The Art of Being in Flow

The Art of Being in Flow

To be in flow is to be in harmony with the current of life, however it is showing up.  Taking things in stride, trusting a bigger picture – staying connected even when it’s tempting to tune out. Being in flow is rooted in non-resistance and non-attachment. I have learned a lot about the Art of Flow from the element of water. The oil painting above, “Whale Songs” was painted on the West Coast of Vancouver Island while traveling with the Women Painting Canada collective.  It was painted on the shores of Long Beach after a delicious morning of whale watching and feeling in flow. With easels anchored on the beach, we savoured the ocean air and allowed it to have its way with our brushes. I have a long standing love affair with the ocean and this painting captures her teeming life force, power and vitality. The feeling is of depth and fullness which is the way I experience life – full to the brim, rich and surprising.  Constant movement on the surface, potent stillness in the depths. Loose brush strokes suggest fluidity – nothing is fixed or certain. Moody, ephemeral, soggy and saturated blues evoke the songs of the whales and tug at my throat to respond. To see the whales, we braved an open Zodiac tour in full body flotation suits insulated against the cold ocean wind in Ucluelet.  Lurching wildly with the high waves, we feasted our eyes on rare sea otters, sea lions, seals and whale sightings too. Sitting on the edge of the boat and clinging to my light breakfast as much as the...
The Art of Receiving

The Art of Receiving

To master the Art of Receiving, one has to become receptive. Makes sense.  The oil painting above, titled “Receptive”, presents a spongy field with green shoots of new life.  The thirsty land is soaking up life-giving water and allowing it to nourish whatever is emerging.  This painting always made me think of frogs and pollywogs – minnows and the soggy soakers of spring thaw. The colours relate to the heart and throat chakras that house love and personal expression where we receive Divine guidance and hear our muse’s whispers. I’ve been playing with what it would look like to be able to receive everything with gratitude. Everything?  Yes – everything. Receiving everything is about consciously accepting what is – without resistance, judgement or attachment.  It’s about honing a talent for receiving whatever is offered with grace and gratitude.  If every day is a gift, then receiving the day with all it brings is a heart-full way to live. It takes trust to receive without judgement.  Trust in a bigger picture.  The Art of Receiving is a way of being that embraces; The grateful acceptance of things actively given, presented, or paid like a compliment, gift, resource, or piece of advice (wanted and unwanted), as well as synchronistic signs and coincidences. The gracious acceptance without judgement of whatever shows up, exactly as it shows up. Enlightened beings are known to “not mind what is” whether a traffic jam or rude behavior, they simply don’t take it personally. The less tangible mental logging or felt sense of something communicated by body language, gesture or symbolic cueing. The universe and our own...
The Art of Allowing

The Art of Allowing

Breaking my wrist this summer forced me to step back, reevaluate, and gave me the opportunity to learn more about the art of allowing.  After indulging in some heartfelt but ultimately unhelpful, “Why me?! Why now?!” drama, I gradually surrendered to a state of allowing. It turns out allowing has a lot to do with witnessing, noticing and accepting what is. To be in a state of allowing is to become an empty vessel with space for whatever is wanting to emerge.  The self-portrait, The Vessel (shown above) was painted in 2010 when I was finishing up my core training with the Four Winds Society and trying to integrate the teachings with my art practice. The brush strokes are loose and earthy, suggesting the malleable nature of the self being explored.  Nothing is certain or fixed. The focal point is on the third eye which appears to radiate an ethereal being.  The third eye activates our inner vision and dreaming. It’s a portal to the fertile Field of Pure Potential where all things are possible. I suspect the state of allowing accesses the same creative life force of pure potentiality. When we become empty vessels, we offer a clear channel for Spirit to work through. As many teaching stories illustrate, “you can’t fill a cup that’s overflowing.” To become empty, it’s necessary to let go and trust. While I am a big fan of positive thinking and the power of intention, I struggle with the dance of true trust.  On a conscious level, trusting in ease and grace is my main tagline and living mantra.  On another, less conscious...
GOD IS IN THE DETAILS

GOD IS IN THE DETAILS

I’m back in California for some training and paying attention to the details. As my wrist heals, I’m having to learn how to do many things differently. In addition to this, an ongoing pattern of real or potential mini trauma or drama is showing up, followed by a quick recovery of sorts. For example, I forgot my cell phone when I left for the airport, which would have felt disastrous. Luckily, I noticed when I went to capture the gorgeous skyline at the end of my street so I was able to pick it up quickly. It means a lot to mean to be able to stay connected when I travel so I am very grateful. Over the past 2 weeks I’ve had 3 black and white bracelets break – 2 of them were beaded medicine bracelets I made myself and have worn for several years following readings by medicine men in Zimbabwe. It was startling to release these healing talismans and, at the same time, a part of me acknowledged that I don’t need them anymore. I’m now wearing a combination of bracelets that have meaning for me. They happen to be black, white and pink which feels like heart energy balancing the yin / yang of the masculine and feminine, light and dark and other dualities. Who knows how long they will last. The right arm of my prescription eye glasses broke on the first flight yesterday making navigating the airport extra challenging. Luckily it wasn’t far to my connecting gate even feeling as disoriented as I did. Prescription sun glasses got me to my hotel and a...
DANCE OF CHANGE

DANCE OF CHANGE

I started this post in the dawning of the recent new moon which is carrying the energy of change. My work is about transformation and transformation is about change so this should be familiar territory for me. Right? The thing about change is, it’s constant and, well – always changing – so it’s hard to stay on top of it.  A recent wrist injury has me pondering how fast things can change.  One minute I’m bouncing down the sidewalk on West Century Blvd near LAX “thinking of love and feeling groovy” and the next, tumbling to the sidewalk with more than my dignity ruffled up and backtracking to “slow down, you’re moving too fast”. Scrambling to right myself, many thoughts arose. Slow down definitely resonates as I have fallen into pushing rather than allowing and yes, I get the pun about falling. It was 6:00 AM so I was probably thinking more about coffee than love and I was headed to Norma’s, a nearby family restaurant, to work before we headed to Venice Beach. Letting go and trusting things to unfold with ease and grace is part of it too. While trusting is something I am deeply committed to, I am very much a work in progress. The delicate balance between showing up and doing my part, and getting out of the way to allow what is emerging the space it needs, is something I get to play with almost every day. I’ve learned to take note of my thoughts when something sudden and jarring, like falling, happens.  As Mike Dooley, the author of Notes from the Universe reminds me...

Giving Back

donation

Giving and sharing are the foundation of my practice and I'm delighted to be able to support organizations like the Unstoppable Foundation which strives to ensure every child has access to education.  Over the years I have donated works of art in support of several hospitals, survivor groups, environmental and gallery fundraisers like the MacDonald Stewart Art Gallery now known as The Art Gallery of Guelph.