“You are not in the world…

the world is in you” Deepak Chopra

I had heard this before but what it made it different this time was the context in which he put it. I had always heard it in terms of spiritual enlightenment. I had taken it to mean that when you achieve “enlightenment” you are still physically in this world but your spirit has reached a higher plane and exist outside this world. To me that meant the trials and tribulations of this physical world no longer mattered, or maybe it mattered but no longer affected, those who were now “enlightenment” That is what it meant to me, if I had to articulate the thought before I heard it put in a new perspective. That is what shifted for me after hearing Dr Chopra explained it – the perspective in which I viewed “the world is in you.”

This world is composed of energy. Think of the old question – if a tree falls in a forest does it make a sound. It makes a vibration that can be interrupted by our ears as a sound. So if there is no one there, then where is the sound? There is only the potential of a sound with the vibration generated by the falling tree. So everything – absolutely everything that we human beings interact with in this world is interrupted by our senses. That is the new shift I had around this statement. I can not see this world without my eyes; therefore everything I see is filtered by my sense of sight and then interrupted by my brain. Every bit of the energy vibration of this world is only experienced by me through my senses. So in that sense the entire world is within me because only through my own sense can I interact with this physical world. This is shown to me quite often as my husband and I see color very differently. I have a wider range of color perception than he does. He also experiences a wider range of sound nuances than I do.

So is it any wonder there are so many misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and miscommunications every day with each of us having our own unique experience of the world? It is also amazing that we can find a place of understanding and communications so fairly often. That even with those unique experiences we can find a way to connect and expand who and what we are.

So really what does this all mean on a daily basis? Just that you can never truly understand what another person is experiencing. They can explain it and perhaps you can get some of it but to truly understand their experience you must experience the world through the senses. That is not likely to happen yet. Although I do believe that we may find a way to achieve that someday. So the awareness that you may not understand what another is experiencing is critical thing to have. You can never understand someone until you walk a mile in his shoes… and hear with his ears, see with his eyes, and interpret with his brain. So as you go through your days know that what everyone around you is experiencing is there own interpretation of this world and it may not be at all like yours and that doesn’t make it wrong – just different.

In love and light

Celina

How I found what I didn’t know I lost….

I was raised as a Catholic. Not a hard core catholic but I did the first communion thing, the catechism thing and the confirmation thing. Although at the time I did my confirmation I was regularly attending a Baptist church. Go figure. I never regularly attended the Catholic Church. My mom was raised by a strict catholic but didn’t attend church regularly as an adult. My dad converted so he could marry my mom. The story my dad tells is that when he joined the air force, they asked on the application for his religion and he could only spell Baptist. (He did better than me, I spelled it wrong here and spell check caught it!) My point is only to say that our family wasn’t hard core church goers when I was a child. They went through some of the motions but the real true devotion to Catholicism was not there. I was a little more regular at the Baptist church I attend when I was in high school, or maybe it was when I was in junior high. I started attending this church after I accepted Jesus and was looking for something more than the rituals of a Catholic Mass. It was great, the people were wonderful and willing to help me learn and grow. All wonderful!

Or maybe not. Somewhere along the way I just could not longer swallow as truth some of the things I was being told. I didn’t understand it then – but I have recently read a book that has made some that discontent a little clearer to me now. The book, The Moses Code, made mention that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament have some differences. Fire and brimstone – old, love and forgiveness – new. That made a lot of sense to me when I read it and clarified some things from my past. OK, that’s way over simplified and I’m not writing this to argue doctrine. Been there done that. I mentioned it because it brought clarity to me.

I didn’t understand this discontent back then. I only knew that it was there. I also knew I had some major problems with a couple of things. The exclusive nature of Christianity, the “my way or the highway to hell”, that bothered me. It didn’t matter that a Buddhist monk probably did more good in their lives than some Christians. Nope, not good enough. Basically that is what it comes down to – I would always be loved but because I was human and born in sin, I was doomed to fail, in some way or another. Always. I was loved and forgiven but I would always be a sinner. Never quite good enough.

Another problem. The book of Job. Don’t get me started on it and I’m sure I completely missed the whole point of the thing. I have major programs going off about that one book. BIG TIME. Old Testament – fire and brimstone. Not going to go into it here because it’s already making my temperature go up.

ANYWAYS. Problems came up that I couldn’t resolve in my head or heart so walked away. Completely. I was no longer religious. I believed in “God”, a one conscious that was guiding the universe kind of God. I just no longer believed in religion. So long, it’s been nice and it’s been real but it hasn’t been real nice! It was all good.

Fast forward to Sam Camp XII (hah! you knew that had to come in there somewhere!). I had been feeling the longing for some type of spirituality again, some thing to connect me to Spirit. I just didn’t know what. I shaped one of my goals around that. I was intrigued by the spiritual nature of Aikido so I decide to attend classes as one of my goals. It was a physical challenge (my mind still thought I was 20, body wasn’t quite there) and it was awesome but really didn’t give me what I wanted for spirituality. (Remind me and I will post the “I am” statement I wrote as part of my point B). What it did give me, what I gave myself, was permission to believe differently than I had in the past. To look and learn and CHOOSE what felt right and true to me. A complete different reality and completely different world, and completely different God/dess.

I’m on the new path now and there are still times where the old programs come out of some drawer in mind and scream “You’re going to HELL” and I thank them for their concern for me, kiss them and slam the drawer tight and lock it. The things must be expert lock pick because they keep showing up! I remind myself that it is always my choice and I no longer have to shallow the some total of anyone else’s doctrine. Only what I choose. MY choice. How cool is that!

In love and light,

Celina

Journal vs Blog

I have been recently thinking about starting a blog (my hubby absolutely hates that word) because I have begun exploring the writing side of my creativity. I will post here my rambling around that some other day. So I thought a web log would be nice way for all my friends to just link to it (or some such thing. That is still very new to me.) and get a copy of my latest rambling. Then I started my ICA education. I found I would have to journal and that it would be in the form of a blog. Let me tell you, all sorts of alarms and programs went off about that, with a lot of major resistance. Today I read the purpose of the blog from ICA’s point of view. OK, so connect what I am learning to myself, other students and the world at large. It is a way to show that I’m understanding and digesting the learning. OK that I can do.

My first entry will be about journaling for me and why I had so much resistance come up for me when I knew it was going to be in the form of a web log. Another side note, I don’t type very fast, so this computer thing for a journal – so not fast.
I always thought as a child it would be cool to have a dairy but never could maintain the discipline to do so. There was just too many other cool things to do. I wish I had done so now, so much of my past is lost to time and an unreliable memory. Well, the kid’s dairy thing never happen. My next exposure to journaling was “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. www.theartistsway.com.

In that book she talks about the daily dialog pages. Non-negotiable – 3 pages every day in longhand (no typing! HAH). She maintains that the physical act of writing taps into the subconscious better than typing. Julia also recommends doing the pages first thing in the morning for a more direct route to that subconscious. I have done them in the morning and in the evening and both ways provide insights. I spent one evening writing for over an hour, seven pages, about religion and God. For me, the morning and evening pages were two completely different experiences. Now a days I do my journaling in the mornings.

Any ways, this is when I began my journaling. Within the pages of the book, Julia explains how this journal is your safe place, never let anyone else read it. You can put whatever you want it there, write anything. Burn it afterwards if you need to do so to feel safe but these pages and this journal was just for you. I LOVED that idea. I began the dialog pages, I would like to say every day, however that didn’t happen. They have continued in one form or another to this day, sometimes with long periods of withdrawal, always to be begun again. I have told my husband to burn them unread, if anything ever happened to me. It would not serve him to read them. It doesn’t serve anyone to read, not even me. In fact I recently began burning all my old pages. That person is no longer me and I don’t want to go back and find out what she was like. The only place we have power and choice is within this moment in time. Every moment is a choice. Learn from the past but don’t live there, don’t dwell there.

So a web log (I love you, hon) is not journaling in any sense for me. Everyone who has access to the net can read my blog once I make it public (again a little fuzzy on how the whole thing works but I am learning). So I will still journal and I will maintain this web log also. Maybe they would slowly merge, maybe not. After all, the only place I would want to remember my dream about silly blue leprechauns chasing me with spatulas would be in my journal. Really, who wants to know about that? Now, just to be clear I never dreamed about silly blue leprechauns chasing me with spatulas but if I did it would only be recorded in my journal. Really, I never did. NEVER. I swear it.

In love and light
Celina McMahon

War with my Art

I was talking with my mastermind team and the phrase “at war with my art” came from me. I thought that was a usual statement. I promised them I would explore it more. Here is the exploration.

My first thought was to decide, for me, what being at war meant. When I hear the words “at war” what do I think of. The first thing that comes to mind is that all lines of communications have broken down, that neither parties are willing to compromise, that the are insurmountable differences between the warring parties. I also think of “Take no prisoners” and “Death before surrender”. There is no honor in war but there is glory. Or maybe it might be the reverse – no glory but there is honor. I don’t know but both statements make me sad for us as a race. I also think of the futility of war. In the end it only causes more violence and hate and anger.

I don’t believe in insurmountable differences. I do believe that there are some times when no one is willing to give anything else. That no one is willing to compromise. That people can feel so backed into a corner that the only thing that feel they can do is come out swinging. Everybody loses. Funny how it is heard that there are no winners in war, yet we as a race are very eager to have one.
How does that apply to my art? How can I be at war with it? What does that mean?

The lines of communication have broken down between my art and me. Well, that is true. I no longer enjoy being with it. I don’t enjoy talking about it. I don’t play with it, explore it, invite it over to dinner and have tea with it. What is communication for me in regards to my art? Communication – communion. Communion with my art means being at one with it. I don’t have to think about what I’m doing or where I’m going, it just flows. It just is. It has been awhile since that has happened but I am relearning that again. I am finding my way back to that place of “no time” where it is just me the paper and the IDEA. The lines of communication have been jammed, if not broken, for a little while between me and my art. But the lineman are out are they are busy repairing the damage.

I am very certain that I am unwilling to compromise with my art. I have completely stopped allowing the process to lead. I have an image in my head of what the picture needs to look like. If it doesn’t, it is a complete and miserable failure. No comprise. No deviation. Just what I think it should be or nothing. Wow, when did I become so rigid with myself. I have always been hardest on myself and my work but I can’t remember when it become so stiff and hard and, well, uncompromising. When did I lose sight of the fun and the exploration and the joy of it? When did I lose that connection, that communion, to that part of me that loved the process? Where did the child go who justed loved to draw?

Are my differences with my art insurmountable? I sure hope not!

“Take no prisoners”. That certainly doesn’t apply in this case. I take prisoners all the time. Everyday! When ever I see something that I want to capture on canvas, when ever I take a picture for a future painting, when ever I have an idea that dies within me, unmade, unvoiced, never to be mourned with its passing, any time that happens I take prisoners. I have many of them. They wander around the prison camp in my mind, occasionally rattling the fence and screaming to be let out, kicking at the dirt and cursing the jailers. Maybe I should send in the Red Cross workers with relief packages and sympathy? Maybe I should just let them all go? That scares me. I have such resistance to it. “If I let them go where will I get my ideas?” Like there are a finite amount of ideas in the universe, like I will never see another flower against a stone or light playing in the tress that I must capture. How ridiculous! Let them go and let them find their way to other artists who will take them in, love them, cloth them feed them and give them back to the world. Just let them go. There will always be another idea.

“Death before surrender” Well! I’m certainly dying here, me and my art. So how do I surrender to it? Stop trying so hard. Stop forcing it to be what it may not be. Just stop. Go back to doing the art for the joy of it. Stop caring what it looks like and starting caring what it feels like to me. Stop looking over my shoulder for someone to tell me it’s good, or bad, or the wrong color or the right combination. Just stop and breathe and look and play again. Just surrender to the joy of it and the beauty of it and the place of “no time” where it’s just me, the paper, the idea and Spirit.

In love and light
Celina