I realized only later that I had great expectations around how wonderful it would all be in a way that wasn’t compatible with real life. I try to help my clients understand the many myths around mindfulness practices, especially the one that suggests that regular practice will lead to steady calm, happiness, or bliss. What mindfulness cultivates is an increased capacity to be present with all states of being rather then favoring the good over the bad and the ugly. One of the biggest takeaways of the retreat for me personally was that the same applies to retreats or vacations.
I was pretty convinced that my wild woman would be of the earth, probably covered with some dirt, have long un-styled hair, and maybe, bit of a crazed gaze that warned the beholder that she is not to be messed with. That she is to be feared even. Western society has burned even the tamest of wild women (wise women and healers) for centuries to make sure there is no question that our psyches equate wild with dangerous. In fact I am bewildered more than anything that this archetype has survived and is coming through in our imagery at all given how long and hard mankind worked to eradicate it.
This is the third time a dragon has showed up in one of my paintings and it continues to make me uncomfortable. The best way I can explain the discomfort is that the value of rational, scientific thinking as the only valid type of information gathering was such a central part of my upbringing that the consideration of the mythic is often accompanied by shame.
I always get a kick out of seeing how startled individuals outside of music studies are when they learn that the vast majority of music majors in America graduate with little, or more often, no skills in the primary creative processes of improvisation and composition, nor in the African American musical heritage that is arguably America’s primary cultural contribution to the world.
With the kind of work I do through my creative company — 7 Cylinders Studio — I get to interact with an ever-evolving cross section of our community.
I want to highlight a handful of those criss-crossing clients to survey our local landscape through the lens of video and provide some of the more compelling projects I’ve been fortunate to produce these past few years.
I am encouraged and inspired by the number of adults enrolling in ballet who have never studied before, or may have only had a year or two of lessons. A common thread among these different personalities seems to be a “beginner mind set”, an openness to trying something new, willingness to persist as difficulties arise and the sense of satisfaction that comes from finally getting it.
Some magic is small, like how the laugh of a baby can melt your heart regardless of your state of mind. Some magic is big, like when you run into an old friend in a city of 15 million people you are only visiting for a week. When the likelihood of something happening is way smaller then it not happening, it is called synchronicity.