Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Art and Angels

Last Sunday I attended a soft pastel class conducted by a bubbly Japanese lady who's married to Malaysia, it was my last minute decision to sign up because I was worried I couldn't finish my Masters assignments. But my heart says "go, go, go!" and I have to listen to the insistent voice. Turns out that not only it was insanely fun and inspiring, I also had a creative de-stress session while I plunge my head, heart and soul into painting with soft pastel. I've never attempted that medium so was delightful to find that it's effects are dreamy and surreal.

The teacher, Yoshie (bottom right), sharing about soft pastel art while us students listen on intently. I was running around like a restless child taking pictures!

Her works, colourful manadalas. If you're familiar with Carl Jung, a psychotherapist, he says mandalas are the doorway to understanding about your SELF. I think my teacher's SELF is beaming with gorgeous-ness the way the picture is drawn here.

Adults "heart" at work, it's cute to see grown-ups (especially men) concentrating on creative expression. There's something inherently healing about making art in the presence of others, and sharing what the art and creative process means to you in a group.

I picked a card that says "beloved One" and this is my attempt to portray the kind of soul-mate relationship I envision to have and experience. Very lovey-dovey and loaded with sweetness I know. *Blush. Also, I wish for the spaciousness and growth in it too.

Me "heart" at work, drawing my own pairs of wings to get me fly high and soar! Everything you see on paper is drawn by our dainty fingers. It's a very gentle and patient approach to art I felt. If you're the impatient sort of person this really helps train you to be present in the moment and not rush the process. Anyway the process is as much rewarding as the end product. Or more.

Another student's art, she's way way too brilliant and artistic. I love the beauty that each piece of her art conveys. Speechless is a term I would use to explain my response as I savour her work.

Some of our works, proudly displayed on the wall.

I'd so much fun I couldn't stop savouring everything about the day. Art has this magical touch of uplifting your spirit and moods, and help you gain an alternative perspective if you're feeling stucked and dry. It's a reminder of the beauty you're capable of expressing, and the joy of being a creator. My next mission-get meself a box of soft pastel and start making a dreamy, happy mess!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Creative Souls Blossoming

I spent the whole day today coaching a spirited social worker that works with high-risk street kids, drug users to learn alternative art therapy so she could incorporate in her work. I felt an urge to conduct the class in nature, surrounded by trees and fresh air, away from the confinements of four walls. So we ended up in the park, our paintbrush, colours, paper all make a happy mess on the table under the shaddy tree. And I'd so much fun coaching especially when new ideas flow into my moment of inspiration when I least expected it!

Kat is lovely, she's a really curioys and enthusiastic student, and I know that fun for her is so crucial (a priority actually!) so I tried to coax her to paint using mediums other than paintbrush and crayons. She love finger painting- this is her in the process of painting her life purpose with her fingers! her favourite activity of all!

Love the bamboo tree behind her. The painter is fully engaged in her creative process!

(Below) A message from her wise self, a creative poet making poetry! Using old fashioned ink dipped pen and writing in cursive letters really channels an old-soul kind of wisdom! hehe

(Below) Kat's divine soul portrait.

Awareness exercise. I asked her to take pictures of things in the park that represents who she is. This aims to expand one's awareness. And Kat was absolutely ecstatic to be wandering around the park with my pink camera taking snapshots of pieces of beauty that we might not noticed if we didn't pay attention.

She's very observant. She shares her insight that the dead and dying leaves are nourishing the new baby plants. Life/Death/Life is always a very present cycle.

Someone's junk. But perhaps it was there to remind a passerby to pray for Japan. And to keep praying. I felt a solemn need to say a prayer when I see this.

(Below) Appreciating little beauties. With the touch of her hands perhaps the flowers could blossom even more vividly.

Eggs. Hidden from human eyes new life awaiting...

Even as the teacher my student teach and reminds me to walk free, as she paint with orange glee the message that her body needs. She's really free-spirited, and with a heart of gold, it shows in her love for her work with the marginalized community, even if the work is tiring, but she's still so passionate about serving a purpose. Her love for life and people, and her simple philosophy and wisdom that precedes her age humbles me.

It's wonderful after a day like this, I'd come home with a tired body, but my heart and spirit uplifted and inspired because I deeply love the nature of my work and the fulfillment it brings. Both of us, nature-lovers, creative spirits, big dreamers, had so much fun teaching and learning about the healing prowess of art. Who's the teacher? Who's the student? The line considerably blurred. I hope to keep doing this soul work, making this soul art. More people need to know the benefits of art, and learn the magic it promises.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sacred Marriage

The real thing and the shadows, both complemented each other in a beautiful union.

I've been contemplating about dualities, and how most of our sufferings are stemmed by it, revolves around it, and can be healed by resolving it.

We give meanings to things, and when we perceive something as positive and another as negative, we reject the negative and want it disappear, gone, vanish. And when we perceive something as positive, we tend to want it, desire it, demand it.

We suffer when we don't get the +ve, we suffer when we get the -ve.

But most of all, we suffer because our reality is divided into this either-or dichotomy.

For example,

In my mind,

I appreciate my depth of being, and think shallowness is such a shame. So I judge someone else as shallow when he or she is not as deep as I wish them to be. It's my bimbotic self that I've rejected. But in all honesty, being constantly in the deep is like diving underwater, I'm no mermaid, so I felt suffocated if I remain there too long. It feels good once in a while to come up to breath air, and clear my head space, and it's ok to be silly and poke fun at myself and things. I have accepted that while I'm philosophical and I always dig deep for meanings, there's a part of me that's sheer nonsensical.


In the past, before I've come to self-empowerment, there are so many times when I've looked for others so that I could transfer my powers to them. Mr. Perfect used to be so intelligent and so brilliant in his studies and mouth-crackingly funny. No faults, just pure awesomeness. In comparison, my own light is dimmed. I'm not enough. Not brilliant enough, not funny enough, not beautiful enough. It's as if you're wearing a power-transfer lense in replacement of the wisdom of your soul-eyes. Either he is perfect or you are imperfect.

But when I've learn that true empowerment comes from within, the lenses broke into pieces.

Mr Perfect is just half divine, half human. Half human now because you see that while he's funny, he might be using humor or words to cover other insecurities. While he's brilliant, he can also bask too much in the glory of his mind to be down to earth. Half divine because you acknowledge that this person has so much potential and so much beauty, even in his flaws and imperfections, scars and wounds. You see that if he gets down to business to heal his shadows, his gifts emerge and he'll be awaken to be a powerful and compassionate human being.

Can a man only be strong or vulnerable? Can a man be both? Will you appreciate or trust someone who only has one side of that, either fully strong or fully vulnerable?

I'll appreciate someone who is both strong and vulnerable, because that's balanced..

I'm saddened when I heard men tell me that it's a men's world, and you've to fight to stay in the battlefield. You've to put up a tough front, survival skills, be macho. And you know these men are bitter and angry because they aren't allowed to experience their vulnerability.

Can you understand why this world is so tired, so stressed, so unhappy? Because we're coerced and manipulated to think we can only choose to be one side of the coin.

So all you can do is to love him. love the differences. Love you, Love yourself. Because whatever shadows he has you have too. All the people have them. And I have them too.

I'm my shadows and my gifts.

So what heals the dichotomies, the binaries, the dualities?

In healing that split in the mind, to love both and to appreciate both and see them as one, one cannot exist without the other. The union and acceptance of the opposites is what heals.

I'm craziness and sanity.

I'm devilish and angelic.

I'm childish and mature.

I'm foolish and wise.

I'm selfish and selfless.

I'm dirty-minded and pure.

I'm narrow and open.

I'm my body and my mind.

I'm soulless and soulful.

I'm full and empty. The lists goes on... and on.

I'm all the above and none of the above.

The union and marriage of the opposites lift the burden of separation in my heart. When I married all my inner opposites, I no longer battle them and peace persists. Perhaps if the world heal the illusions of separation, there'll no longer be battle of the sexes, or religious wars, or warring of any kind.

No more me vs you.

Just a reconnection.

Of Me=you. One= All. All= One.