Tag Archive | Reflections of the Self

Dragonflies and Nature

Last week had a few curves that I thought were going to happen, but in the end everything worked out. Funny how that seems to happen after relaxing outside with nature.

One thing that remained a focus the whole week were dragonflies. I had seen quite a few this month, but had more experiences with them on one particular day.

I meditated for the first time in a long time and had this little visitor join me. He stayed long enough to enjoy or add to my meditation and then flew away when I was done.

Dragonflies, in many cultures, symbolise change and adaptability. Almost all of this morning I was swirling in thoughts of fear. As I walked back to my car, though,  I felt calm and resolved.

My healing sanctuary was my mother and I’s “safe spot”, from last week’s post Week of Reflections. The lake was still in full bloom of lotus flowers, which I was extremely happy about! 😊 And yet again I came across another dragonfly. ❤

Another dragonfly ❤

One thing that I found interesting about the many dragonflies I had seen, is that every one of them were either blue or had a blue tail and green body. Blue has always symbolised calm for me and green as healing. I’m going to get deep with ya for a moment, but I have always wondered if we create each moment as we breathe or that things “pop” up to aid us in our creations of each day…

Like me being trapped in fear and wanting to break free; and then a particular animal or color begins to be predominant of my day. Is this chance, coincidence, or creation? I guess we may never know, lol. Either way, I am grateful for this life and its many transformations. We don’t need to always figure things out, it’s mostly about the experience and love that we get out of it.

Oh and as promised, I finished up another nature portrait that I was working on. I had fun experimenting with shavings from a “writable” rock. It was the first time I felt like I was using natural pigment. I mean, look at what it did for those eyes 😍. I love it! I may add a few more things to her, but I feel good with how she looks 😁💖.

This upcoming Sunday I will work on more nature art pieces. See you then! 😊

Expansion of Gratitude



Today marks 30 days of writing in my gratitude journal. I’ve never been able to finish a whole month before, so this day is special to me. So I thought I’d share some of my pages with you ❤ ! As you will see I don’t really limit myself in any way of how I’m supposed to write the things I am grateful for. I just kind of go with how I feel in that moment:


Little Surprises

I touched on some of the effects of focusing on this practice in the last post “Self Care”, but I thought I’d elaborate on it more in this post.

  • I’ve been witnessing myself thinking about things that I am grateful for as they arise throughout the day.
  • I’ve been telling friends and loved ones how much I am truly grateful to have them in my life.
  • I’ve noticed I feel, hear and see the gratitude’s that people have of myself and they are so much easier to accept.
  • Life just seems fuller and more true, if that makes any sense…

This experience has been quite profound for me, and I’m glad I take the time each day and night to write 5 things that I am grateful for. I think I’ll continue it another month 😉 . Oh! And I’ve even started seeing hearts in nature again. ❤ I’ll leave you with this last picture and then see you again next week! ❤ (((Hugs)))!

Can you see the love? ❤

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Fear

I was going to fill out my application for the “Fall into the Arts” art walk,(for Novembers showing), but I had this strong anxiety from the past two stop me. I know that if I apply now I can just focus on the work as I go. But I feel kinda scared to move.

I got great reactions from my photography work during the first one and good reactions towards my nature crafted art from the second. So what’s holding me back?

FEAR

Everytime I apply for something that has to do with showing my art, I think I will fail in some way. That no one will see it as art or see it as good enough art to be shown. The other thing that scares me is that I just don’t want to look unprofessional. I have my photography, digital art/drawings, nature heart pictures, and my nature crafted characters. If I show all of these mediums at once it looks kind of cluttered.

The Seed of Doubt

During the last art show, someone asked me “is this all yours?” When I replied proudly “yes” they seemed shocked, yet disinterested, then they quickly moved onto the next artist. I actually haven’t felt quite the same about my art sense because of it… I agree that I don’t really have one artistic focus and that my display seemed a bit overwhelmingly different from each piece. But it felt like I was finally showing all of me.

So What Do I?

First, I need to change the way I have been thinking about my art and its worth. Second, I’m filling out my application by the end of this week! I think I’ll only bring six pictures of my best photography and display my other art differently. My main focus this time will be my nature crafts. I have one large picture I’d like to create 😉. So I’ll just have to get started!

Simple Beauty Day 23

Drinking my tea and working on Thursday’s video ❤.

Simple Beauty Day 16

Whenever I feel like bursting from seams from “what am I doing and where do I go next,” I always find myself at the base of an old tree. As if to seek guidance from a grandparent far older than my own, I sit and contemplate about life. The reason for it all and the direction of where its going.

For some reason these giant plants calm me down, slow my wild thoughts and remind me to take things slow.

“Be at ease, let the wind through my leaves help you breathe. Everything’s going to be okay.”

I almost didn’t post today. Its was a hard day at work and the gloominess of the day made me want to sleep it away. But something in me desperately needed to clear my heart and soul. Then, a thought of my favorite nearby tree came to mind. So I took off my shoes and walked to my release.

I have been coming to this tree ever since I moved here. In fact, any place I have moved to I have found a special tree to share my thoughts about life with. These gentle beings are the best listeners. After about an hour of inner rambling I finally felt like I could breathe again. I still don’t know what step to take in my life, but at least now I feel like myself again. ❤

I am so grateful to have been able to live near nature all my life. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without someplace to go in nature. It has been my greatest mentor and therapist. 👣🍃💞

Art Within Heart

Today I wanted to write a post about my relationship with art and a few of the happy shifts that I’ve started. Recently I confronted a part of myself that hinders my art and working towards refining my skills. This part likes to bully my artistic self. In the book “the Artists Way” Julia calls it her Censor, and mine always brings up the thoughts: “I can’t create art if I don’t have enough money, I can’t make money off of Art, or at least not enough to make a living.”

 

The Problem

This type of thinking has always crippled me from doing most of the creative ideas that I have or I want do. “Because, why put energy into something that won’t give a good enough return back….but if I just had enough money I could do my art…”. Something deep down within me wishes that I would stop believing in these old and damaging lies.

Shifting Perspectives

So, a few days ago I decided to try and change. I got into my one of my art journals and started to write. The picture above was pretty in my book but I really wanted to emphasize the feeling of the phrase so I got even more creative and popped it into PicsArt ^_^.

I stumbled upon an interesting thought in the one below and played around with the thought of the word art being in heart.

After writing out affirmations, I also wanted to change my thoughts about art not creating prosperity. I went through a record book and added up all the art pieces that family, friends, and strangers have bought over the years and realized I have made more than I previously thought. Not necessarily enough to pay monthly bills but, if I really put forth effort to develop the forms I love most, it doesn’t seem as far away now. The last thing I wrote in my art journal is what sparked the idea of writing this post. “My heart defines my art.” If I continue to look at art in a better light, the future could be endless…. and this thought is enough for me to make my next push back into myself 😉 .

 

See you next Thursday! ❤ ~ Mandi

What Leads Me to Silence?

DSC_0027

 

I’ve been looking through old photos for the new series Monday Moments and started to question, “what makes a photo feel like a gateway into another world?”

 

Is it composition, color, pathways, light, shadow, reflection, abstraction, layers, or perspective? What makes a picture feel like a larger than life moment? Or are these spaces in time just as much of a surprise as life is itself?

 

What do you think?

 

Star Reflections

13613595_570772523096189_6403630057413689910_o

Photo by: Forest Ardennes Fernandez

I’m back! I finally got my new laptop and will be posting regularly every Sunday again! I was working on this post and thought I’d finish it and give due credit to an awesome photographer. A fellow student from Maharishi University of Management, Forest Fernandez, has been taking marvelous pictures of the night’s sky and has inspired me to write about my inner reflections of stars. I enjoy every picture he takes,  each one has a deep universal feel to them. ❤ !

 

Do you ever look up to the stars with wonder? In a previous post, Star Struck, I looked into my allurement to the stars. I’ve tried to define my connection to them, was it hope, wishing or something else? Since my last post about stars, a new thought has bubbled up.

 

Photo by: Forest Ardennes Fernandez

Are We Stars?

I took a class in college called Physics and Cosmology and learned that stars go through processes that create most of the elements in the universe. I got to thinking about the elements I am made of and how they were once created by a star which stemmed the thought “If we are made from the elements of stars, are they our ancestors.” Is this why I feel drawn to them and share my troubles with them? I seem to seek their guidance like I would a Grandmother or Grandfather and yet they are silent. Somehow their silence allows an answer to eventually emerge…  In my reflection with stars, this was as far as I could get for now. More to come as I keep questioning…

 

Photo by: Forest Ardennes Fernandez

Just for Fun

While researching about stars I stumbled upon a few interesting topics:

Thank you again Forest for letting me use your pictures in this post!

 

Watercolor Wednesdays

 

DSCF1875

 
I’ve been busy this week so I thought I’d share a few of my older watercolors(ink). When I was going to Maharishi University of Managment, I last minute decided to take a Drawing 1 class. I learned a lot about myself in my work and my struggle for creating “the perfect picture.” None of the perfect pictures are shown here, just the ones that took me for surprise ;). 

 

The first one was a quick study of my friend Rumi. The paper fell when it was still wet and the ink ran down the page and into her shirt. This was my favorite because an accident gave more character to the picture.

 
DSCF1874
 

One of our exercises was to draw the same things over and over again in the room. To pick one subject and place it with a different one. I had always liked the way this picture turned out and I think I know why. If I were to title this now I would call it “A friend is always near.”

 
DSCF2082
 

As a project, I did an artist study on Albrecht Durer and found a few of his drawings to be similar to the online “troll” faces. To be honest lol I don’t see the resemblance now, but at that time, it was all I saw. I think I liked this picture because it was something different to paint rather than the “pretty picture” I had always felt inclined to do. It was a very freeing experience.

 

Well, that is it for this week. Instead of posting about sunsets on Sunday, I’ll be talking about the “Give Love Project” coming up on the 23rd. Monday I start my vacation and will unplug from my laptop until I return on the 29th. See you then!

 

Every Moment is Precious

160413_0001
While watching the sunset the other night I couldn’t help but to tear up at how beautiful the sun looked upon the clouds. In that moment, everything felt whole and all the stress from a few days before had melted away.

DSCF4706
A week ago I found out my fur baby, Kiki, had heart failure and it is just a matter of time… Every moment with her feels like gold. She has recovered from her initial scare and is back to cuddling, eating, and light play. While I spoil her, I will be away from the blog for a bit to stay in these precious moments as best as I can. Till I return, nature will continue to comfort me through this transition.

160413_0006

I found this video on facebook and felt it tied into this post.

Ocean Conservancy’s Earth day Video