Love and Compassion

It is always very interesting to me after I finish to draw and color a new mandala, to realize what were the influences which unconsciously have guided me through it.

When I started to draw there wasn’t anything in mind, no preplanned ideas and everything came out so easily. The pencil slowly creating lines as if on its own, listening to a subtle sound of silence.

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I just felt like an observer.

When slowly the lines became clearer, a sense of family, protection, and peace arose. Each globe containing two older beings looking over the young ones but at the same time connected with the others in a circle of protection and safety, creating peace and serenity. The forms of each being are slightly leaning towards each other in a gesture of compassion, as if saying ” I hear you, I understand you, I am here.”

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The colors chosen were jade green and blue. When I looked at their significance, I discovered that Green represents the Heart Chakra, and when open, it inspires to love more, feel empathy and have compassion. The Jade as well brings harmony, balance, and prosperity.

After I understood the feelings and meaning associated with this Mandala, I remembered that the day before was World Peace Day and while reading many beautiful Inspiring Stories, one particular Video touched deeply my heart, which explained that implementing Compassion games: Survival of the Kindness in prison centres and schools, has resulted in much lower violence. You can watch the video and learn more from their facebook page Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest.

This Mandala is directed to our Heart center, to open it wider and bring more Love and Compassion in our personal world. I would love to know what does it inspire you?

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These are some of the products I applied the design to at my Zazzle Shop.

 

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The Message

Mauro Morandi is a man that has been living alone in a small paradise island called Budelli near Sardinia, Italy. And when interviewed for an article by National Geographic he said
“I would like people to understand that we must try not to look at beauty but feel beauty with our eyes closed”
“Love is an absolute consequence of beauty and vice versa.” Morandi says.” When you love a person deeply you see him or her as beautiful, but not because you see them as physically beautiful… you empathize with them, you’ve become a part of her and she’s become a part of you. It’s the same thing with Nature.”

Morandi believes that teaching people how to see beauty will save the world from exploitation more effectively than scientific minutiae.

I encourage you to read this beautiful full article here:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/europe/italy/photos-of-life-alone-on-a-paradise-island/

This message resonated so much with me because it is something I always believed in through my own experience. Appreciating the beauty and making it become part of you makes you see the glass half full instead of half empty and so you treasure it and want to preserve it with all your strength. It became my life’s purpose. For me, this is the only way and hope to improve our lives and create a better world. And I believe that any expression of Art which reflects such beauty is one of the most important tools to make us become more conscious and empathize with such a reality.

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With my designs I wish to bring you joy and light, happiness and brightness spreading love and kindness. I think our lives are getting busier and busier and so caught up in solving so many problems and facing so many circumstances that within this spiral of events sometimes a funny picture a particular color or shape can wake us up and bring us back to our real nature of love and kindness. This is what I believe is the importance of Nature. Art when nature is not present. Art acting as a messenger from Nature to make us see and realize.

Andy Warhol says “There is beauty everywhere but not everyone sees it”.

I am not even near to achieve such a goal with my designs, but I have set myself to try at least. After such a long break, I can see how it is taking time for my expressions to fulfill the visions that appear in my consciousness. The heart is there, the feeling and emotions are there but the expertise is what is missing and that can only come through patience and hard work. Every day with practicing and learning.

And every day becomes another step further. Whenever a design is finished my heart rejoices and it becomes the light that pushes me to continue. There are so many designs waiting in a long queue to be manifested. Some are waiting for the proper material, some for the time, but little by little each one will have its place in this world. Each one carrying a meaning, whether for me or unconsciously for you that are looking at it.

And photography has helped me immensely to push me to paint and draw, and even now to catch that special something that only a camera can take.

Art is the language of the invisible, of the unseen becoming visible, but meaningful only to the observer in his/her own interpretation.

The path is unknown, it may be long or short, nobody knows, but like Albert Einstein said: “If you want to have a Happy Life, have a goal.” And so it is.

The Power of Mandala

Do you feel confused, is your mind full of thoughts, ideas and you can’t form a plan of action or a way to put these ideas into practice?

Grab a paper and a pencil and start drawing some lines, adding some dots and unite them to form a circle, then another, some more lines and you will have a pattern that you can use to let your creativity guide you.

You can create a spiral, a flower or nothing precise. Just follow the point where the circle and the line meet and keep going round, from the center each step up until the outer line of the circle. Then you pick all the colors of the rainbow and slowly choose one at random, the one that you feel for the most and place it wherever you want. Slowly filling all the emptiness. In silence and in peace.mandalarainbow1 (800x766)

 

Thoughts will try to distract you, ignore them, just follow the lines. If you follow your thoughts you can end up on another line or miss a spot, at the end something will be out of harmony. Every little mistake is a point of distraction. A space in the flow. But if you continue. Every day little by little, there will be fewer mistakes, fewer distractions.

Sometimes you will receive meaningful insights related to your work. So you stop, write it down and continue, or later it can be lost. Then, when you finish, sit one moment in awareness, and you will find the mind sharper and more focused to carry on with anything else. You know what you have to do now.

Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means Circle and it represents the Universe, the unity, and harmony of  Creation. It is sacred geometry. A mathematical order where every dot has its place. There is no space for doubts, only a different path to follow with a different outcome, but not less beautiful. There are infinite possibilities.

What the Mandala does, for me, is that it works with our unconscious mind. By following exact lines and thus creating an order, the mind is at rest. Once the decision is made, you just follow through peacefully and completely focused on that one path to follow. Complete mindfulness. Only one thing to do. One at a time. There is no other option. And at the end, you feel rested, because the mind has had to focus on one thing and that one thing has brought an immediate result that reflects beauty. It has given you a space for clarity. When your attention is focused on just one point it can be as powerful as a laser, but when it is scattered in different directions than it will lose intensity and clarity.

Mandalas can teach you many things about life in very subtle ways.  If you create one yourself it acts like a form of meditation, a connection with your inner self and the energies that are moving around you. But sometimes we are attracted to a specific Mandala that we have seen, beyond rational comprehension, that particular geometric form is resonating with you and by looking at it repeatedly in silence or having it near you in the place you work or relax, they heal your mental state. That is the order your being needs at this moment in time to achieve that serenity which allows you to manifest the ideas and visions or overcome circumstances you are now facing.

I have been wanting to create one Mandala with a spiral rainbow for a long time, the first time I have attempted it, something came out but it did not satisfy me completely.

Looking up at the symbolic meaning of the spiral, they represent the revelation of hidden truths, pushing oneself to be flexible and have trust when things change,  (www.sunsigns.org) and the colors of the Rainbow bring the promise that the troubles today will surely come to pass, holding strong in our faith, vision and heart purpose allowing for fresh beginnings and new prosperity. (www.theuniverseofsymbolism.com)

The second time, it happened by chance. I had prepared the circle with lines to venture on a new design I had in mind, but the more I was letting the pencil move forward the more I recognized the Spiral that I envisioned but was not able to express the first time. And when that happened I was stuck as it gave birth to other ideas of how to continue with the drawing, like in a crossroad I needed to choose which path to follow. Undecided I left it there for a while. When I finally picked it up again I realized that unless I tried all the possibilities I could not continue. The first paper became the sketch and a melting pot. Some looked really nice and some not so good. That gave me clarity. So then I prepared the structure for each of the design that came out of that concoction, ready to color at the right time.

One day, thinking I had it all prepared and set up and that it was going to take me little time, I set out to do the first drawing, which I thought was the easiest one. I wanted to finish coloring it by the time the natural light goes out of the room….. bah plenty of time…..

After 8 hours without almost stopping, I was still coloring away getting really anxious and nervous and literally a spiral of different emotions growing within me. On one side the mind set to finish no matter what, my inner being making me feel this was not the way, and instead of being a meditative practice, it was a war between inner and outer self.(?) What was the outcome? You can just imagine it, one second the hand slipped away and spread the ink across the paper, leaving a great black scar. 8 hours of work vanished in no time, leaving me with an empty day, but what a great lesson! When I actually looked at the drawing it reflected everything I was going through, confusion. But that was exactly what I needed to experiment, again the Universe knows his pupils!!

When I started with Mandalas it really happened by chance, a great book attracted me in a public library I used to go to for checking my emails. After studying it for more than a month and realizing the great healing that was occurring in me, I decided to concentrate my art on them so to help others through this work. And it was very important before starting a new Mandala, to have a moment of silence to quiet the mind and become more attuned to the spiritual energies that would guide me through it. As that was specifically for someone that I was going to meet and would want to have it. It was a very beautiful and meaningful practice.

The latest experiences have brought me back to that past that I had left behind and forgotten for many years, and through these lessons, the path that puts in harmony my inner and outer world is being found again.

I know nothing is left to chance in this beautiful Universe, there is always a meaning and a reason behind everything, it is just our unconsciousness that do not allow us to see it, but that’s when we bang our head so hard that we have no choice than to open our eyes.

After those practices now I have been able to calmly finish the first Mandala and fulfill one of the visions. The happiness with the result is a consequence of the healing that has occurred while drawing it.rainbowspiral1 (800x745)

 

The online world now offers everything you need at any time,  but the sacredness of Mandala remains. Whether you create it yourself, color one already made or buy a design, for you to unlock its great potential, you need to allow a moment of silence in front of it and let it heal you.

These are some links with easy steps to learn to draw a Mandala. I like to use a compass to do the circles but if you do not have one it is not necessary. There are also many already made Mandalas you can download for coloring from Pixabay, Shutterstock, and many others.

ww.art-is-fun.com
www.craftsy.com

Happy creating and would love to know your experience.

May Art Save the World

May the joy of creativity help dissolve the shadows of illusion and make our spark within shine brightly.

I have always been a firm believer that appreciating Beauty is a life-changing experience, it fills our mind with positivity and takes away the attention from the burden of our daily struggles.20170808_110921_Burst01 (1051x1280)

If there is one thing that has helped the whole of humanity, of all nationalities and cultures, expand their consciousness throughout the centuries, that is Art, in any form.

When each individual connects with that creative force within, the vision about Life changes. Its beauty and value are enhanced. The greatness of creation expressed through Nature, Universe, People is understood.

By being able to easily experience the works of Art of other people, one becomes inspired to do the same and finds that unique treasure inside oneself, from the poorest to the richest. Each one of us has something to give from that space, and when that happens we all speak the same language. We understand we all belong to the same big family.

20170808_130556 (1055x1280)We do not need expensive tools to create,  creativity can be expressed with whatever materials we have in our environment. I once saw such beautiful works done from African women who were recycling plastic from the beach brought by the sea. We can watch so many videos or pictures of amazing things that can be done out of very common materials.

I used to pick up little shells from beaches I visited and make wind chimes with a little bit of wool. A beautiful family I met while traveling, used to cut small pine branches and with a bit of fishing thread and wool, make puppets. They were so funny!

The purpose of all this is to keep us occupied with something to do that makes us smile, makes us feel good, connecting with that space within us that is the source of gentleness and kindness, breaking the wall that has been built by ideology, beliefs, grief, resentment, and struggles. It is such an important way, together with Sports, to focus on positive vibes which then create our reality.

20170810_115501_Burst01 (1081x1280)I continue to believe that the more people reserve, even a small part of their day, to express their own creativity, and the more us as a Community or Global Family give words of support to each other, the less violence we will see.   Especially the young ones that are more vulnerable and need more encouragement.

When one is young there are so many walls that are built within the mind as a way of defence from overwhelming situations that one has to face. It is the inability to know how to deal with unexpected issues that form the struggle. This is the moment to take the time to understand and ponder.  Our creativity will help us achieve a clearer picture.

We cannot avoid the difficult moments that we all have to go through, such is the nature of Life, but we can balance them by doing those things that bring happiness to us and as a result also to others.

Happy creative week to all!

Who Am I?

The Ancient Greek Aphorism “Know Thyself” inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi is one that has resonated with me for the most part of my life.

It seems such a simple thing to do, but when going within in depth and analyzing each aspect of oneself, it is not that easy at all.

There are so many factors that influence us constantly that without realizing, it is very easy to get lost in different landscapes thinking they are our own.  And especially now with the accessibility of so much information through the internet, I find very easy to lose touch with one’s core nature.

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There is a self that wants to draw, paint, take pictures, in essence, create beautiful things and continue practicing every day to perfect techniques and abilities. But at the same time, there is information pressing within the mind to learn and acquire new knowledge about the many aspects of marketing these products and make them known.

But as experienced during this whole week, I have not found yet a balance between the two sides. The creative process and the commercial side. Unfortunately for me, the last one is a completely new thing as I want to focus it to be realized only as an online business. Before my conversion to technology, I used to just visit the local markets and festivals. Even then it wasn’t something I ever enjoyed, the selling part. I always preferred someone else doing it for me, of course, they were much more successful. It is something I never really felt comfortable with, preferring to spend my time creating and contemplating Nature. It is something quite common between Artists in general, I suppose.

But it is an important aspect of life in any field and a subject that should be taught from early years, so it is easier to get accustomed to.

This is when it is so important to know who one is, and what is the message that one wants to give with the work.  Understanding that is knowing what makes us enthusiastic about life, what is the spark that lights the fire.

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For not doing what my being was craving for, which was drawing, but concentrating instead in absorbing information, I got lost in the cobweb of the internet forcing myself to follow a system that it is not yet clear to me. And like a note that needs to maintain its frequency in amidst so many million sounds, I have found the importance of being loyal to what my core nature wants to express. And that, in fact, is the sound that makes me vibrate.

When I look at Nature my heart rejoices so that is what I try to recreate in my work, in my own style at this moment in time, the way I am able to do it.

It may not be what is trendy, or what people are talking about and it may not sell as well, or be so popular, but that is the only thing that comes out of me with enthusiasm. If I try to copy or be inspired by someone else’s style because she/he is being successful, or because everyone loves the beach now and I only paint flowers, so I should change, I will not be happy with myself, it is not what comes out of me naturally.

So the question which arises is, how much are you prepared to give up of yourself to comply with the demand of the market?

For as much as I love the work of successful Artists and Designers, it is impossible for me to follow that because that is not what these hands want to draw. And my answer to that question I have learned it this week.

Trying to understand the “rules” of marketing sent me straight to visiting the Dark side of the Moon, where Nothing reigns. No ideas, no inspiration, no joy only the Void. And as soon as I concentrated on doing just what gives me joy, pure energy and inspiration came back.

So I believe that one should never let go of one’s own spark, it can evolve and become better. Maybe it will need more work and time if it is very different from the rest of the world, but there are no choices.

I am what I am and I can only be me.

In these days I have enjoyed collecting all the pictures of flowers I have taken in Portugal and tried to find their names. If you are interested you can check them out here. Flowers of Portugal

I would have loved if Jerry from Quietsolopursuits could have taken them, as I think he is a great photographer but there was only me there with my little compact camera, so hope you will enjoy them anyway!!

Happy Sunday and wishing you a  joyful week.