Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Art Blog: Little Girl Lost

Today I had such a revelation. It is almost as if I have been stung by an electric prod. This magical awakening didn’t happen out of the blue. In fact in retrospect, I can see the series of events that has lead up to this. The reason for this culminating moment is I finally reached the crisis point necessary for change.
Gee, where do I start? I have always been a thinker. Also, I have always been concerned with trying to develop a level of higher consciousness. Years and years ago, I was lucky enough to study Universal Principles and other teachings of spirituality. However I must admit, I learned the information but didn’t always apply it to my life. When I get off on a tangent or allow my ego to try to manipulate my own destiny, I start to spin out of control. Attempting to superficially control everything goes against my own life philosophies and what I know to be true.
Lately, I have been so out of touch with my own beliefs, I have felt like a little girl lost. Today I became aware. Now, things can change.
A month or so ago, Oprah started a series on the book “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. When I heard her advertising the book, I scrunched my nose for a couple of reasons. First, I have done her book club thing before and didn’t like it. Secondly, I had heard about “A New Earth” previous to this promotion. I did a bit of research and found it to be very similar to many of the ideas and principles I already know. So, I tuned out.
Yet my intuition perked up and something started to bother me about my dismissal of this book. I decided to buy it and read it this summer. I glanced through it and decided to check out the Oprah online classes about the book. The webcasts are LONG. I have been watching and watching the first class over and over again. This is what brought about my light bulb moment.
Without getting into the depths and guts of this illuminating book, I must say I have been literally jolted. Yes, I do know a lot of this stuff already. Yes, I have lived this way of life already. I am well aware of egoic dysfunction and collective consciousness. The reason I am wide eyed at the moment is because I realize I am guilty of knowing, but not implementing my own knowledge. I have been constantly judging, labeling, putting all aspects of my life in little boxes, and being concerned with future instead of experiencing the present moment. I have allowed myself to live in my head and be very ego driven especially in the past year. I truly have felt numb. I know better.
It is time for me to stop and feel my own breath. I need to enter the present moment. I need to stop thinking so much and just allow myself to BE. Of course, the principles in this book are very detailed and complicated. There are many processes to learn, accept, and apply.
If you are interested in knowing more, go to Oprah’s website and find the Tolle webcasts. I have also put a link for the book below.

Now what does all this have to do with my art? EVERYTHING! Allowing my ego to get involved in my art life has caused so much psychological pain. For example, when I was a young girl, I would paint to paint. I was always in the moment. I would focus on the paint moving around the canvas. I smelled the paint. I would feel the textures and hear the sounds of art working. I didn’t care if I made a mistake or what people thought. I just made art because it is what made me feel alive. Now, I question every stroke. I am rarely in the moment. I am thinking about the finished product. I am thinking about what I am going to work on next. I am thinking about how the work will be received. Unintentionally, I have conditioned myself to be detached to the joy of the process. I have desensitized myself to the essences of the experience I love most in the world: CREATING.

Click to read more about “A New Earth”


Martha Marshall said...

OK Sheree . . . I will check it out. You're the second knowlegeable and experienced person this week who's told me I'm missing out if I don't.

Like you, I've been there, done that, seen it all packaged in every imaginable way. I can go from beta to alpha in thirty seconds flat. I'm really good at it. But do I actually do it? Nooooooo. Even knowing from experience how much it affects one's art and everything else in the course of a day, we forget. We sometimes just need to be reminded.

Sheree Rensel said...

I see this being akin to any kind of life improvement efforts. For example, I have noticed that some of the most overweight people I know are the most knowledgeable about calories and modes of exercise. They read up on it; they just don't do it.
I am like that in a lot of ways in a few areas of my life. In fact, my weight yo-yos and so does everything else. I do it and then I don't. I get all enthusiastic and focused and then, I lose interest and mentally veg out.
All we can do is keep trying to be our best selves. In fact, as long as we try, we are successful. Failure is when we give up.