Category Archives: Meditation

Letting it Be What it Wants to Be

I’ve been continuing on with the art leading the way. I find myself working as a zoom lens. Honing in on a small area and not thinking about what is outside it. It sucks me in, and when I zoom back out it’s interesting to see what has been created. In this way, it’s not me running the show and controlling what will appear. It is the creative process, in real time, dictating what happens.

Stepping back from this piece I can see many things emerging. I have more to do before the picture will be fully visible to me and just because I see certain things right now, doesn’t mean that those will be the images that survive in the end. So, I continue to hone in on the areas that need to be filled, and suspend judgment until I embark on the next step of refinement.

It’s a work in process. I just meant to type that it’s a work in progress, but I think that “work in process” is pretty accurate as well. One little stroke at a time it unfolds. Much like life. As it is in progress you might sit back and think, “Yeah. I don’t like what I see so much.” But then you have to remember to have faith, and continue working. Nothing is permanent, everything can change, and sometimes it’s ugly before beauty emerges. Sometimes beauty doesn’t emerge, so you disconnect from the work for a while. Maybe you come back and try again. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you come back and think, “Hm. It’s not really that bad. I actually like it.”

It’s pretty fascinating to watch and experience, and I enjoy relating the art process to life, letting it teach me.

Accept things as they are. No! But, yes.

The most important thing I learned from Eckhart Tolle is that, in any situation, there are three things you can do.

First, and most important is that you need to accept the situation. Byron Katie’s work has also taught me this. Accepting does not mean saying something is ok, or condoning something you don’t like or disagree with. It means accepting that it already IS. It exists as it is, and there is nothing you can do about that at that moment. It is futile to fight against what already is in existence. It is your thoughts about it that bring you pain, not the actual situation or event. Once you say yes, this exists, then comes the next step.

So, what are the three things that you can do after accepting that the situation is in existence?

* You can accept it. You can choose to say, “Ok. I’m going to accept this as it is, and live with it this way.”

* You can walk away from it. You can choose to say, “Ok. I accept that it is the way that it is, but I choose to walk away from it and not be a part of it, or even around it.”

* You can change it, or start taking steps to change it. You can choose to say, “I accept that this situation is in existence, and I choose to do things to change it. I will not be angry and upset to the extent that it disables me, and I will do what I can, until I can’t. And that is ok too. I can also choose choices number one or number two at any time.”

I started teaching this principle to my children at their very early ages. Validating that their feelings are real, and after a time of feeling them, also teaching them how not to be debilitated by them by knowing that they alone have the choice of how to handle situations.

The most empowering thing you can do is to accept a situation as it already is. The moment you do that, you can get to work (or not) on whatever it is that comes next for you. Much more can be accomplished when working on the choice of changing something when you are rational, clear-minded, and not overwhelmed with emotion.

I know that some people will read this and think it is saying to ignore your emotions, that they aren’t valid. That is not true at all. It is a teaching that, when you understand it, acknowledging the emotions for what they are and helps you move beyond them. It is being an observer of your emotions rather than BEING your feelings and letting them eat you up from the inside.

An Eckhart Tolle talk on feelings.

And another, about complaining.

There are many more on Youtube.

I’m adding a coloring photo for the purpose of the header on this post when I share it on facebook so it doesn’t look like an ad for my books by grabbing my web site header.


This Adult Coloring Thing

I think I’m starting to get it, and realizing that coloring can be viewed as an art form in itself. All of you purists out there, don’t balk. And I’m not digging into the art vs. craft argument either, but as usual, when I’m working at something that allows me to go into the zone, awarenesses happen.

Without trying it, I didn’t understand the interest in coloring someone else’s designs. I’m excited to get my books published so I can color in them, but even coloring on my home-printed copy of the images, I’m finding an artistic outlet.

Mandala Adult Coloring Image

Yesterday I started coloring this image from soon-to-be Meditative Mandalas Volume 1. I used flat markers and took my time going at it. As I got closer to finishing the main design elements I found myself antsy to be able to get on to the background and shading.

I pulled out my Prismacolor pencils and started, then did basic shadows. I found myself wanting to layer more color for more depth and then thinking, “This is a piece of printer paper, not even good quality, what am I doing spending so much time on this???” It reminded me that art is in the eye of the beholder, or something like that. It’s not about what it is, but how it makes you feel.

I felt relaxed, letting my mind drift while streaming my favorite Chicago radio station. I felt accomplished, filling in all those little areas so precisely. I felt artistic, pulling out shading techniques. It reminded me also that I need more time to just sit and do something that isn’t work. Something that has no tangible purpose, something that will keep me in the present moment.

It doesn’t matter what the outcome is. It matters what you’re doing and how it makes you feel in the moment. It’s a weird thing, presence. When you’re fully present you feel like a master. You feel in tune. Nothing else matters. It’s when we start thinking, that we start to feel bad about what we’re doing, or how it’s going. It’s hard to stay in the present moment but I have a feeling that this coloring thing might have the same effect as meditation. The more you do it and the more you achieve that state of just being with it, the more it will spill over into the rest of your life. I bet if I’d read all of the articles that have been floating around about the adult coloring craze that it would say the same thing. I don’t have time for that…I’m busy coloring!

I get it.