An Artist's Quest for "Soul" in a Chaotic World—by InnerSpirit

This is my InnerSpirit blog page...a page of reflection...inquiry...
and artistic questions about myself, my life, and the world around me. A place for my own personal contemplation of my emotions, my actions, my art, my spiritual journey and how they all intertwine and influence each other. I hope that you check it out, think a little about your life and the many creative things that you might be engaged do those fit into your life and impact the various aspects of your own life? Let's reflect together!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Reveling In The Treasures Of Simplicity

I was having some trouble sleeping last night, I have that sometimes...maybe that is just the fun process of getting older. After laying in bed for hours without being able to get to sleep, I went to the internet for some possible solutions to my dilemma and found 10 Ways To Cure Insomnia. I started using this list to evaluate if I had done my part in preparing myself for adequate and healthy sleep patterns. I have found that as I have gotten older, along with a number of other significant changes, I have noticed that it is even more important that I get an adequate amount of sleep. No longer can I run on 5 hours or less of sleep and still be at my best (I suppose even when I was younger I was not ALWAYS in top form with little sleep...but maybe now it matters more to me how I feel, and how I react to the world?).

Checking The List
As I went through the list I realized that I was doing pretty good on 1-4, and 7. In addition, 8-9 did not apply since I am single, and #10 was a little hard to maintain since I have been working full-time while being a graduate student in what is now my second master degree. So I blew 10, was that my problem? Hard to say. As far as #5 and #6 went, I found these to be the most helpful. Even though I often read before falling asleep (usually a textbook is a great resource for that), most nights I do pray, and I listen to relaxing music sometimes also. This list seemed to be great for attempting to GET to sleep, but it seemed to not provide me with what to do when I already could NOT sleep. As I reread #5 and #6, I realized that I had to stop fighting the fact that I could not sleep which was causing me to get frustrated and anxious.

Mandala To The Rescue
Once I let myself off the hook by realizing that most of the things on the 10 Ways To Cure Insomnia list I was pretty good about, I decided to take the pray, meditate, and paper suggestions of #5 and #6 to heart and I decided to start another Mandala for my Circles Of Time Mandala Series at 2:00 a.m. Well, ironically when I was done I felt peaceful, relaxed and I was ready for sleep even though it was 3:00 a.m. I have learned that being creative does not always come at the most convenient times, but I have found if I can just let it flow as it does come, it can provide the right comfort at the "right time".

Words To Live By
The free association words that I wrote along the outside of this Mandala proved to be very insightful to me. They read "The power of HUMILITY reins...RELINQUISH control and seek and you will find. Revel in the treasures of SIMPLICITY—SEEK NOT—What is not for you to find...knowingly surrender". Wow! These words really spoke to me. I wondered to myself how much of my inability to fall asleep was around trying to plan, control and otherwise foretell or imagine what my future career, school and life in general, held for me. I often find that I spend way too much time in thoughts about the future and a good amount of time dwelling in my mind about the past. I am consciously trying to remain in the present and to experience life as it unfolds with God's plan. It's hard when you are guilty of being a "Control Freak" about some things. I am definitely getting some messages about learning to relinquish that control and learning to live more simply and to question less the things that I don't really need to be concerned with. paves the way if we listen.

We Are All In This Together
Do you suffer from difficulties getting to sleep or waking up at odd times in the night? What do you do to help yourself get to sleep or get back to sleep? Do you ever try anything creative such as creating art, playing the guitar, writing in your journal, creating poems or songs? Have these types of right brain activities helped you to quiet your left brain "analytical" processing that might be keeping you up and making you anxious or frustrated? I would love to hear your thoughts about my Mandala message, and any of your own personal stories about sleep or your lack of it. I would welcome your comments and I may even find some other ideas of how I might relax in the night for the future.

Blessings and Love,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bouncing With The Glow Of The Holiday

Once again, I am posting from the Art Every Day Month Challenge, this was my art activity for Day #27, which was the day after Thanksgiving. I have only three more posts and I will have it all up for everyone to see. I am slowly trudging along, slow but steady as they say. I would rather trudge ahead slowly, than not move at here I go!

This year I was lucky to be invited to one of the best Thanksgiving celebrations that I have ever attended. After many consecutive years of spending this holiday with my family (I am a prime target each year for ALL holidays now that I have officially been single for close to four years), I chose to do something different this year. During the years that I was in a relationship, the holidays were negotiable as to what ones were spent at what parents house. I know this may sound bad, but I liked the variety that this arrangement provided. Since I have been single, it is just assumed that I will have "nowhere" to go, I will just be alone and depressed, sitting at home eating Kraft macaroni and cheese and drinking myself into a stupor. Maybe that is over exaggerating, but I sometimes wonder. This year I chose to add some spice back into the event when I accepted an invitation from a couple of very good friends of mine to spend the holiday with them and their very large family of four daughters, their husbands, their grandchildren, a brother and his wife, and an elderly uncle from out-of-town. This was a lot of people, but it was "glorious"! So different from my small family.

A Bouncing Ball Of Energy
After such a wonderfully exciting and fun holiday, I was exuberant the following day! I got up, shot off to the gym, treated myself to a hazelnut latte, and came home to create my Art Every Day piece, Day #27. Once again, I chose to play with the spontaneity of the moment. I took out a big pad of 18x24 inch paper, pulled out some big bottles of tempera paints (you know, the ones that we got to use as kids in school or art class) and squirted out some big blobs of each color on some paper plates and went to work. What I ended up with kind of reminded me of a big ball of energy, so I called it "Energy Ball". So original you are probably thinking. Yes, that's why us artists get paid the big bucks! (Refrain your laughter to a minimum please).

Glowing Emotions
Anyway, I thought it really captured my emotion for that day in visual form. I had lots of fun with it at least. Have you ever tried to just paint the emotion you are feeling at a particular moment of your life? Or have you asked yourself what certain emotions might look like if you had to represent them in painted form or some other art medium of your choice? This exploration can become a finished art piece, or it can just be a nice way to begin a painting session since it allows some connection to begin with that place in your heart and soul where our true art originates. Once the connection is ignited, or the wick is lit, it will continue to burn into whatever you choose to do next. Try it and let me know how it goes for you by posting a comment or a link if you would like.

Blessings and Love,