“What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.” John Updike
I was so grateful to have many hours painting in my studio recently. I still have unfinished paintings that I can’t wait to get back to even little bits at a time, but it feels great to get a few completed. Two of the paintings have a common thread ~ the lotus flower. I have been drawn to the lotus recently; painting them gave me this amazing sense of peace. Each brush stroke of the petals flowed right through me and as each flower took on more of its character I found myself feeling this immense sense of calm. Just letting go and being in the moment. I have a feeling the lotus will be popping up in some more pieces in the future! On reflection I see why the lotus is drawing me in.
“There is always, always something to be grateful for.” Author Unknown
I am a believer that the universe conspires to bring us what we need at each moment. Not always in the way we would like, but none the less what we need to continue learning and growing as spiritual beings. It may be God keeping his plan for each of us in place; weather you call that higher power God, Source, Buddha, Allah, or some other name its the same. Man is always seeking to control his own life and destiny, I know I fall in that trap, I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not in charge of the plan, its already in play and I will receive what I need ~ hold on tight and take the ride. Developing the courage to let go of that imagined control is a healthy part of spiritual growth. We think we can contain or keep control of all areas of our life, but we cannot, any more than we can control the natural world. We need to be open to endless possibility, learn to be the best we can be, and love one another. Love one another. (I think that bears repeating) I am currently in the midst of my own lesson on letting go of my imagined control.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Pablo Picasso
My adult daughter has special needs, she has received a variety of labels; Developmental Dyspraxia, ADD, Cognitive Impairment, and Autism. Raising a child with special needs provides all kinds of challenges throughout his/her lifetime and we have definitely had our share. Raising any child has challenges, its just a little different with special needs kids. We’ve gotten past the school age challenges and have moved into the real world part. You know, where you want your grown child to be happy in adult life, have a purpose, have a good group of people to interact with, things like that. Not really any different than what I want for my two sons, just a different path to get there. Being happy is the big one for me, and yes happy looks different on each person, but happiness is so important. My daughter has been working with a wonderful organization for about six months now,TEACCH; moving into the job realm. She has a wonderful job coach and we are so excited for her and this phase. However this is a whole new experience and all of the sudden the breaks are on because with this phase comes more evaluations, and then meetings, recommendations, and then more paperwork, evaluations, testing, interviews, appointments, etc etc etc. My daughter will never suddenly not have these disabilities so its hard to understand going through this all over again rather than using the 25 years of information, evaluations, and testing we already have. Its a lot of work, not physical work, emotional work. Some of the questions you have to respond to and some of the protocol in the process are a bit demeaning and dredge up old and new feelings of hurt, worry, anger, and frustration. Not just regarding her and her future but also the way our society treats (or offers services to, or denies services to) our special needs population. Throughout this process I find myself saying over and again ‘Why does this process have to focus so much on what she can’t do?’ I have said it so often aloud and in my mind that it feels like a mantra the past few weeks. It was kind of bogging me down. I was losing my zen. I was not liking the ride. I wasn’t having an easy time with that control part either.
“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.” Author Unknown
I found myself looking back to a few weekends ago. I took a Reiki first degree weekend workshop at Hillsborough Yoga with Debra Collins. It was a wonderful experience, (one I highly recommend if you are interested in healing arts) the meditation, learning, and connection to others was truly a blessing. In the midst of my current experience now, how do I keep that great feeling I brought home? Then it clicked. My lotus flowers were reminding me of the peace, and happiness I could have if I chose. But its hard! Its hard because the outside world gets in. Its hard because it means giving up the imagined control. Its. Just. Hard. It gets easier when I spend more time in the studio, more time reflecting, meditating, releasing. Letting my arts wash off the dust of daily life. Its time to refocus myself on what my daughter can do in this process and let go of how the system looks at her, I can’t change that and it doesn’t do me or her any good to focus on it. I think all types of art, both creating and enjoying them, can wash that dust off if we let them. I’ve still got another month or so before the process is over and our daughter can move on again with her job coach, but my message has been received universe, so lighten up now, I got it. I’m letting go of trying to control; creating peace of mind ~ and art! Pop on over to my gallery check out my new pieces and let some of my art wash the dust off your soul!
Light, love, and laughter,