There are days where inspiration comes in explosions, oozing out of my skin from every single pore. There’s a bounce in my step, I’m so excited and so passionate about being alive. I want to jump, dance, sing, scream, shout, paint, write.. I want to let the whole world know how beautiful life is, how miraculous it is to be alive. There is so much I want to share and express I don’t even know how to beging getting out.. but I sit down with paint and paper or pen and paper or whatever mode of expression it is, perhaps even song, and it all comes flooding out. Like a dam has been opened, and finally it can all be expressed.
Then there are days that seem so dark I lose faith the light even exists. Moments of joy and excitement are a distant memory, and I’m not even sure what the point in any of it is. I feel tired, exhausted, energy-less, lifeless… Like I just want to lay in a crumpled pile on the floor and do nothing. Or that I want to cry. Or I feel so much rage that I want to break things and tear them apart. This energy can be creative sometimes and I can find myself writing or painting, expressing what might traditionally be judged as dark and negative.
While other times, in these darker days; I’ll lie for ages and ages, doing nothing.. sometimes it begins to spiral into darker and darker places as the negative self talk berates me for lying and doing nothing, and as I feel worse about myself, I become meaner to myself and feel worse about myself, and it feeds on itself, spiralling on and on and on.
Then there are the other times, in these darkers days, when I can lie in my sadness, and cry and let it all out without spiralling out so much; and even within that spiralling out I can remind myself that I’ve been here before, that I’ve been through this before,and that it has passed many times before, and this time too it shall pass. Sometimes it helps, and others it's futile.
Human Beings we’re emotional creatures, undeniably so, with some of us are more in touch with this, and able to be more fluid within the motions. Sometimes we hold onto whatever emotion we’re feeling, like happiness we never want it to end, yet honestly it’s exhausting feeling ecstatic all the time. Whilst in times of deep sadness sometimes we really don’t want to be feeling that way, we resist it, tell ourself not to feel like this, berate ourselves for going through this, but this is also counterproductive as we’re feeding it and giving it more power.
Then there’s this thing of positive affirmations, which have their value and place; and if youre in a really dark spot and that’s going to get you out of there maybe it’s helpful. Personally I feel that if in times of sadness and pain we start rambling out positive affirmations we’re not truly facing whats going on, we’re not being with ourselves and our experiences, and if we don’t get to know these parts of ourself, how are we going to come to terms with them? How is it ever going to become easier for ourselves? Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right, maybe I’m both and some things work for some while others for others. Let me know you’re experience for sure.
Anyway! Throughout my teens I went through some dark times of deep self hatred and self loathing, which is a story for another time. But in short, as an expression of this I was cutting myself to express this pain, this suffering, in an attempt to escape, to runaway from what was happening. Physical pain is so much easier to cope with than emotional pain; and then of course there’s the high, the release.
We all have our coping mechanisms we use to cope with life.;be it drugs, alcohol, sugar, sex, exercise, whatever. Some of us cope with our coping mechanisms better than others; some of us are fine with them, and others of us beats ourselves up over them.
The reality is: when we resist who we are, when we resist what’s happening, when we wish for things to be different than how they actually are; we’re actually giving more energy and focus to that which we don’t want, and in so doing create more of it. You've experienced it yourself: as soon as someone tells you not to think about butterflies, what are you going to think about? Butterflies of course.
So then perhaps is the solution to focus on what you do want? What you do want to be experiencing, how you want to be feeling. At the same time, you don't want this to be another escape mechanism either. For example, when you’re deep in a moment of sadness, by focusing on happiness you’re in denial of what is actually happening and indirectly are still resisting what is actually happening.
The most effective away for us to allow that which we don't want in our lives to dissipate is to allow for them to be, to feel the sadness, to be with the dislike, to make peace and come to terms with what is actually happening.
On the other hand there are plenty of situations in which we can focus on what we want to be happening. It's a matter of identifying when to apply which way of approach; and the only way to learn this is from personal experience.
But just to give you some insight: in creating your future, in long term goals, yes focus on what you want to create, how you want to feel, what you wish to experience.
Whilst in the short term, when in the turmoils of emotion, when witnessing negative self talk, when berating yourself; if you realize you’re trying to escape your experience, what’s happening, who you’re interacting with, THEN go into the emotion, the experience, allow yourself to fully experience what is happening without running away. Then you may even gain some insight into the core of what is happening, you may gain some understanding and realise the futility in your reaction.. and THEN all on its own it shall dissipate; something that will never happen if you keep resisting and running away from your actual experience.
-Living the Human Experience-
The beautiful intricate creatures that we are. So simple and so complex… The sum total of evolution bringing us to be who we are today. Whilst on a personal scale created through the sum total of our experience and through genetics. If we break ourselves down we can divide ourselves into our physical body, our mental body, our emotional body, and our spiritual body.
The physical body, apparent to the eye and touch: Musculoskeletal system, nervous system, blood, skin, hair., etc. Perhaps it’s what gives this sense of identity separate to everything else. Allowing us to physically move through space; the vessel which allows us to creatively express ourselves. A tool through which we can manifest our thoughts and dreams into this physical reality. This sense of separate identity is what gives this sense of I (and though there is much ego bashing going on in this spiritual reality, the ego has its purpose) its what keeps the accumulation of all our experiences united, what gives shape to a unique expression of Being, unique ideas, unique thoughts, unique creations. Adding to the variety of this beautiful life. Creating more and more possibilities for the evolution of life and consciousness as a whole.
The mental body: the domain of the mind where thoughts reside. The rational, the analytical, the problem solver, the hypothesizer, the fantasizer. The mind is probably another part of our BEingness that gets a bad rep from time to time. And yes if we are only living from the mind we can become unbalanced, yet if we can bring it into balance with the heart, so that it doesn’t take over and take the lead, and instead harness it we can bring it to good use. So what is the role of the mind? We can rationally recall and analyse our experiences.. and from this deduct what is efficient, what’s not, what works for us, and what doesn’t; and thus grow, evolve, and learn to live to the best of our ability. We can relive stories over and over in our head so as to traumatize ourselves (total waste of energy and time, yet we do it over and over again). We can plan and speculate about the inifinite possibilities of things that can happen in the future (can be useful to some extent, but only so far). Or we can use it to come up with creative solutions to problems we are trying to solve, or even in the creation of art.
And then comes the emotional body. Sometimes we supress it while others we allow it to flow liberally and freely. We are capable of experiencing such an array of emotions: sadness, joy, fear, excitement, happiness, desperation,.. And that is one of the delights of being human, this capacity to feel.. Yet it seems often, perhaps through cultural upbringing or through negative experiences we learn to suppress our emotions, and that’s where blockages are created. This resistance to whatever it is we’re feeling is what causes us to not enjoy our emotions, what causes sadness and anguish to be a burden and stands in the way of us fully experiencing and expressing our happiness and joy. For when we allow ourselves to simply feel emotions are fluid they come and they go like the tides of the ocean. However when we resist this natural fluidity emotions stagnate and remain for longer than they need.
And finally the spiritual body, this sense of belonging, of being part of something greater than the individual self; be it family, a community, friends, the planet as whole, or the universe. This sense of having a purpose, this sense of being more than an isolated individual. That inspires us to grow and evolve and to become the fullest expression of our beingness. This is an element that contributes to the joie de vivre, an excitement for being alive. For when we don’t feel this when we feel disconnected and isolated, that’s where depression comes along right? And then of course none of the body’s exists independently of each other, in fact it can be counterproductive to view them as separate for each one affects the other. When were stressed we might get sick, when we feel disconnected form the world we become emotionally depressed, when we seriously injure ourselves we might become sad.. and so on..
So these are but a few of what makes up a human being.. and then each human being, what makes us each unique and individual is the sum total of evolution, our ancestry that came before us, and the sum total of our own personal experience in this life time. Which makes us who we are today..
So yes, we are all each unique indivual expressions of humanity, yet at the end of the day, in essence we are all the same, we all come from the same place, we are all brothers and sisters in this life. So if we can remember this, to communicate from the heart, from one human Being to another. Drop the barriers we uphold to protect ourselves we can further accelerate this growth, this evolution. For when we come together, combine our unique traits we can create so much more and so much variety than that which any of us could accomplish on our own.
There’s much talk about the monkey mind, but what about the monkey heart? or in other words the monkey like nature of emotion.
Which I suppose is what the current capitalist system feeds off of. This desire of ours to feel to experience, to feel intense emotion, to feel pleasure, delight. It’s where we get our kicks from: movies, food, social media, extreme sports, sex, and so. It seems a common trait amidst the 21st century human to be always searching for the next high, the next hit, constant excitement and stimulation.
We all want to feel good, but perhaps there’s a misunderstanding that feeling good will bring us happiness
Yet this feel good experience we’re all chasing we’re associating with instant gratification, instant stimulation of pleasure receptors.. yet once the experience is over what are we left with? We’ll be left with the satisfaction of the memory for a little while, but how long does that last?
This idea that we need something external to us to feel good. Most likely on a totally subconscious level. Or it might not be the case at all and I’m totally wrong, but check in with yourself and see is this true for you?
Not to say that wanting to experience pleasure, wanting to feel good is a bad thing. It’s a perfectly healthy thing, and a super enjoyable experience. I just believe it’s even healthier to check in with ones self to see what ones relationship is with this instant gratification system we have in place.
Is there a subconscious element in place that believes we need this pleasure stimulation in order to feel happy? That this short term high equates to happiness. Is there a subconscious part of you that’s often searching for the next temporary “high”?
Addiction itself is a funny thing as its often not what we’re addicted to that’s the cause of the problem, but rather the reason we’re addicted, what we’re trying to escape.
I guess that’s a point I’m making here.. are you relying on these instant gratification mechanisms for your happiness? Or is there happiness there with or without these experiences?
Which brings us to the question: what is happiness?
Rather than being this feel good feeling, I believe it’s a underlying tone to ones life experience. It’s something we can experience in moments of both negative and positive emotions. So rather than being this feeling of feel good, it’s a sense of ease with your experience, an attitude of allowing yourself to experience whatever it is you’re experiencing. For lack of a better word it’s this sense of contentment with being either “happy” or being sad.. It’s coming to this spaces of being at peace with who we are.
And it’s all over the place we’re all searching for it, and we’re being sold it left, right, and center. If we have the latest x, y, or z. THEN we will be happy.
Yet.. as long as we are looking for happiness outside of ourselves.. it’s never going to happen on that deep permanent basis. There will be moments, and they will be beautiful. Yet until we stop searching everywhere for what is already within us.. we will always be on this crazy vicious cycle of a puppy chasing it’s tale.. searching searching searching.. for what we think is outside of us, but is in fact part of us all along.
So what is the path to long lasting, life permeating happiness? Honestly, it doesn’t always feel great, yet it does allow one to live life at ease, and in the long run it allows the everyday moments to be more vivid, to be fully lived and experienced. Not only the highs and lows.
I’m sure there are many practices, many techniques. But whatever allows you to come more fully into to the present moment, into your experience. That allows you to be honest with yourself about your experiences; that invites you to become intimate with what is actually happening. Personally I’ve used mindfulness, yoga, breathing practices, meditation, immersing myself in nature, and taking time to DISCONNECT from the constant stimulation of technology.
And these are not quick fix solutions.. which we are so accustomed to.. these are practices, that take practicing over and over and over again.. and that as you’re practicing you wonder.. “why the FUCK am I doing this?!” yet with retrospect, months later, looking back, the change is evident, friends and family will notice.. something shifts.. we become more at ease with ourselves, with our experience. We reconnect with ourselves.
But hey, that’s my experience and you don’t need to take my word for it, try it and see.. and feel free to share your story with me. All of our journeys are different, yet there are similarities, and personally I love to hear about it.
Art for sale at www.etsy.com/shop/mirinmooneyart
Painting for sale at etsy shop
It's ironic how in those moments when we need connection the most are the moments we often tend to isolate ourselves. Or at least that's my experience.. perhaps for fear of being a burden to others, perhaps for seeming weak, that we don’t have our shit together. And oh now, we’re not happy all the time, really?!
Where did it come from this idea that we ought to be happy all the time?
That we need to put on some sort of face for the rest of the world?
Only fuelled by social media where we’re all mostly showing all the great moments and hwo much fun we’re having.. how often do you see a post showing a picture of someone crying? Or do we publicly post about the difficulties and the stresses we all have..
It’s funny too because when we don’t express things, it feeds on itself, it begins to seem bigger than it is, it gathers weight and becomes a burden.. yet when we express it, share our troubles with others, the load lightens as we realize its not the end of the world, and that we are not the only ones in the world experiencing this. Perhaps nobody is experiencing the precise situation you are in, yet billions of people over the centuries have experienced different variations of the same emotions. So speak, voice, connect.. its like all this bottled up emotion, is released, in a letting go of sorts.
Yet it’s not always easy.. you could even say it’s a learned skill.. a vital one too, not one we’re taught in school (yet!). This ability to navigate emotion, to experience emotion, and to express it in a constructive manner.. so that we’re not attacking ourselves or others..
So how is it we can encourage each other to feel safe enough to express all of ourselves in our fullness? Sadness, anger, and joy?
What practices can we ourselves personally develop to encourage ourselves to be brave, and reach out in those times when all we want to do is shut the world out?
It all begins really with the recognition that that’s what’s happening. As with most things, when we’re unaware of what’s happening, when we’re lost in our own emotion, functioning on autopilot, its hard to have perspective and change things. Practices that encourage the development of mindfullness and self awareness over time allow us to begin to be more conscious of what is happening.. And that’s where it begins, this self awareness where we can see that we’re shutting ourselves off, pushing people away.
Once we realize this we begin to have a choice: do I continue on this autopilot mode of self destruction, or do I reach out and see if theres an alternative? It takes courage, being brave, and just going for it.. its rewiring our habits, our way of being.. and it takes practice and trying over and over and over again.. and we’re not always going to get it right. We’re not always going to do what’s best for us.. but we still try over and over again until eventually the healthy pattern becomes our new autopilot.
Yet our conditioning to shut the world out has been with us for decades, it’s engrained deep in us. So it’s a habit we’ve lived through so many times, so it’s unlikely that change is going to be instantaneous.. and sometimes at the beginning it seems like you’ll never get there.. yet give it a year even, and with retrospect you will see the change has happened.. that’s the funny thing about change.. sometimes its hard to see as its happening.. yet with retrospect, with perspective, it’s much more evident.
But don’t take my word for it, try and see for yourself. Knowledge isn’t really innate until we’ve experienced it for ourself.
Why not do what you Love? Life is too short not too.
Perhaps I'm a dreamer, an idealist.. yet I do believe we can live in a world where we can all do what we love to survive and thrive. In fact I believe it is essential that we do so. We are all so unique, composed of the unique sum totally of our experiences, and thus having something to share with the world that nobody else does. To further contribute to that when we are fuelled by the passion of doing what we love, when we are inspired, and motivated, we accomplish so much more.. and that energy of passion, inspiration, and motivation seems to energetically attract that which we need much more than when we are unmotivated and uninspired.
Personally I’m extremely passionate about self expression and through this self revelation.. Be it through writing, speaking, painting, yoga, dancing, singing, problem solving.. whatever shape or form it takes.. it is such a powerful tool for growth.
For it is through self expression that we grow. Nurturing what’s true to us and dear to our heart.
We empower ourselves
Empower our voices
Our entire BEingness
And through self expression we learn more about ourselves, reveal more of ourselves, and thus expand, grow and evolve.
For when we don’t do this. When we repress ourselves, resist who we are, what’s dear to our souls, we begin to shut down, shrivel up, we disconnect from ourselves and come to this place of dis-ease with ourselves.
Sometimes it seems easier to not express ourselves, to stay small, quiet, not too big, to not stand out.. but over time, that takes its toll.
And though it may seem scary at our first, in the long run, honest self expression is easier. there’s a feeling, of satisfaction, empowerment, self realization that comes with it. even though it may seem scary at the beginning, when we step through. it feels so damn good..
And with time, with practice
We gain experience
It becomes easier
Because we know we can do it
And we know It’s totally worth it.
So what could you do today to express yourself more fully?
It might be in the form of expressing an opinion that disagrees with somebody elses
Or it might be marching in the streets for a cause
Whatever shape or form it takes
Do not underestimate its value
And no, it’s not always easy.
But Be Brave. Be Brave. Be Brave.
What’s the worst that could happen?
And what’s the best that could happen?
And what’s the point in Being you, if you’re not going to BE you?!
Of your need to know
What is to come?
The mind it fantasizes
And the probability of any of it ever happening
States of Being
States of mind
I dare you
Of your need to know
What is to come?
The mind it fantasizes
And the probability of any of it ever happening
States of Being
States of mind
I dare you
The fears that hold us back. Little voices in our heads.
Who are they?
What do they say?
Where do they come from?
We all have dreams, passions, desires, inspirations, ways of BEing.. that when we're truly in our flow, when we feel good in our skin, when we truly honour ourselves.. it is no problem, following, feeling, BEing in these ways.
Yet when we're slightly off balance.. when we're not operating from our true authentic self.. when we begin to doubt, or fear... when we move away from the heart, and act from the mind...
These fears of failure, inadequacy, rejection, shame.. begin to surface. Though often irrational when we have clarity and perspective, yet when we're fully immersed in that emotion, that mindset, it's hard to see clearly.
And then again, these fears don't come from nowhere, they originally came from somewhere. A past interaction. A memory of something that happened. Or a learned habit from someone you looked up to.
So many elements make us who we are today. Who we are today is a culmination of the sum total of our interactions and experiences.
So you might say that who we are is inevitable. Which is true, yet we can have some influence on who we are to become.
And not through forcing us to be some ideolized version of ourselves, not by make ourselves be who we think we ought to be. But rather by witnessing who we are. By recognizing reactive habits when they come, by recognizing the patterns we've developed. For the simple act of noticing and witnessing allows us to recognize what is actually happening. What feels good, what doesn't, what works, and what doesn't.
The meer act of shining the light of awareness on ourselves, on the hidden automated responses we have. Bringing that which was in the darkness to surface.
This.. allows for ourselves to unravel, to unfold, to reveal, deeper, and deeper layers of our being. To reveal. More and more of who we are. To come and live more and more at ease with ourselves.
And from that we grow. And we flourish.
Those moments when we completely lose our sense of self, this sense of I seperate to the whole.
Those moments where we connect with something larger,
a sense of ease,
a sense of peace.
Perhaps immersed in nature listening to the sound of birds,
enjoying a good meal,
having a bath,
an intimate moment with a loved one,
the list goes on..
There are so many tools for BEing.
Isn't this something we all strive for?
that sense of connection,
that sense of belonging,
that sense of ease.
We get so busy sometimes, caught up in the neverending todo lists we create for ourselves.
Do Do Do, there will always be more to do, if there isn't we will find something.
We enjoy being productive, achieving, creating, whatever it is..
and there is nothing wrong with that.
Yet the value of BEing and enjoying the moment is worth so much, sometimes we forget.
a form of meditation even.
It feeds the soul,
a sense of satisfaction.
So what is it that stands in our way of BEing?
with connecting with ourselves.
taking it easy.
It's ok not to be busy all the time,
it's ok to take time off,
it's ok to enjoy yourself a little.
So how can we incorporate more of this BEing time,
these spaces of peace and ease?
Perhaps it starts with simply giving ourselves permission,
even just for 15 minutes,
15 minutes of your day
15 minutes to BE.
Life is for living,
and it goes so fast,
and in the end we all die.
So why not BE?
why not appreciate, the moment?
"Time you enjoyed wasting, is not wasted time."
To be, and to feel free.
I feel that creativity and healing are deeply intertwined,
for each time I begin a new project, a process begins:
Of letting go, and releasing the need to control.
Surpassing doubt, fear, and judgement.
Trusting that which is within,
and allowing for all that is.
Embracing all that I am.
Embracing all that we are.
When I come to the canvas, each time it's a process.
Of transformation. Release. And revelation.
My approach to painting is intuitive.
That which reveals itself can be psychedelic, experimental, visionary, or simply abstract.
To let go of preconceived of ideas of how things ought to be, and our perceived limitations.
Without goals and objectives, we open the doors for the unlimited potential that resides within.
Allowing the current to flow, and witnessing whatever comes about.
So each time I come to the canvas I let go, and I let flow.
Simply following whatever feels good, whatever feels fun, playful, nurturing.
Mark by mark each painting goes through an intricate journey of layer upon layer,
until eventually the final piece reveals itself.
It's not always easy, and it is a process, yet it teaches me so much.
It is what brings me here today.
It’s not always easy to trust, and just see what happens.
It takes releasing wanting to be in control, and really allowing yourself to be whoever you are in each moment,
knowing that no matter what happens, it’s ok.
Joy, Anger, Laughter, and sadness.
Mistakes. Experimentation. Confusion
It’s a journey that goes on, we all live it everyday.
New sensations to experience, lessons to be learned, and others to be unlearned.
It's life and it's beautiful.
Embrace the moment.