Why am I here? The BIG question

single daffodil

“Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is the essential part of their own inner most being- their true nature.”

~Eckhart Tolle

Dear Tina,

YAY you picked up “A New Earth”! I think Eckhart Tolle’s words are so deeply profound you have to be at the right place in your life to receive and absorb them. I was in the right place six years ago as you may remember with my “crazy mind”. Today I am much calmer, open and accepting of each day, not focused on the past and future like I was back then and for most of my life actually.

A lot bubbled up inside me reading this book as I know it did for others who have read it. I was grateful to Oprah for the Life Class she hosted with Eckhart where people from all over the world tuned in through Skype to explore the ideas in the book with one giant, unprecedented book club. It was comforting knowing people were questioning the same things I was about religion, spirituality and the BIGGEST question,

Why am I here?

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I have come a long way since that dark place six years ago, don’t you think? Back then I unknowingly was focused on what I no longer had, friends and family close by, a job I loved teaching art, amazing, inspiring colleagues who helped shape my life, my magical little cottage filled with such love, my adorable garden with sentimental reminders of all the gorgeous flowers collected over the years from generous friends, memories of goddess parties, my fun neighbor Steve, and on it went. I couldn’t appreciate all the goodness~my new marriage, the love of a wonderful man, the gorgeous shoreline I was moving to that was a vacation destination for many, starting grad school and meeting you. If I wasn’t dwelling on the past, fear of the future consumed me and questions twirled in my mind like ballerinas on steroids.

What if I don’t make it as an artist?

What is my work about anyway?

With so much sadness and bad happening in the world

why does your work even matter?

People are making artwork about such profound things,

who are you to be exploring such simple things as friendship and happiness?

How am I going to support myself?

What meaning am I bringing into the world?

How do I navigate this life as an artist with all its uncertainty?

I apologize to you and anyone else who had to put up with me back then. I certainly wasn’t awake and present to life that is for sure. After much soul searching I have come to understand that I am here to love. It is that simple~to love myself, mistakes, flaws and all as I grow in this life, to appreciate others, share love, notice love, foster love and be love. I am loving of the earth by the choices I make each day, the products I buy and sharing its beauty with others. I try to be loving to my friends, family and strangers by my energy and presence. I try to love my body by nourishing it with healthy foods and exercise, yet allowing the simple pleasure of a sugary cupcake and a pizza now and again. I nurture my creative practice by showing up and doing the work which guides me to my best self.

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My perspective has completely shifted since reading A New Earth. This book taught me the power of NOW and although it isn’t always easy to stay “in the now” or to be present it is what I strive for. I loved being reminded of Eckhart’s thoughts on flowers from your last letter Flowers make me happy and be a better person. They allow me to pause, see beauty and evoke a sense of wonder. Their short lives remind me that life is fleeting. Flowers have taught me that joy can be found everywhere, even when you are stuck “in the weeds”. I know now that I have the power to shift my thoughts to the present when I get off track simply by noticing what is around me. I choose to see the good in the world and honestly believe,

happiness is a choice and is essential to living 

 

happiness quote

So there you go my dear, I have said it out loud! I think this may have been one of the hardest/easiest posts to write! These flower “portraits” are a peek into some ideas I have been thinking about for the summer with my artwork. I am taking the time to slow down, learn my camera and really see the beauty of my garden. I am also experimenting with some ideas from your Vision and I am not sure what direction they will take. I will share with you soon. Until then, enjoy your day. May you find happiness in every simple moment.

xoLaura

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