I was a little late in sharing my sister’s last post, and she just posted this new one titled “insecure or confident”. I can so relate to this as I struggle to accept myself, insecurities and “imperfections” and all!!!
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I am so happy and proud that my sister started her blog. She has always been my teacher and source of inspiration. Growing up, she was always interested in the deeper meaning of life and self and encouraged me to pursue the same, and it is because of her that I started my spiritual journey, and it is so comforting knowing that she is by side in this journey. I think that you will find her blog posts heartfelt and inspiring.
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I began to analyze these beautiful words of wisdom this morning as I was writing my morning pages, and realized the significance of being clear on what he means by “everything works”. What does it mean when something “works”?
This reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine, an amazing sculpture, Debbie Korbel. (Her work is amazing, I recommend checking out her website) I was telling her that I am such a perfectionist when it comes to my work, and that I get anxious because of it, and sometimes frustrated because it doesn’t come out perfect. She said she never feels that way about her art! Whaaaaat?? I was shocked!! How can that be? Everyone I knew in the art world had been a perfectionist like myself, so I thought; how can anyone not worry about their art looking perfect?
The answer is, if you make your work from your heart and for your soul, and not for the audience you wont worry about it looking perfect, because the heart speaks the truth, and there is perfection in the truth.
For me a lot of times the meaning of my art “working” has been when I was able to sell it, or people had a positive response to it and gave me complements.
When I began my spiritual journey, I realized that art should be about self expression, and not pleasing others, but secretly I still wanted to sell my work so I felt that it had to please others, so I told my heart. “I understand, I will only do work for you and only you.” (But secretly hoped that by working for my heart, it would mean that the outcome would be perfect, and therefore others would like it, and hence want to buy it!) So I made my recent work, and yet I was not happy because it wasn’t perfect like I had hoped, which made me tired and frustrated.
I was discouraged. “WTF? I am making work for my heart, why isn’t it working?”
Haha..Despite “spiritual awakening”, “working” had retained its meaning of “perfection” and “sellable”. This is where I had continued to remain lost. I didn’t realize “Working” means that it speaks the truth of your heart. It says what you want it to say, and depicts the turmoil inside your heart. This truth might not always be pleasing to people. Many might even find it hard to relate to.
The reason Debbie doesn’t dwell on her work coming out perfect is because she only makes art to speak her heart, and her pieces “work” every time because of this!
Here is one of my favorite work by Debbie titled “WTF”:
Take the poems of Rumi, Hafiz, and many other mystic poets. Many people love them, because it speaks the truth, but also many don’t understand them. It can sound gibberish if you are not on the mindset of the truth. Nevertheless, their work remains timeless, and continues to spread across the globe, because it speaks the truth.
Without realizing, I had secretly hoped speaking my heart and the truth would make people like my work, (sneaky ego) but experience showed that this is not necessarily true.
It’s the same as when I fell. Somehow, in the back of my head I thought if I stay true to my heart, and stay present, I wont fall, but that’s not always true.
When you become a servant to the truth, you have to accept whatever comes, even if the outcome is not what you had hoped for. The outcome is what you need to grow and become closer to your heart.
I feel like I was a bit all over in this post, but isn’t that how our thoughts work? Constantly jumping from one thought to another!! No?
I will leave you with this poem by Rumi:
Wings of Desire
People are distracted by objects of desire,
and afterwards repent of the lust they’ve indulged,
because they have indulged with phantom
and are left even farther from Reality than before.
Your desire for the illusory is a wing, by means of which a seeker might ascent to Reality.
When you have indulged a lust, your wing drops off;
you become lame and that fantasy flees.
Preserve the wing and don’t indulge such lust,
so that the wing of desire may bear you to Paradise.
People fancy they are enjoying themselves,
but they are really tearing out their wings
for the sake of an illusion.
-Mathnawi iii 2133-38
I have been feeling very irritated this past week. Nevertheless, I have been doing my meditation and cold showers, and anything that could possibly help me get out of this funk.
Mindfulness helps, but I do love the artist’s prayer from the book “Artist’s Way”.
You imagine giving all your irritation and everything that worries you to god/creator/universe and open your heart to everything that you want to receive, and through this, you let go of control and allow the universe to take care of you.
So yesterday, I decided, I really need to do this, because just focusing on my breath was not bringing me peace of mind. I did the visualization and I felt relaxed, and then I went on a bike ride.
…….. and that’s when I fell..
Thankfully nothing bad happened, just a few scratches here and there. I wasn’t trying to let go of the handle bars, or do anything crazy, I wasn’t going fast either, I just reached back with one hand to fix my shirt and lost control and…fell.
So afterwards I thought: I just trusted the universe and I fell on my ass.. great.. this is what happens when you trust god, you fall on your ass, but later I had an epiphany. Well, if you let go of control and trust universe, you have to trust whatever comes and what comes might not always look good to you or be easy, but it’s what you need at the time. Sometimes you need a slap in the face to snap out of your ego!
I don’t know if I fully understand why I needed to fall, but I will tell you this much. If this fall had happened before I was being mindful and working on myself, I would have immediately cried, yes, even as an adult I would cry because that was just an automatic reaction for me, then I would feel embarrassed and scared to ride my bike again. I would definitely never ever try to let go of the handlebars.
But, that’s not what happened.
I got up, a little shocked at first, as to why, even though I am so mindful and spiritual (haha..), this happened, then this nice guy came and helped pick up my basket from the ground and put it back, and I thanked him and jumped back on my bike, and a little while later, tried to let go of the handlebars, just to see if I still had the courage!
I have continued to ride, and will continue. I did have some fears initially. I thought: What if I had fallen in front of a car? What if (when I have a baby someday!) I put my baby on the bike and fall while riding? What would happen to the baby? What if I have an accident? What if someone is texting and is looking down and comes to the bike lane and hits me?
All kinds of worst case scenarios played in my head. I told my husband: what if we had a baby and I had the baby on my bike and we’d fall? He said: If you think like that, you wont be able to go out the door!
What he said really resonated. I could think of a million terrible things that could happen in my mind about anything and everything, and paralyze myself by doing that. Instead, I decided I will do what I want and need to do and if the worst case scenario happens, I will deal with it then, just like how I have dealt with many unimaginable scenarios.
Like loosing a loved one. You can not imagine living without them, until they are gone. Then, despite what you want to believe the first year, you find a way to live without them.
You can never imagine how you will deal with a situation until you are in it. Being in the present moment and fully aware gives you exactly what you need to handle anything that comes in the best way possible.
Today life took a twisted turn, a turn similar to others it has taken before. These kind of turns would normally put me in long periods of self-hate and depression. My mind would normally go frantic trying to solve the problem at hand, feeling stuck in a hole with no way out.
I did feel a bit that way today, but thanks to my meditations and mindfulness practices I feel more together than I would normally feel.
I know what you might be thinking. “What happened?” Well I just don’t think it’s relevant, what is relevant is that it caused suffering, and how to deal with the suffering is what we can all relate to. The cause of suffering might be different for each person, but the solution will always be the same.
Observe your thoughts, observe, observe, observe, try not to identify. Go back to your breath. Which is why I have decided to do the 10-day Vipassana meditation. There is a long waiting list, but hopefully I can get in soon. I will tell you a little more about this soon.
I want to share this thought that came to my head as I was sitting in my patio garden. There are a few trees around the place that have rooted into the ground from the drain-holes of their original containers. I thought: isn’t it amazing? Here is a little tree in a little container and suddenly it feels a hole in the container and reaches out, it feels dirt and it digs in, it becomes rooted in the solid vast ground and despite what seemed like impenetrable limitations, creates deep strong roots and brakes out of its container. Literally! The container might be around it, but it is broken and no longer hinders the tree’s growth. The tree then grows so tall, it seems to reach the sky.
I feel like this is symbolic for humans. We must get rooted, we must find even the tiniest window outside of our suffering, and run our roots deep into our found salvation, until we break the barriers of suffering completely. Then we will reach our full potential as human beings.
Okay back to Vipassana (click to go to website), I will let the clip speak for me.