Friday, May 31, 2013

It's All Good

Being home working away in the studio for the past 2 weeks has been a luxury! My spring show schedule was a bit wacky at times, but I'm the type of person who thrives on a little bit of "positive stress". Thank God for yoga! My practice helps me to embrace each day for what it is - and to just "go with it". 

Pema Chödrön explains it perfectly in her book  The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness:

Tigers Above, Tigers Below
There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.

Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life, it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.


The hydrangeas in my garden are big, happy shades of blues and purples, my dog Ruby is sleeping on the floor by my work table, and the sounds of Macedonian music on accordion fill the room. 

It's all good.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mirror, Mirror



"Lightness of Being", acrylic+oil glazes, 48"x48", ©2013 Cat Tesla
Re•flec•tion•ism  [ri-flek-shuh niz-uh m]
noun

        1.  A literary or artistic style that attempts to physically manifest the mirroring of energy and human life at a particular moment.
        2.  A school of artistic theory founded in 2004, characterized by a belief that the positive or negative energy that one puts into the universe is reflected back.    

Each of us mirrors the universe and the universe mirrors us, in its own unique way. As a human, I do my best to put out good energy. I try to do the same with my paintings. I am grateful to be an artist and to be able to share my art with the planet. 

This past weekend at a local art show, I met a man who made balloon animals ($3/ea) for all the kids who passed by. The money was for a local missionary organization.  He was like the energizer bunny -  with an unending supply of energy and smiles!  I marveled at his stamina and ability to happily greet each child and create a balloon animal of their choosing. After 7 hours of balloon making, he came over to chat. We talked a bit about art and life, and how a lot of people never do the things they want to do with their lives. They instead work at a job they hate, waiting for tenure or retirement in order to get to the part where they get to do the things they love. I wondered what kind of energy they are sending into the universe and what they are getting in return? 

I think life becomes easier when you stop struggling.

What are you reflecting?