The Freedom to Choose – An Artist’s Narrative

When you let yourself experience the freedom of choice your life will open up to endless possibilities. Everyday we make countless of choices that define the narrative of our waking lives. Choices are presented in a variety of different ways from the cereal boxes in the grocery aisle to making the next big step in your life. Sometimes we feel stifled by our inability to choose for ourselves. We’re crippled with anxiety so profuse that we hold back and sit calmly waiting for the internal clammer to calm down, so we can stay in the straight and narrow. I’ve always found my ability to choose to be an overwhelming feeling, I struggle with the choices of daily life never knowing if I’ve made the right ones. I think that is where the majority of my anxiety comes from. As a critical thinker, I constantly evaluate and then reassess my personal actions (usually after I have already impulsively acted.) But at least that means I have a little bit of awareness into my own behavior, right? However, as an artist when I have given myself the freedom to choose my personal expression, and I allow the universe to flow freely through me without doubt or hesitation. I experience creative intuition so vast and profound it changes the course of my work. Somedays I doubt my capabilities as a creator. Somedays I wear different hats: psychologist, trauma survivor, millennial, marketer, teacher, artist. However, I think at the core who I really am is an artist. My art seeps into everything that I do. Whether it be finding new ways to move my body while cooking fish for lunch, or writing poetry in my journal to process the shapes and colors I’ve seen in a day.

I am constantly searching and looking at the world through an artistic lens.

What I have discovered most about my relationship with myself and my art is that when I am experiencing the freedom to feel and think without constriction. I am inspired to think and create without restriction. I don’t look in the mirror and critique my movement as if I am comparing myself to some of the world’s most elite dancers, nor do I create a painting with the mental block of inadequacy or personal hostility regarding my technique. I am just experiencing the proverbial flow of creation and heart. I am in the midst of being. I am exactly that. I don’t think or try. I just do it. And what I feel is release and growth in understanding my own personal identity but also healing the identities that have been structured for me by society. I allow myself to choose my personal movement and how I define what it means to move. I am outside of a structural discourse and pattern of archetypal realities. When I give myself the freedom to express with the freedom of choice, it is as if I am awakened to the potential of the millions of choices we can make. Neither one of those choices being right or wrong but apart of a cloak of intricate possibilities that shape our own personal realities.

My Identity As An Artist Is Defined By My Freedom

I think one of the biggest moments of reprieve for me in Paris was walking around the Modern Museum of Art. I was in tears half of the time just walking in one of the world’s most advanced exhibits of abstract and modern art. Literally, I was walking around this museum balling crying. I feel that the reason why some people don’t always understand modern or abstract painting is because they don’t see that these artists have embodied personal freedom. They have created their own narratives and identities as artists. When you’re an artist and you understand the awakening to that potential and you see it mastered. It is something that will change your ability to view and appreciate art itself.

Matisse, Modigliani, Kandinsky and more weren’t exceptional at realism or any of these tactile art forms. They interpreted their personal expression of the world through shape, color, light and movement. They didn’t need a name for it. They just did it. It was the freedom they allowed themselves to express.

What Can We Take From This?

I think whether or not you’re a 19th-century modern artist, you can give yourself freedom. And you can express it however you want. Take your coffee with two extra sugars and maybe stand naked in front of the mirror and laugh. Giving yourself freedom is one of the most amazing things because it will create an appreciation for the absurd or the undefined. The things in life we can’t make sense of because the truth is life is chaos. Living your life with to choose your personal freedom is how innovation, poetry, art and love are all re-conceptualized.

5 ways to practice grace in your everyday life

 

Grace is something that has always been a mystery to me. What does it truly mean to foster and live a life full of grace? Grace isn’t a little prayer you say before every meal or for the betterment of others. It is a lifestyle. And incorporating grace into your day-to-day life is something that will make you more self-compassionate and empathetic to the daily hardships of others.

I know that to live with grace means to always remember how deeply and truly loved I am. No matter what the circumstances may be. Because NOTHING you do or think or wish is necessary to establish your worth. You were born loved and that is the way you will infinitely remain.

So here are five things to do daily to remember to live a grace filled life:

  1. Always remember to LOVE

Loving every individual can be so hard sometimes. I know that remembering to care about the person in the grocery aisle who just shot you that nasty look can be hard. “Did she really just give me that look? What a jerk!” But that is the beauty of love. It reminds us to take into consideration the daily hardships of others. We don’t always know a person’s story but we can always try and remember their true innocence in every situation. We don’t know why the person might have been rude that day at work, or why the boy who you were seeing won’t call you back. But we can always view the situation from a higher and more authentic perspective.

2. Forgiveness 

One of the most important things I’ve ever learned in my life is the unique concept of radical and ultimate forgiveness. Remembering the grace of forgiveness is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and for other individuals around you. Forgiving the past is the most important step in granting ourselves the gift to experiencing divine miracles. Shame is created out of the obsessive thoughts containing the struggles of our past and future. However, forgiveness allows us to let things go! To wake up each morning with a brand new and beautiful canvas to paint our lives with. To be born again, is to let the past go, and to look without pressure or fear towards the future.

Many times, we respond to different situations with darkness as if it were light. Then the light turns dark. However, if we were given forgiveness about a situation, another chance, a new relationship or whatever, and when we stop reacting to pains and struggles of our past. We will be allowed to create a new extraordinary opportunity that might otherwise have been missed.

3. Living Responsibly 

Grace grants us a ticket out of our own personal mind prisons. We can’t be perfect and isn’t that the beauty of humanity? None of us. Not a single person in this world is a perfect representation of what is means to be human. However, living responsibly allows us the grace to remember who we are and why we’re trying our hardest. A noble life is one spent in fidelity, not success. Virtue is setting good goals and going after them with gusto and living as if everything isn’t constantly depending on our future. When you’re living responsibly, you’re giving your self the permission to cultivate a whole-hearted life. Our goal in every situation should be to remain at peace. Our internal state determines the experiences of our lives; therefore, creating inner-peace by living a life grounded in virtue will produce beautiful results.

4. Embrace Your Weaknesses  

Something that is crucial and so dire for living a life filled with grace is embracing your greatest weaknesses. When you have the capability to find strength in your darkest moments to DIG DEEP. You are able to emerge from the water of confusion and pain with the ability to cultivate true enlightenment. In your greatest weaknesses their is always an opportunity for strength. That is the point of compassionately embracing your greatest defects, realizing the things that aren’t working out could potentially be the reason why you succeed.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

If you have difficulty with this one, I want you to practice this mantra or prayer:

“Today, I am going to embrace fully who I am and who I am not. I would only ask you, Universe, to show me how deeply and compassionately loved I am. Warts and all.”

5. Cultivating a daily practice of Gratitude 

When you’re overwhelmed with gratitude you’re overwhelmed with peace. If in the morning, the alarm clock rings and you can’t get out of bed and the weight of yesterday’s turmoil is dragging you down. Lay deep in silence. Close your eyes. And remember 5 of the most important reasons you’re here today. List in your mind 5 of the greatest things you’re grateful for. Beginning a daily practice like that will allow you to shift your perspective to realize all of the amazing things that are awaiting you on this new beautiful day.

Why?

Because gratitude makes us better, it also allows us to become free. To be able to forget yourself for just a moment is the first-step towards a truly free and happy spirit.

More importantly, climbing out from under the rubble of our lives to see the beauty that is there is a tremendously liberating experience.

10 Pictures and Quotes That Will Remind You What It’s Like to Be Zen

Zen and Quotes

Love her and leave her wild – Atticus

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She sprouted love like flowers,

Grew a garden in her mind,

And even on the darkest days,

From her smile the sun still shined.

-e.h

Zen and Poetry

I am a child

Of the moon

Being raised by the Sun

In a world walked by Stars

And a sky drawn with flowers

Zen and Poetry

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. 

Zen and Poetry

What you seek is seeking you 

Butterflies

Souls

When two souls fall in love, there is nothing else but the yearning to be close to the other. The presence that is felt through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen.

Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand the notion of time or distance. They only know it feels right to be with one another.

This is the reason why you miss someone so much when they are not there- even if they are only in the very next room. Your soul only feels their absence- it doesn’t realize the separation is temporary.

Zen and Poetry

To imagine – to dream about things that have not happened- is among mankind’s deepest needs.

– Milan Kundera

Zen and Poetry

Tormented by dreams

which evaporate at dawn,

leaving me weary.

Beyond my sun-bright windows,

a happy riot of birds.

– Michael Boiano

Zen and Poetry

We don’t believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

E.E. Cummings

Zena and Poetry

I am still learning – Michelangelo

Re-Purpose Your Garden With Beer Bottles and Renewable Crafts

 

Renascentia Fashionista Renascentia Fashionista

A great fun, edgy and Eco-friendly way to line your new garden is with old recycled ber bottles. Lining your garden with recycled beer bottles, is one of the coolest ways to give your garden a beautiful feature and it is also, an easy re-purposed way to stay renewable and reduce waste.

What you will Need:

  • 4 – 8 bags of mulch (depends on size of your garden.) $2 – 4 dollars
  • 40 + recycled bottles of any color ( I got mine at the local recycling center in San Marcos)
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Potting Soil

How did it all begin? 

It all started at a local store owned craft house called, “Craft,” where I crafted into existence a renewable pot holder made out of half of an old cradle, yarn, broken clay, and tin coffee cans.

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Renascentia Fashionista

 

Renascentia Fashionista

 

If you’d like to make something as cool as this plant holder, I suggest you head on down to Craft in Austin, Texas, and use your noggin to cultivate something renewable and beautiful like this. By doing this project at Craft the total of my re-purposed, unique and individual pot holder ending up being around $13.

Plant Holder Supplies:

  • Plants ( I used garden herbs from my local farmers market like chocolate mint, spear mint, curly parsley  and flat-leaf parsley.)
  • Coffee Tins
  • Yarn
  • Bottle Corks
  • Paint
  • Metal Primer
  • Paper
  • Baby Cradle

Making the Bottle Liners 

Making the Bottle lined garden was not easy, however, nothing was more fulfilling than looking at my finished product in the end.

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Begin by finding a good gardening space to lay your lining, then begin with a shovel digging a trench for you to line-up your bottles. The trench should be between one and one-half inch deep. Place the bottles in the trench one-by-one in an up-right position. Facing the neck of the bottle down into the trench.

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IMG_3224-001Working hard at digging my trench to lay my bottles. Be prepared to have a wheelbarrow, if you don’t have a place to recycle the dirt, there will be a lot of dirt. Lay the bottles in one-by-one, and when you’re finished digging your trench which should be about as deep as the bottles, begin filling the trench in with your mulch and potting soil. This will allow the bottles to stay in place, and will prevent them from toppling over. I suggest, digging as much as the trench as possible then gradually laying the bottles down within the trench.

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Once it is done, it should look like this. Lay down your 4 plus bags of mulch and enjoy your newly lined garden.  Although, I don’t have a beautiful garden to accompany my newly lined area. I do plan on buying some beautiful plants to pot.

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