Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Monday Reflection: Growth is a Lifelong Process

There’s a concept often held
by people in the personal growth movement
that it’s all pretty simple-
all you have to do is change your thoughts,
use a certain technique,
and things should clear up.
People really believe that if they just were able to
follow this particular path
or do this method,
everything should work.
Then, when that turns out not to be the case,
they blame themselves.

That belief is simply extremely naive.

We are going through an amazing transformational process.
We are delving down through countless layers.
We’re transforming the ways people have lived
and behaved for centuries.
We can’t simply say a few affirmations
or do a simple technique
and have it all be done.
Growth is a lifelong process.

-Shakti Gawain
Awakening: A Daily Guide to Conscious Living


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Power Objects

A recent passage in Shakti Gawain’s book Awakening described power objects.  Power objects are those items that we are drawn to while we walk.  You know what happens.  You’re out walking, looking around, and something on the ground catches your eye.  It could be a stone, a leaf, a stick, a pinecone.  Sometimes you pick it up, look at it, and toss it back to the ground.  Sometimes you pick it up, and for whatever reason, you place the item in your pocket or backpack.

Those items that we pick up and really examine are somehow meaningful to us.  Those are our power objects.

Here are two items I picked up on a walk last week:

This was a whole rock that split into two pieces.  It was laying off the road in the sand just as you see it here, in two pieces side-by-side.  It reminded me of angel wings (or perhaps a pair of lungs?????)  As a pair of wings, it reminds me that angels are all around us.  As a pair of lungs, it reminds me to take a deep, cleansing breath now and again.

     

I’m not sure what drew me to this stick.  I liked the smooth surface and the two tiny branches.  It looks like it has weathered several New England storms.  What I found really neat was the worm or bug trail that is etched into the surface of the stick.  It looks like some ancient code or symbol from a long dead culture.  Of course I also thought “what a neat body this stick would make for a sculpture.” :)

What objects catch your eye when you take a walk through your neighborhood or through the woods?  Have you discovered any power objects?

 


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Happy New Year!

As we welcome a New Year, here are some words to ponder from Shakti Gawain.

You Are An Artist

Think of your life as a painting and try to create it the way a painter paints.  Listen to the life force within you.  Trust it and move with it.  Risk trying new colors.  Then stand back and look at your painting. What does it tell you about yourself?  Your painting gives you wonderful feedback about what is going on inside of you.

Life is Your Masterpiece

Here is one way to look at your life.  Every day, you are creating a masterpiece.  As you create you take the feedback from it, so you see how you can change what you create tomorrow.  And you have to be willing to delve very deeply and very honestly into yourself in order to do that.  You have to take that reflection and see what it is really teaching you about yourself.  Where are you really expressing yourself in a way that feels full and right to you?  Where are you holding yourself back?  Where is there distortion?  How can you heal that?  Where is there not truth in this creation and how can you allow that truth to come forward?


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Let The Confusion In

Somewhere during October and November I begin to grow tired of my production art work.  I start to ask myself why I’m making these pieces.  I want to stop what I’m making and do something completely different.  New ideas flood my head that I can’t act upon until after orders are filled.

Waverly Fitzgerald, in her Living In Season, October Newsletter, explains that this feeling in the autumn may be due to boredom.  That makes sense.  Production work can be a mindless activity.  You make similar items multiple times, over and over again until you don’t want to do it anymore.  When this happens, you might question the direction of your work, your motivation, and decide it is time to rethink what your doing.

It also creates confusion.

Shakti Gawain has some timely words regarding this period of confusion.

When you’re going through a period of confusion, hang in there.  Let yourself feel somewhat confused or disoriented or stuck.  Sometimes you need to sit with these feelings for a while.  It’s okay to do that.  Go inside and ask for guidance.  Ask for what you’re meant to be learning.  Let yourself be guided to people or situations that can help you.  Gradually, you’ll move through it.  It’s always worth it.  Once you look back on a confusing period, you’ll be able to see what you gained from it.

O.K; I’ll let these thoughts and feelings float around for a while.  I know I can finish these last orders and have them shipped out by the end of the month.  And then I can consider these other ideas in my head; the art dolls I want to make; this thought that keeps popping up in my head to buy a sewing machine; the soldering class I’m going to take; rearranging my studio; the metal art I want to play with; maybe sketching each day or sketching or painting to music; and, and, and.

Bruce Baker calls it MAD; multiple artist disorder.  As artists we often want to make many different things in different mediums.  I can hear him saying on his customer service techniques CD “On Monday I make jewlery, On Tuesday I blow glass, On Wednesday I make paper…”

Shakti follows-up with these words:

When you are in confusion, it’s not easy to stay with your process.  Part of you wants one thing and part of you wants another.  You want to decide once and for all, to come to a conclusion.  But if you can hold all these different feelings in yourself and be aware of them–be in conflict, be in confusion, be in uncertainty–then the certainty will come from someplace deep within you.  Your own inner truth will guide you.  But if you try to cut this process short, you will deprive yourself of the opportunity to reach that place of certainty.

I’d say that is pretty accurate. I don’t want to keep making BS and card cases, and perfume pens.  But then I’m afraid if I don’t have these things to make, what will I do with myself?  Maybe, somewhere deep down, I’m also afraid to make art dolls a full-time venture.

When I’m doing production work, I want to do something different.  However, when I have the time to do something different, will I freeze and not know which direction to take or where to start first?

I don’t like feeling confused yet it is a part of our life.  Confusion is something to be embraced knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Confusion is not helplessness; it is a time of transition.


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Thank You

Though I’ve replied to comments posted about my new bottle stoppers, I wanted to thank everyone for helping refill the creative well with your thoughts and ideas.

The face BS were a step out of the box for me with the bright colors and the limited use of polymer clay.  I’ve been so wedded to using clay for my bottle stoppers that the thought of painting the wood cores had never crossed my mind earlier.

With your thoughts and suggestions I feel revitalized in making new bottle stopper designs.  I don’t know if it will all work out (experiment, experiment) yet I see many possibilities here to pursue (like a light at the end of the tunnel.)

Ironically the passage today in Shakti Gawain’s Awakening dealt with communication and constructive criticism.  Whenever we put forth an idea or a new piece of art, whether on our blogs, web sites, or at an art show, we make ourselves vulnerable and open ourselves to public comment and criticism (both constructive and destructive.)

It is in knowing this that I am able to present new work that may or may not appeal to everyone.  And that is ok.  To me, every comment (online or in person) is an exchange of ideas.


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Truth

Act in Accordance with the Truth

If we get in the habit of listening to the truth inside ourselves everyday, then we can begin to live in accordance with it. 

We can speak the truth as we feel it.

We can act on the truth as we feel it.

We can live our own truth.

Today, act according to your own truth

-Shakti Gawain


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Look for the Lesson

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The universe tells you what you need to focus on.  It gives you little nudges.  If you’ve learned to recognize those signals, then you quickly catch whatever in your life is not in balance.  But most of us don’t know how to recognize the little nudges the universe gives us, so then we get a stronger poke.  Eventually, we get slapped across the face or knocked down.  And some people have to really hit bottom before they are willing to look at the necessity of change and the possibility of growth.

Try to cultivate the attitude that the problems that come into your life really are gifts from your own soul trying to call your attention to the things in your life that are not in balance.  Then life is less traumatic.  You can immediately look at a problem and ask,

“What do I need  to learn here?”

-Shakti Gawain


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Enthusiasm

Some believe that certain things come into our lives just when we need them.  Ever since I had my aura and chakra reading I’ve been trying to pay more attention to my surroundings; the sights I pass while driving, the words I read and the words people speak, the people I meet, the music I hear, and the critters in the yard.  There are messages all around us, some more obvious than others.  And if we open ourselves up to our surroundings, these messages will become clearer.

Everyday, I read a passage from the book Awakening: A Daily Guide to Conscious Living by Shakti Gawain.  And some of the passages have been quite timely.  Today’s passage resonates with me and I wanted to share it with you.

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is a quality that arises naturally from the flow of the life force within us, carrying us toward new experiences and discoveries.  For many, this quality was squelched in childhood when we were not allowed or encouraged to follow our spontaneous creative impulses.  We can begin to cultivate our enthusiasm by trusting and following our intuitive feelings, exploring new experiences, and doing things that we truly love to do.

I remember being quite creative as a child; writing plays and then acting out those plays; playing dress-up, drawing, and painting and making up games.  And then, somewhere along the way, society (mom, dad, school, etc) steps in and tells us to start acting like a young adult, an adult, a mature adult.

And we forget how to play.

We forget our spontaneity.

We forget our creativity.

If you’re feeling a little out of sorts today, perhaps it is because you need to remember how to play and to honor your creativity.  We have a long holiday weekend approaching.  I challenge you to get a box of crayons and a coloring book and color outside the lines (or just scribble on a piece of paper.)  Build something with Legos.  Play with finger paints.  Try walking on your hands.  Build a card house and then knock it down.

Whatever you do, today, tomorrow, with the rest of your life, do it with enthusiasm and honor the child inside.

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