8/31/11

Listening

Recently Julean Treasure gave a TED talk about how our listening skills have been diminishing. He suggested we use the following practices to bring back skillful 
listening and to help raise our consciousness and peacefulness: 
1. Practice getting completely silent for several minutes a day. 
2. Take time to listen to and isolate all the mixed up sounds where you are
3. Pay attention to the "hidden choir"and savor the mundane sounds around you, from the crickets chirping to the whir of the clothes dryer.
4. Notice how you listen, whether you are judging the sound, what it's quality is, how it's making you feel, and if you are actively listening or letting it all drone in the background.
5. When you receive a new sound, notice, appreciate, and summarize it's essence.
To Julean's excellent list, I'd like to suggest we:
A. Stop what we're doing and give undivided attention when others are speaking.
B. Pay attention to each sound we make, from our footsteps to closing doors, eating, speaking, and breathing. If we get silent enough, we might even hear our own heartbeats. 
C. If we remember that all sound is vibration, and vibration is energy, we might want to minimize our contribution to the noisy buzz, and instead move and speak in ways that add positive energy. 
Sounds and words are powerfully creative, and we can all learn to be more intentional 
in the quality of sounds we contribute. With improved quality of sound, 
maybe we'll all want to listen more carefully. 


What do you hear, how is the sound where you are right now? 

8/17/11

Creative Space Available

To create, it's helpful to have a space that's ready and inviting, saving time from
constant preparation and "fixing to work." With that in mind, I decided to dedicate a small 
corner of my yoga room to become my watercolor corner. I needed the workspace to be 
sturdy but portable, so that I can easily slide the table into the next room when space is needed. 

I rummaged my basement and found the perfect ingredients:
An old, dog chewed side table,
a wooden plank and 2 old wooden slats.
With a plan in place, my man was all aboard to help out, 
eager for an opportunity to exercise one of his many power tools. 
 A few minutes later, the table was made.  I covered it with a garbage bag, 
organized my watercolor tools, added a workshop light, and stuffed an old 
t-shirt to raise a little stool to the correct height.   
Ready and organized, I sat right down to paint.
It wasn't a masterpiece, but the process felt perfect.
What activity do you spend time preparing for constantly?
How could you better organize it so it invites you to create more often and with ease?

8/3/11

Discovery





Children absorb themselves in whatever is before them, playing, creating, and uncovering wonders as they go. A child doesn't think about how his art will turn out, but instead immerses himself in the process. 


Here is my grandson Kaj, exploring and creating with markers.

As he drew he exclaimed, "Oh, look! I'm drawing those things that turn into frogs." Here is his completed "Tadpoles:"


A few minutes earlier, using watercolors, he made "Colored Rain:" 


The art process brings openings and a break from the routine for all of us, young and old. This week I'm letting go of my "To Do's" for several days and will be immersing myself in a watercolor and yoga retreat. I'm packing my childlike spirit of discovery, and am looking forward to a new experience and whatever insights develop.