The Art of Liberation

It is typical, during a time of great fear or tyranny, that the arts get neglected. Survival takes precedence and creativity is squandered. The arts provide an immeasurable amount of avenues for releasing negative feelings like fear, doubt, sadness, grief, and silence. It is something that we take for granted; those of us who feel free and safe enough to immerse ourselves in it.

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding politics today, and bringing up North Korea typically strikes a negative chord. It can illicit fear and anger almost immediately. While it is a serious situation, I want to shift the attention away from the leaders to the citizens. Think about their lifestyle and what fear they must experience every day. Now, think about their lack of artwork. Photos of North Korea highlight breathtaking views of beautiful scenery, but lack color within everyday life. There is no art. There is no expression. Anything that is created is done so for one purpose: to glorify their leader. That does not mean they do so willingly and that is their art. Their devotion is typically not by choice, and their art (or lack-thereof) illustrates that. There is no freedom to think critically or to express themselves.

What would it look like for children to fulfill their dreams of taking dance classes or learning to play instruments? Someone might paint a canvas of the sky above their new home or a mural of their indescribable journey. Feet that have never danced would carry someone away from their fears. Voices that were silent would suddenly be heard. Hands that served would finally create. Generations of emotion would come pouring from them as they describe their ordeal in a language that the entire world could understand: art.

It is easy for them to fade from our memory altogether as we go about our daily lives; standing next to art that we barely notice is hanging there anymore. Let us be compassionate and empathetic to the people there who are just like us, but who are yearning to be free. Let’s remember the spirit inside of them that they may have forgotten. One day, they will need us to watch and listen as they are liberated through creation. When that day comes, we will see some of the most powerful art that we have seen throughout history.

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The Importance of Human Connection on the Spirit and How to Find This Connection Through Technology

There is a weakening of our spiritual selves when we are disconnected from others who share a similar journey or the paths that we are on. I learned this the difficult way. Seven years ago, I moved from a very diverse area to an area that is the exact opposite. It was like taking a free bird from the sky and caging her. Instead of growing and exploring, I retreated. My differences made me feel isolated, so I ignored them-pushing them far back into myself until they were barely detectable. Recently, I have become more open and honest about myself in hopes of growing in authenticity and spirit. It didn’t take long before I began to blossom. That is not to say that I have blossomed fully; I am somewhere in the middle. My current state is equal to a rose that has just began to bloom. You can see the color through the closed leaves, but the bud has not yet fully opened.

Instead of feeling isolated in my journey, I have found women online who share my interests and are on similar paths. Technology can bring so much negativity into our lives, especially social media. I made it my mission to fill my news feeds with positivity. For every negative article I encounter, I seek out a positive one. For every media page that I follow, I follow two pages that promote positivity and peace. Since doing this, I have restored balance and am able to stay current on events without losing myself to them. This is a practice that took months to adapt to.

A wise woman responded to me this morning with one of the most helpful things that I have heard lately. I introduced myself into a new group of Wild Women and stated that I currently don’t have a tribe, due to my area being very conservative and it being difficult to find like-minded people here to share my journey and experiences with. She said, “Welcome. The world is your tribe!” How beautiful and true. Instead of feeling isolated, she allowed me to feel open to the possibilities of connection beyond my physical existence. I realized how thankful I am for technology and the connection that it can provide, if we use it wisely.

I encourgae you to restore balance and peace within your life by incorporating more “good news” and positive influence into your screen time. Watch inspiring videos, listen to music that moves you, follow pages such as “Good News Network”, learn from people, and connect. Your body and mind will thank you.

Namaste.

Against the Grain

      I am frustrated at being judged for not conforming to societal norms. We live in a world where children are told that they are one in a million, but then grow up and try so desperately to be like everyone else and accepted. Why is it considered taboo to be different? During the rare occasions in which it is celebrated, why is it considered trendy like we all fit into some hipster-hippie, rebellious, counter-culture stereotype? How come we can’t just celebrate the fact that we are all different, tolerate those differences, and love ourselves? I’m frustrated that I’m considered bitchy for not caring–for not being comfortable with conformity and for not caring about acceptance. 

     Here is where that third eye comes in: by writing this, I clearly care; otherwise, I would not feel frustrated. Every single person needs acceptance. It is human nature. I have found acceptance where it matters: in the few friends and family who accept me for who I am and who respect my journey. I guess I am more frustrated that this is something that affects so many people. We are in the midst of a social and spiritual revolution. People are changing. Those of us who are awakening are being criticized and judged. All we want is what everyone else wants: to be happy. Why is it wrong that we want to achieve that happiness through living as our truest form? 

     Food for thought. Questions without answers. The best that we can do is stay true, love, and keep evolving. 

Namaste. 

Broken Record Player

     Imagine you are listening to your favorite album on a record player. The music is playing as you go about your business of tidying up the house and taking care of the kids (insert personal responsibilities). All of a sudden, the record skips JUST as the needle hits the few seconds of a song that you really dislike. You try to go about your business and wait for it to continue with the great song that was playing, but it just keeps repeating the same annoying line. Each time, the lyrics jab at you harder than during the previous loop. 

That is the baseline of an intrusive thought. 

     Some of us get them stronger than others, and they always vary in degree. Sometimes they are short and irritating, and sometimes they are persistent and brutal. It isn’t even confined to our own thoughts. We can have this recurring thought pattern in response to someone else’s feelings. It is very common for us to overreact to things. That is actually a simple thing to understand, we just usually don’t make the connection. By the time we lash out, we have been tortured by this thought so much, that we can’t take it anymore. We need it out and resolved. We just need it gone. The frustration bursts out of us and lands on pretty much anyone. Afterward, we get to be tortured by the thoughts resulting from our regret and self-loathing. It is a damaging cycle that is incredibly difficult to end and even harder to prevent.

     Conflicts that lasted for two minutes can torture the mind for hours or days. Insignificant moments to someone else, can feel significant to us because our brain locked on to it at some point and is having a difficult time letting it go. Trust me, this is far more annoying for us than those who have to witness or unwillingly participate. 

     Those of us who recognize that the record player is broken, work very hard to make it work. We get up over and over again to reset the needle. We try humming something upbeat to distract our minds. At our weakest moments, we swear off the whole record altogether because it would be easier to not listen to it at all, than for it to periodically or semi-constantly torture us. We survive those moments and hit play for another go ’round.

     In the end, we can do nothing about it. Our record player is broken and it is the only one that we have. I will continue to work hard toward my peace by resetting the needle, apologizing to unwilling guests as necessary, and learning about myself in order to improve. But I know that this is me, and in order to be truly happy and at peace, I have to love myself for who I am, exactly as I am. I have to recognize that everyone has flaws and mine are no worse than someone else’s. I have to forgive myself when I screw up. I have to fight my brain every single day to make sure I am in control and thinking on the wavelength that I want. I have to see my strength and perseverance. I have to love myself and all of these things about me. That is what I’m working on every single time the record starts playing. 

     Everyone has their issues to deal with. It is a much more enjoyable life if we learn to understand and appreciate others. It is even more wonderful if we learn to understand and appreciate ourselves. Love yourself. Be kind to one another.

Namaste. 

New BeginningsĀ 

Have you ever “woken up” one day and realized that you have somehow lost yourself? Somewhere between the late night study sessions, running around with the kids, and daily responsibilities, your spirit drifted away. You can vaguely feel it there. It’s calling to you; desperate for you to rediscover it. You make several desperate attempts to find it through bar dates with friends or vacations, but you always return home feeling just as lost as you were when you hustled out of the door. Something is missing and you have absolutely no idea what it is, but you would do anything to reclaim it…but how? How do you find something that is lost when you aren’t sure what it is? You aren’t the same person you were ten years ago before starting a family and a career. You are a new development-designed and built from every decision that you have ever made. So who are you NOW?

That is how I felt. I can’t remember the exact day that it happened. For me, it was gradual at first before hitting me like a proverbial ton of bricks. I became filled with an overwhelming anxiety that grew in intensity the longer I ignored it. My husband noticed also, and we tried to think of ways for me to rediscover who I am outside of the many hats that I wear. We both knew it was time to do something, before I am lost forever.
This is my journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance. My new beginning. I am taking you with me so that you can see what works and what flops. Hopefully, you find something that inspires you to embark on your own journey.

Namaste.