Welcome to the art/life trail!
We are traveling inward and continuing the six month process of sinking deep. The first 90 days (stretching from fall equinox to winter solstice) can be used for mind training.
In as little as fifteen quiet minutes a day it becomes possible to connect with intuitive guidance. This type of mind training can be focused upon an expansion of loving kindness and compassion. But first we, each in our own way, do ourselves a favor to consider…
Static on the Line
The importance that we place upon fifteen minutes of quiet impacts all parts of the art/life.
Art Light Calendar, Dana Cunningham Anderson, 2012
November provides potent and powerful time to assess what needs to die. Death is natural. Look at your art/life. Perhaps you will find that death to limiting beliefs, victimization and undervaluing your contributions may be places to focus.
Deconstruct the old and the outworn to make room for what is ready to be born. This quiet connection enhances and requires stamina. In Buddhist teachings we’re reminded that all living beings simply want happiness. To recognize a commonality without placing blame note the ways that you create static on the line…good medicine for November’s Introspective Super Moon on November 14. To Support this leg of the journey I share my friend and colleague Lilan Laishley‘s current post.
Natural Year by Natural Year we grow and evolve our capacity to make a contribution to what is good and true and beautiful. We are investing six moon/months (between the fall and spring equinox) to access renewable resources so as to create vital new chapter in our brilliant art/life.
During October’s Experience Moon I was inspired by, friend and former student, Jasper Lotus Hawkins to ‘Be Horse’.
You too may have engaged in her exercise and as a result you may be re- imagining your full and true horsepower. Awareness allows you to treat your self with tremendous respect and dignity.
Take note of the inherent nobility of and the brief tenure of your art/life’s passage.
Here is a tribute to Grandfather written by Jasper Lotus Hawkins:
Oscar Garland Mackey (Jasper Lotus Hawkins’ Grandfather)
November 7, 1907-1999
Grandpa Oscar trained horses until he was 91, lived until almost 93, then exhaled his final breath on my cheek. Warm. I was his personal assistant at the end of his chapters, his Secretariat. His best friends were horses and he’d transform into a much younger version of himself while telling stories of time spent with them. He recalled being five, seeing purple flowers outside his childhood home on the morning his mother died. The day of his funeral, a farm-full of horses stood lined along the gate at attention, saluting as we drove past.
They knew a great heart had graced their earth.
Every time a horse exhales near me, I know he’s near.
Consider your treasure underfoot.
Begin to chip away at the hard crusted surface of habits and patterns that keep you from aligning with your highest vision for your art/life.
What makes you feel most alive?
Use your metaphoric pick and soft brush so that you can gently unearth the treasure that is your true heritage.
Take on the role of Alchemist. Be willing to turn the lead of what no longer works in your Life into the gold of expressing your true nature. It’s timely to let this happen now. In your unique-never-to-be-repeated way you can take on the adventure and up-level your commitment to create a Life with, of, and about joy.
Take a Deep Breath
Consider a Life of Deep Joy. What an amazing concept! Can you imagine what it means to make joy your vocation? I first heard of this outlandish concept in the early 80’s. I thought YES! This is for me. I knew it was my responsibility to choose to think the best thoughts regarding possibility and potential for my Life. I instinctively recognized that no one was coming to save me.
Scope Out a Worthy Endeavor
All this moon/month line up with the navigational tools and a theme that touches your heart. Heart work is your personal treasure…your gold.
BE the Alchemist
Be Present, Drozda, Acrylic/wood, 8 x 4″, private collection
Joy as the goal for your thoughts and feelings isn’t the easiest path to blaze because it requires effort. It also requires endurance. It becomes necessary to consciously breakup and deconstruct what has been holding you back from being your creative best. This is one of the reasons that the Natural Calendar can be a boon as it offers the rhythm and the resources to forge forward one moon/month at a time….picture 12 slices making up the circle of an energy focus pie.
The Highest of Arts
To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
I learned the philosophies of the Transcendental Thinkers in 10th grade literature class. I felt awake as I learned of their tenets:
A foundation of transcendentalism is discovering or uncovering the inherent goodness of people and nature. Adherents believe that society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, and they have faith that people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent.
Transcendentalism emphasizes subjective intuition over objective empiricism. Adherents believe that individuals are capable of generating completely original insights with as little attention and deference to past masters as possible.
There is more to the above Henry David Thoreau quote:
It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep. . . . We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep.
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do.
To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
In my art/life the trail shows me the abundance of opportunities to make waking up my priority. I was asleep a long time. I fell so asleep that I fell off the edge of the earth. I went into a free fall and as I grasped a root and held fast I knew I had to rethink every aspect of who I was being and what I was doing. Somewhere in the recesses of my cranium I set an intention to live through conscious endeavor…it was a monumental turning of the wheel and as we know what we focus on expands.
Let’s do a bit of a review so that we are each sensing into a similar orientation.
The Pause That Refreshes
Six moons ago the Natural Calendar opened. It was spring equinox, April/Aries and the opportunity was to gain Clarity on your vision. Who were you being? What were you doing? Where did you want to be going during this year?
The First quarter: ME: April, May and June offered us time to focus upon Clarity, Wisdom and Illumination each in turn. This time allowed us to be healthy placing ‘first attention on Self’. Called the ME/Spring quadrant, each year provides an alchemical turn toward maturity and Self-actualization.
Self Actualization is the peak experience discovered as he placed his attention on the traits of healthy people.
The Second quarter: Others: spans the summer moons and the focus for this ninety days is expansive as it places attention onto Others. We don’t abandon ourselves rather we consider relationship and how we connect to ‘all our relations’. To make this quarter one of wellness we attend to our relationship skills as the ninety days places emphasis on Growth, Trust and Love.
The Third quarter: Life: of the Natural Year brings us to the present point on our trail…the fall quarter opens with the time to reflect on the six moons now experienced. It’s time to be turning our attention to Life and all the opportunities that we now have, based upon the unfolding since spring. In October we have the Experience that leads us to Introspect (reflecting upon death & rebirth) throughout the moon of November as we gather Strength for the moon of December. This quadrant puts attention on the ways that Life itself supports our journey. We learn to Introspect, deepening our meditation practice and our inward turn toward the deep gold mine/mind within. With a sober acknowledgment that all and everyone must die. We embrace those that depart recognizing the opening being made for new life to emerge. Year upon year we pause and come to see our Strength as this ninety days unfolds.
Lastly we enter the Fourth quarter: Mystery: winter quarter from December 21 until March 20… during this ninety day quadrant we lean into the darkest unknown. Now we Cleanse (January) then Renew (February) and eventually Purify (March). At spring equinox on March 20 we enter the new Natural Year building upon the Vision that grows stronger year after year upon the trail. At this point we begin a new spiral dance into the center of the wheel; the Circle of the Natural Year.
There is much swirling about in our collective atmosphere; what with our election and worldwide reaction to the current drama unfolding. It can be a sign of sanity to know that there is nothing to fix. In the long view the actions that we take individually will have the greatest bearing on the way that our experience presents results.
Keep a Focus
Allowing your boundaries to stretch in self-nurturing ways makes room to admit greater levels of what can be considered ancient power. The painter Cezanne wrote that he imagined himself stepping over the dead bodies of all of the artists who had ever lived while hooking himself onto the front of the chain.
We can visualize the Ancestors and the elemental forces of earth, air, fire and water as if seeing through the healing eyes of the healthy Feminine within.
. . . more limitless power for good, more lightness of heart, more breathing space, more awareness of the mystery, more passion for sharing, more creative flow, more being connected to the earth even in wild fury.
Perhaps we can allow more freedom for potent intensity to become more conscious thereby becoming creative in ways that we hadn’t yet imagined. In all these examples the idea of more is beneficial and creates uplift.
And as I close today in this monumental week for our nation I leave you…once again with an inspiration for always that can fit in all ways…borrowed…from Jasper’s Face Book post of November 6:
I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?
Book of Hours, I 2
See you next time as we consider the power of being widened and deepened in our creative commitment to the beauty of the art/life.
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