A close friend of mine started going to therapy on Tuesday’s a few years back. While I don’t attend conventional therapy I picked up the practice of using Tuesday as a day I do my own brand of therapy, namely various #selfwork practices and minimal if anytime online. Just so happens I have an event tonight to prepare for, so that changes my routine. Still I’ll take it slow, handle what I need to and continue #TherapyTuesday slightly modified.
If you don’t already have a day slated for ‘you’ time and aren’t in any manner of conventional therapy I invite you to consider circling a day on your calendar for you to decompress, reboot, be introspective. However you choose describe it. If you can’t mark a day every week at least attempt for two within a month. Make a contract with yourself that you will not break and go deeper than a simple spa day. Work on the inner and outer. Appreciate the life form that you are and grow your relationship with you.
I’m forty. That doesn’t matter to me in the least. But for you reading possibly an important tidbit of information. I decided last year that I’d transition into being a full time painter (not limited to that medium of course, for I am a multi disciplined artist.) But for awhile I’ll stay focused in the visual zone of expression. There’s no cleaning or clearing of slates for me just continuing. Adding to the story. A story that I am purposely creating. This reality that I realized over the years I have control over for the most part. I choose this life I’m living based on my actions. My thoughts. My motion in the direction of what I desire. Dedicated to study. To self mastery. To enjoyment of this amazing thing we call life. Being self aware or ‘Conscious’.
I found some wood a few minutes after I walked out of Blick where I picked up the most basic of supplies in all of eleven minutes or less. In any case, the the cost of the tiny haul was a little over eleven bucks. It consisted of 9×10 artist pads. One newsprint. The other tracing paper. (Both dirt cheap.) Three pens. Fine and ultra fine Sharpies. Plus a German born black ink, fine 0,4 Stabilo pen.
At Capital One’s cafe on Union Square, I scribbled the majority of these characters on the newsprint paper I’d purchased while waiting for my phone to charge before I headed to the Bronx. A continuation of the ‘study’ I started that morning on the reverse of the negative metallic ink on black paper I investigated.
This wood piece I worked on was the least filty of the group of four I selected from and pulled from the street. I didn’t wipe it down or treat it. I just dove in placing one full page of sketches, followed by a few cut out from other premade pages and arranged. After bit of paint and doctoring, the rest is history. Very brief history.
The teacher appears. I fathom the teacher is ever present, just invisible because perhaps our egos deliberately stand as opaque figures in our respective lines of sight. Or more likely they are cloaked. One is lucky enough to develop a way of thinking early that looks at the puzzle of life as a series of challenges to meet, engage, build a gainful relationship with and ultimately divorce (in some cases.) Enthused by the opportunity to think laterally. To find or even feel the lessons and bliss or both in cognition. The magic that pulses between each breath of thought. A myriad of things may rob one of this chance. Tradition and intelligence often are nefarious participants in what some conspiracist would deem a ruse which purpose is to keep you from a knowing. Funny though, in order for one to know or ‘be’, one has not the time to busy themselves with conspiracy.
There are no shortages of teachers in life, for true living is a constant education.
Today for the first time I really looked at a piece and recognized what I was saying about me and my current experience. I’ve been working a lot this year on pieces and towards the fall I made a decision to create as a painter close to full time. In a process I’d describe as eluding the ego filter, I’m allowing the energy of the unknown to flow through me; directly into pieces. Mostly, there is no thought. In some cases a dance and something mathematical happening. It’s free flowing. Free of anxiety. I’m working on letting go and discovering the results of pure creation.
The sketch above is in colored pencil. I don’t sketch often. I don’t draw. I rarely illustrate. This was a challenge that epitomizes me letting go and allowing. Upon exploring the work I could see it depicts me standing tallish and stretching out while navigating troubled beings. Beings I once held similar position with. I now face the challenge of being surrounded by many who hold my former mentality, in a world to them that resembles how I once felt.
There are things I know that I’ll only share through being. The accumulated experiences of my life as it pertains to my current incarnation are immense. Irrefutable. Even with that I continue peeling back layers, letting go of all to access all. The catalyst for this thing called ‘enlightenment’ is to simply ask; while being open sans judgement. Open and willing to forget what you think you know and believe and be prepped to really KNOW. To master self is integral. Stripping away worry, fear and doubt… Tapping into your inherent ability to create. Moving like a child with the wisdom of experience. Touching nature. Referring to nature. Not being at odds with it. Not being at odds with you.
I cannot explain to you the experience you must have to know. I cannot give you stillness. I cannot do self-work for you . I’ll only suggest to go within. To study you. To realize what struggle and suffering are in order to overcome these illusions. Do these things so that you may dance with knowing.
I could say yesterday I slit the side of the tip of the middle finger on my right hand and it’s difficult. Obviously it is possible. I’ve typed what you’re reading up to this point, so what other excuses do I have? None. I just haven’t thought enough about writing to actually do it or thought to actually make a move on the keyboard in vehement fashion. The truth of the matter is there are a plethora of things I’m passionate about it. Perhaps I need more passion about being passionate. As of late though I have been very creative. I’ve been reminding myself to create regularly because alas that is why I am here. So I shall do the same with writing. Basically create the new habit. (How do I now trigger it?!) I do not like to ‘waste’ time. Writing into the void and noise of the internet can feel a futile act. Still, I know better. Even if the exercise is just for me, putting a vibe out matters in the larger scheme . Fini.
I randomly added #februaryfast to a tweet to switch it up from the #fastingforfreedom I began using in 2017. Normally I’d search a hashtag before I use it to see if anyone already has. In this case I’ve decided to just roll with it. Since it’s already popular perhaps more people will actually see what I’m posting and I can engage with others too who are fasting. The hashtag seems to be mostly used in relation to a church event. With that said, my fast is not one of a religious nature, though some would consider me one who fasts religiously. Over the course of the next twenty-eight days I’ll be diving in again.
Fasting is defined as a period of time in which one abstains from food, drink or both. Most commonly done within a religious context. In my case it’s about a re-calibration of mind, body and spirit. A new contract with self. To increase discipline, strength and will power. To build a better relationship with my body. To assess internal issues. To mend and heal. To chart a path to better health and peace of mind. Self work essentially.
Abstaining from foods and drinks is not all that’s involved for me. Not eating or drinking some things over time is cute but you can actually get use to it. Abstaining from other things like sex, smoking, drinking, television, social media etc, increase the power of your fast. For even more depth and life altering results though there is still more one can do. For me introspection is a big part of this process for refinement in pursuit of self mastery. Daily moments going within contemplating life past, present and future comes into play. Stepping outside of my self. Reviewing past experiences with an objective eye. Connecting the dots on reoccurring themes I need to address as well as recognizing growth and my many accomplishments. During a fast I set the tone and program my attitude for future endeavors. I tune up for manifesting things to come.
I share my experiences throughout my fasts to in some ways demystify it. Like many things, fear and ignorance too often keep people away from much that may actually help them. Mind you, you don’t have to do a thing to actually learn from it.
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People often ask, ‘what are you reading?’ Or, ‘what have you read?’ Thinking about books that have somehow influenced me over the years or served as vehicles of confirmation; I share with you a short list in parts. In many cases, these books were less guides, more compliments to a style of life I’d already begun living when I came across them, giving me new language to associate with what I’d been practicing. In synchronistic fashion, many literally arrived as if from out of thin air. I love it when that happens.
Books can often unlock that something you’ve been working on. Provide answers to eternal questions and lend much perspective provided that you are open to it. Believe it or not, we have access to all information provided by the books we read that would serve our spiritual growth, for no pertinent information is inaccessible from within. We already know inherently all that we need to know. Only we don’t remember this fact that we do. Basically, books serve as reminders as do mentors, teachers, ministers, gurus etc. Your ability to siphon bits of information from external sources for your benefit also is integral. Learning that you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover is key. The longevity of that cliche is anchored in undeniable truth.
The books listed are in no particular order. Only as to which came to mind first.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra is one of those texts that magically appeared to me. I will affirm that I attracted it, after hearing an artist speak of it in a song multiple times. While I’d never read it before I was aware of it and listened to an audio version years before. Hearing it mentioned on record made me seek out that audio version again on Youtube. After a few days of it being refreshed in my mind I stumbled upon a hardcover edition on a table full of books. The funny thing is, I’d surveyed the table thoroughly and did not see it. Only to engage another book on the table, turn to ask for a price and look back down to see it staring right back up at me. All I can say is it had to have materialized before me. I don’t bother questioning it. I’m left with the great memory of that moment. http://amzn.to/2CQmwo1
Not sure when The Four Agreements made it’s way into my life. There is nothing to dispute, refute or debunk in this work. The four statements it is based on are as follows:
Be Impeccable with your Word
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Don’t Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
To me these all seems like common sense words to live by. Books are reminders indeed. While the four agreements are listed above, I suggest giving the book a read for maximal benefit. http://amzn.to/2E7L1wf
I found Tuesdays With Morrie on the seat inside of a bus shelter in Harlem well over a decade ago. Recently I revisited it after sharing a bit of the story with a friend who after I mentioned it to her gifted me a copy. In reading it a second time I noticed how much of what was discussed by the characters (real life people) had been and still is a part of the way I live. It was quite an introspective time tunneling experience revisiting my state of being between the first and second reading. I didn’t let an Oprah Winfrey book club seal detour me from reading. Part of my growth has been learning to appreciate every bit of Oprah. Non judgement. Deepak taught me 😉 http://amzn.to/2CRiTyd
I’ll take a break here so you can go and order the books mentioned above. Please use my referral link if you do plan on purchasing. I’ll return with part two shortly. I have some words to share about pulling wisdom from unexpected places and learning that in life if you’re truly observant and seek wisdom, well you can find it everywhere.
Oh and if you haven’t already gotten #MyClearBook package of ebooks and audio, now is the perfect time while you’ve got your wallet out. For less than the price of lunch get access to them immediately! If not for you, as a gift.