A Taste of Peace

Who would like a taste of peace? I know I would! Come and read along with me. Let’s see what some notable people have to say about peace!

  1. If you are depressed, you are living in the past if you are anxious you are living in the future, if you are at peace, you are living in the present. Lao Tzu
  2. When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. Jimi Hendrix
  3. While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart. St. Francis of Assissi
  4. There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Edith Wharton
  5. If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the 60s, that’s a problem. Peace and love are eternal. John Lennon
  6. If you want to end the war then instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers. Malala Yousafzai (17 year-old Nobel Peace Laureate)
  7. Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. Albert Einstein
  8. If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. Nelson Mandela
  9. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa
  10. When you make peace with yourself, you make peace with the world. Maha Ghosananda

Resources for Tastes of Peace

You may be curious as to how Malala Yousafzai became the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Laureate. This is her story. https://malala.org/malalas-story

In conclusion, I’ve heard that peace is an inside job. Here a favorite site on achieving inner peace. Many of the tips are things that certainly do bring me peace of mind. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/40-ways-achieve-peace-mind-and-inner-calm.html The “Arts and Society” blog post listed below is an interview with Dr. Kevin Shorner-Johnson who started the focus upon the “intersection of peacebuilding and music education” at Elizabethtown University. May you find a taste of peace by sampling some of these delectable bits of advice!

Transform Fear

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to transform fear? Please allow me to help. Have you ever dealt with extreme fear? I have. I don’t mean a momentary fear when you observe a near crash or a narrow escape. That kind of fear is more fleeting. I mean the kind of fear when you fear losing someone. That is the kind of fear that has the potential to linger. This is the type of fear I experienced when our son was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

When I felt this, the most extreme case of fear I’ve ever had, I learned what fear can do to our bodies. I could not eat or sleep properly. My weight dropped, my hair began thinning. Until I changed my thoughts and my mind set, I suffered with fear. Essentially, I found that fear was shutting off my spark of life. Let’s start to transform fear by looking at some quotes.

Ten Quotes to Transform Fear

  1. Fear and love can never be experienced at the same time. It is always our choice as to which of these emotions we want. Gerald Jampolsky
  2. Fear is a detour, not a dead-end street. Zig Zigler
  3. Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live. Robert Greene
  4. Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. Dorothy Thompson
  5. But fear doesn’t need doors and windows. It works from the inside. Andrew Clements
  6. Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once. William Shakespeare
  7. If you want to cure the world, don’t emanate fear emanate love. Ram Dass
  8. Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear. Isa Upanishad
  9. To fear is to expect punishment. To love is to know we are immersed not in darkness, but in light. Mother Teresa
  10. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. Plato

My Freedom from Fear

The quotes which mention love and/or light as opposed to fear reflect my experiences in regards to transforming fear. It seemed that fear was actually the energetic opposite of love. Fear shut down the life force energy in my body, whereas love enhanced this energy.

What can you do to bring more love into your life? Perhaps you could follow your passion, be around kindhearted souls, find a place to connect to nature. Try to concentrate upon what you love rather than what you may fear. Here is another fear related post: FEAR IS THE LOCK.

Through my work with frequency healing, I found this YouTube video which can help to transform your fear. As with any frequency healing, please check with your doctor to be certain that your body can handle it. When listening to this, it is best to be in a reclining or a flat position.

As it has the potential of making one light headed, wait until the feeling passes before resuming activity. After I sampled several, this one proved t o be the most relaxing. In fact, it is also labeled as “sleep music”! May you find any fears harboring within you transformed!

Dr. Siegel’s Wisdom

Dr. Bernie Siegel’s wisdom has made him one of our family’s favorite doctors, and yet we’ve never set foot in his office. Our son loved listening to audio versions of his writings during his daily commute. This doctor is a popular and well known physician, an M.D., who has authored many books on wellness. His philosophy greatly aligns with what I have experienced. May you find comfort in ten of his quotes!

Dr. Siegel Says Body Communication is Two Way!

  1. The doctor I would want for myself or for anyone else I cared about would be one who understands that disease is more than just a clinical entity, it is an experience and a metaphor with a message that must be listened to.
  2. If you talk to your body, it will listen.

I love Dr. Siegel’s empowering message that we have the capacity to positively affect our own health. This uplifting concept more than likely had an impact on our son’s longevity during his illness. Illnesses speak to the fact that you’ve not been listening to your body. If your body needs a little attention, perhaps try having a chat with yourself! It may seem silly, but tell your body that you care for it and you love that it has been so supportive of you.

General Good Advice in Dr. Siegel’s Wisdom

  1. You can’t control the world, but when you control your thoughts, you bring order.
  2. The spiritual message is we lose our lives in pleasing others; if you’re the good child who pleases Mommy and Daddy but internalizes anger, you’re setting yourself up for disease.
  3. Stories change people while statistics give them something to argue about.

Again, his thoughts give the patient control over their health. He asks for us to feel into what our very own thoughts are doing to our bodies. This involves mentally doing a body scan and determining where you hurt. It also means paying attention to when you sense discomfort or tension and pondering what created the discomfort. This site tells how to do a body scan: https://draxe.com/health/body-scan-meditation/

As to stories, some of his books are filled with recounts of cancer patients who have successfully improved their health by using various tips Dr. Siegel recommended. He formed a group called ECaP. It stands for Exceptional Cancer Patients. Here is a resource detailing his group. https://healingartsreport.com/3-alternative-resources-for-cancer-patients/ It is always uplifting for patients to read the survivor stories, especially when compared to crying over fatality statistics.

Dr. Siegel’s Mind-Body Wisdom

  1. The mind and body are not separate units, but one integrated system. How we act and what we think, eat and feel are all related to our health. Physicians should be capable of teaching this behavior to patients. Mind-body medicine should not be an ‘alternative’ nor should complementary and integrative medicine be something doctors are not exposed to during their training.
  2. Traditional doctors say I’m a mystic. I don’t deny it. For me, consciousness is non-local, not limited to the body, and can exist independent of it.

I’ve noticed that much of the time the most successful health practices involve working with not only the body, but also the mind. Incidentally, Dr. Siegel also feeds the spirit in his work with patients.

Arts and Inspiration Wisdom

  1. Inspiration is the greatest gift because it opens your life to many new possibilities. Each day becomes more meaningful, and your life is enhanced when your actions are guided by what inspires you. True inspiration overrides all fears. When you are inspired, you enter a trance state and can accomplish things that you may never have felt capable of doing.
  2. One of the best ways to change is to act as if you are the person you want to become. When you behave as if you are a different person, you change on a very basic level – even your physiology changes. When actors and actresses perform, their body chemistry is altered by the roles they play.
  3. I use music in the operating room to help create a healing environment for patients and staff. There is a reason that certain heart rates are healthy and certain beats of music heal and relax us.

I find Dr. Siegel’s Wisdom so refreshing when he validates the healing power of the arts. Isn’t it amazing that role playing can actually affect our physiology? Allow yourself to be inspired by the wisdom of Dr. Bernie Siegel!

WASH AWAY NEGATIVITY!

What if you could literally wash away negativity? Is something lingering that could be affecting your mood? Maybe you could begin to erase these bad feelings from your life! Here are four actions which could help to bring this wish to fruition.

Imagine Replacing Negativity with Positivity

As a former art teacher, I can tell you that most anything my students created in my classroom began with their imagination. Before an artwork is born, it must be conceived in the mind. When I have an idea for a piece of art, my brain must ruminate on various ideas. I play the “what if” game. What if I do my art this way, or that? Following this process, the idea for the art begins to come together. If I fall in love with the idea, the desire to actually bring it to form becomes stronger.

The same thing is true of replacing negativity with positivity. I must conceive how it may appear. My mind would play with ideas of how it may look. What if I tried this way or perhaps another way? What might any benefits be if I were to be successful? If I were to fall in love with the idea of transforming negativity into positivity, my desire could be easier to achieve.

Wash Negativity Away with Hydration

Believe it or not, being dehydrated can actually make us more negative! I know from personal experience that if a person is thirsty, it can bring out the cranky side. One of the very best solutions to dehydration is to consume some good old fashioned water. According to this website, https://solaramentalhealth.com/can-drinking-enough-water-help-my-depression-and-anxiety/ depression and anxiety can indeed be affected by a low level of water in our system! It can be pretty tough to maintain a positive nature if we are low on hydration. Our body, which is ideally up to 60% water, is simply not designed to optimally run if it is low on fluids. It would be akin to trying to drive our car if it was merely running on fumes. It simply doesn’t work.

Wash Away Negativity with a Soak

Another strategy to rid ourselves of negativity would be to soak in an epsom salts bath. Just as being properly hydrated flushes toxins out of the body, a relaxing epsom salts bath can also rid the body of unwanted toxins. Here is a great resource to explain how and why these salts are so healthy to use. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13952/why-everyone-should-try-an-epsom-salt-bath.html It can feel amazing to soak away the negativity!

Negativity Hertz…

Well, I should say, negativity hurts, but I have a special hertz frequency to help clear it! I listened to several options with the same frequency. The 417 Hertz one I chose has a relaxing background of ocean sounds.

I wasn’t super scientific with checking in with my body, as I decided to check it after I’d already started listening. None-the-less, my results were still good following listening for half an hour. My heart rate went from a bit greater than 80 beats per minute to a bit less than 60. With the ocean sounds, I immediately started imagining the water washing and relaxing me. My respiration changed from four cycles of inhale-exhale in a minute to only three! My body felt sparkly following the session! This was definitely a frequency worth revisiting.

Check with your doctor…

Again, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts with other various frequencies, check with your medical professional to be certain that your body can handle them. (No medical claims are made here.) As some frequencies can make a person quite mellow, it is necessary to be in a sitting or reclining position. Only resume activity after you ascertain that you are not light headed. You may be pleasantly surprised at the title of this: Cleanses Out All Negative Energy from Body and Home!

It seems that while our son was still in the earthly realm, I had an easier time maintaining my positivity. I was ultra focused on what I could do to help him. Now, it is helpful for me to utilize these steps: imagine, hydrate, soak and hertz til it doesn’t hurt any more! Good luck!

If you’d like to try some meditations with other frequencies, here are a few. HEALING AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: 639 HERTZ, Creativity 101 with 528 Hertz, PAIN: KNOCK IT DOWN – 174 HZ, Tuning into Healing: Grief.

Thanks, as always, for reading my blog. Feel free to scroll to the top of this page, click on Follow Blog and enter your email for a weekly post from me. Have a great day!

Ready for Autumn: 10 Quotes

Are you ready for autumn? Think about fall, that in between place where there is an equality between the light and the dark. What about getting a reprieve from the heat of summer? Let’s enjoy ten seasonal quotes in anticipation of the next three months!

  1. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground. Andrea Gibson
  2. Autumn is springtime in reverse. Terry Guillemet
  3. As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see. Vincent Van Gogh
  4. Give me juicy autumnal fruit, red and ripe from the orchard. Walt Whitman
  5. It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves! Winnie the Pooh
  6. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. George Eliot
  7. Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day. Shira Tamir
  8. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. John Muir
  9. Every leaf speaks bliss to me/Fluttering from the autumn tree. Emily Bronte
  10. Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar. Delia Owens

Ready? Autumn Wishes for you!

Are you ready for autumn yet? If you are in the northern hemisphere, may you revel in the glorious splashes of warm color. This is nature’s way of allowing the warmth of summer to linger at least visually. For those who live in the Midwestern United States’ corn belt, give yourself a moment near a cornfield. Take in the sounds of the season, listening to the dry leaves rustle in the gentle breeze. May we be like Winnie and Walt by indulging in timely fall season treats! Here is a link for some fall family oriented outdoor activities: https://cafemom.com/lifestyle/214827-affordable-outdoor-activities. WATCHING THE RIVER RUN is another post of mine describing the beauty of all four seasons in our area. Allow all these experiences to shake you alive with wonder. Last, but not least, no matter where you live, remember to dance and soar as a freely flying leaf of fall!

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I hope my writings give you a sense of comfort! Feel free to subscribe to my weekly blog – go to the very top of page, click on Follow Blog and enter your email. Thanks for reading!

ROOM FOR MIRACLES?

Do you have room for miracles? Couldn’t we all use a bit more amazement in our lives? This was how I made time for the miraculous last weekend.

My husband and I attended the Prairie Awakening at Kuehn Conservation Area in Dallas County, Iowa last weekend. https://www.mycountyparks.com/county/Dallas/Park/Kuehn-Conservation-Area.aspx This has been an annual ceremony at the 770 acre nature preserve since 1998. It features a celebration of our native prairie lands as well as of the indigenous culture of the Midwest.

The perimeter of the circular arena was outlined with elegant, tall grasses and blooming prairie flowers. One of the early portions of the program involved a bit of education on the monarch butterfly life and migration. The Naturalist, Chris Adkins, spoke of himself as a scientist, then shared a quote from a world-renowned scientist.

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

He had me with this quote! The lucky monarch holders were each invited to plant a kiss upon the proboscis of their tagged butterfly. Then the winged wonders were told “Adios, amigos” at their release to begin their long migration to Mexico. Typically, this creature only lives two to five weeks during the summer. This last generation of the year migrates between 2,000 to 3,000 miles to overwinter with our neighbors to the south. It was thrilling to hear that monarchs tagged here in Iowa have been tracked to their winter location! Amazingly, this migrating generation can live up to nine months! How miraculous is that?

When do you suppose the butterflies typically arrive to their southern destination? It tends to be around the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. Can you imagine the arrival of these huge kaleidoscopes of butterflies? It is no wonder it is commonly thought that butterflies can carry messages from our dearly departed loved ones. https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/Monarch_Butterfly/biology/index.shtml

A rehabilitated red-tailed hawk, who was injured by a pellet gun, was introduced. We gazed into the wild eyes of this majestic bird. Imagine how few humans get this chance. Ponder the relief of that fortunate critter to finally be able to freely fly the skies again!

Room for Miracles of Reconnecting Cultures

Native American Dallas Chief Eagle led group dances with audience members. A small gathering of drummers kept the beat with deeply resonant native drums. The chief demonstrated a beautiful, traditional hoop dance. These hoops symbolize many things: our horizon line as well as individual spirits of animals, trees and rocks. The hoops seemed to magically become looped one into another in the midst of his dance. For me, the highlight of his graceful movements was when the numerous hoops extended far beyond his arms’ reach. He greatly resembled the bird of his name as his arms and hoops seemed as wings!

The chief also led a brief meditation with Grandmother Rock and Grandfather Rock. In imitation of a rock, one was just to fix their eyes upon a rock (or another singular point) and empty one’s mind of thoughts. Aren’t rocks a perfect example of being still?

Let’s go back to the Albert Einstein quote. Here is why I was motivated to write this. I had a copy of this very quote on a white board attached to our refrigerator for several years. This was during the time between our son’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis and his passing. Miraculously, this time period was nearly seven years. During that time, our son did accept nearly all of the scientific, Western medicine treatments offered. However, we also explored much from the natural world of healing. Our son believed he would not have been here as long if it wasn’t for the additional things we did. I also know he would not have been here as long if he hadn’t had most of the current Western medicine practices.

A balance of honoring science as well as the spirit of nature, especially when fed with a miracle mindset, enhances life.

So, is it possible to have room for miracles? Just as our family experienced, the Kuehn Conservation Area is blessed with a harmonious blend of science and spirit. Through the years, the conservationists have developed a relationship with indigenous, spiritual people. It was a learning process for them to discover how to ask for this relationship to occur. This celebration has become a draw for local people. Unity and sharing fosters the marvelous.

I cannot recall how many years we’ve attended. Through these celebrations, I’ve become intrigued enough to acquire my own Native American wooden flute as well as a hoop drum. I’ve honed my love for nature.

Last, but not least, relationship to the land is critical. Our country, our earth sorely needs all of us to adopt these attitudes. The Dallas County Conservation Board are tremendous role models on many levels. You enhance the heartbeat of the land as well as community. Thank-you for the miracles!

If you enjoyed this, here are two more posts on learning from the ways of nature: Think Like a Dog and LESSONS FROM MOTHER NATURE. Feel free to subscribe to my weekly blog – go to the very top of page, click on Follow Blog and enter your email. Thanks for reading!

Your Hurricane Eye

What’s your hurricane eye? Before I continue, I must explain myself. I recently learned that waterfowl can become trapped within a hurricane. If these birds are fortunate enough to work their way into the calm of the eye, they can swim or fly with the eye until the storm either slows or reaches landfall. Birds in this predicament have also been known to seek shelter on ships caught traveling within the eye. These strategies allow them to rest within the center of the storm. Here is a site showing an image of birds in the eye of a hurricane. https://mashable.com/article/hurricane-irma-flocks-of-birds So, onto your hurricane eye. What brings you calm while navigating the wild hurricane ways of the world?

Cat’s Eye

Just the other day I found our cat’s eye of her hurricane. We were trimming shrubs. (Well, not the cat and I, but my husband and I.) As I loaded our wheelbarrow with trimmings, Miss Meow-Meow decided to climb aboard. I guess the small twigs were in a cushy pile, but the barberry bushes do have thorns! She was unconcerned.

Once I finished clearing the piles, I began pushing the barrow toward the brush pile, cat and all! Our little Miss MM was thoroughly and calmly entertained. For part of the ride, she stood on all fours. Some of the time, she was reclining. All the way, her head was out front, scouting our path and watching the ground roll beneath her. Now, you must know, it wasn’t necessarily smooth sailing as part of her ride was down a somewhat bumpy hill. I only permitted the cart to roll slowly in case she jumped. None the less, she rode all the way to the pile! She disembarked to sniff around, giving me the opportunity to dump the brush.

Before I began the ascent back up the hill, I placed her in the empty barrow to see if she’d ride back. She took the helm again and stood guard. I imagined her as a Puss-in-Boots captain of the ship in a past life as she watched the grass billowing by on our journey. She actually rode the entire distance to the house! I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, she’s the cat who hops onto our deck swing. I’ve seen her standing on the seat, then moving her body to get it to swing. She then lays down for a lovely ride.

I believe Miss Meow-Meow’s hurricane eye is riding. This is her relaxation, her calm, her joie de vie.

My Hurricane Eye and Yours

Back when I was in elementary school, typically Friday afternoons were reserved for art projects. That was my absolute favorite time in school. I would many times be in my own little world while making art. (Perhaps this is why my career was an elementary art teacher!)

Oh, and I recall another time as a fifth grader. That day I felt two very strong emotions. I was completely immersed in a book while sitting at my desk. For some reason, I decided to look up. My first reaction was shock. Amazingly, I saw only one other student in the room. I had been so engaged in my book (of an unknown title) that I had tuned out all the other students going to outdoor recess!

My second feeling was embarrassment. The boy who sat in front of me was turned around and intently watching me read. I don’t recall if the teacher was in the room or not. Somehow, this book became the eye of my hurricane while in the midst of a flurry of excited classmates leaving for recess. I now wonder if the boy was puzzled as to how someone could have been that engrossed in a book!

Nowadays, several additional ways can bring me that eye of the hurricane safety net. Being with a loved one, reveling in nature, and playing or making music are among them. Another key element is an attitude of focusing on what is good or positive rather than that over which I have no control. I love to imagine a scenario which is beneficial for the highest good of all.

As an energy healing practitioner, I can tell you that doing these life-enhancing activities will literally make your light shine brighter while making this world a more pleasant and safer place to be!

As an aside, the bold faced sentence immediately above came to me in the middle of the night. I got up and penciled it on paper in the dark. Two miracles happened. The next morning, I could actually read it. The second miracle was when I turned on my computer. The random desktop background was a lighthouse. Confirmations such as these are signs we are headed in the right direction!

When we are focusing on activities which bring us joy, we feel more enlivened. An activity, that feels as if it is our life purpose, opens up our energy field to optimal flow. This enlivened feeling of flow is important to our health and well-being. Here is a site which shows visual evidence that our bodies truly emit light. https://www.livescience.com/7799-strange-humans-glow-visible-light.html Some people are gifted to easily see our light without special equipment. I only occasionally see it. However, I generally feel it. Any time you feel positive emotions, you are shining your light brighter. Perhaps this is our soul shine? I love to say that it makes me feel sparkly!

What brings you to your eye of the hurricane? Some like to tinker in the garage or machine shed, while others crochet or knit. Sitting in meditation or running marathons works for some people. Perhaps gardening or flying airplanes may speak to others. Of course one’s faith and prayer life may be the utmost eye of one’s hurricane. Just feel into your heart and ask what makes you feel most alive. That, my friend, may be your shelter(s) in the storm. May you find the eye of your hurricane to hold you steady while you navigate the ways of the world.

If you enjoyed this, here are two more posts on learning from the ways of nature: THINK LIKE WATER and Your Thoughts Are Seeds. Feel free to subscribe to my weekly blog – go to the very top of page, click on Follow Blog and enter your email. Thanks for reading!

Temporary: Art and Life

There is much that is temporary in art as well as in life. As an artist, I am intrigued by those who create work of such a temporary nature. Some artwork is far more fleeting than others. Yet, are we not temporal creatures? Let us explore the parallels.

Temporary Art in Zimbabwe

First of all, a Zimbabwean creative, Peggy Masuku, paints her family’s huts. It takes her six months to gather the materials, create her paint, listen for the design and apply the paint. Bold and beautiful splashes of brown, black, gray and red adorn the exterior of their home. Since she uses ant hill soil, clay and ash to make the paint, it is of a perishable nature. When the rainy season starts, her artistry washes away, returning to the soil from whence it came. While her hut itself is a bit more durable, somehow her painted creation is reminiscent of the creation and destruction of an ant hill. Each is beautiful, intricate and purposeful in their own way. Both are vulnerable to the elements. It is ironic that the necessity of life giving rain water is what leads to the demise of her designs.

Here is an article with photos of Ms. Masuku’s award winning hut paintings. https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20210826-zimbabwes-contest-that-celebrates-the-artistry-of-women

Art of Tibetan Monks

Secondly, I’ve puzzled over the monks of Tibet who create fascinatingly detailed and colorful mandalas of sand. Typically these contain multiple lines of symmetry as well as all the colors of the rainbow. These take painstaking work. In fact, prior to and during the creation, it is a very meditative practice. A team of monks, who have trained in sand art for several years, typically take a number days to carefully place the sand. At the end of the process, the sand is immediately swept away to signify the impermanence of this life. Here is a very brief time-lapse example.

Sometimes it is puzzling to me how these artists could create these pieces knowing that their efforts would soon be demolished. When I make my art, I delight in viewing it for times to come. Yet, I fully know this physical reality is a temporary situation. Our youth is fleeting. Slow poke suckers don’t last forever. Any hair dresser would tell you that even a permanent wave is not permanent. Art is, alas, just as our earthly bodies, only temporary.

Matheson and Art

The temporary does affect both art and life. However, this perishable nature doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t make an effort with my art as well as my life. I’ve always been fascinated by the book, What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson. This book has an extensive bibliography of numerous religious texts from around the world. I do not begin to know the exact source of his information as I’ve not read all of these resources.

What struck me as profound was what the book had to say about art. Matheson’s book speaks of art being influenced by the realms beyond. The perfect forms of anything we create is there. We are inspired (more or less) from the other side. He tells of grand, other worldly museums which house the most perfect forms, even and especially of the master artists! The quality of our earthly art is dependent upon how well we can connect to our inspiration.

The two examples of art I provided for you gave me great joy and pleasure to view and contemplate. I’ve no doubt that a part of the value of art as well as life is in how we make others feel. Perhaps some permanence may be in the memories carried on to the life everlasting. May we always remember our joys and pleasures!

Slow Down – Ten Quotes

Slow down! When I first thought of writing about the concept of slowing down, a song immediately came to mind. It was an old sixties song with a gentle reminder to slow down. Here it is.

I also think of this wind blown speed limit sign as a symbol of what could happen if we are exceeding our speed of living!

Slow down if breaking the speed limit!

It just seems that there are times when we must take stock of our lives and look at the wisdom of a slower paced life. Here are ten quotes to contemplate.

  1. Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. Eddie Cantor
  2. Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list. Patti Digh
  3. Slow down. Life is crossing the road. Debasish Mridha
  4. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Lau Tzu
  5. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. Anne Lamott
  6. It always pays to dwell slowly on the beautiful things – the more beautiful the more slowly. Atticus
  7. Most people’s minds are too busy for them to feel their skins being caressed by the wind or the sun. Mokokoma Mokhonoana
  8. You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour. Zen Proverb
  9. The earth has music for those who listen. George Santayana

Slow Down – Where is Number Ten?

I know what you are thinking. Perhaps I ran out of quotes. Maybe there are truly only nine? Okay, maybe I just needed to slow things down a bit… Sometimes I just need a little help from my friends to slow down. This brief video of Oprah Winfrey interviewing Eckhart Tolle reveals a simple solution to slow the racing thoughts in one’s mind. This was fascinating to me as the secret is in the hands!

Yes, I will tell you that you are actually nearing your opportunity to read the number ten quote. However, that quote must be prefaced by some further information. When learning the practice of Spring Forest Qigong (SFQ), I learned that the movements are more powerful when performed slowly. There is more healing power when the exercises are moving glacially, as in the speed of a glacier! You are now ready to read my number ten quote.

10. Some people, the faster they go, the slower they are. kindergarten boy

If I had not had the SFQ experience, I would have thought this statement ludicrous. It also reminds me of the story of the tortoise and the hare. Remember it was the tortoise who won the race. The hare was so confident that he became distracted. He started out running so fast that he exhausted himself in the heat, so he needed a nap. This is similar to when we don’t stop our racing thoughts. It also resembles when we are overconfident that we are super human and can do it all. It truly is more important, more efficient, more life enhancing to slow down!

Slowing Down Further

Last of all, I’d like to share one more song which fits with our theme of slowing down.

As luck would have it, after I slowed down, I discovered that the very two songs I chose to feature slowing down were both written by Paul Simon! He truly seems to understand the human need to slow down and listen to the silence.

May you slow down to dwell in the beauty, to be truly speaking as you talk and listening as you hear. Search for the music within the framework of your life. Just breathe deeply and take in your life with the wisdom of a child!

P.S. Please feel free to subscribe to my weekly blog by scrolling to the very top to “follow blog.” Thanks for reading!

Art: Reality, Grief and Truth

A 2014 artwork by Tim Noble and Sue Webster entitled The Masterpiece sparked my imagination. This piece of art spoke to me of reality, grief and truth. Before I elaborate on my thoughts, please take a look at the image in the following link.

https://arthur.io/art/tim-noble-sue-webster/the-masterpiece?crtr=1

Art and Truth

This particular work amazes me as It sparks ideas of reality, grief, truth, object, illusion, shadow, light, Plato and confirmation bias. Wow, that was a mouthful! Initially upon viewing this work, I noted the striking double portrait shadow upon the wall. These profiles happen to be of the two artists, Noble and Webster.

Next, I noticed the object, a silvery sculpture in front. I was intrigued that the shadow cast was actually from a light shining upon the object. Obviously the angle of our view of the sculpture is different from the angle of the light. Next, one must decide whether the sculpture is a thing of beauty. It is cast in silver, normally something reserved for things of value and prominence. Shockingly, the three dimensional part is actually dead vermin cast in silver and carefully arranged to form the artists’ profiles in shadow. Perhaps this may change your opinion of the concept of beauty. Many times artworks may create numerous emotions for various reasons. Indeed, this is a masterpiece, perhaps even more so by virtue of all the conflicting emotions involved!

Reality and Truth

This artwork took me back to college philosophy discussions on Plato. In the Grecian days of 5th Century BCE, Plato created the Allegory of the Cave. In a nutshell, it is representing average people as being imprisoned in chains and facing the wall of a cave. The only thing visible to these people is shadows upon the wall. The shadows are created by puppet masters parading cutout images in front of a fire or sunlight, all hidden behind the people. Hence, they are only capable of experiencing reality as mere two dimensional shadows. As the shadows are all that the people can see, they assume that is the truth. Here is an illustration and further explanation of it.

https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm

As viewers of The Masterpiece, we are privileged to be given not only the shadow, but also the object. Also, when this artwork is visited in person, the light is visible to the viewer.

Grief and Truth

Let’s examine this work in terms of grief. These little critters were once living beings who served a purpose with their lives. Now, they are no longer living and are preserved in a unique way. First of all, The Masterpiece may give one strong feelings of grief or perhaps relief or disgust when contemplating the demise of the vermin. It is ironic that something so potentially gruesome can create a shadow of a thing of beauty.

Now, let’s think about personal grief. Sometimes it is just too easy to focus on the shadows of sorrow. The tragedy of losing a loved one is typically a dark and trying time. What helps me the most is to think of all of us as light beings. Our bodies are merely a temporary vehicle for our true selves. (With the energy healing work as well as Spring Forest Qigong practice, I have seen that we are truly made of light!) This helps so much to have visualized our light in terms of grief. I only wish all of us could soon learn to see it.

Truth

Our world seems to have had difficulty in finding and expressing truth. So many groups have had diametrically opposite viewpoints. Perhaps an element of truth may lie in both sides. (Funny I used the word lie there.) Here are some things to consider. Are we focusing on a flat, two-dimensional shadow? Do we have a confirmation bias? Do our experts have a confirmation bias? Have we thought about the issue in a three dimensional manner, examining many angles as well as the length, width, and depth of it? Are our answers complete and accurate beyond a shadow of doubt? In searching for truth, a blast of light can illuminate the falsehoods and reveal the truth. I will say, sometimes truth isn’t pretty, but truth wasn’t running for a beauty contest.

Finally, can we approach truth with a flowering of love for one another? Perhaps this love could also be equated with light. That for which we are searching must include the best interests of one another, the future of humankind. The powerful lyrics in this song say it all regarding art: reality, grief and truth!

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