Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Week in Gratitude#1

- I am grateful for letting go of stress this week through right eating, right thoughts and right actions, despite the ongoing obstacles of my lifestyle.
- I am grateful for being able to view nature every day - especially trees and water. They calm me.
- I am grateful for the new people I met this week.
- I am grateful for the new cats and dogs I met this week. Wow! They loved me right away.
-I am grateful that my clients love the new designer cards.
-I am grateful that I was able to finish one new painting and start another.
-I am grateful that two people who are not relatives told me they love me. I love them, too. Love is not exclusive. Love does not have to be "earned."
-I am grateful that I listened to the following songs this week while driving, and that they made my trips relaxing: "SoWhat" / Miles Davis; "Hear Me, Lord"/ Bonnie Raitt; "Dream in Rio"/Cassandra Wilson; "The Storm is Over"/ R. Kelly; These Arms of Mine"/ Otis Redding; "Clocks"/ Coldplay; "You'll Never Walk Alone"/ Roy Hamilton; "Time After Time"/ Miles Davis; "Ava Maria"/ Jessye Norman

Spirituality, Love and Art/ Part I

Spirituality is practice. Love is practice. Art is practice. All require doing in order to become. Become more of who we are. More of our better. More of our best. As we are growing we recognize we are not saints, we are not pious. We are not condescending in our attitudes toward other living things. We are not superior in our spirituality. We are not exclusive in our love. We are not arrogant in our art.

Spirituality is inner awareness of the existence of something higher than oneself, most easily accessed through the realm of the conscience. Here is where intuition dwells. The voice that speaks to you in the most subtle manner, most easily heard in solitude. Spirituality is practiced and affirmed through our actions in the outer world. On this earthly level, we are perpetual students of spirituality.

Living in a world ridden with violence, poverty and man's inhumanity to man can sometimes seem impossible to bear. Given the social climate of living on planet earth day to day requires a support system not only to survive, but to thrive as loving human beings. Family, friends and a loving significant other can certainly provide a strong support system. But belief in something higher than oneself can make that system even stronger.

I choose spirituality, love and art primarily as a means of feeling good through mental fitness, physical productivity, creativity and practice of my beliefs. All three personal tools for living require these components, which are essential to my feeling of well-being.

Having always been curious about the world around me as well as intensely introspective while remaining perceptive to the feelings of others, it seems fitting that, at the age of thirty-one (many years ago), I chose to live a life of conscious spirituality. This is a life that acknowledges both my spirituality and humanity through daily practice of kindness, learning and sometimes falling down. It is a life that recognizes God as both indwelling and omnipotent. With God being so, I am connected to other human beings on the most fundamental level. It is this belief along with years of having done the work necessary for growth that makes me appear perpetually cheerful on the outside while sometimes being "in the wilderness" on the inside.

At these times, I am simply practicing love toward my brothers and sisters without burdening them with what is actually going on in my life. At this point, it has become a habit, while I still have miles to go in terms of my spiritual we all do. At least on this level. On this earthly level.

When I need to be in communion with my higher self, I choose the solitude of prayer, where I go to seek answers, request fulfillment through thankfulness and affirm my blessings. To me, prayer is a form of action, being so as we emit personal energy toward a positive outcome, most effectively realized when we do the physical work while allowing God to provide the way.

In my next three main posts, I will talk about why I believe spirituality is often a struggle, how spirituality effects the art process and why I cannot thrive without love, regardless of whether I am in a romantic relationship. I also want to talk about why I feel the world is currently in the midst of extreme spiritual change, and why this change presents endless fodder for artists' subject matter. Not the least, I want to talk about how enjoyment of one's life and practicing spirituality are quite compatible.

Favorite paintings related to this post: "The Night Letter"/ Eldzier Cortor; "Mary Contemplating a Candle"/ (Oops! Sorry, ya'll, I forgot the artist's name. I'll find it and post it later!)