r-econnection to ‘Self’.
I recently finished the book, “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer. I recommend this book to get an idea of what I mean here when I say ‘Self’. He is refers to the ‘Self’ without a name, character, or personality… its deep.
The end product of my painting doesn’t matter. Maybe I will create something I will love, maybe I won’t. But the act of letting go during the process is what matters. It’s a place of letting the creativity inside me come through. No blocks, no judgements, it’s free. I feel a high state of re-connection to myself after I paint.
Here are two new paintings that I worked on side by side. I didn’t stop working on them until I felt they were finished. It was exhilarating to paint these, I really let myself go!

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“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” – Meister Eckhart

I have been practicing meditation for 3 years. This year I made meditation part of my daily intentions and usually do it in the morning. I don’t fuss about how long, how I sit, when I do it, or even if I miss a day or two. I have grown a love for it. It has many benefits as most people by now know, one of which is re-connection to oneself. If there is a block, meditation helps me in not holding resistance to it.
Here is what sometimes happens during my meditation, my sweet girl Mossie (Mah-see) likes to plop herself right here on my leg – She looks out the window that I sit nearby. As my friend said “our pets know when we are on a good vibe”.

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Here are beginner instructions for meditation from the book “Waking Up” By Sam Harris.  “The goal is to awaken from our trance of discursive thinking—and from the habit of ceaselessly grasping at the pleasant and recoiling from the unpleasant—so that we can enjoy a mind that is undisturbed by worry, merely open like the sky, and effortlessly aware of the flow of experience in the present.
  1. Sit comfortably, with your spine erect, either in chair or cross-legged on a cushion.
  2. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and feel the points of contact between your body and the chair or floor. Notice the sensations associated with sitting—feelings of pressure, warmth, tingling, vibration, etc.
  3. Gradually become aware of the process of breathing. Pay attention to wherever you feel the breath most clearly—either at the nostrils, or in the rising and falling your abdomen.
  4. Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensation of breathing. (There is no need to control your breath. Just let it come and go naturally.)
  5. Every time your mind wanders in thought, gently return it to the sensation of breathing.
  6. As you focus on the breath, you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to appear: sounds, feelings in the body, emotions, etc. Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness, and then return to the sensation of breathing.
  7. The moment you observe that you have been lost in thought, notice the present thought itself as an object of consciousness. Then return your attention to the breath—or to whatever sounds or sensations arise in the next moment.
  8. Continue in this way until you can merely witness all objects of consciousness—sights, sounds, sensations, emotions, and even thoughts themselves—as they arise and pass away.
It’s all a practice just like with meditation. But as my curiosity about all this increases life keeps getting more and more interesting. The blocks tend to be more flexible.

Try a creative project, go for a walk outside, and please try meditation -make the time – its worth it.

If you are interested in practicing with me check out my upcoming event Art & Inspiration at the Inn ~ A Day for the Artist in You I would love to have you!
Thanks for reading and being a part of this community of creators. I don’t take any of you for granted.
Please share your thoughts, what’s new in your world?
To opening and being,
xox Rebecca
P.S. Check out the work by Christy! Created at my most recent workshop where we used script along with mixed media.

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A New Collage, Lunch with a Friend, & Nature

Hi!

It feels like summer. I am enjoying it, its nice to sleep with the windows open and wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping.

Last week I spent the good part of the week working on some new paintings. I was working on one abstract painting and noticed a struggle to make it look like something. I felt an urge to pull a face out of the lines and textures, maybe a tree, or leaf. I fought the urge because I didn’t want my painting to “look” like something, I wanted to find my own language through the abstract process. Well, that painting is sitting on my easel starring at me… I am giving it space. The process is like nature in a way. You see things are going to bloom when they are good and ready, that goes for spring flowers as well as what is sitting on our easels. Trusting in the process and being patient is required however hard it is.

During the week I met for lunch with my former high school art teacher and talented artist Carrie Simon. It was great to reunite with her, its literally been years! :-)  carrieandme

She continues to challenge her artistic process as well and is inspired by nature. Here is an example of one of her acrylic paintings, isn’t it lovely?

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She remains an encouraging spirit for me as she did all those years ago. We both acknowledged the same struggles when working on our artwork. Working with nature came up also in our conversations. Carrie has more recently been inspired by floral imagery, she explained when she is in the zone and painting in her studio it’s like she hits a rhythm that feels like a dance. Carrie will be showing her work this fall in a solo show – see more of Carrie’s work here & info: http://carriesimonart.com/

After our lunch I felt reassured and decided to not hold myself back again when I am working on the canvas. I also agreed to feel frustrated if frustration came, I agreed to BE WITH IT.

I went home and started a small 12 x 12 canvas. It started in watercolor then I started adding mixed media collage, I let it just go where it wanted to go. Then trees began to appear. I started to create a landscape. It felt great and I was in a flow state (one of my favorite destination spots ;-)). Here are the results:20160526_125756

My mother says it reminds her of a church. I thought how perfect that is! Nature IS my church… I agreed. Nature may be wanting to be expressed more through me, maybe the language I am seeking to find is all around me… In the inspiration of the natural world. I am excited about what is to come. I’ll update you all on what happens with the one starring at me on my easel too lol!

I found sheet music in my collage collection and one of the songs was titled, “Look to Your Soul” – Connection? Ahhh yes. And it all came together. Music, Nature, Art – a great trio, top that off with self-connection and boom!.. “Look To Your Soul” was born.

The message here is trust and patience… I found this great poem yesterday which I thought I would share:

Every morning
Swimming up out of dreams
I surrender to being here
I let go into gravity
Into the way the sweet earth pulls me to her
Head, hip, arm, leg . . . . with each exhale I drop further
Into cool white sheets, firm mattress, bed frame,
floor, walls, earth, earth, earth. . . .
It takes practice
To give up habitual holding on, holding in, holding back
Every morning I open myself
And invite grace to have its way with me

~ Oriah “Mountain Dreamer” House

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts with me. I’d love to hear from you whenever you feel the urge. Share with me whats going on for you, your art, what your celebrating…

Invite the Grace…

Hugs,

Rebecca

P.S. Here is a beautiful song to create to: Sacred Sound by Youssoupha Sidibe