Unpredictable as life itself, the practice of listening is one of the most mysterious, luminous, and challenging art forms on earth.-Mark Nepo
As an artist, I have what many would consider an eccentric flair for living. I have been a practicing professional artist since I was 16 (but my mother says it all began when I got ahold of the opposable thumb.) I have lived in many countries and cultures. I have been torn between many pulls in opposite directions frequently: Creative Chaos, Moving Stillness, Empty Fullness. And, within this unpredictable wonderful paradox dance, I have also been passionate about finding “home” most of my life.
One day, in the midst of suffering from trying so hard to understand it all and feeling horribly displaced, I had an epiphany. In my seeking, I was like a woman trying to catch the wind with a butterfly net and eventually, I sat down and experienced the wind. This is a little bit like my journey home. I became more and more interested in simply being here. What a relief! I was listening. I was home.
And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of milesno matter how far, but instead by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very humble & arduous & joyfulwhere we arrive at the ground at our feet and learn to be at home.-Rumi
In addition to being a visual artist, I have been a movement practitioner since my early 20s. My movement work began in the USA, where I am from, with one of Gabrielle Roth very 1st student teachers named Lia. This 5 rhythms practice via Gabrielle Roth and Lia opened the door to this deep internal place called “home.” Authentic movement, contact improvisational dance, Qi Gong all form a base of my movement practice and foundation. These combined with my work in dynamic creative expression and art therapy. Thank goodness for such wise choices we make in our youth.
Life has been a powerful teacher too. Just over a decade ago I had the blessing of my life seeming to fall apart. I had 3 huge bereavements within a year: I ended a long term marriage, then lost a child, and then also a lover. I was forced, “kicking and screaming” at first, to stop and take stock. And as luck would have it this is when my practices of art and movement really came into their own. I could even go so far as to say that these practices saved my life. I found a new teacher who met me in a whole new depth of presence way with whom I still work. I completely stopped everything I was doing and took space. I moved to France for a term with my young son to a village of 300 in the Ariege, got clear, got lonely, got connect, skied a lot, had great fun in the snow with my son, learned much, got my French back into shape, and got happy deep inside. I hit the restart button for my life.
Such a big dark night of the soul has been a great University like no other. It has had a huge influence on me, my life, and my work. And also my base of Movement, Art, Psychology: These seemingly disparate strands of my life interests have given me not only an incredibly interesting life but also a strong foundation from which to move and teach.
Throughout all of this I never stopped exploring with a mad passion and respect this place of belonging and connection. I love the power in revealing the concealed/shadow* aspects and find our greatest treasures. The passion and presence that live deep inside us.
I’ve come to realize I don’t trust people who hide their shadows. Within those shadows lies our connection, the place we touch each other, the portal into intimacy. All of us are imperfect, so there’s no point judging each other or ourselves.In the understanding of this truth lies our perfection.-Dr. Lissa Rankin
Consciousness dances with paradox. Imagination and creativity unlock juiciness and sexuality. I am an expert at failing. And, I have learned that by relaxing into our true nature we are free to fail, to be imperfect and flawed and real and human. In that freedom is, paradoxically, our magnificence. I love this and am so moved by this paradox. The more I show my flaws, the more beautiful I am. Go figure! But it is my experience over and over. Just like the Wabi Sabi practices in Japan, when something is not truly beautiful unless it shows a slight flaw, a bit of rust or some asymmetry, we are more beautiful as we are, from the inside out.
Through this work my life has truly been turned inside out. This is not always been easy. And ultimately I find the Movement of Being work that I am part of combined with creative expression to be the most efficient and effective way of healing, and living fully and with greatest freedom. There is a natural intelligence that we all hold and long to live from. There is deep passion bubbling up in each of us in a very unique way. When I relax more and more into being who I really am, it is all very simple. When I listen, there is a full emptiness and I am already home.
*Like in my In Your Own Skin Project: a multimedia social art project revealing hidden personal truths from around the world to spread authenticity and happiness. What would you share?
Find out more here.
** Wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all.
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