Thursday, September 4, 2014

Homesick and a friend's gift


 Clouds over the bay
Acrylic on archival canvas board
6 x 6 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014
Our first week back in Toronto is always
a rough one.  It's hard not to miss the Maritimes,
and even the drive from Pugwash to Toronto
through Fredericton, Quebec City and Montreal.
Canada you are beautiful, and if you've never
been here, this is a drive that will dazzle you.

A few months ago a friend I met through
FaceBook asked for someone to write her
each day saying that they had meditated.
I agreed without thinking -- my motive
being to "help out with a project."  Ha!
I committed to 5 minutes a day, for one
month.  We reported faithfully to one
another daily for 3 months.  The result is
that I am doing guided meditations from the
Internet for between 15 and 25 minutes a
day.

The formal reporting is over, but during the
process I have gained a wonderful friendship,
and a habit that is changing my life.

Here's the list of benefits of meditating I
sent to her.

1.  I can now relax with greater ease, much more
 quickly than I could before.

2.  I've always believed in the power of the
mind, but I've been blown away by the power
of the breath to calm the body and the mind.

3. I care about being positive, but meditation has
helped me tap into the well of positive
thought I have inside me, and to stay in the positive,
even when circumstances or people are hard.

4.  I've learned the importance of daily dedication
 to my own peace of mind.

5. I've re-affirmed the importance of a concerned
 and encouraging friend when starting a new activity.
My friend's interest, suggestions, and dedication,
and strength of purpose have meant the world to me.

6. I've been so impressed with how a small amount
 of time -- anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes can
 change the tenor of a day, increase my energy.

7. I've connected with the infinite possibilities available,
when I do want to meditate.  Understanding that I could
never explore all of the wonderful guided meditations,
audio meditations and meditation scripts available through
 the internet has given me a clear and impressive
example of the bounty of the universe.

8. Words have always mattered to me.  I have
written guided visualization scripts, and shared
them with groups of people,  but I am hyperconscious
of the destructive nature of negative words right now.
That doesn't mean I don't think and speak negatively,
it means that I instantly recognize that I want to stop
when I do now.  Plus I can move away from other
people's negative words more easily now -- just
deciding that that's their issue, not mine.

9. I am lighter in spirit, even more connected to
the beauty of the planet, than ever before.

10. I have always been a happy person, but I am
 easily 1,000 times happier than ever before.

So thank you so much.

Maybe your life is idyllic and you don't need
meditation.  But I think it's good for artists to be
able to unwind. Our job involves the potential
for over the moon excitement, coupled with
stage fright and anxiety.  I am endlessly
grateful to my friend for inspiring me to take
this on, and make it part of my day.

Have a thanking-a-friend-day.

10 comments:

Sally Chupick said...

so happy to hear about your 'meditating mission!' I agree with how beneficial it is; when I take the time to do it, the benefits are enormous! Congratulations on inviting meditation into your life so fully! By the way, that is a beautiful painting, love the subtle but active sky, it has an appropriate mood for your missing the coast. Happy settling in back in Toronto.

cohen labelle said...

WOW Barbara! That's some sky. Molto magnifico I'd say.

xo, Marcia

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

fabulous cloud painting. The Maritime skies are so beautiful.
tell me more about the guided mediation.
Did you find something to listen to on the internet?

Sheila Vaughan said...

Barbara this is a fabulous landscape, quite mesmerising. I like how the strong foreground planes of colour carry the sky so well. Yes, Canada is beautiful. I have seen parts of it and I totally agree with what you say.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

What a thrilling summer you've had. It is really hard to settle down, but the skies and beauty we've seen are in my heart and mind. I am so excited about the skies. Yes the meditation is an incredible gift. It's helped me to be way calmer. A good thing.

Love your work,

XOXOXOXOXOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Grazie Marcia,

The real sky was incroyable, as they might say in Montreal! Thank you!

I love your work. It is incredible!

XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Mary,

Thank you. Yes I did find material on the Internet. I really like everything under videos by Positive Magazine. I like the young woman's voice, and her guided meditations are super for me. You don't watch, you just listen. Then there are so many others. The words and cadence matter to me -- so I think you have to find what works for you.

XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sheila,

Thank you so much. I would love to
drive from one side of the country to the other one day (stopping to see artist and people I know along the way) and staying in wonderful hotels. Yes! My husband has the same dream so we may do it one day.
Love your work.
XOXOXOXOXOXO Barbara

Wendy Barrett said...

Barbara, this is such an inspiring post! I am a firm believer in the benefits of meditation but at the moment only have a very hit and miss approach to it. You have inspired me to make more effort to get a regular habit going again.
Your painting is very vibrant and evocative. I hope you settle back into normal life again soon!
Have you read "The Biology of Belief" by Bruce Lipton? a very fascinating read and would be right up your alley I'd imagine.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Wendy,

Thank you so much. It would be nice to feel settled again. The longing for the beach is strong though. But I do feel the pull of my city life, and it is filled with pleasure too.

XOXOXOXOXOXO Barbara

Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at: barbara.muir@sympatico.ca
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!