Balance

Several months ago, Marcy, my acutely perceptive Tarot Reader, spoke of the struggle we each have balancing our analytical, logical side with our intuitive, LOVE-centered side at different times throughout our lives.  This is especially true when we are in the midst of great change.  The masculine aspect of ourselves, associated with action, wants to DO something.  The feminine aspect of ourselves just wants to BE.

The back of Balance- Animus

Logic

Marcy used the image of a uniformed guard putting great effort into “protecting” a stone building.  He held a flag and took his job very seriously… to the point of exhaustion… not realizing that this much effort wasn’t really needed.  The guard represents my logical side- some call it the masculine, ego, thought, left brain, or animus.

The front of Balance- anima

Intuition

At the same time, in this vision, a sleek female cat-burglar was sneaking past him into the building.  She wasn’t gloating but she was definitely amused that she was able to sneak passed him undetected.  Some call her the female, Intuition, spirit, heart, right brain, or anima.

The Illusion

It’s an illusion to think each, acting alone, will be beneficial.  They both need to stop their “game playing”, truly SEE each other, and know that when they unite, they will be able to fulfill their true purpose- provide balance.

Marcy saw the cat-burglar go outside and make the first gesture toward connection.  He wasn’t able to do it; he was too focused on his duty to guard and protect.  The guard didn’t realize that by joining forces with her, it would free them both.

She embraces him and he literally lets his guard down- weeping and awakening at the same time.  The cat-burglar, too, realizes the need for unity to fulfill their symbiotic roles.

Balance: masculine and feminine supporting one another

 

What is fascinating to me, beyond Marcy’s skill as a Tarot reader, is that this message was already coming to me loud and clear through my creative expression.

Creativity

Creativity is where I’m most comfortable letting go of expectations and outcomes, allowing my Intuition to guide the process and analysis to follow.  Intuition communicates most clearly through imagery, synchronicity, dreams, and most often my art.

Possibilities

The beings in both my sculpture and my colored pencil drawing depict the positive effect the unity of masculine and feminine energies can have when they are in harmony.

Return of the Bird Tribes

Ken Carey, in his book Return of the Bird Tribes, explains, “In a healthy state, the ego is a secondary component of identity…the Great Spirit is experienced as your primary sense of self….When your ego stops trying to do everything all by itself, and invites eternal spirit into your consciousness, your historical illusion evaporates like mist on a sunny morning.  A polarity reversal takes place in the charge of your human envelope.  The field of consciousness around you changes.  Instead of your ego dominating your sense of identity and blocking your awareness of the Great Spirit, an eternal sense of self awakens within you.  You know yourself as a projection of the Creator of all the stars in the sky.  You know yourself as one of a family of god-beings, sharing God’s Being.  You remember.  Everything is seen differently.  The world is perceived anew through the eyes of a universal awareness.  Your ego becomes your working partner, and you commence the conscious creation of a new human reality.”

Our Outer World Mirrors Our Inner World

Marcy went on to explain that our outer world mirrors our inner world. Relationships with others and our experiences inform us of the times we are living in balance and when we are not.  Balance, for me, feels like greater clarity and flow, bring to mind words like Trust, Allowing, and Surrender.  When the masculine and feminine are out of balance, I feel discord between my heart and throat chakras- the centers for love and communication.  To come back to center, I have to form a harmonious partnership between the rigid, analytical aspect that is most comfortable “DOING” and the intuitive, heart-centered aspect that finds comfort in “BEING”.

Seeking Balance

Seeking balance between Doing and Being, I treat myself with greater compassion, gentleness, and kindness.  In my Tarot reading, Marcy saw the cat-burglar make the first move toward the guard.  By holding him in her arms, she represents taking a LOVE-focused approach.

My intuitive art practice, meditation, connecting to nature, and time for dream-filled sleep entwine these two aspects of my Self.  From this place of unity, I can move forward with greater grace, serenity, confidence, and love.  That’s when I know I’m on the right path.

What do you do to bring balance between DOING and BEING?

How can your Intuition be given space to guide you more often?

When you are still and quiet, what is your heart saying to you?

 

 

Appreciation for Life’s Little Joys

Art is one of Susan Korsnick's greatest Little Joys.
Creating art is one of my favorite Little Joys. It invites me to be present  and playful in body, mind, and soul.

 

EXPRESSING MY APPRECIATION FOR LITTLE JOYS

Several years ago, I became more aware of my appreciation for life’s Little Joys.  I actively sought them out.  I didn’t have to look far or put much effort into finding them.  They were, and are, around me every day.  These treasures come bundled in gratitude, reverence, nostalgia, and humor.  At times, I capture some in photographs and post them to Instagram and Facebook; at other times, I write a blog post like the one titled Little Joys Part 1 from April 2015.  More often than not, I just stop, allow my Self to be fully present, and imprint the moment on my heart and soul.  These memories later flow out of me and into my artwork.

Snowy Days are another of life's little joys.
Snowy days give me permission to slow down and savor each moment.

 

STOP AND SAVOR THE MOMENT

Some treasured experiences are so fleeting that all I can do is stop and savor the moment.  After a playful session in my art studio, I laugh at the rainbow of paint on my hands and most likely, somewhere on my clothing, too.  A single leaf flutters past on the crisp autumnal wind; I float with it.  Sunlight dances on a sycamore’s mottled bark; I let my eyes dance over it’s surface wishing my hands could touch it, too.  The snow falls with the distinct sound of silence; I let the silence wash over me and fill me.  As I dress, I pay attention to the feel of various fabrics against my skin- the practical warmth of wool, the snuggly comfort of polar fleece, the luxurious softness of velvet, or the heightened femininity of lace.  The strong, bold taste of coffee in a ceramic mug delights all my senses; the feel of the mug warms my hands as the coffee warms me inside.  Obviously, my list goes on and on with all the Little Joys that reveal themselves to me!

Coffee is a Little Joy
What’s better than fresh ground coffee in a sturdy ceramic mug?

MY MOST TREASURED MOMENTS ARE SMALL

While I love life’s big adventures, my greatest appreciation is for treasured moments that are “small”.  Julie Cameron writes in her bestseller Finding Water, “Life is made of small sweetnesses, and they come to us when we are willing to be little, instead of big.”  She goes on to say, “Sometimes, we must play the sleuth with ourselves, asking ourselves what makes us eager.  We must follow our noses and allow ourselves to pursue curiosities.”  I agree with Julia, that at times we may be out of touch with ourselves and need to ask, “What makes my heart sing?”  But for me, more often than not, I don’t have to analyze my Little Joys.  I need to step out of my own way and simply allow them to be.  They having a way of finding me!

Dogs are at the top of my list of Little Joys
Goofy dogs like Sophie and Freyja have to be on my list of Little Joys. Just look at those faces!

 

TO FIND LIFE’S LITTLE JOYS

When life is super-busy, it’s easy to miss the Little Joys.  I’m preoccupied with to-do lists, obligations, and errands.  I’m reflecting on the past and planning for the future (as every good teacher does).  It’s at these times that life gives me a reminder (sometimes a friendly reminder, sometimes a not-so-friendly kick in the pants!), saying, “Be still and notice what brings you joy.  Fill your life with more of that and savor each precious moment!  Take time to share your little joys with the special people in your life.”

Stillness connects me to Little Joys
Stillness is at once a Little Joy and the light that illuminates other Little Joys.  I’d delete the word “alone” if I created this now, for I’ve learned that Little Joys are best when shared with someone else.

 

What are your Little Joys?  I’d love to know.  

 

Awaken to Creative Possibilities

This week, I’m sharing how “saying yes” in my creative process awakens possibilities beyond the realm of intellectual decision-making.  Last week’s blog post “Saying Yes Leads to the Next Yes” explored how opening to possibilities in life as they speak to me on a soul level, can create space for profoundly wonderful things to happen.  The same is true with my artistic process.  Sometimes, I start with an idea or sketch which makes its way to the canvas or paper.  Other times, I like to sit in the stillness and wait.  Rather than put my idea on the surface, I want to see what will reveal itself to me.  Being receptive rather than being “in charge”.  Allowing rather than controlling.

Awakening to creative possibilities means saying yes as images appear.
The sketch for “Awakening” came when I allowed music to guide my process.

INSPIRATION THAT AWAKENED MY CREATIVITY

Several weeks ago, I decided to do something I had never done before.  This isn’t news.  I love trying new things!  Sounds of Spirit was performing nearby and I had the opportunity to attend.  I had never heard of them before but their website intrigued me so off I went with a sleeping bag, my journal, and a water bottle.  It was a spiritually moving and creatively inspiring experience.  The group uses a rich variety of instruments, nature sounds, and human voices to transport the listeners to a different place.  The outward experience of being in the space with them led to an inward journey for many of us in attendance.  I was so deeply moved that I bought their CD and listened to it over and over as I worked in my art studio.

 

Colorful washes both hide and reveal.
During the creative process, I have to allow each bold choice to guide me to the next choice.

 

ALLOW MYSELF TO BE A CHANNEL

On the day I created the sketch above, I turned up the volume on my CD player and let the music wash over me and through me.  I kept my eyes closed until imagery started to appear.  Then, I opened my eyes and simply transferred those images to the paper.  I felt like I was a channel not a creator at that point.  I said “Yes” to one image, which informed the next, which informed the next.   I allowed the process to happen freely without interference from my analytical mind or pesky inner critic.

I started with the 3 large repeated shapes in the background.  Then, the larger seated figure wanted to appear.  Then, little images around her began to tell their own story.  These figures informed the border and smaller symbols around the edges.  Each “yes” lead to the next “yes”.  The same thing happened when I chose my first color to wash over the larger areas.  Each choice naturally flowed into the next.

 

BEING BOLD MEANS BEING VULNERABLE

Who said being bold meant being confident or certain?  Not me!  Having the courage to be bold is also having the courage to be vulnerable and exposed.  Being bold doesn’t mean I’m always going to get it right in art or in life.  It means I have the courage to try.  There is a measure of risk  in creating art that is a genuine reflection of who I am and where I am on my journey.  There is even greater boldness and vulnerability in allowing others to see it.  For I’m aware that those who truly look at my art with open minds and hearts will have the ability to catch a brief glimpse inside the soul of the artist.

The finished piece by Susan Korsnick is an example of what happens when one is open to creative possibilities.
The finished mixed media piece titled Awakening is the result of saying yes to creative possibilities.

 

AWAKENING

After many hours in the studio and many layers of pencil, gouache, and ink, AWAKENING was complete.  I was awakened to the possibilities created by saying one “yes” after another.  I hope this piece awakens something in you, too.