These are the questions that I have been pondering while painting over the past three weeks as I also participate in a 21-day Meditation Challenge offered by the Chopra Center.
Sounds a bit sophomoric but, in fact, it was perfect timing for me to go within and process my answers with fresh eyes and an open heart. My birthday was coming up on the 22nd of August and I hadn’t written anything in almost two months, although I had completed two paintings which suddenly seemed quite relevant to my state-of-mind.
Two scenes of clouds and land – one with shades of dark grey that I call “Tornado Grey” and the other, with pastel shades of rose, blue, yellow, gold and pale green that I call “Happy Daze.” No doubt, these are an outward manifestation of a bi-polar experience.
For the past twelve years, I have identified myself as an”artist,”an oil-painter, leaning towards abstract in its unpredictable form. Sometimes, as in the pictures above, abstracted landscapes arise from an intuitive state. Now I find myself questioning this “tag.” I know I am a multi-dimensional being with skills and abilities that emanate from both my left and right brain.
In my past life as a business consultant, I identified myself as a “change agent.” I worked with individuals, groups and organizations to facilitate their growth and development. The process was mainly a linear one, from point A to point B and beyond. But, when I worked as a “third-party” observer, I was in a state of consciousness which is the potential for all creativity. I call it “restful attention.” All vibrations were available to me through all of my senses. In my feedback to my clients, they were always astounded that I had picked up so much information from ordinary conversations. It was a fulfilling experience for me although at times, I felt thoroughly drained. I also felt anxious and usually went home with a migraine.
What do I want? Abundance in all aspects of life: love, acceptance, physical and mental energy, good health, appreciation, affection, attention, joy and peace. I also want freedom from anxiety and resistance and an outlet for creative expression. The first go-around, money was high on the list. Now, while still necessary and important, I see money as a form of energy. I want to focus, to accept myself as an artist, (consultant, coach or whatever might come next), to be there for my loved ones and others in their time of need, to continue my own evolutionary development.
The following words were part of an introduction to a meditation session. I don’t know where they originally came from: “As is your desire, so is your will. As is your will, so is your deed. As is your deed, so is your destiny.”
So, what is my dharma? How can I serve? Right now, in the third week of the meditation challenge, I am presently exploring my “unique gifts” as a path to exploring this dharma. As I review my life’s work and relationships, I find my most successful and fulfilling times when I worked with people, individually or in small groups. My leadership abilities have taken me places and made it possible for me to know a wide variety of men and women in many lands. I really was good at what I did.
Which brings me to the part where I really start to doubt whether I was meant to be an artist. If I was, then why don’t I paint (or write) every day? Why don’t I become a “pro” with clear priorities and goals? Why do I feel I need a “muse” to inspire me? Why do I find technology and its’ fast pace of change enthralling and challenging? Why is my happiest time when I am reading in bed – the New York Times, best-sellers, magazines, catalogs? A day spent like this raises my spirit and energizes me.
I am still in process on this issue and will share my challenges as they evolve…