Art for Me… 

Some blobs of paint, a selection of brushes, a surface to work on and imagination….  LOADS of it! And patience,  to build up from nothing, a dream that exists only within you. An ephemeral idea that burns, sometimes brightly, at other times mildly and needs to be attended to. 

This excitement of capturing something intangible and giving it some sort of form for the world to see, is art for me. 

It takes me to places within me that I never knew existed. It introduces me to parts of my personality I didn’t know were there. It makes me observe nature like it might my last view of it. And while doing this, I miss nothing. My world is complete. I am in the world that I create. I am a bee hovering over a blooming Lotus and I am the shadow under a languid Lotus leaf…. And when it is all done, I wash my brushes and gently come back to this other world and drive myself home… Cocooned in silence and peace that even the raging traffic and piercing horns cannot penetrate….

This is art for me.

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How Successful are You?

Sharing an article written by Nitya Shanti

I feel the definition of success needs to be questioned and expanded. Being famous, being rich, being influential, being knowledgeable, being powerful, being accomplished, having all the nicest things – these are the traditional definitions of success. 
While there is nothing inherently wrong in them, they are rather narrow, outwardly focused and based on measuring ourselves against each other in some way. 

I would like to offer some other ways to look at success that can expand our understanding of it…

Being rich in time – Have the luxury to just be, slow down, enjoy each life experience and explore our interests 

Doing deep work – with fewer people, over longer time, with profound effects.  

Some of the most influential people in history touched relatively few lives, and those lives went on to touch the world. I think of Socrates, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Webu Sayadaw, Henry David Thoreau 

Fostering Community – The work we do to cultivate a sense of shared purpose in conscious communities is one of the greatest gifts we can give and leave behind

Living Simply – Reducing our possessions and needs so that we have more space and lightness in our lives. This is also a beautiful gift for our crowded planet on which we are placing ever more demands

Having Shiny Eyes – This is Benjamin Zander’s definition of success, “To be surrounded by people with shiny eyes!” This is so simple, yet says so much

Having Fun – Prioritizing joy, playfulness, authentic connection and frequent heartfelt laughter is a great way to look at success 

Deepening Our Spiritual Connection – Finding and walking our own unique path. Growing a rich inner garden of insight, connection and contentment. This means measuring success not by the quality of our belongings but by the quality of our consciousness. 

Supporting Others – In learning, growing, healing and being successful on their own terms

Being Exemplary – By our words and shining example, inspiring all to be the best they can be

Being Authentic – By our honesty and openness, inviting all to be more grounded and real

Continuous Learning – Lifelong learning of what we always wants to learn in school but couldn’t. No matter how strange, obscure or unproductive it appears to others 

We all have unique DNA, why shouldn’t we also have our own unique approach to success? Wouldn’t it be amazing if on meeting another for the first time we asked them not only what they did, but why? Thereby creating a culture where it is normal for each of us to have our own unique definition and understanding of success. What a diverse and vibrant world that would be!

I invite you to explore alternate ideas of success with your friends, family and children. You are welcome to share this post on your wall to trigger such a dialogue. Also share your thoughts in the comments to expand and enrich this discussion further. 

I’d like to end with a powerful question: 

“What if I am already successful, based on my own values, and just never really recognized it?”

Words Worth

Words…
I see them floating around, pieces of paper, like confetti, carrying differently coloured words….disappointed…happy…maybe… been planning…so sad…glad…will do…nature…love…children…
All these are snippets of pages from ancient diaries, diaries maintained over years, never re-visited, re-read yet carrying the ominous burden of the past. Stories about real and imagined hurts, extreme happiness, earth shattering sadness, tales about life-altering decisions and completely misjudged predictions of the future. At the end of it, this is all they are…a collection of words used to express the ephemeral nature of the emotions one is going through in the process of living. At that time they act as valves, helping one let off steam or gain perspective, but then their work is done. Holding on to them is like trying to grasp at shadows.
Therefore, I systematically tear them to bits and throw them up and they fall around me like refreshing rain. It is a hugely cathartic experience, like a ritual cleansing, like taking a long soak and watching the dirt move away, leaving a fresh and clear feeling in its wake.
It has been said, “Never make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.”
These written words serve the purpose of showing just how temporary these emotions really are, how quickly they change colour and just how important it is to recognise them for this quality. There is nothing permanent about them, the feebleness of the word, “Never” or the fragility of the word, “Always”. In a non-permanent world, they fool us into believing that it will be different for us, that we will buck the trend.
What they serve to show is that, permanence is the biggest fallacy and change is the undisputed constant.
As I sit in a sea of floating words, I let go of all that I thought was permanent and train myself to enjoy the only thing that is…this simple, beautiful, present moment.
And true to my nature..I reach for a pen to record this new, life-altering insight. 🙂