Let It Go

Why exactly do we "Let it go?" What exactly is "it?" 

I've been telling myself, as well as other people, this sweet little surge of wisdom for a while now and the other day, I really thought about what I was saying. I picked it up from the transformational work and world I'm living in and decided it felt good to sling it around.

It's so easy to have power over ourselves because it's just a choice to do so. I guess this goes hand in hand with choosing to not limit yourself or your beliefs with old patterns and thoughts that no longer serve you.

Just let that shit go! Hell yes I will! That bad, old memory or eating disorder or what someone said to you ten years ago has no effect on who you are today Heather. Let it Go! It's so freeing to release these things and let them fall away. 

But...

Where are they going, really? Why are these things still coming up? If we "let it go" like a stray dog, isn't it the same thing as "out of sight out of mind?" Isn't it kind of irresponsible? What if we're not super stoked on the way our foot is working, cut it off and leave it on a bench for someone else to deal with. Can you imagine coming up onto something like that? I would be pissed to find someone else's severed foot next to my lunch.

Our bodies are record keepers. Besides our brain filing away every experience, the cells and tissues in our bodies also hold memories and emotions. Muscle memory is a recollection from the body as well as sleeping and eating patterns. There are case studies of people recalling memories of other people who have passed and memories and feelings from past lives and even memories from the future. 

I believe there is a reason we hold on to things. I keep reliving traumatic thoughts because every time they come up I'm supposed to learn something. I'm supposed to take another look. It's not about getting rid of it, these events have imprinted in us and have made us who we are today. It's about choosing to see something differently. Instead of dropping it on the bench and running away, stare at it face on.

Perspective is power over our own lives.

It's not about reliving the past and giving these memories power over the present moment or who we are today. Look at it in the eye with a new perspective. Know that the person experiencing these things now, is a different person then the one who it originally happened to. It's just a file of information coming up for you to check out in a different light. Validate and honor these life experiences like we do our ancestors. Love them and know they aren't here now but will always be a part of us. 

Don't let it go, look at it and then put it away. It lives here within us. It needs to be loved and validated just as much as the present moment.

Whatever happened to "Let it be?"

Movement

    Imitation Van Gogh  Starry Night  that anyone can do! I can show you!

    Imitation Van Gogh Starry Night that anyone can do! I can show you!

Ode to The Starry Night.

Van Gogh is long dead, over accessed, researched, copied and used in Art History books. He was a very gifted, tortured white guy that cut off a piece of his ear. His letters to his brother are somber and stagnant and it feels almost defeating to listen to his story over and over again. 

His paintings are up there for the most beloved paintings in Art History. IN ALL OF ART HISTORY. It might be the spoon fed quality of learning in the Western World and who is telling us what art to appreciate in education, museums and media. And It does annoy me to some degree that I painted this and that I'm going to use this painting to lead a workshop. But...I love Van Gogh because he captured movement in the most utterly quite, stillness of life.

His brushstrokes are so simple and careful and free. The paintings' take the viewer on a journey within a single moment. The momentum in the life of the painting is carried by infinite cascades of line, texture and color. 

He painted movement of light, of air, of breath and space. His paintings relay his necessity to capture a present moment in time. As short and sweet and still as the landscape or room was, Van Gogh could see and feel the forward momentum of life happening. Regardless of his presence, regardless of how stagnant and stuck he felt within the confines of his mental ability, these sparse and significant moments of self awareness allowed such profound perception. 

The undefined movement in life can be some grand gestural force like the wind but often it is soft and unspoken, like the decay in the roots of a tree which are unseen beneath the ground.

Becoming aware of this process in life can move us out of all circumstance and back to the present moment of being. Being with the source of life allows us to flow, see and exalt the movement that is promised by grace. 

 

Getting through it

We live our lives going through it. Everyday is changing and progressing forward. Even if we stay in a stagnant state of mind and being, the world around us keeps on keeping on. If we aren't willing to move along with it, we miss out on stuff. 

If we decide it's too hard and we try to get through it, we miss out on stuff. We miss the opportunities to grow and change. Like watching a beautiful leaf floating by in a rushing stream, unless you reach out to grab it for a closer look, it's more then suddenly gone. 

Being in the thick of emotion, stress and "life happens" kind of situations is such an amazing gift for us to grab on to. We have to look within ourselves when this part of life comes our way. We have to welcome the changes, allow them to occur and know that this is part of our amazing human experience. 

Getting through it will get us somewhere. Grabbing onto it will put us up close and personal with the present moment and in with the flow of life. When there is nowhere to get to we can realize that we're already there!

 

Forgiveness

This may be an overly used topic of choice. But it's the first time used here on my blog! So forgive me already!

I forgive myself. At least every other second of the day I have to go inside of myself and say, "Hey dude it's all good! You didn't do anything wrong." If it's beating myself up about not painting enough, working enough, being enough, meditating enough, enough, enough, that is enough! 

Why do we do that? It's exhausting. What if it's something I perceive to do to someone else? What if they tell me I did something wrong and that it affected them? I want them to forgive me but if they don't, I have the most amazing ability to do it for myself.

I always hold compassion and consideration for myself and others. Leading my life this way keeps me in the highest intention. If you always come from a place of love and have a very well developed skill of forgiveness, then even negative perceptions lose power.

This is such a great tool to keep in your paint box. It acknowledges any situation, releases any power or hold from the past and wipes your canvas clean, every time! Life just flows. It keeps your heart open and available to give and receive. Forgiveness is a conduit for opportunity, growth and expansion. It's a valuable gift to ourselves and the world. We really should use it more often!

Disappointment

I've been living my life with an open heart and saying yes to everything. I live in hope and joy for life. The lesson I learned today though, is that hope is also an emotion attached to a future outcome. You can't have hope without setting yourself up to feel another false emotion, disappointment. 

The Universe will give us all we need. I know that what happened today was absolutely perfect. In all honesty, I knew that this outcome was coming, the body is smart! But I still didn't listen and I kept hoping.

Disappointment occurs when you are hoping for something in the future and it doesn't work out the way you wanted. It's a future expectation about something that doesn't even exist. Disappointment isn't even real! 

Instead of setting hope up for failure by using it as an action, we have to start to look at it differently. Hope is a state of being. When you become hope, like love, all definitions fall away and its' energy becomes limitless. I am hope, so I no longer need to hope for any thing or outcome. Living as hope creates so much space for love and consideration for yourself and others.

Be a space of love when things don't work out as planned. Consider yourself first and what really is best for you and your life. Consider others in the scenario. Be a space of love for them as well, letting someone down is tricky. If I consider myself and then you, there is no room for feeling bad or sorry or even guilt. I know that you are considering yourself first and that makes me happy. 

Disappointment is a redirection back to ourselves.

When are you done?

When do we decide to be finished with something or someone or a situation? What is it that brings us to the point of leaving something behind and moving forward? It is definitely defined with a choice that we make. I also believe that preceding the choice is an inner guide that is signaling with lots of flags and sounds and neon signs. 

The choice comes from trusting this part of ourselves. Trusting that we already know the answer to stop. If an experience is no longer serving us, or we're no longer serving it, the body will say, "MOVE ALONG! " Most of the time we just don't listen. Look at all of the really obvious signals our body shout at us like anxiety, fear, helplessness, indifference. People in these states have a hard time acknowledging the mind body connection and will prolong the letting go process. But just so you know, these are definite signs that you are done.

When we aren't connected to ourselves enough, these things go over our head and we are blinded at the opportunity for a choice. I swear that every time I've decided to finally stop and move on, I look back and realize how it was time, clearly!

Trusting that our body and spirit have our back we can confidently choose our life path. When you're done with something, you just stop. 

 

 

20 min.

This is funny. I gave myself a quickie last night. I filmed myself painting these flowers with the intention of speeding up the video and posting it as a blog. The trick was the camera only records for 20 minutes. This is what I came up with. I haven't done any free sketchy painting type things in a while. With the commissions there is such a thought process and space for discovery and unfolding. 

With only 20 minutes I was able to let all of that go. I started with the thought that I wanted to have a finished painting at the end of the video. That was my only rule. There was no need to fret and worry about anything. I just went for it. It was so freeing and fun. It actually came out okay enough and I gave it to my neighbor since the flowers were from her garden. 

Today I wanted to upload the video. I just spent the past 2.5 hours editing the video and trying to figure out how to speed it up. Don't laugh tech people, I'm learning all of this stuff as I go. And after all of this process and learning with such a specific goal in mind, guess what I have? The picture of the painting that only took 20 minutes. 

I was spending way too much energy trying to make this idea of mine work. I just kept trying to do the same thing over and over even though it was not working. I had such a specific and narrow outcome planned and that made it impossible for any space to hold other possibilities. During the learning curves of our lives we have to be flexible. We have to stop trying to shove the square peg into the round hole. Sometimes you just have a peg in one hand and a hole in the other.

Look how bright and happy 20 minutes can be in that intention. Can you imagine what it would look like in a year? 

Inside the Painting Process with me!

I want to share myself as I create. I want to capture my brain and thoughts inside the moments of my time painting. I know all of you can relate! This is my first go at putting this on video and I can't wait until it gets better and better! 

What do you choose?

We are so blessed to have a choice.

I'm just going to keep this light of course. I'm talking about our own personal choices in what we perceive to be true. The choice we make for our own lives and how in this society a choice is a powerful tool. 

I just had a triple whammy of a day yesterday. Three perceivably not so great things happened to me within an hour. I freaked out. My stress level went there and I panicked. In the past this would have absolutely floored me. I would not be up right now writing. I would stay in my bed letting my emotions take over and my body shut down. I would stick my head in the sand and allow my brain to analyze every scenario of how, what and why this was all happening. 

I'm actively choosing to NOT do this ever again. I know something I didn't know before. Becoming so centered and getting to know who I really am has given me a lot of power. I know that feeling bad is a choice. Feeling frustrated is a choice. Look it still happened, I allowed it for a minute, I felt it, I cried my eyes out but now what? Now I have to choose myself over these things that happened that are now in the past. My reality has changed a little and I will have to maneuver my life differently then I did yesterday but my insides are still the same. 

No matter what happens to me externally and even to my body, I have the choice to choose myself. I choose to stay hopeful. I choose to laugh at the horribly bad timing these blessings of life come into fruition. I choose to create.

Blocked

Blockages can feel intense, dull and sometimes unnoticeable. They can occur accumulatively and sneak up on you or all at once. Just like the bathroom drain, it starts slowly and then one day BAM nothing else is going down that sucker, unless its' down all over your feet. 

I'm really examining what I just wrote above. A blockage occurs but stuff is still coming out. Maybe when we're blocked creatively it's not that the ideas aren't coming or that we don't know what to do. Maybe it's that we just keep trying to jam the same thing down the same hole? The stuff is flowing but it just needs to be received differently. It needs a place to be and perhaps a different container.

Creative blocks come to me and I can get pretty hard on myself. I can feel like I'm not progressing fast enough or not doing what I should. I've learned that if I stay in this perspective, I will fulfill all of the above requirements and become artistically paralyzed. 

Blocks are just part of the process. Being blocked needs to be received differently. I'm starting to welcome these painting and writing stumps. They allow me to take a step back. I get to sit with what I have. I get to be in the moment with what I have already created or with what I have yet to create. A block is just a space. It's a tool that we can utilize to our benefit if we change the meaning and course of outcome. 

Shake it up. Step away from what you're in the middle of. Go far a walk. Turn the painting upside down and stare at it for an hour or a whole day. Put your work away and do something completely different. Paint your face and take pictures of yourself in the bathroom. 

The Block is just a perception. The creativity is still in there. The content exists. When we learn to trust ourselves and love the process, the stuff we can come up with is that much more amazing. It has so many different opportunities of existence.

 

Consideration

To love is to consider.

We have the innate and unique ability to love and express love with our emotions, words and body. Using these love expressing tools is the way we know how to love. We love outwards. We give it away. We project our love onto other people in hopes they get something from it and also that we get something in return. I'm starting to believe that this is actually not love at all. This is another method of getting. This is another way our body manipulates our spirit to receive and to thrive.

It's hard to imagine expressing love being a bad thing. But, if love is expressed without consideration for oneself, then the other person, it is not true, from the core love. It is a false sense of love that holds an expectation of either a return in admiration or a sense of gratitude from giving. This kind of love is a breath without an exhalation.

If I truly love myself first, I am a whole, complete person. The love from within will be overflowing and without any effort will run and drip all over everyone. Because I considered myself, I now know how to consider you. This expression of love just happens. It's without compromise, promise, expectations or ideals. It just is.

A need to be loved is a calling from our inner selves. We are not lonely because we need a husband or a friend or confidant. We are lonely because we choose to look outward instead of in.

This work is hard. It is much easier to find another person in the same predicament and hold each other up by expressing love the way we've learned. The body is so determined to fight its way to the end, it will do anything to secure its place here on Earth. It will find love in all the wrong places to keep up the disillusionment of happiness and fulfillment. This way of love is not sustainable and it will keep you in a constant state of seeking. 

Look inward first. Know who you are before you try to know someone else. This is the greatest gift and the fullest love you can share with the world. Consider the other person before you tell them you love them. Make sure you speak from a place of truth and experience because you love yourself first. 

Emotion

watercolor hummer.jpg

My old printmaking Professor, whom I will forever cherish, used to critique my paintings with me on his off hours. I will never forget him saying to me that you should never paint out of emotion. I know he didn't mean paint without emotion but that you should have solid concrete content and direction. He just didn't believe you should paint your feelings and call it art. 

That has always stuck with me. I understand what he meant coming from the professional artist perspective. But as an emotive human that likes to create stuff, it never really sat well. 

The consideration of creativity is spurred out of emotion. It's a feeling in your self that propels you forward into grabbing the paintbrush and getting this idea out of your head. Emotion is just energy like everything else and when accessed and allowed you can use it to your advantage, especially in creative endeavors. We were created and we are full of emotion!

Wouldn't coming from the content come from an emotional state? Would you arbitrarily make something with no idea to begin with? Even if you began with the idea of  just starting to make something with no plan or thought. It would still have an emotion associated. I could see feeling emotionally available, or annoyed at myself for making this random thing to prove a point on a blog. 

For so many years I've worried that using my feelings in artwork was bogus. That it meant I wasn't a real artist. 

Allowing myself the space for emotions to roam free enhances my creative process. It allows me to let go of the outcomes, to stay loose with my brush strokes and trust my intuitive ability with color. Just being in my natural state of me, which is emotional and complex, lets me see other peoples' emotions and replicate it with paint. 

Everybody has an opinion on how things are supposed to be. Emotions are either too strong or not enough. You shouldn't bring them to work with you or you shouldn't let people see these parts of you. You shouldn't paint from them.

Thank you for self expression. I love how the concepts against and around emotion breed nothing but pure and boundless emotion. 

Expectations

                        Photograph by  Kevin Cease  

                        Photograph by Kevin Cease 

When we visualize something we want, we generally have a picture or association attached. It becomes the thing we strive for, a possession of something or someone. We define what it is, how we want it and what it will feel and look like. Why do we expect things? What is it we are always trying to look forward to?

I don't think the source of our being is guiding us in any direction except right here in stillness. Each breath comes intuitively, we aren't sitting around waiting for it. When it comes we aren't surprised or disappointed because it didn't feel as great as the last. There's nothing to hold in the breath, that shit just happens. 

The expectation is a misinterpretation between needing to move inward but instead looking outward. We think we need to facilitate the changes and evolutions that are just going to happen. 

 I don't believe expectation is part of the greater plan. How can it be when every second of time is new and different? Is it the momentum of life around us? Why do we feel so responsible for these outcomes?  

This way of living is nonsense. It creates so much stress and tension to always need control over everything. Management sucks. Being in charge of everyone else is a disaster. Why on Earth would you make a conscious choice to manage the outcomes in life when life just happens for you?

Dropping expectations from your life vision and purpose opens up the space and freedom to dream ANYTHING. When your dreams come from inside of your soul and are free from attachments, they become all intention and purpose. Dropping expectations of any possibility, the dream itself becomes the dream and already exists within the conception. There is nothing to strive for, gain or expect when you live within your truest expression of self. This is the ultimate lesson in trust. 

"Law of Attraction"

   Christian   36x 48 oil on canvas

  Christian  36x 48 oil on canvas

The Law of Attraction is such an attractive concept. You put out the energy, thought or visualization of anything your heart desires and it comes back to you through a universal, energetic co-op.

Before being associated with this idea, The Law of Attraction was a scientific term regarding particles in space and how like substances would attract to one another and unlike substances would eventually repel. This theory then incorporated energetic fields, like magnets. It makes sense that if we believe that everything is just a form of pure energy, even us folks, that this would also apply to how we work and our thoughts.

The vision painting above is for Christian. Christians' wife ordered this for his birthday this past May. Christian and I met for a walk on the bay, we skipped stones on the flat water and he shared the most incredible adventures from his life. He is such an amazing protector of our planet and its' creatures. He loves his family and his wife. He loves to be outside, in the water, in nature. He has an amazing whit and sense of humor and has no fear. 

Life happens, health stuff, job stuff, head junk stuff and sometimes the person we are gets away from us.

I didn't really get a sense of a "future" vision from Christian. But his life is so full of amazing substance and he sent me incredible pictures of meaning and value to him. I struggled with this because it wasn't the "purpose" of this painting. It's not supposed to be a portrait but a tool to use for the Law of Attraction. To put the intentions for your life out into the Universe so it can come flooding back in.

What if we don't need to have some grand scheme for our future? What if we realize that like attracts like and if we like, or more so love ourselves, we will come full circle, back to ourselves!?

 This painting is who Christian has been and who he is now! It's a reminder to him of how amazing he already is! If he continues to allow this for himself, his future is full of Gold, Magenta and Pthalo Blue! The tide is constantly changing and he's in charge of maneuvering himself around.

I am allowing the vision of now to be just as important, even more so then some goal oriented, esoteric, symbolic sense of who you want to be. Laws are meant to be broken, just ask Christian!

Abandon it

Stripes  8 x 8 acrylic and charcoal

Stripes 8 x 8 acrylic and charcoal

Abandonment of everything you've ever known is the only way to move forward in life and accelerate towards the heavens. There is no other way to achieve your dreams then to let go of everything not serving you and standing in your way. To have an idea is great. To make the time to pursue your idea is great. To completely rip your current life from under your feet doesn't feel that great but how else can you really stand on your own, pick up your ass and make shit happen?

There is no longer any room for dilly-daddle, distractions from talking about stuff and procrastinating because there's no firm dead line. Your dreams are who you are, they're all you have to stand on and it is time to reach for the stars. Dreams take action to make into reality. When you learn this and your heart is just too full of passion to go around carrying it any longer, it has to be abandoned, released and exalted as the most important action of your life. 

So I quit my job :)

Before the Vision

  Jax's Hummer            10x10 oil on wood                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 Jax's Hummer          10x10 oil on wood                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

I just got off of the phone with my amazing friend Jodi. We just talked for two hours. The conversation was full, intense, exhilarating and I'm buzzing all over right now. A few weeks ago we rediscovered our friendship after a few years passed. Something innate told me we are going to co-create something together. I expressed this to her and though a strange assumption after so long of being apart, she was graciously receptive. "We're going to do a documentary," I said. "But I don't know of what."

This last phone call was the beginning of our journey on this film of what we don't know. We have no absolute for it, there really is no clear vision or imagery or exact direction. We just have an idea of something and we feel the need to do something so we've decided to do it. This is just the start.

I was trying to relate this to my vision paintings. What a great tool it is to know what you want and have an actual image in front of you for a guide, reminder and inspiration. Well, what if you can't exactly put your finger on that image? What if the directions are still a little furry and manifesting your desires is feeling heavy because you don't know exactly what to ask for? 

Ask for help. 

Sometimes the vision isn't so clear in your own mind but other people can see it for you. I feel like I can see the beauty and potential in everyone I meet and I love the opportunity to help them flesh it out. Maybe you're just asking the question wrong and someone else can tweak the words and all of a sudden you understand what they're saying and it completely connects the dots. 

Painting these dreams for people is a process of unfolding, I don't know exactly what the finished product is going to look like. They have an idea and I help them to make this idea into a vision.

If the intention of a possibility is set and you create movement towards it, ask for help and co-create. Release the attachment to an outcome and trust that the process will get you what you need and wanted. Before the vision is the most important part because it's the start. 

Signs and Symbols

I'm Here        12x30   oil on canvas                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

I'm Here    

12x30 

oil on canvas                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                        

 

 

Navigating this world in trust is challenging. It's exhilarating to not know what's behind every bend but at the same time it's hard to let go and not be scared of the unknown. As we become more self aware and in tune with our bodies, within the expansion of ourselves, the senses become heightened. This facilitates our momentum forward in choosing adventures and dreaming big for our lives.

Our senses of touch, sound, sight and taste support our need to be validated and continue in the presence of trusting the Universe to fulfill our paths. These senses start to acquire a language of their own. We call them signs and symbols. We tend to associate meaning and validation of a correct path chosen and even a direct communication from the Universe. "The stars spoke to me last night" is an example of using this ideology to validate how I was feeling  the other night when camping and I saw a shooting star. 

Butterflies, coins, a look from someone, a familiar song on the radio, are all signs and symbols we wrap meaning behind as if it's a big thumbs up from God. We already know, these are just  little miracles helping us along our way. How does the Universe speak to you directly? One of my big messengers are hummingbirds, obviously they're infiltrating my art but they are always around at the perfect moment when I'm in a state of disillusionment and not trusting that I know.