Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pics and Paintings

Hi!  Just thought I'd say hello and share some pics and paintings.  We are living in our temporary home here in Michigan until August, when we officially move down to South Carolina. We were able to partly move in down there at our new home, which we LOVE!  How can you beat this backyard??!!

Unfortunately, during the moving process we lost our cat, Jack.  He was 3 years old and just had a check-up last month, but the vet thinks he had a heart condition that couldn't take the additional stress of moving.  We are terribly sad and miss him so much. He was my buddy.  Here is a new little painting, dedicated to him.

Jack and Alistair, from 2 weeks ago.

And finally, I'm playing around with some new images and materials. Still a work in progress. Oh, and i LOVE my new necklace from Shy Siren - isn't it pretty?!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thank You's all around town

A great big thank you to Gary at Livonia Yoga Center for displaying some of my artwork in his windows. Gary has been one of my biggest fans and promoters. There's going to be a fun event coming soon to LYC, including a labyrinth walk. I'll keep you posted.

And thanks to Brian (and Tony!) and all the good folks at Red Lotus, who also give me and my work big love. They have a brand new gorgeous studio in Rochester - Grand Opening on Friday June 25 and Saturday June 26!  Check out their amazing gigantic space, take a yoga class, get a massage, have some of their delish tea. Oh, and you can check out the super-sized painting I did just for them!! (Here it is, but it's cooler in person.)
I sure will miss my beloved yoga family here in Michigan.  I've found a sangha that is more supportive and wise than I could have ever imagined. I'll be lucky to find folks half as wonderful in our new home, South Carolina.  But that won't stop me from looking!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cultivate Patience

There is no teacher of patience like the person that irritates you.” 
-Master Shantideva, Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhisattvacharyavatara)
Like everyone, there are a few people in my life who really push my buttons. One person is someone very close to me. I once complained to my favorite teacher, Mira, about how difficult this person is to deal with. Her response was, “Well aren’t you glad they’re in your life?!”  I was like, “No!”  But here’s the key to transforming that person into someone who doesn’t push your buttons -- Cultivate patience. Do everything you can not to get angry. Because getting angry guarantees you’ll get more annoying people in your future. That’s just Karma; no way around it. 
Be grateful for the person who annoys you, because they are your greatest teacher of patience. In Buddhist texts, patience is described as “the ability to not get angry.” That’s a serious skill!  Have you ever tried to stay calm and even-tempered when someone you don’t like is doing that thing that drives you crazy? It’s nearly impossible.
Here are two methods I use:

1) Try to see their point of view, and what the motivations for their annoying behavior are. I once heard it said that “no one does anything inappropriate given their version of the world.”  We have to remember that people see things differently. 

2) Do a dress-rehearsal in your mind. Think about the next time you’re going to see that person, and imagine the scene. See the location, see what they look like, see them doing that annoying thing. But instead of your typical reaction, see yourself being patient. See yourself reacting in a new way. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to stick it out when the real deal goes down.
And incredibly, it does work. Just like an athlete visualizing their victory, you can visualize yourself as the very picture of patience.  Of all the times I felt totally justified in getting angry and even yelling at someone, not once did it make things better. And think of all the future annoyance you’ll spare yourself.