Meditation: Find Your Power Source

Allie Spring, Missouri in the Ozarks

I’ve been away this summer, spending a lot of time by the water.  No surprise, right, with these balmy temperatures.  Water has a natural calming effect on the body.  Maybe it’s the sound it makes.  Or the fact that the human body is made up of mostly water, and so we connect with it as a life-giving source.  It’s almost impossible not to feel a little zen watching the waves roll in and out in rhythmic harmony.  Even swimming feels like a meditative act, especially when you surrender to the water and allow yourself to float along on the surface.

If you’ve ever had a chance to visit a natural spring, you’ll find the added benefit of soaking up the extra minerals in its depths.  The water is cold, but takes on a mysterious and beautiful bluish-green hue.  The plants beneath its surface are bursting with life and flow along with the current.

But why talk about this?  Because I think water is one of the perfect spots to meditate.  While out for a jog, I often stop at the creek near my house to meditate.  I feel a strong sense of connection there.

Water isn’t the only place where you can feel the healing energy of the earth.  The desert is another favorite of mine.  My husband and I have taken 3 trips to the Southwest and something keeps drawing us back.  Could it be the vibrant color contrasts between the red rock, the blue sky, and the green plants?  Or could it be the twisted trees swirling with energy?  Or just the vast amount of empty space that clears the mind and gives it a rest.

I urge you to find your own power source.  That place that makes you feel all chilled out and totally at peace.  A place where you can reconnect with the earth, with your life path, and especially yourself.  You might not even need to travel very far to find it.  Maybe it’s that weeping willow tree in your backyard, whose branches softly sway in the breeze.  Maybe it’s an outdoor garden, your favorite rosebush, or even a statue carved by an artist out of stone.  Stones have existed even longer than trees and will outlive all of us.

Go there, find your stillness, watch your breath, melt into the empty space that surrounds and connects all of us.  Plug into your natural power source, and let it all go…


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Technique

watercolor

watercolor

I recently took a watercolor class, which was really fun.  Look for more watercolor artwork in future postings.

In this watercolor sketch, I was practicing painting still water with reflections in it.  I can’t take all the credit though.  This was part of an exercise from a wonderful book called Creating Textures in Watercolor by Cathy Johnson.  You should check it out!  It makes watercolor very accessible for both the novice and the expert.  A classmate recommended it to me.  I’m still working on the salt technique, so stay tuned for that….

I actually wondered if I should post this, since it’s a rendering of another painting.  But then I remembered, all the “old masters” copied.  That is how we learn.  If you’re not convinced, see my earlier post.  Then, when we “get it,” we can sit down at our drawing table and apply the technique to our own ideas.  It is fascinating how that works, actually 😉

But the real lesson for today:  Don’t be afraid to tackle the subjects that really scare you!

Lilies at Retreat

created on site with acrylic

I created this painting one afternoon during my 2 week stay at a retreat house in Michigan.  The house overlooked a beautiful lake.  I was very taken with a patch of lily pads that were frequented by 3 very territorial swans.  I was, of course, channeling Monet and the idea of Impressionist painting.  I wanted to capture the moment and the feeling in the moment including a sense of movement and the idea of the lilies as floating entities.  This painting has additional personal value to me as it marks a spiritual and artistic awakening.