Recently, in my pursuit of living my life through the steps I laid out in my earlier post, 'Art of Happiness', I have come to find that it can go so much deeper than merely the steps listed. Much like when you are in a dream and lock on to something, focusing on it, it doesn't ever stay that same construct you originally saw, it sort of evolves in slow motion, only to reiterate how everything around us in a constant state of change. All that aside, I'd like to introduce everyone to a philosophy and lifestyle remedy I have coined as, 'Life Diet'.
This is a powerful tool. It's almost so powerful that it's not for just anybody. It takes a serious amount of conviction and living with great intent. It means being able to know what is right for you (not the same as what society or anybody else dictates as to what is right for you) and being able to focus on positive things, people, and circumstances. What you may read in this post may not sit right with you, it may not be something you feel comfortable doing, but for people in your shoes there are wonderful institutions with rules you can follow to make you feel like you're accomplishing something with your existence put in place such as church, AA, and any other groups that harbor a secular identity and mantra to keep exclusivity appeal in order to fund infrastructure and administration costs. Those institutions are not bad things, and you're not bad for taking part in, supporting, or enjoying your time spent there. They're great for people who want something more out of life but aren't really sure what or where it is. Fortunately, I'm writing down, expressing into words, as clear and concise as I possibly can so that 1. I can better understand the journey I am on of taking my life experience to a new level and 2. Inspiring any one of you to become more than what you are in all your endeavors.
What is a Life Diet?
A Life Diet is much like a nutritional diet. While nutrition is a very important part of a good Life Diet, it is certainly not the only aspect. A Life Diet is basically the process of trimming out all or as many negative influences from your life as possible in order to maintain a positive state of progression and live the life that was originally meant for you. It is a multiple phase process that involves a great deal of courage in facing the unknown, yet when one realizes that we are always facing the unknown, it is the embracing it that makes us strong, and this is the essence of what a Life Diet can do for you. It allows you to allow yourself to be fully engaged in your life experience. Over the next few blog posts I will share in depth what you can do to implement this incredible purging process into your life and you will be forever transformed into the you that you have always dreamed that you could be.
The summer was unlike any other and I embraced every moment I could to rise above everything I ever was so that I might become something more. In my adventures I lost friends, gained friends, closed doors, opened doors, and reflecting upon all of that it is clear to see that those experiences were hardly just a summer thing but an ongoing facet of our life experience that one must learn to adapt to.
For a long time I put my love for painting down to the wayside, giving myself to other parts of life that would be offered and when I did, while much of it was entertaining, I found a ever present feeling of emptiness in my heart. Recently, in my last few days, I have spent time with my good friend Justin James Hanrahan, an Austin musician, in his drum studio experimenting with a new way to create art. While he practices on his drum set and occasionally on keyboard, I work on a new painting. It's an incredible experience in that the music fuels my creativity almost dictating the next direction the painting might go. It is such a high, in that moment, where everything else in the world disappears and i'm both lost and found in an amazing grace of pure creation.
It does help that I found my muse. I never really had one before. Many people ask me what my inspiration has been for my work. For years I never really had any one thing that inspired me other than just how I saw the world, my place in it, expressing my perspective of that place, and perhaps characters along the way. Suddenly with a muse and this wonderful new way to paint, I feel so excited and alive, like never before. I feel this sort of I dont care about anything else but getting out of my heart what is in it and onto canvas. The feeling is relentless and I could do it all day, everyday, forever on end.
Its hard to describe what its like to have a muse and what that means to an artist. It's kind of like being alive tens upon thousands of years ago, hungry, lost, and cold, and suddenly finding a campfire with food prepared and a nice place to rest one's head after years of struggle. There is this sort of curious feeling with having this experience that one does not see or feel at first. The fire is so warm and inviting, the food tastes so good and the bedding is as if a cloud had been hunted down from the sky to be laid upon. These wonderful things are so dearly cherished as they have never been seen before and only dreamed of, and even in those dreams it were only concepts of desire. Through the night as the stars dance above, the food has been eaten, the fire is not being fueled and the cold is creeping in. What is rest then? Suddenly, an overwhelming feeling washes over and one looks about for kindling and fuel to add to the fire, longing for it s enchanting warmth to continue on. This could go on for ever, assuming there were enough vegetation and/or animals to resource for food to cook, and so on, yet with the passing days as the forest the kindly home was made in has slowly become something of an open field, and one looks upon the fire seeing it is no longer the dream that was dreamed of, but a fire that has become one's own. It is no longer the same, it has become changed, tainted, and with that, the entire forest poisoned with an impossible dream. There is nothing left to do when there are no more trees to cut down, no more food to eat, and the fire which was once so surreal and full of life becomes little more than a memory of a dream that once was. There is little to do but pick yourself up and go on, see what else there is that could be out there.
What I take away from that is there is so much beauty in the world. There was beauty in the travelers struggle, there was beauty in the oasis that was found, there was beauty in the lesson learned, and finally there is beauty in the possibility that despite potential hardship more dreams could be seen, had, and enjoyed. While there will never be a home like the first one found, that is no reason to never leave its resting ashes in search of what dreams may come. Its indeed a sign that dreams are more in the waiting.
Somehow, I've been so lucky to stumble upon this warm, kind, and gentle little campsite and now that I've laid my head down with tummy full, I dream it will always be so. The flames whisper in cooing echoes to me that the place I call home is the lucky one, for whom else would cherish it so? I never stopped to think that this place was made by someone else, perhaps for someone else, or destined by the universe for another, yet here I am in love with the moment as if it were all my own.
How I love to create... what greater joy than to do so?