Monday, November 29, 2010

Art EveryDay - EveryWhere in EveryWay

Here I am in day 29 of the Art Everyday Month Challenge. It has been amazing, in both subtle and obvious ways. I feel infused with a soulful creative expression that is pure delight. I feel humbled, touched and boosted by the living practices of Life as Art, Love as Art and Art as Meditation. Here are written and visual snapshots of the final week of Art Everyday Nuggets.
  • The Art of Visioning: I see a flourishing, functional, thriving Ecovillage, with beautiful green/solar/wind powered facilities, including homes, guest cottages, retreat center, dance/event space, school, ropes course, sweat lodge, permaculture gardens, goats, chickens, wild spaces, art spaces, zen gardens, sanctuary, aligned community and home. Did I mention it has a river running through the property and is perpetually financially fueled by a multimillion dollar endowment? You get the picture. Visioning is an Art. Dare to vision into the miraculous.
  • The Art of Family Reunion: Thanksgiving week found us rejoicing with family in town from CA, AZ and FL. Surrendering to the joy of kids bouncing off walls and running down halls, tracking 3 or 4 conversations at once, and 'tai chi-ing' the needs, preferences and rhythms of many people for several days - was true art. We had a blast, and stayed committed to real connection & love.
  • The Art Of Nature: The natural world is rich with inspiring masterpieces of art. Today as we hiked the gorgeous canyons of the Sonoran desert, I found myself creating pujas of earth sculpture and mandala prayers. Autumn kissed leaves danced around circles of stones glistening with mica specs. Rock balancing meditations, and fairy houses constructed of twigs and golden grasses were embraced within the backdrop of striking mountains and vast blue sky. Mother nature, the original Earth Artist is a potent teacher of impermanence and eternal beauty all at once.
  • The Art Of Collage: Some of you already know that I am a serious collage junkie. It has been a heart practice of mine for many moons. I love how bits of paper of people, places, images and color somehow come together, effortlessly to express a depth that words cannot touch. As cards, prayers, full/new moon vision boards and beyond, collage art rocks!
  • The Art of Movement: Running through foothills trails like a bounding deer, my heart pumps and leaps with the joie de vivre. Wind in my hair, sun shine on my face-I am not dreaming of heaven, I am living it. Followed by a yoga asana set on my front patio amidst full moon and big top sky, I am refreshed, chakras flowing with life force, body supple, mind clear, heart open.
  • The Art of Soul Dance: A sister to The Art of Movement, the soul dance is informed by an authentic impulse to express freedom from the inside out. I love ecstatic dance. It is medicine. Flowing, rhythmic and provocative music, a dance floor, and the sacred space to ignite and shake it all loose is bliss to me. Soul dance is a practice of love, a devotion, a prayer, a joy, a healing salve, elixir and most definitely an art.
  • The Art Of Zen Homemaking: Simply caring for home, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry can be regenerative and enjoyable. Today, Kenya, Talia and I blended our chores with crafting and art-making all day long. My sense of relaxation, gratitude and love shifted my tasks from suffering to sanctuary. Check out my greatest inspiration of Zen Homemaking, Karen Maezen Miller. She says, "The kitchen is not only the heart of a home, it can also be the heart of our mindfulness practice. In cooking and cleaning, we move beyond ourselves and into compassionate care of everything and everyone around us."
This concludes my 4 part series on Art Everyday. Honorable mention also goes to The Art of Tickling, Wrestling, Relating, Goofing and Doing Nothing. I am eternally grateful for the meditation, exploration, and experiment this month has been. I see clearly that the spirit of soulful, creative expression is everywhere! Life as art really is art everyday in every way. Thanks for coming along on the ride and please comment to this post and let me know what you have learned about your life as art this month!
All Love, Gabriela

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How to Live Art in Every way-Everyday! III

Week 3 of the Art Everyday Month Challenge has just ended. I am both elated and humbled by the process of creating art everyday and living life as art. Have a look at the nuggets of the week in review.

Day 15:The Art of Cooking
Emphasizing fun, and functional cuisine, I whipped up an Asian inspired satay. Fresh, organic, locally grown veggies, met coconut oil, tamari and seasonings. Firm tofu chunks sizzled, plump shitake mushrooms simmered and the aroma of fresh ginger and spices filled the air. Served over a bed of buckwheat soba noodles, this dish was YUMMY! A full sensory experience for the whole family and prepared with so much love.

Day 16: The Art of Step by Step
Gone are the days when I would skip meals, working day and night on a creative project till it was done. Now, I am satisfied to savor and celebrate each step along the path of creation, even if it means leaving something unfinished. Take for instance, a Holiday card idea I jumped into creating. Step 1 (last week), I painted two large pieces of paper, one blue, one green).
Step 2 (last night), I cut out circles and land masses, Step 3 (today) I put them together to make Earths on postcards. Step 4 and beyond, I will respond to whatever else wants to be born of these little Earth cards. Creating over the course of many days, and allowing each step to guide me to the next, engages me in a the mystery of the art process. Sometimes I will have 3 or 4 artsy projects like this going at once. Often, I have no idea where I am headed or when and how they will complete. I simply show up and let the art move through me, just like an improvised dance or song.

Day 17: The Art of Seva
This practice is an offering of selfless service for the sake of love itself. Today, Kenya and I went to Casa Maria Soup kitchen and volunteered preparing food. Over 500 people, including 200 families are served there daily. I loved talking with other volunteers and being part of the stealth team of super focused, loving people with one intention: Feed the hungry. I am so delighted to have the One Love Alliance community service events there before and after Thanksgiving! If you are local join us! All the details are here. The dignity, kindness and raw life experience I witnessed looking into the eyes of those we served was deeply touching. Was I in service? Or was I the one being served? Both...that is what completes the circle and makes Seva a true art.

Day 18: The Art of Pretending
Master artist, Talia is my primary model and guide in the Art of Pretending. We built an elaborate two room Veterinarian's office (made of blankets and chairs). We brought out ALL of her stuffed animals and pretended we were pet doctors, carefully treating, loving and boarding each of the animals with their specific ailments and special needs. With animals still at rest, the scene changed and we went outside. Talia spread out a sleeping bag, and placed our entire chopstick collection in a circle ("pretending" fire wood). An orange book cover placed over the chopsticks became the fire. We taped white pompoms on the end of chopsticks and voila, we were camping and toasting marshmallows over the campfire. This heightened my awareness of the role of imagination in the art of manifesting and creating reality itself.

Day 19: The Art of Space Tuning
This is a fusion of feng shui basics and power cleaning. The key to making this an artistic project, is the love of creating sacred, beautiful spaces, along with the joy of letting go of all clutter and stuff that no longer serves you. Today, I did just that. I filled up 6 bags of donations for our One Love Alliance service events, scrubbed, cleaned, cleared, rearranged, swept and uplifted the vibes in my home sanctuary. A fine tuned space, infused with love, is an intimate expression of our creativity and our inner life.

Day 20: The Art of Forgiveness
You know the power of this one. True forgiveness is an art. On both sides, it requires truly dropping the fight, the mood, the grudge, the inner contraction. In our family, this art is often accompanied by the Art of Repair: Re-establishing connection, emotional safety and loving trust. Long live these golden words, shared with earnest intention, "I love you, I am sorry." So simple, and so profound. This art is always more beautiful when practiced with genuine eye contact, affectionate touch, deep breath and a relaxed nervous system. Today, this art process colored my day brighter and led to another favorite, the Art of Beginning Again. Sometimes, my patience is thin, my tongue is sharp, my tone is biting and my gaze and touch are harsh. I am so thankful that I can stop, pause, apologize, flood my cells with breath and love, and begin again.

Day 21: The Art of Completion

Today, I made the final touches on a series of 18 "Peace" cards that I began last week. After so many steps of painting, tracing, cutting, pasting, writing, coloring, outlining and mounting, they are finished. I am grateful. The simple act of seeing a creative project through to completion (however big or small), builds trust in our ability to fruit. These cards are ripe and full of love!

How has your week been, fellow life artists? Please comment and tell me what you have discovered about living your lives as art, everyday, and everywhere. All love, G

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How to Live Art Everyday Part 2

At the midpoint of the Art Everyday Month Challenge, I am both delighted and humbled. There were moments this week where it took real choosing to create beauty, ease and art with life...especially when I was very busy, tired and tempted to reactivity and survival chemistry. Though every time I choose to live my life as art, my mood lightens and I feel my commitment to my essential values.

That is what creating art does for me...kicks a log in my fire of divine love!

Here are some nuggets from the week in review:

Day 8: The Art Of Simplicity After a juicy, fun filled day of friendship, intuitive consults, family time, and all kinds of details in the marketplace, I snuggled in bed with four 4x5 postcards and a pencil. Simple- 4 line drawings, before dissolving into dream time. Turns out these wee pieces captured potent energy, and really nourished my soul. It doesn't take much. As the Bhagavad Gita says, about the path of yoga, "Even a little of this practice will shelter you from great sorrow."

Day 9: The Art of Going with the Flow Though a long to-do list met me in the morning, I looked at my journal and line drawings and knew the agenda was out the door. Today (unlike yesterday), I would make Art Everyday my first priority. I sprawled out with bright brush pens, layered papers, wrote haiku, adorned and framed each line drawing. Each was written for and since given to 3 precious peeps in my life. Later, going with the flow, found Talia and I sharing a picnic and romp at Sabino Creek all afternoon. I also shifted my evening city plans as the flow led me to a sweet mountain sunset with the hubs and snuggling our cutie to bed together. Following the current of energy, and letting go of agendas once in a while is golden.

Day 10: The Art of Shopping I am not a fan of shopping. Though I love quality, groovy, functional goods and gear, consumer madness, is cuckoo. Today, however, I set out to create an art form. I was a stealth, zen shopper. I was on a mission. And a fruitful, affordable and fun one it was! Here are my art of shopping pointers:
  1. Have a list- yet be open to surprise purchases.
  2. Get only what you *love* and need.
  3. Welcome bargains (second hand can be first rate).
  4. Have fun.
  5. Get in, get out.
Day 11: The Art of Chanting I am a big fan of singing Kirtan and devotionals. Every week, right here in Tucson, over 150 folks from Tucson gather to sing Global Chants together. We sing songs and prayers from the Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Sufi, Native American, Buddhist and Goddess traditions and more. I love that we are all a totally diverse cross section of humanity. We are mixed in age, gender, ethnicity, size, color and background. Yet we all have in common a sweet, singing devotional heart. I love attending with Kenya and Talia. We sit in the inner concentric circle, surrounded by guitars, drums, harmonium, violin, shakers and bells. Tonight Talia danced in the center, until flopping into my lap and falling asleep to the lullaby of a Sanskrit chant.

Day 12: The Art of Zenjoyment (a word I created and use often). This day, (and all weekend solo with Talia as hubs was out of town) cross referenced with The Art of Least Resistance, The Art of Non Reactivity, and The Art of Patience. I chose to practice Zenjoyment all weekend, saying yes to life, letting go thoroughly to the moment, being wildly grateful for my experience, no matter what.

Day 13: The Art of Altars Creating a little (or big) space, here and there to welcome, honor and remember the divine is a gift you give yourself and your family. It doesn't matter if that place is where you meditate or on your kitchen counter. Adorned with fresh flowers, images of family, divine archtypes, sentimental trinkets, beautiful elements of nature, seasonal goodies, candles, and more, nurturing this space is a way to nourish ourselves. Today, I cleaned and cleared my kitchen altar. It is fresh with a trinity of Kwan Yin, Mary Magdalene and Lakshmi, with offerings of pumpkin, mesquite pods and eucalyptus. Everyday, I light a candle and some incense here and notice I immediately slow down, breathe more deeply, and relax into love.

Day 14: the Art of Sabbath A day of rest and worship...who couldn't use one? As Rumi wrote, "There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the Earth." Whether in the church of the great outdoors, your home, a spiritual service, solo or with others, taking a Sabbath day is a loving, sane practice, and truly an art given our fast paced culture. I love unplugging, enjoying time in prayer, and communion, savoring unhurried 'down' time that is focused on connection. Today, we did just that, all day long! Yes! A sweet exhale of gratitude.

How about you? How did you create art everyday, in big or small ways this week? I would love to know. Please remember to post your comments on the Blog itself. Use the "comment" link/space at the end of each post. Hitting "reply" to your "emailed" post never gets your comments to me. They are words of wisdom. I want to hear them! May you go out and "Artsper"... prosper too!

In loving Gratitude, G

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How to Live Art Everyday

Welcome to my Art Everyday Series!

My dear friend, rad
visionary/creative career guide, Britt Bravo always hooks me up with juicy, inspiring goods. Recently, she turned me on to ArtEveryday Month, (a genius creation of life artist, Leah Piken Kolidas). This is a wonderful month long invitation to create art everyday.

I felt totally inspired for many reasons. I love living life as art. I love the practice of focused intention to live creatively everyday.

Here are snapshots of the week in review.
  • Day 1: "The Art of Lounging" I slept in till 9:15 am (a rarity in our household, which I have done less than 5 times since becoming a mama 4 years ago). Later I enjoyed a lounge on the Hammock, with my sweet hubs, Kenya and daughter Talia. Laughing, snuggling and swinging together was luxurious.
  • Day 2:"The Art of Sharing" I posted 10 Pearls of Wisdom for Living Love. Being a true believer in our unity and shared dreaming, I shared highlights from a recent vision quest. Today I felt into my broad definition of Art. I feel so grateful for all the ways that art reflects the beauty, mystery and infinite possibilities of life. True art touches me on a heart/soul level. Later, I played around with watercolors, for the first time in years! Painted a "You Are Love" sign for Talia's room. She loved it!
  • Day 3: "The Art of Gift Making"Talia and I played for 2 hours with a sprawl of art supplies, making holiday cards and bookmarks as gifts. We talked, laughed, listened to music, sang and enjoyed a quiet shared creative space.
  • Day 4: "The Art of Haiku" I love this Japanese poetry practice, inspired by Zen/Buddhism (5-7-5 syllables). Ideally, it encapsulates deep feeling and gives a sense of the infinite- in a nutshell. Take a deep breath in between lines as you read.
    Renewal, Rebirth
    Gut, Release, Dissolve
    Steeping in the Love.
OK, by now, I am also in awareness and celebration of how much art expression there is in my life! Improvisational play, puppet shows and family dance parties, singing, chanting, drumming, strumming are a daily part of life. We host a chalk mural canvas patio, the length of our home, 3 cupboards loaded with art supplies and a wide ranging family of instruments. We bring love and creativity into cooking, parenting, relationships, professional work and to the chop wood carry water details of life. And while this lifestyle is the norm for us, I notice that the exception is not nearly as fun or life giving. Surrounding ourselves with art creation and creativity, in all forms, feels good! It is a way of being good to ourselves.
  • Day 5: "The Art of Earthing" Yes, Earthing is actually a real word and a movement to stay connected to earth energy as a sustaining factor of vitality and health. We enjoyed an afternoon out in Bear Canyon, with 3 kids under the age of 4. With head to the big sky, sun kiss upon us and bare feet in the ground (literally), we dug in sand, splashed in the creek, played on rocks and communed with nature and friends. First thing that morning, I created a tiny 5"x3" bookmark of Sky/Starfish/Ocean with brush pens. Knowing it would be a full day out, I wanted to begin with the practice of "creating art everyday". Even small expressions of creativity can be so fulfilling.
  • Day 6: "The Art of Blessing" I savored a full day in meditation on divine love, peace and unity. I was initiated by soul kin, Zelie and Lucia, beautifully tuned medicine women, as a Deeksha-Oneness Blessing Giver, This profound transmission of divine love, intended to inspire global peace, comes to us from the Oneness University . Check out their amazing vision. Also highlighted today was the "Art of Yoga and Napping in the Garden", on our midday break. I *LOVE* when these art forms blend together.
  • Day 7: "The Art of Play" I played with Talia and two of her pals at our home. Hubs was giving their parents a djembe drum lesson, while we romped. We played karate/yoga class, zoomed on scooters, climbed the fort, drew with sidewalk chalk, went on the swings and hammock, shared snacks while coloring with Crayons, told knock knock jokes as we played with the sand and water table, read books (I read), pretended a birthday (complete with gift offerings and song), and had a bubble party, dancing to One Day and Give Love. Thoroughly playful. And they played ten times as much on their own. Children are masters of presence, play and wonder. They are natural life artists.
All that in just week one! I am finding that living Life as Art and Art as Meditation are my ideal lifestyle. Art Everyday Month has already been such an inspiration, to deepen and grow this life long practice that gives so much-inside and out! What's more, this week I got that it is not just "Art Everyday", it is also "Art Everywhere" Thank Goodness.

There are still 3 whole weeks left. Join me, and comment on your experiences here! I'd love to hear about your journey. Stay tuned for week two.
Let's Live Art Everyday, Everywhere, Together!
LeHaim! To LIFE!, G

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10 Pearls of Wisdom for Living Love

Last month, I had a humbling, beautiful opportunity to meditate through the night in ceremony and prayer. The Universe is so generous! Many simple pearls of wisdom came to me. And, since I am a true believer in our unity and our shared dreaming, I trust there is a morsel of these "One Love nuggets", that may speak to your heart as well.
  • Love it ALL- the way it is.
  • In all you do, in all you are, there is no moment where you are not the divine embodiment of love. In every moment you are the divine embodiment of love.
  • Let love in everywhere. Do not deny access to love- anywhere.
  • Fully let go and come undone. Give it all for love.
  • Forgive everything. Erase the past.
  • Time spent in mental and emotional indulgence is wasted energy. Stop it.
  • Be both gentle and swift in redirecting mind to the remembrance of the mystery of life.
  • Be humble before/within the mystery.
  • Let the all embracing love of the mystery flood into every cell of your being, into the whole of your neurology.
  • Let Love direct your life. Let it model true compassion and surrender-from the inside out
What a wild and beautiful, universal journey we are all on. Love is the most powerful resource we have, let's share the wealth. Need support in connecting directly to your heart's wisdom?
Come here to get it.

Please comment and share some of your current pearls of living love. I look forward to hearing from you. Here's to freedom, love and peace for all beings. May we rest in the silence of the heart in every breath.