Thursday, July 14, 2011

Do little things with great love

"God does not command that we do great things, only little things with great love."
-Mother Theresa

(A love-shaped leaf from a hanging plant outside the patio yesterday evening)

This quote by Mother Theresa strikes me. I am a giant thinker. Big dreamer. But sometimes I fall back a few steps when it comes to Doing. Perhaps the dream seems so BIG that I was afraid and lost to how I'm suppose 2 go about it to make it come true. Perhaps I was so preoccupied with the end result that I lost the enjoyment of the PROCESS. Or that I've this habit of living in the future, dreaming of great things I could achieve. While it's wonderful to be optimistic, I've to remind myself to come back once in a while to earth. The present is the gift isn't it?

I look at life from such a BIG picture that at times I miss the beauty of small things. And I'm beginning to take notice.

Nature grounds me. Little things are precious too. I realized now more and more.

Do little things with love, for me now it includes eating to fill my body with love, blogging with love, doing house errands with love, even if just breathing, also done with love, the tiniest thing we most often overlooked. It's not that easy because I get lost in my mind so quickly.

Life has been a little quiet a while ago. While my monkey mind complains and demands for some action and drama, my inner circus trainer tries to tempt it to obedience by training it to observe little signs of beauty and wisdom everywhere. Being a work-from-home creative girl does have its down side, it can get pretty quiet at times. Unlike the office ambience where there's colleagues around to chit chat and hang around to reduce boredom, the work-alone creative girl is basically her own muse, friend, boss, disciplinarian, servant, counselor and agony aunt. It can get a little daunting to some extent, to play so many roles especially when it pertains to one's livelihood.

While mastery of a craft usually means that one has to spend alot of time alone, it's really important to balance this part of life with recharging with friends and families. I used to be jealously guarded about my me-time, but now I appreciate getting to know people especially when it concerns their interest in living their creative dreams. It's a good shift, this focus centering in self to people.

Painting allows me the space and time to be alone, engaged in my creative process.

Teaching art therapy allows me the space and time to connect with others, on a very soulful level and creative sharing expands my horizons. Both works fulfill me in very different ways. But both makes me happy.

If I were to stick to only one I'll go crazy in its one-sidedness. I'm grateful that I've the balance of both. Am having lots of work piling up and loving the momentum. I love having the freedom to decide when, where and who I work with. I'm keeping a grateful heart and feeling the fullness of abundance bestowed to me in my heart.

Do you know the trick to manifesting what you desire most?

One of it is, when you wish for something whole-heartedly, you take the necessary action to fulfill it, but you need to let go of the outcome, so that your contribution is half, and the rest of the half the Universe will provide. Sometimes in ways un-imaginable. Most times just plain miracle. Heard of the saying when you take a step towards your dreams, your dream take a hundred steps towards you?

It's true.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Natural Beauty

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,

Love like you'll never be hurt,

Sing like there's nobody listening,

And live like it's heaven on earth." — William W. Purkey

A commissioned artwork by a mother for her two ballerina daughters. It feels wonderful and such a relief to complete a long overdue artwork. I'm learning the lesson of procrastination and how it's a bad habit, better to make baby steps to finish something than have the nagging feeling that you've things undone.

It's a good challenge to paint Malaysian Indian children; I thought I would have problems with getting the skin tone right but it turns out gorgeous. It's a good challenge because I think the discriminatory thought that only fair skin are beautiful and desirable that is so inherent within the collective consciousness can be overturned. Dark skin is beautiful too.

I enjoyed making the tree textured and had lots of fun making the colourful background from scrapbook papers. Even though my artwork has grown more "adult" but it's still fun to come back to naive and child-like painting, my trademark girls with Big eyes to get in touch with my own childlikeness.

And let me digress ...

Natural beauties found in my garden.

Anonymous plant. Bright yellow and orange flowers blossoming and what a contrast it makes with its dark olive green leaves.

Pitcher plant. Dangerous beauty. Do you know they seduce insects with a kind of scent, lure them in and trapped them in their belly and then digest them? Sounds totally deadly isn't it?

Droplets of shimmering water after I water this carnivorous thing.

Am learning to see the world with a new pair of eyes; curious and different perspective than before. The world seems to go by in a hurry these days, and it's really an artform to be able to engage in stillness amidst the chaos. I'm feeling the joy of simplicity nowadays, simple lifestyle and simple choices. Perhaps in the simplest things lie the most profound truth.

I'm such a hopeless philosopher sometimes! ok, Back to work ...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Soulful Beauty

The 1st thing on my wishlist I've promised myself is to be present to the beauty which surrounds me. Because I'm a hopeless geek, and I cannot seemed to take a break from my healthy addiction-which are books, I've been reading ferociously, a few books at one time- and Piero Ferrucci's "Beauty and the Soul" has been a faithful companion these days.

Beauty and the Soul, a book like its name, is beautiful and soulful, and it's wonderful because it's written by a man, which debunks the myth that men cannot be sensitive to beauty that are soulful. I love his keen insight about how beauty doesn't have to be limited as an experience in art museums or luxury goods, which modern city people are accustomed to think. His book challenge his readers to see beauty in a whole new way, to open ourselves up to the beauty of each moment and be present to capture that essence.

For me, beauty is so essential to keep us alive and joyous. One of my weakness I realized is that I lived so much up on my head. Thinking thoughts of the past and future, reliving mistakes and nostalgic memories, hoping or worrying for a future that has yet to arrived. I lived so much in the space of my head that in moments where I am awakened, I think-oh no, how much beauty of the present moment have I missed because I grasped at illusions? Not good, not good.

I don't want to sleepwalk in a dream state, I wish to be awake and seize each moment. That, I felt, is being truly alive, is being an active participant with the world.

(So today, when it rained which has always been my favourite weather, I seized my camera and captured the refreshing raindrops showering my garden.)

Beauty is free, beauty can be found easily. If you but noticed.

(Behind my house, the scenery feels foreign when it rains. I'm still practising with my camera. I know I do need more practice, both with being present and with using my camera.)

I remembered there was a rare moment, after gym and I walked home. I passed a row of trees sheltering me from the sunlight. It wasn't a particularly hot day. Just nice. It was a place that I passed by daily, usually in a car. Yet maybe because I walked the experience was different. The way the sunlight was seeping through the space between the leaves caught me in a state of breathlessness, I was left so speechless by the play of light and shadows on my skin, and the beauty of that moment was so piercingly vivid that a space in my heart was forced open to receive, and I could only respond with tears.

Thinking back, I could judge myself as being silly to be so overly sentimental. But I know it's me being present, to allow myself to be vulnerable in the face of beauty. Caught unaware. To be transformed into a state of awareness.

A beautiful new born baby bird ready to take flight to experience the world. My Mom and I took such drastic measures like covering the plant with a plastic bag so the crows will not know the existence of the nest. I felt fiercely protective of birds who laid eggs and make nest in our garden. I think it's a very natural maternal instincts. As a woman, to want to nurture and protect. Even though it's not my child, and it's not even a human. But life, in whatever form it takes, is precious. Thinking back, it was funny how protective we got.

Maybe because a new life is just so beautiful in its fragility, and also on its limitless potential.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mondo Beyondo Wish List

(Wild Wolf Woman: Untamed, brave, fearless, and possibly very powerful)

Jin and I has been talking about the miracle of magic. And how it's possible to create magic by wishing for something for our own goodness and believing absolutely that we deserve it. Jen Lemen, one of my favourite blogger who blogs here, cofounded Mondo Beyondo which is an online course about dreaming BIG and believing that dreams do come true.

So here is my Mondo Beyondo list, which is really a wish list for dreamers like myself, who more and more believe that writing down a wish and giving it a chance to come out to daylight is similar to casting a spell. I believe this is how miracle happens, at first it's just a thought, and when you do take your dream seriously yet at the same time be able to let it birth itself with the assistance of the benign unseen forces, and be unattached to the outcome- Voila, your dream grabs your hand and takes you for a ride!

So here goes my Mondo Beyondo wish list,

1.) Breathe and live consciously. Be present to life and the beauty which surrounds me.

2.) Fall in love with my self on a daily basis. Appreciate all I have.

3.) Teach art therapy to aspiring teachers so they are empowered and go on to spread the healing prowess of art to the rest of the world.

4.) Be a vegetarian for health reasons and also to reduce the burden of climate change.

5.) Rest and Play: Be silly and have fun and not take myself too seriously.

6.) Travel and teach art and therapy; preferably in Bali, Italy, Spain, Greece

7.) Swim with dolphins

8.) Scuba diving: Get certified and explore the underwater landscape and marine lives all over the world.

9.) Open my own healing/ holistic and conscious living centre and have it furnished like a Bali style resort which offers soul care and support to people who need the sacred space

10.) Open my own art gallery and support visionary/ mythical artists like myself.

11.) Go on a spiritual pilgrimage (I'm thinking India, Bali, Hawaii)

12.) Publish a few books on art/ therapy/ spirituality

13.) Fall in love with the most compatible soul mate and celebrate and explore our journey together.

14.) Leave my hair long and curl it.

15.) Lose weight and have a slender and physically strong and fit body.

16.) Learn to dance salsa, bellydance

17.) Learn a foreign language. I've Spanish/ Italian in mind.

18.) Go travelling across the globe with an art journal and document my journey with a pencil/ paintbrush

19.) Learn and master all the desserts ever existed and perhaps open my own cafe along the way

20.) Learn and master singing and perhaps be able to sing publicly and not feel overwhelmed

21.) Have my own living space which is furnished Bali style

22.) Have my own pet dog.

23.) Create and design my own oracle card deck.

24.) Learn yoga and love it.

25.) Be financially abundant and support a charity drive on a consistent basis.

Wow. I didn't know I've all these baby dreams waiting to be birth in my belly. It's nice to daydream at times and remember who I am and what I desire and what matters to me most. I've been so busy I just feel like I'm drifting aimlessly in the passage of time. What I need now it not so much in "doing" anything but more of accessing my brave heart and watch for the next sign of magic. And see what happens next.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Because Magic Happens. =)

Have you ever experienced the state of fullness where you feel so filled up that you've nothing to say? That's me right now.

The month of May and June are a whirlwind and tornado of events. Dreams coming true. I must apologize to my readers if you've been visiting and wondering why the silence. I've just been so occupied with work that I neglected this sacred space which I regret. So now I'm back, promising myself to be a little more consistent in blogging. And I will visit your blog soonest and be inspired by your life!

I wrote in my diary many years ago that I'll have my 1st art exhibition in 2012. At that time it was still a blurry image of an idea. More wishful thinking than anything else. Yet so many things happen along the way to made the impossible possible. And the gift of dreams achieved was given to me a year earlier. I'll be lying if I tell you that there's no struggles on the way because there are. So many. Blocks mostly self-created. And I'm full of gratitude to being given assistance every time to unblock all these resistance to come back to painting. And proud that I've been so brave, so persistent, and just plain strong headed.

(Me at the art opening of Love's Pilgrimage on 20th May this year. In front of the beautiful crowd which are mostly friends of family, still very shy and raw and a little unsure about talking about the meaning of these very personal artworks for the exhibition.)

(Precious friends from university. Very supportive people who turned up to encourage me and which I appreciate so much)

(Alison and I, both of us joining hands together to make this event a successful one. I learnt so much from her. I don't remember what made us cackle so hard during the speech)

(More lovely people who grace the event with their presence)

My virginal art exhibition, which I jokingly called ended with much success and it's splendid to see friends interacting with one another and enjoying themselves. I learnt about overcoming my shyness of presenting my artworks in front of a crowd. I learnt about the procedure of working with an art gallery, which is managed by a very quirky curator call Vinh and owned by the gorgeous husband and wife team Aiie and Lara. Most of all, I learnt about my own capabilities for creation.

I also told the Universe this year that I'm going to teach art therapy despite being unsure, scared, fearful of making mistakes and being imperfect. I gave up the security of teaching English classes conventionally in centres and pursue this path.

Of creativity. Of pioneering. Of teaching people their highest potential and the path to awakening.

And I'd my 1st art therapy student this year. I've always believe in the healing prowess of art and how it can transform our lives if applied consciously. And even though I was the teacher I end up learning from my student and being inspired to continue this work. Because it is so intensely fulfilling. I truly believe in asking for something which serves both you and the world and the request will be fulfilled.

Magic happens when you come from a place of inner knowing. When you know this is your highest purpose. And you heed the calling. Despite the voice in your mind warning you about the consequences of failure.

And Anais Nin couldn't say it better when she says

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."