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metroSPIRIT: My Life is Artwork

Meditate, Set Instructions & Create

Touch it. Experience it. Own it.

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I read the above quote by Rolf Gates several months ago as part of my yoga training. The thought stuck with me. I started to consider what the canvas of my life looked like. I noted that parts of the canvas contain dark clouds. Other parts include rainbows. I noted several places where I had fallen off a horse and was struggling to get back up again. There are the parts after getting up once again, where I am reaching for the stars. There are times where I am wrapped inside a bud and times where life is a full bloom.


I particularly noted two things about the canvas. There are many parts of the canvas where the colors and objects are just a blur. I also noted that the canvas includes many people. I thought about the “blurry” parts. The blurry parts come in many sizes and forms. Some are periods of great trauma such as the time surrounding the loss of my brother. Some are times where life is simply a mad juggle trying to balance everything on the plate.

I noted that smiles most often came to my face when I looked at part of the picture that involved a person in my life: my grandma, childhood teachers, college classmates, friends. I thought a lot about how some of those people were reflected in only one part of the picture and others appeared time and time again.

“If I am an artist and my life is my art, then I already have everything I need.”

– Rolf Gates

When I came to the blank part of the canvas (that which represents today and whatever is left of my journey on this earth), I thought again of Rolf’s quote in terms of my life being my artwork and the fact that I have all that I need to create the artwork. I decided to spend some time thinking about what I wanted to create going forward.

In reviewing my art, I noted patterns and habits that I would rather not have on the canvas going forward. Many of us have such patterns and habits. Sometimes they wreak havoc in our lives and we feel that we have no control. There are many things happening in life that we can’t control. There are however things we can control by setting our intentions and becoming involved in the process of creating artwork.

Having an intention means to have a clear plan or purpose in mind. We create a picture of what we want  to do. For example, we might want to be more compassionate, flexible, or generous. Perhaps we want to be a person who develops the ability to shift negative conversations to positive. Maybe we want to be a gardener of relationships. Our intentions can include repairing relationships or simply strengthening a good one even further. An intention can be a general way we want to live or a specific thing we want to accomplish.

In setting my intentions going forward, I decided to follow advice I had once received that suggested writing my own obituary. The exercise suggested writing what would be said by children, siblings, friends, co-workers, etc. Doing the exercise helps us discover any disparity between the way we are living our lives and the way we would like to be.

“Life is the artwork of drawing without an eraser.”

– John W. Gardner

Whatever your intention is, write it down. Then, make a list of what you can do today to demonstrate your commitment to living by your intention. One of the issues that arises for many of us in living by our intentions are those tricky “patterns”. Those patterns represent ways that we have trained the mind in the past. To the extent any of our go-forward intentions require some changes, we need a method to hone the process.

There are many methods to hone the process. One such method is meditation. When I use the term meditation, I simply mean applying a technique that focuses and trains the mind. Seek to train and focus the mind in a way that allows you to create art with the way you live your life despite the storms that blow through it.

-end- metroMAGAZINE



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