Monday, November 10, 2008
Attitude of Gratitude
Had a relatively busy day today, my last job being to clean out the fish tank. Now the filter is working properly again and I can hear the bubbling in the background which I happen to like, and the fish are swimming round like it's their birthday. They're obviously happy to have their bubbles back too!
Well, I promised yesterday that I would tell all about my bush meditation walk. It was run by Linda from Creative Seeds, and a small group of us met at the studio and painted a background on a piece of MDF before driving out to a beautiful spot in the Kalamunda National Park (you can Google it and see just how gorgeous it is here). We stopped at a small stream whilst Linda explained that we would be reflecting on our 'lifestream' symbolized by the stream we were standing next too - basically a journey through our life and into our soul. We started with a short visualization and walked up the rocky path, stopping at intervals for Linda to guide us into meditating on the stages of our life - childhood, adolescence, transition to adulthood, where we are now. We imagined the struggles, the good times of each phase. It was really important to stay in the present moment, to go with the flow of life, and we did this by listening to our footsteps, the nature around us, and we weren't allowed to talk to each other, just give each other respect for our personal spaces.
For me personally it was quite a journey. I was expecting it to be a pleasant walk in the bush, with some likeminded company and some painting at the end. It was all of this and more, so I will just go into the highlights here. At the start I was entranced by the babbling of the stream as it crashed over the small rocks - it was lovely to listen to and I felt energized by it, it seemed to me to mark the flow of my journey through life. Linda also explained to us at one point as we stood on a huge bank of rock looking out over the city in the distance that as we get to adulthood we look at things from a bigger perspective. She also explained that no matter how hard we try to avoid things, our psyche will bring us back into line somehow and reconnect us with our lifestream, which we have probably lost track of through the distractions of life. I had a lightbulb moment as soon as she said it. I have suffered from depression and anxiety at different times of my life, and it seemed to me that this depression = reconnection for me. All of a sudden I could see depression as a means to reconnect with the flow of life, rather than as a weakness and that was so empowering!
Other highlights were an outcrop of rock Linda called a 'temenos' which is a sacred place. As I looked at it I could see a part of the rock that looked like the eye of an old man, and I immediately wanted to curl up and sleep on the rock it felt so safe and restful. As we walked back into civilization we walked through some lovely grass trees which had been burnt in a bushfire last year, Linda held up the grass on top of the plant to show what looked like a perfect pair of breasts!! This gorgeous plant looks like a woman dancing with her hair down, like life is to be celebrated, and is aptly named 'The Empress'. So I've included that image on the painting, and shown it in detail - I love the way these plants regenerate themselves, even after having been burnt they come back. Awesome. I've also painted a rock at the bottom of the board - the little curl is me asleep! Hope you enjoy the painting, I've called it 'attitude of gratitude' because after the walk I really felt like I'm thankful for everything that's happened in my life, even the dark times - just like the burning of the grass trees, they were an opportunity for growth.