Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Courage To Play

I'm feeling so serious today, and I don't like it. I am of the ambition to never take myself or anything to seriously, and usually I do alright. But for today, I'm not sure what's gotten into me. I've been overly worried about things I have no control over, and letting things bother me that shouldn't. Things that are going to happen no matter what, and the thing for me to do is to learn the lessons from it, and to endure. Worrying isn't going to help, or get anything accomplished except for aging and stress.

The best thing to do when we feel these bouts of worry coming on is to make some time for yourself to do things that bring you ultimate joy, whatever that is. For me, it's music and art, although I find it challenging to relax, calm down or meditate long enough to get into this, with so much "busyness" buzzing through my head. In thinking on that, I happened upon my Horoscope for today.

"Instead of concentrating on your desire for personal love, shift your thinking into the higher realms of spirituality. Find something that touches your soul and connects you to the beauty of the cosmos. Organized ritual can work for some, yet reflective meditation may be better for others. Even a few minutes of solitude can provide a chance to hear your own inner voice."
By Rick Levine Thursday, March 6, 2008

Makes a lot of sense to me, and even if you don't get into 'horoscopes', you can't deny that it's still a good message. It really hit the nail on the head with how much trouble I have keeping focused on the positive, more important things, and my inability to just let go and ascend to something higher, deeper and more meaningful. Hearing our own inner voice is very important because that's the only one who's knowledge or advise we should be taking. Anyone else's thoughts or opinions should not move our own.

I know that my creative endeavors are the best way for me to go "within", and to do anything like this I have to remind myself that I cannot take anything too seriously. I have to keep a sense of life's grand folly. As well, it is best to hold on tight to that inner child too, that's where the truth of the world comes shining through.

Therefore, I'd like to share this publication I receive twice-weekly from Robert Genn (The Painter's Keys), which I find is an inspirational piece for anyone needing a lift or boost in their creative endeavors, or in life... Please read and enjoy, and I hope that you come that much closer to 'Awakening to Your Life's Purpose'.

In his latest book, "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's
Purpose," Eckhart Tolle discusses how the human mind is almost
constantly engaged in private thoughts. These inner rumblings
reflect our personal trials, dreams, needs and obligations. To
function properly as a creative person, an artist must divorce
himself from some of this clutter and begin a process of
rebirth into another mode. "Even though people may travel,"
says Eckhart Tolle, "they tend to remain where they have always
been--in their head."

Early yesterday morning, my daughter Sara and I were painting
at the end of the Laniloa Peninsula, Oahu, Hawaii. From a
parked car nearby, a young man in a white shirt and tie watched
her out of the corner of his eye. As I passed by, he rolled
down his window and said, "That girl just took out a canvas and
started painting. She hardly drew things out at all." The
fellow and I struck up a conversation. He turned out to be a
Teaching Assistant from the nearby Brigham Young University at
La'ie. He was "having a quiet read and some meditation."

I told him the girl was my daughter and that she was working
"alla prima--all at once." Then he said, "It looks quite a lot
like play." Later, when Sara and I were going over our day's
efforts, we agreed the young man had got to the truth of the
matter. As far as plein air painting is concerned, play has its
own methodology:

Feel and relish the environment.
Get into a "be here now" state of mind.
Start your work anywhere.
Look cleanly and with an uncluttered mind.
Be joyous and unencumbered in your stroke.
Work everywhere at once when you can.
Try to leave your strokes alone.
Do not labour or think too much.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Let the painting tell you what it needs.
Though it may be small, make your picture big.
Without being a wimp, serve your subject.
Don't verbalize your sight--sense the being.
Surrender to earth's beauty and wisdom.
If you make errors, fix them in good humour.
Be suspicious of what you've been told, how you ought to do
things, and what you ought to think.

Best regards,


PS: "Van Gogh didn't say, 'That's just an old chair.' He
looked, and looked, and looked. He sensed the Beingness of the
chair." (Eckhart Tolle)

Esoterica: The plein air act requires a mental transformation
and a shift in consciousness. Playful looseness is a virtue.
Running on old methodologies or rigid game-plans can be
detrimental. Sara and I both remarked on the value of
amateurism. Amateurism can induce clear sight and creative
optimism. At least you are not held in check by a lot of stuff
you already know.

Current clickback: If you would like to see selected,
illustrated responses to the last letter, "Seeing red" about
the observation of colour in our world, please go to:

Please note: Robert Genn will be giving a free talk, "A
Painter's Odyssey, Nine Years of Love Letters to Art," at the
White Rock Museum and Archives, 14970 Marine Drive, White Rock,
B.C., Canada, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday March 8,
2008. Please phone 604-541-2222 to confirm your seat. The
approximately two hour visit will include an open discussion
and book signing.

If you would like to comment or add your own opinion,
information or observations to this or other letters, please do
so. Just click 'reply' on this letter or write

Shift consciousness! A Premium Listing in the Painter's Keys
Directory is the most effective thing an artist can do to be
tastefully and respectably noticed. This listing--really a mini
web page--costs $100 per year--and we do all the set-up. You
can find out how well it might work for you at

Yes, please go ahead and forward this letter to a friend.

Sara Genn is at

Eckhart Tolle is at

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**Special thanks to Robert Genn for permission to use his letter.

1 comment:

Jay said...

I tend to worry about thing I can't do much about too. But, when get all worrying like that I just drink. It doesn't really seem to help as much as I would like though. Weird huh?