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The Moon Cycle. A gentler way of being

20 Sep

Here’s my contribution to the New Moon. I wanted something simple I could follow to help get back into a circular conception of time, balancing the usual linear timeline with something more organic. I couldn’t find anything – so I created it. Feel free to copy and print it- that’s what I’m doing with it. Carrying it as a reminder that there is a gentler way of being.

a rainy day with prismacolors

2 Jun Janet Balboa,Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2013
Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara detail, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara, marker and colored pencil, 19" x 24" c. 2014

Janet Balboa, Anam Cara, marker and colored pencil, 19″ x 24″ c. 2014

 

A rainy day put to good use. I’m headed out for coffee…and some friendly faces. Bought a new burnisher, colorless. Don’t know if I like it as much as burnishing with a pencil itself, seems to leave   a lot of wax.

Choosing Where You Are Going

22 May
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heart chakra – drawing in progress

 

When you are on the path to knowing who you are and consciously directing your energy in the direction that you want to go, you are courting inspiration. Identifying who you are and where you are coming from clears a lot of psychic clutter; old beliefs, dead weight; all the stuff you are not. It’s hard to get filled with inspiration when you’re full of old baggage.  The initial effort must be to head in the direction of joy daily, no matter how small that step is. Getting rid of all the emotional baggage and clutter connects you back to open space. The place of potential is where inspiration starts.

Inspiration literally means to be spirit- filled. On the wings of spirit comes vision. The Bible states, ‘without vision the people will die.’ Being inspired and having a vision is the difference between looking forward with anticipation to our days rather than just getting through another day.

Inspiration fills you from within. Recognizing what you love, getting excited. Consciously making room for those things you love creates the attitude of joy and inspiration. The importance of being inspired cannot be overstated. When you are fired up about something, you have the motivation necessary to accomplish it. When you are uninspired life is a boring waste of time. It becomes difficult to perceive any meaning. You have to have inspiration and vision so that your life can have meaning.

Vision is the over-arching dream from which goals and directives present themselves. Vision by its nature is inspired, therefore, inspiring. Filled with a vision, you are overjoyed and blissful, motivation is easy and natural. Vision, when combined with your love for what you want to accomplish and delight in expressing your talents, will start an avalanche of motivation.

In the past, you have often been told that you need a plan, a strategy–goals to accomplish your new vision. So, thinking about it, you write down what you need to become and would like to accomplish. Your initial glow of intention lasts the entire day, but then you wake up the next day with zero motivation. In addition, you can now add frustration, disenchantment and depression to your emotional bank account. Fabulous.

The problem? Most people use their heads to goal-set. This way of arriving at outcomes, looking ‘out there’ and deciding what is needed, (often based on the expectations of others, or extenuating circumstances) – is always external and therefore intrinsically uninspiring. Writer Michael Neill came up with a great way of describing the standard left-brained way of goal setting. He calls it S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-specific.) Another recipe for millions of people leading lives of quiet desperation. When you set your goals in this frame of mind, what outcome can you expect? A mechanistic life that will be specific, measurable, action-oriented (read exhausted) realistic and time-specific. Where is the joy? Where is the excitement?!! Where is the human being and her ability to create? LIFE, participating in life; means feeling inspiration, excitement – passion; things that bring out your best and challenge you to become more. How are these things going to manifest if the path to achieve them is based on an uninspired list of external ‘things I want’ or ‘I want to achieve”?

Vision on the other hand, has the emotional fire of passion behind it. Your emotion from the heart is what gives you motivation. Passion comes from the heart, not the head. It takes courage to put your heart into something. You risk involvement. But isn’t that what you want? Involvement with life? Aren’t you done with watching your life drift by? To seize the day is what it means to be human, to make the most out of life. You are intended to be co-creative, interacting– a participant.

To the degree you invest your heart into your life is the degree that you will love your life. Where are you already investing your heart? What are the things you love? Notice the things that you are passionate about, the circumstances that make you want to jump for joy. Your passions are clues to where you will find inspiration, power and motivation. These ‘things’ are not things out there, but qualities you possess, skills you have, states of being.

It’s a subtle perceptual adjustment, but the new path has to be based not on ‘things I want’ or ‘things I want to be’- but on who ‘I AM’.

Bring forth and develop the being that you already are, that which make you unique. This is the only way to find joy, abundance, and meaning in every area of your life. Learn to tap into the source of joy and watch that feeling begin to manifest in your life. Watch in amazement as the Universe reflects joy back to you. Or abundance, or creativity. All these things you already are, your talents and gifts, once expressed will be where you find your true fulfilment.

When you are inspired, you begin to have a vision of how things could be. The joy of working that vision into reality with all its challenges and difficulties is exciting and fulfilling in itself. Fulfilment comes from expressing who you are as fully as possible. Nothing helps express you more than living your dream wholeheartedly.

Your desires will remain a vague wish unless you give them the power to manifest. No one can do this birthing for you. Your job is to bring these thoughts down from the mental plane into the material realm. This is the human’s co-creating ability. Spirit fills you with desire; you pull the desire into material form. Your part in co-creating is visualization.

The Universe does its part- it gives you the desire to express more. Without you, nothing will happen. You must do your part. Only you can give the desire direction (imagination and visualization) and energy (emotion) thereby producing the feeling that will change your now into wow. It works. But you have to do your part.

Somewhere, not too far into this process, you will catch on fire. The moment any part of your vision becomes a reality, you will sense it. You will believe.  The instant this happens your way will become smoother–magical. ‘Unseen hands’ will appear–events and people will spontaneously appear, with the information, encouragement, and support that you need at exactly the right time. It will be easier to hold your head up, because you will have a sense of strength from deep inside you that will bring you joy. You will know in your heart that you can do anything you put your mind to. You are becoming self -reliant and truly prosperous– from the inside. You have to be before you can do or have. You are mastering the first step–’be’. ‘Do’ and ‘have’, action and attainment, will naturally follow. All your actions and the results they bring you are the direct result of who you are being.  You too will be on fire, watching your vision turn into reality.

Thursday

10 May

psst…. I ran again this morning…only saying because this is sooo unusual. I feel so much better- usually I wait until the end of the day when I’m tired and ready for a glass of wine. So I am trying this new approach. The app is C25K – couch to 5k – and she tells me when to walk, when to jog…brilliant.

anyway… coffee in hand, I’m in my studio this morning needing to finish up my Green Man. It’s Rob’s birthday present, which is in a couple weeks. I originally set out to do a very simple piece- and as always, there is more in the wings than I expect. I was surprised at what showed up – I only saw the green man and the knot work border. It  says ‘you are love – you are loved’ around the circle, with a very fancy scroll/leafy background. These are the things that I do not see in the ‘planning’ stages. Which is why I suppose, I love to just start with a half-formed concept – because what I did not intend is often so lovely.

I was helping my daughter last night with a homework assignment- argumentative paper on overpopulation. Her main challenge is focusing- narrowing down such a broad topic to a very specific statement which she then can argue and to which she can propose a solution. She is a very creative type and kept coming up with new ideas, new realizations of what we are doing to our beautiful planet, and as the spirit took her and she got passionate about it, it became very difficult for her to niche down and limit herself to one narrow corridor of thought. ‘ There’s just so much to say about it…’ she sighed.

I mention this because I find in the ‘real’ world, one’s ability to be specific, set goals, have a plan, to niche down, to limit oneself – is expected and encouraged. But as I sit here, half in the ‘real’ world and half in the ‘other’ world, straddling both of my hemispheres, I am choosing to be influenced by something else. I am seeking, waiting for that which pulls me out of myself – that which allows me to see countless possibilities, infinite arrangements -the clamoring of the infinite for expression in finite. It’s such a dance- to be able to be ok with uncertainty, to allow overwhelm, to sit in complete wonder at ‘what is’ and to not want to change it, just to witness it. As artists, we are surrounded and influenced by our culture, and its attachment to ego and certainty. The two killers of creativity. As artists, we hold a position that is overlooked (by ourselves and by our society) in its importance. We hold the curtain back so that others may get a glimpse of that which is beyond- to build a bridge, to help others see what we see- to look with non-physical eyes at what exists beyond our limited perceptions. We allow infinity, mystery and uncertainty into this world. As Einstein is often paraphrased- you can’t solve a problem on the level it was created – it takes new ideas, fresh thought, and inspiration to bring something new into being. Part of my job with my students is to teach them that this uncertainty is a good thing; a necessary thing. That our culture and our souls desperately need inspiration – to be filled with fresh breath, to experience the mystery of life – in addition to our amazing ability to think, to limit and define. Both halves of our brains are necessary in the curiously human ability and purpose of endlessly creating  finite expressions of the infinite – whether an English paper, a decent cup of coffee or a work of art.

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