|Weather Map of The Heart 12"x12" cold wax on canvas|
All this wanting and noticing is like what is happening in the kitchen of a fine dining restaurant while you sit out front sipping wine and chatting. But when I sit quietly in the kitchen of my mind, I see how much I try to cook the moment so as to make its flavour just right for me. I am kneading and pulling on each little fibre of now.
I also notice how I am not content to just work the moment but I lean anxiously into the future looking for the next moment or hour to please me, seeing what I might wring from the day. If we are honest we can notice how much we "want" without pause: how we want things to be easy or simple or sweet, people to cooperate with and like us, how it would be nice to get some good news or a special treat. Fill in the blanks. And with all the wanting I notice what it stirs: agitation, busy mind, nervous energy. I notice all these underlying weather patterns of my heart and mind when I am quiet. If I weren't sitting in meditation they would simply form the ground which the day travels over.
All this noticing reminds me to stop, to take a breath and just be. I remember how pleasant it is to just be right here, right now, without wanting. And I notice how hard this is, how the momentum of habit has hardwired wanting into my brain. I notice how much energy is preserved, even cultivated in this state of not wanting, how my heart sighs in relief when I am simply with life as it is. I notice the startling and mysterious sound of rain drops plopping into the pond as I make my way around the shore. I am gobsmacked by the chartruesey greenness of the moss on the roof.
As I did a drawing exercise from my Frederick Franck book the other evening I notice how hard it is to really see. As I drew a small fallen leaf from my indoor ficus tree, I notice how my mind jumped ahead to fill in the lines with how it imagined the leaf looked. I noticed how hard it was to slow down and simply see, to let the hand follow the eye. The mind is such an impatient, bossy creature!
So in between noticing things, I have been making my own cold wax with gamsol and beeswax. It smells divine, sweet like the beeswax (even though the gamsol is a petroleum based product). This seems much more do-able for me than the orange oil solvent which was a natural product, but intensely smelly. Turpentine is a natural product and also intensely smelly.
I have been doing an online course with Eric Maisel which is essentially coaching for artists. I am liking it a lot. It deals in this lovely straight forward way with how to actually get down to work, how to deal with some of the unhelpful self talk that can surround the creative process and lots of helpful info on working with stress and anxiety and thoughts about marketing.
I have been listening to the World Tapping Summit! Have you heard of tapping or EFT. It uses meridian points (as in acupuncture) paired with some statements around things that might be issues for us; health issues, emotional issues. I am finding it really interesting and it feels like there's something to it.
And thanks to Eric Maisel I have actually been painting everyday, first thing in the morning that's the trick. I have some coffee, do my qi gong, make my juice and go off to paint for a while. January has flown by and now February is blasting through. I hope your winter days are rich and filled with inner and outer adventure! Where has this new year carried you off to?