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In the whirlpool of my thoughts #mindfully

In the whirlpool of my thoughts #mindfully

(Wendy Reed photo)
Like the duck we need to stay at the rim of our thoughts, where we can observe them. It is too easy to be sucked into the whirlpool of our thoughts, believing them to an accurate readout of reality rather than passing events.
It takes attention and awareness to stay on the rim of our thoughts, observing them gently and compassionately. The natural pull of their gravity takes us towards the whirlpool where we lose perspective.
On the rim of my thoughts I am aware, through my senses, of what is around me. I can find inner freedom and peace, the whirlpool is not all there is.

the duck on the rim
of the circle of water
is me and my thoughts

I attach summer here for you – a three-minute #Icon

Harbour Bay by Emily Marten

Harbour Bay by Emily Marten

Step out of clock time. Gaze at this painting without thinking. Just for three minutes. When your mind wanders bring it back to the painting. Try and gaze at it with open awareness, allowing whatever emerges to emerge.

The original painting by young artist Emily Marten is a square. The whole painting is, like the square, harmoniously balanced. What the artist has been able to do is look beneath the surface of the houses and the people, and draw out the colour of the emotions felt on this sunny, windswept day in St Ives, Cornwall.

If you ever wondered what the colours of joy and play and happiness and hope are, these are the colours, normally hidden away. It’s as if the artist has been looking down from where there are no clouds, reached in to the heart of the moment and pulled out the feelings of this place by the sea, with the special light.

I have been to this painting in real life, and that is where I am taken back. I can almost breathe again the happiness of walking on the beach, feeling the sand beneath my toes, the wind in my hair, and the sand on my face. Perhaps the sting of drying salt water on my arms. I am sure I can feel that.

As a painting it is like the Tardis. It reminds us that we are bigger on the inside than the outside. it’s called Harbour Bay. There in Harbour Bay I feel safe and free. I have been taken to that place within.

Let the painting befriend you. The artist has attached summer to the canvas for us.

Three-Minute Icon – #Patience – guest artist Natalie Woodhouse

Natalie’s paintings on Facebook

Natalie

Natalie

Hope in fragility through patient waiting

Hope in fragility through patient waiting


In his book The Mindful Brain Daniel Siegel writes, ‘Poetry, like silence, creates a new balance of memory and moment. We see with fresh eyes through the poet’s artistry, which illuminates with words a new landscape that before was hidden beneath the veil of everyday language.’ (p54).

I think this is also true of art, which helps us to move from a clouded thinking to a new awareness, moving from thinking to the streams of awareness in our minds.

So step out of clock-time for 3 minutes and just look at Natalie’s painting. If your mind wanders, notice what it wanders to and bring it back to the painting. Pay attention to what comes into your awareness. Write it down.

This is what Natalie says of this painting:
‘PATIENCE’

This painting was based on an image someone had for me of a butterfly emerging form its cocoon too early – when it was not yet ready. God was holding it in his hands, stroking its wings, waiting for them to dry. It had to be patient while God dried its wings – if released too early the butterfly wouldn’t be able to fly. Something big and spectacular will come but you have to wait patiently – it cannot be rushed. Trust in God’s timing, not your own. Be patient while God ‘dries your wings’…

What I love about Natalie’s paintings is their texture, they invite you reaching out and touching them. Have a look at some of her other paintings on the attached Facebook link. Too often art is hidden away behind glass and barriers. I feel if I touched the butterfly I would come away with wingdust on my fingers.

As I gazed at the painting I was reminded that it is alright to be fragile. An experience of when I felt I was falling apart, and someone was able to hold me until my wings dried, came to mind. In the patient waiting of fragility, the painting also gives me hope.

(These is some details about Natalie:
The side of God that I find easiest to relate to is God the creator and artist. When I took a year out in Australia I used to walk along the beach each morning and marvel at how the scenery, colours and texture would change so much from day to day. I would imagine God ‘painting’ the scene – each day a new and exciting canvas – and as I walked I would say to Him “loving your work today God”. It was at these times that I felt closest to Him and most at peace. I try to capture glimpses of the incredible beauty of God’s creation in my paintings – nature being the ultimate inspiration. I work primarily in acrylics on canvas, often adding texture through mixed media. Having completed a degree in Surface Pattern design I also enjoy working with textiles, designing and making clothing, cushions, bedding and wall art, amongst other things.

Email: natwoodhouse@hotmail.com)