Every so often, I take my own classes. Either by tape recording, reading notes, or videos. What I have noticed is true progress. Not the kind of progress measured by getting better at what I do, but progress measured by my ability to let go and enjoy who I was then and who I am now. Everyone has heard that we are our own worst critic. We sometimes hear that that is what drives people to accomplish goals. I can see that. But what I miss from that type of drive is the belief that what I share matters. All too often, I find that my critiques for myself need more gratitude, because they take away from my feelings of credibility. How many more people would openly share their heart song if they did not worry about the little details that MIGHT be taking away from their works? Centering my intentions on equanimity while I reflect on my works brings a sense of honor to my experience for where I was, regardless of how unpolished it may have been. When considering the duality of enjoying the journey and constructive criticisms~ I will continue to look at my "mistakes" with more ease. I don't want to look blindly towards progress if it makes me miss out on who I was and the authenticity of the moment. We can set goals to direct our energies effectively, but never really own many parts of our future. The future is a gift that we may or may not receive in this human experience. How can one truly appreciate the rawness of the human experience without loving the original form that we have polished ourselves from? What I have gained in the last seven years is not knowledge. It is the experience of appreciation and deeper humbleness for the sacredness of everything whether originally seen as good or bad. I will learn to find compassion for myself, so that I can give it wholeheartedly to others. ॐ Namaste dear friends and pat yourself on the back for... yourself. It is good to be you!
My words may fail me sometimes, but my heart has not. This online class is a blast from the past, that I visited on my mat and in my mind today.
GOOD VIBES DEAR SISTER
When you're not sure what to do, or how to think... Take a deep breath and try. Try to feel, try to think, and allow yourself to just be. Feel the tears, being moved from you because of life and death. Allow these tears to move you into a deeper sense of awareness. These tears, over time, initiate your mind into a calming embrace, a refuge. Through your sorrow you will find your most intimate knowledge of life. A deep yearning grows from within you, to move through the burning sufferings of evanescent worlds. Feel the inadequacies of what can be touched, obtained, and seen. Feel how these things can be taken from you. How unsettling yet precious your affections become. A primal understanding emerges from well tended grief. Do not look outside for answers to grief, this understanding comes from within the heart. An understanding of what connects you two infinitely.
As feelings grow weary, they begin to settle. Feel a primal call invite your individual self back from raw emotions. It’s that linear, logical, and individual voice coming from the pit of your stomach that says I AM. It is the equal, and opposite, reaction that helps you grow from your feelings and honor the human experience. Thinking becomes a harmonic partner to feeling in the grievance process. It bears reason and allows growth, despite the crushing song of your mourning soul. Logic becomes a necessary factor in finding the peace and evenness of a clear mind. Generation upon generation has felt, and thought, and been in immense pain just like you. Despite how much it hurts, surrender to the pain, it will purify your perspective and allow goodness back into your vision. Billions of people have tried to understand your current calamity. Eventually the emptiness that is carved out by the pain, makes room for the heart song to sing;
EVEN THOUGH YOU WERE, I KNOW THAT THERE IS MORE... WE STILL ARE
In this constantly changing reality, the human experience is pieced together by feeble attempts to understand. Your greed, anger, and ignorance dig your feet further into the sufferings of this earth. But as your heals dig in and your loved one is still gone, you know that there is more. There is sacredness to both your pleasures and your pains. Feel the pain move into the linear expressions of your logical mind. Honor what you are thinking and feeling, marry the two experiences and your soul will open up. Kiss his lingering presence by taking refuge in gratitude for the gifts you have been given by Jason.
Death is the greatest teacher of gratitude. In loving memory, the widowed try not to waste anything, because everything has become precious. What have you received? What have you given? What troubles and difficulties have you caused? Don’t be cruel. My teacher and friend Carmella once said: “no one heals from cruelty.” Think on these questions until you experience unbounded compassion for your feelings. Compassion makes the most of what we have been given. It clears impermanent stories out of the way and creates the room needed for goodness and truth.
Be sensitive to each moment. Continue this awareness until you are able to pull back the curtains and see, if just for a moment, that the light is indeed still behind the darkness of the pain. Darkness is how we are able to conceptualize light. It is with good reason that we grieve. Cry dear sister, now is not the time to be brave. As this painful experience moves you through the process of letting go, you will release what was temporarily shared by the two of you. It is then that the eternal nature of your love emerges. Allow your layers to peel back slowly. Feel then think, feel then think, feel then think.
You won’t completely uncover your core and become free from suffering in this lifetime dear sister, but your core has never left you. Keep coming back to what you know. Breath evenly, then take your greed, your anger and ignorance; hold it in the heart space of compassion. Smooth over these feelings one thought at a time. No one can ever understand how much it hurts that he is gone. In a sense you will die as well, losing this worldly identity that you created with him. This is necessary in order to sense his new place within and without you.
Even without him here, his arms will fold about you. This is because of your infinite and unchanging consciousness, it's what binds us together. This is a practice. Although the experience is fleeting, it is good. Trust in your grief. Honor his existence and find gratitude for the chance to have known him. Feeling, thinking and simply being:
Your mindscape will continue to hold the loss of your beloved. Good vibes, dear sister, is a verb. You will not be given good vibes, they must be made. Choose to hold your grief in that space, creating good vibes around life and death. It is your choice alone. With time and the refuge of compassion, your soul will again feel bright. Grievances will no longer shadow the light. The separation between past, present and future will dissolve. Just concentrate because your heaven lives on. There you will find him, ancient bits of conscious stardust connected to the ancient atoms that make you.
Drop your head back into your heart. Allow yourself to feel how you feel, the darkness is okay.
Healing will occur as you learn to move from the realm of concepts to the world of direct experience.
I cannot take your pain away, or speed its transformation into grace. I wish I could give you back his warm embrace. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about you, and care about you. You are so precious, dear sister, the salt of the Earth. May your mindscape ever embrace the preciousness and fluidity of GOOD VIBES.
Two lemons set atop a table that draws a horizontal line all the way across the frame. Then the contrasting curvy lines in the lemons come into focus in the center of the picture as the eyes are drawn from lemon to lemon, then back into the first lemon, and so forth. This creates a sort of closed composition in which the eye continues to move back into the painting.
Philip Barlow crafted a work of art in which he applied human ideas of love to inanimate objects. It is small and oil on canvass. The cost is substantial despite its size; it is listed at $2000. The subject is two lemons on a table propped in such a way that the protruding remains of style portions of the lemons are touching each other. The work is titled Love Gone Sour. This could be interpreted many ways. The lemons on the table are simple and clean, in contrast to the idea of the paintings title; love going sour while the subjects kiss.
Realism is the style of the painting. The chiaroscuro of the vibrant shading is what gives the lemons such a dramatic three dimensional quality. Shade created by complementary colors grace the bottoms of the lemons and cast a shadow at their base. It seems like they are being lit from above which is common for a table.
Barlow paints the colors of the lemons as vibrant hues of yellow and orange. The shadows on the lemons seem to be derived from complementary colors because even the shadows seem vibrant. It leads one to wonder if Barlow intended to portray something specific within the vibrant shadows and personified title.
Rhythmic patterns in the painting are simple; one element is in focus, yet repeated as there are two lemons. They are set upon the table which is a continuous line that supports the fluctuations of repetition found within the lemons lines. The background is negative space that acts in a way that does not distract from the foreground, giving the subject ample space to play out its theme. The colors are of a harmonious nature, because of the fluctuations of the dark and light hues, leading your eye back to the center of the picture where the two lemons kiss.
In the picture, the lemons are balanced in a way that seems natural. Slightly different in shape, the lemons remind us that their similar texture, color and position make them both similar and different at the same time. This can be taken as a very literal metaphor for people. We are individuals, yet we are also essentially the same makeup. There is very little genetic variation to the human genome. We all have identities. The lack of dissonance creates a picture that conveys realistic principals. There is nothing abstract about the scene. The picture combined with the title is a real experience that many people have, yet we must work though our own cultural conditionings to get past our superficial understanding of what it means when we are “soured” towards those we love. Does the gentle touch of the two lemons despite the implication of soured love offer a suggestion to such a dilemma?
Overall the picture speaks of a strong balance. There is a very notable symmetry within the picture, with its simple focal point made up of realistic forms. The balance of this picture moves your eyes into the apex of the picture, a very notable point, again and again. It is unusual for two pieces of fruit to be arranged in such a manner. Yet the point in which they meet is the kiss that gives the work its name. The kiss however, requires balance. Balancing the lemons to move up the point of each other’s remains of style makes the lemons literally balance within the painting.
The background of the picture is mostly subdued and therefore not noticeable. The perspective is quite focused on one thing, the lemons. There is a minor recession from the front line of the table and the lemons, which elicit a foreground (the front of the table,) mid ground (lemons,) and then the background (table disappearing into negative space.)
Lemons are familiar. We know how they feel, how they smell, and how they taste. Finding reasons to sour love is also familiar to us. Barlow uses familiarity in a way that awakens our senses and makes us think about or relationships. Re occurring circular patterns on the lemons allow a dimpled textured impression. There are also many highlights within these that lend a hand to the three dimensional quality as well as the waxy sheen found on lemon skin surfaces. Everyone feels differently about how they handle love. Love is easy until circumstances that are not favorable arrive. There are different types of love. Such as affectionate love, charity love, romantic love, and unconditional love.
The subject is also yellow. Yellow is a warm color, some think of it as representative of the mind and intellect. Either optimistic, or critical, it is our choice on how to intellectualize situations of love. We can choose love despite circumstances, because love is a verb.
Although Love Gone Sour is up to interpretation based on our own personal understanding and experience of love, it is clear that the picture poses a suggested rout. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. In this specific interpretation Barlow’s expression of this love dilemma appears to be abstracted in such a way that when love seems sour, be the love that you seek. Kiss and make up.