Saturday, 29 August 2015
but never second guess your SELF!
That is the secret to success!
There is this story I like to tell, students and whoever is practising hard on something. I used to believe it had to do with technique, and the mastering of it. And it probably has to do with that too... but there is something deeper to it than had met my eye.
Some time ago - might be quite some, cause time flies and I have a very hard time keeping track with it; I used to be into the game of Squash. At the time there was a squash phenomenon ruling the courts of the world.... Khan I believe was his name, Jahangir Khan! He was interviewed once after SQUASH ing an opponent in the final. The interviewer whose land of origin was the same as the defeated player, said something like this: Wow, what a game... you were spectacular back there!!!!! BUT, you have to agree you had quite some luck today!
At which Khan answered: - Yes, I sure had! and the more I practise the luckier I get!
I took him at his word - which is always a dangerous thing to do.
Words are devious. Words are abstract symbols that try to convey something and seldom come close to doing so. Because words, as symbols, depend on interpretation.... and therefore VERY much on the ability of the listener to do so.
I read some days ago an interesting thought, revolving around something the author called the BE - DO - HAVE paradigm. The concept being that we have interpreted it - and life, the wrong way round. Most of us seem to believe that one day we will HAVE... money, a lifestyle, etc
which is when we will be able to DO things; travel, enjoy life, explore new hobbies.
And then we will BE happy.
According to the author we should reverse this line of thinking - and I personally give him total credit for the insight and fully support his view.
Take the case I started today with, Mr Khan. I have no doubt he:
1) Was (BE) a winner... and he knew it, believed it and
2) acted upon it (DO).
and so became the player of all times, had fortune, travelled and truly had (HAVE) anything he might desire (at least from the viewers point of view ;)
In other words, it all come down to FAITH.
Faith in ourselves.
As I mentioned before, practise at what you do might and will probably improve your self-esteem. Good technique enables you to freely rely on instinct knowing you HAVE the moves. BUT, in order to be a winner you have to feel like one! The recipe has been proven time and time again on the courts... any court for that matter.
Take for instance Finland and its habit of loosing against Sweden in hockey finals...This has happened too many times,and finally professionals have agreed the problem is "Koppan sisällä" (inside the head). For some, many... who knows? reasons the Swedish know they are winners... and Finns feel the opposite. So now we have a special group of coaches, psychologists and other experts working on players heads =D
I don´t think it is a bad idea, but I believe we should take it as example and start raising our kids with that line of thought. BE happy - Do what you love = Have a choice life - because you will be extremely lucky!
Now, my headline of today was to avoid second guessing yourself.
It is NOT difficult to BE happy (or any other thing you wish to be!)
- We can start off by telling ourselves how nice it is to be healthy... or to have another day... or any simple thing that in truth matters.
The difficult thing is to avoid second guessing.... because once feeling turns into WORDS... there is a big chance of misinterpretation.
WAIT, am I really happy? arn´t there tons of bills to pay? Its a Very grey day outside... I hate the rain.....
Second guessing is always there... waiting... hoping to get its chance of creating doubt
Its in our logic, its in the mouth of others... its everywhere.
Try telling someone you ARE a GREAT artist =D
OR a marvellous dancer....
or simply ...
Here is where practise can do the trick. I mean practise in trusting yourself, believing in yourself, and following feeling.
Feel good... then practise it (do it).
Throwing rubbish into a waste bin is not difficult. Just know the rubbish is there before it is and it will be.
Unless you second guess yourself =D
(Believe me - I have tried!)
Saturday, 22 August 2015
Short but full of meaning.
For some reason we don´t like questions.
Bright minds have told us that one good question is worth more than a thousand answers... yet...
this probably makes us afraid to ask - cause we think our question might be dumb.
And we don´t like being questioned because we are afraid we will end up looking dumb - in front of all!
My SON, now living in Brazil, sent me the other day a whats-up with a great little thought by Arnaldo Jabor, about the village idiot. An old man considered dumb and slow by his fellow villagers. Used to go to the bar in the afternoons where the people gathered to talk about the day and... make fun of him! They had a game they enjoyed repeatedly playing with him.
They would show him two coins, a big one worth nothing (50 €?) and a small one worth quite some (2000€). To their amusement he would always pick the big one. As goes with every game at some point it got a bit boring and so they finally asked the old man: Why do you always pick the big one???? its worth is 40 time less than the small one!!!!!!! At which the old man replied: were I to pick the small one worth a fortune the game would be over in no time!
So who was the fool in this story? Because of our being afraid to question things - to think for ourselves - we have a tendency to want to blend into a group and let others do the thinking (oftentimes no thinking, actually... ). We hide in groups and let the bodies around us push and shove and take us along their stream. Our gut might tell us we are wrong but we ignore it. We, as a mass, are moving forward (mostly backward). When the group gets big enough we don´t know anymore where the decisions come from or how to influence them... we just go along and pray everything will turn out right.
I say PRAY though now a days THAT is definitely out of fashion. Even though when things really DO get rough, I have a feeling most of US DO pray. I personally believe most people have stopped praying because they have been misguided and fooled into atheism =D
Doubts have been raised... questions have been asked (quietly - to ourselves)
If God is all mighty and good - why does he condemn? why does he judge? why does he let his children die of hunger? He definitely does not sound like someone we might want to follow. Actually, he does not sound like someone we like at all. So, we find ourselves a group with the same line of pondering and... GOD becomes the old man in the story above. The FOOL.
helmet all the time she will soon
get a moped! =D =D =D
I did some thinking on this as I questioned myself the same things as above. Actually it was my Dad asking the questions. He (my Dad) presented himself as a non believer... but I always thought of him as spiritual. His biggest question derived from the story about God demanding Abraham to kill Isaac, and how the Angel stops him in the last minute telling him to proceed no more - he has proven his fear of GOD.
Dad did not understand an all benevolent God Father asking a Father to kill his son.
I did not understand why a benevolent God would want us to prove we fear him.
So I pondered and in my search came to one bit of truth that satisfied me. Faith. Faith is the key to all. It is something I believe everybody needs in order to want to move along. Faith motivates us, Faith supports us... Faith is energy. I am not talking about faith in God - but in something. I came to the conclusion that this energy might be LOVE.
When God became LOVE all pieces came together. It made sense to me that Jesus would be the son of love. It made sense to me that if in the valley of death (which I have named guilt) Love would be the one to pull me out. And it made sense to me that he who believes in Love will be saved (again - from himself, his guilty conscience.... since there is no wrath full discriminating GOD).
What also made sense to me, was Jesus pointing out that we are ALL children of GOD. It feels a bit tough, because of our upbringing, to suddenly say: I am his child; therefor I AM GOD too!!!! =D
(But not half as tough is proclaiming: I AM LOVE!)
"We are not afraid of who we are... but of what we have become!" (little may)
"Give me back, whats mine"
For the longest time I thought we are here to learn a lesson, or many.... and thus develop into better beings. My truth now is, we are not here to learn... but to remember....
recall what we actually know in our hearts
which time, history and people in want of control made a mess of.
It is time for us to clear our minds from what is being taught
and ask questions.
One of them being: "who is driving my car?"
" There is no constant truth at all; that truth, like life itself, is a changing thing, a growing thing, an evolving thing" (N.D.W)
Friday, 14 August 2015
The most beautiful picture I have seen this year -
Thank you BUA
I am currently reading a book, "conversations with God" .... by Ian Walsh??????
hmmmmmmm... no, probably not Ian, but that does not really matter cause God mentions as I read the book that his conversation is actually for me, and with me!
- And I believe HIM.
As a matter of fact, I think all of you should read it....
Not because I am sure it is God speaking (actually the author at some point questions God about this, "how can I know if it is you speaking or my imagination! And God answers "Does it matter?)
but because the book has a LOT to ponder about and many beautiful thoughts.
I found it truly uplifting and inspiring, and today I will bring up one of the subjects he writes about: Creating and Re-Creating.
We all know we create our own lives. We wake up in the morning and start choosing what to do. Actually THAT is the fun of living! Waking up, rested and full of energy... with a blank day ahead to create into whatever we want it to.
Practically I would guess we spend most of our days / years / decades... re-creating. In other words, starting from where we left and doing the same thing all over again, in the same way, with the same results and emotions felt.
That sounds to me a bit like a Craftsman... working with what he knows, becoming Very good at repeating the moves, slowly and with time arriving to a point where he can work in AUTO. Which is in a way OK. But do we really want to go through LIFE in AUTO mode?????
When I woke up today I thought about this, and wondered if it meant I should not continue with the painting I started some days ago but start a new one. Hmmmmm I thought, that would mean I would never finish a painting....
I thought about the book and remembered God saying that we all focus too much on results and forget to enjoy the journey.
OK. So I don´t need to finish!
He also said to trust feeling more than words. I felt strongly that it did sound like fun starting everyday a new painting, yet finishing what you have started might be important in practice.
I chose to continue with what I had started but tackle it from a new point of view!
Hei! There might be something in that! I mean, in our lives it might be practically impossible to always do new things from morning till dusk. So the secret lies in approaching the experience with a new frame of mind, new ideas and new inspiration. Which is what I tried and immensely enjoyed my time of painting.
It feels good to think (as I do every time I decide to open the book) - hmmmm... how about I take some time to talk with GOD now?????
I mean, would´nt it be nice if we could do so every once in a while?
This I was thinking today... as I washed my brushes, fullfilled with what I had accomplished. And then an afterthought struck me....
might it not be MORE important to focus on just listening to what he has to say???? - instead of talking I mean =D
As I opened the book I came upon some CHOICE words:
Feeling good is your way of telling yourself that your last thought was Truth,
that your last word was Wisdom
that your last action was
L O V E <3
Thursday, 5 March 2015
I had a set of ideas, made from a weird xerox copy...
the same copy for all, but with a different frame of mind, a different interpretation. great exercise for the imagination, how to see the same thing in different ways - things are not always what they seem!
what to do with the subject:
One of my favourite childhood stories... I believe it to be full of magic, hope...faith, wishes and dreams....
all of what I believe to be the basics for a good happy life! =D
From the sketches I picked the 3rd one to paint... I find it to be the one that is most filled with magic and mystery. And so I have started painting, basically copying, interpreting my subject - something I very seldom do, since I find it to not exercise enough my brain in the search for content. But, every now and then its good to change our ways of doing, and definitely every now and then its nice not to have to strain too much the brain - to give it a bit of a rest.
IF I started off with exactly the same colours it would be no interpretation on that front... and just a mechanical technique exercise.
Remember... my subject is magic! I believe magic is spontaneous... a surprise... something you wish for but don´t expect - or imagine. For that to be in my painting I must trust on intuition and casualty...
I must let the random become!
A bit like when you loose something - sometimes there is really no point in spending hours looking for it - just stop.... and you will find (the universal magic!)
on the lower left corner, what could possibly be a little fairy! - am I to be a slave to the original???? or play!!!!! Well, so far this miss happening does not affect the original layout... and just brings some content to the corner... so I accept! - play is the key to magic!
Session in full power... I thrust, I block, move my brush to the right, pull to the left...
the brush wildly working the paint,
thick, thin, sharpening the line, breaking it
dark, light.... some colour here, and an unexpected hit with the same colour somewhere else,
searching balance amidst the chaos.....
exhaustion starting to creep in,
magic is not easy to wield....
and I don´t want to let go....
So I go on, work some more... a sip of tea, a nicotine gum.... look from afar, think, strike.
until, at some point.... I just have to give in.
And I say to myself,
Mikki, back to Earth, ordinary is calling!!!!!
I put my brushes aside, pack away my colours, try not to look at what i have done - it´s power to pull back is tremendous!!!!
But I know, that in order to live magic, bathe in it, savour it... one MUST be part of the real world... the everyday life, ordinary happenings.
Because without them there is nothing to paint.... and no real MAGIC.
I stop the music that is playing and go to clean the toilette of my three cats =D
I believe magic to be elliptic....
and usually small - like fun, and beauty, and any other wonderful experience.... it cannot be big, because the more of it, the less its power. A lot is basically a key element to ordinary.
In that way, life is very much like a good painting.... can´t recall who was the great artist that said "in painting, the greys are like the sauce is for a good dish (I believe it was Hawthorne, but might be mistaken!) - in other words... good greys, rich in flavour and variation of tone, provide the colour a chance to shine. In life... our everyday happenings, good and not so good, normal things... are the key to the shinning moments of joy, love and bliss. My small ellipses. Magic!
Of course you can train your senses to be aware of the tiniest ellipses... the ones that usually pass unnoticed.
align up to create something beautiful... spectacular. It can be a glance of your loved one, it can be light shinning into your room in a special way, it can even be the joy of savouring your cup of coffee from a new cup you recently purchased after having used old ones for the longest of times!
make it seem like a good one!
I was very fortunate to have my 50th anniversary lit up by many a bright light... so...
I will definitely remember it as magic.
My sister came from Holland to celebrate my day - joyful thing in itself, to have family close - but her wonderful light came in the shape of a Diary!
so I was amazed by the beauty of the book, its richness in texture and content - artwork, clips from different episodes in my life... time spent creating love! Thank you Sonja for that!
I got wonderful greetings and support for my pilgrim dream in Santiago. Thoughts, wishes, joy.
Kai for the time spent weaving light for me!
the eye - Thank you Bua and my stunningly beautiful goddaughter Anabel <3 I also want to thank you for bringing along your friend Wasana? (whom I called Wasabi! =D ) who sang for me happy birthday i Thai - first time in 50 years I get to hear that!!!!! <3 <3 <3
Then there is of course the lovely group that joined me at the Ocean Dragon!!! To my big surprise they all stayed from beginning to end - and ordered food!!!!! (special thank you to my ex-students for that - I know that when living in a low budget all extra expenses must be pondered thoroughly!!!!)
I also got beautiful encouraging messages from former students ( wonderful when you can be sure the praise is not related in any way to getting a good number!!!! =D The most touching and inspiring, maybe this one:
me making it public - but I have never before been told how it is my teaching affects you guys!!!!
I would like to thank Zê - for taking care and having fun with my Inda during the celebration... although it would have been nice to have the little one participate I am sure this way I could give my fullest attention to all my guests!
And of course Suvi - for making sure that gluten free cake was also served for those in need... and also for providing quality time with my beloved in Flamingo Spa next week!!!! Looking forward to that!
The list of things I would like to say, thank you´s and such... could go on forever. You all provided me with an awesome 50th anniversary! <3
For contributing with sparkling ellipses of magic that made my day special and unforgettable!
I believe it needs some grey inbetween days for it to get the final sparkle. But its on its way...
and I like to believe anyway,
That Magic in life is allways alive... and waiting, for you to find it! <3 <3 <3
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
but was shaped into a "fake" extrovert so that I could FIT into society.
This, of course means, that I am social, good with people and seemingly relaxed and joyful amongst the crowds.
But I can assure you, it is VERY tyring.
I mean, to try and be someone that you are not.
I think I owe it to my mother... since I have read things she wrote about me being so shy and reclusive, and her working hard on making me social and outward. I believe she did a good job of it, cause I am actually a VERY advanced form of extrovert. Having been given the blessing of being tolerant and genuinely open-minded, I can easily fit and mingle with all sorts of crowds.
and candid in a natural way.
Our society is built around social people - hence the name, I guess. Amiable, sympathetic, good to get along with, easy to talk to. Meet an extrovert and what stays in your mind is "hey, what a nice fellow!". Which is ok, I mean, i don´t have anything against that - and do like being around positive people. HOWEVER... what I am against is the placing of all our energy on extroverted people.
And the fact that we place so much value on outward appearances - and forget that all that shines is not gold!
In a way I believe that introverts could really be the solution for our future! We can see where it has taken us to follow extroverts - a much too fast paced way of life, with tons of who-ha... colourful adds, cheerful marketing, loud fanfares all over the place, constant chatting..... and even the extroverts becoming exhausted and in need of "Time Out".
Introverts are a bit harder to reach - I agree.... withdrawn into their own world - they seem distant and unreachable. However - just because of this, they have a much richer inner life, they oftentimes think much more - thus energising their brains and logic.... they are very aware of whats happening around them and.... have tons to offer. They have quality!
I guess what I am trying to say is that the word "belongs to the flock" is simply wrong.
As a parent I have to agree I am happy when I see my little Inda outgoing and playful with others - I mean, what parent wouldn´t.
priority to "Belongers to the group" + the fact
that interaction and so forth is, without question important for good development.
However.... I would like Inda to learn and see underneath the surface.
And hope for a future where tolerance is extended to those who don´t belong to the group.
feels are difficult and time consuming > just because they are not easily molded.
As a teacher I know how much nicer a sympathetic easy group is to lead. And I admit at first, when I started teaching, I did not like the ones that disagreed, where distant and hard to reach. But I have to say, there is no real challenge in teaching "good pupils"....
The most gratifying experience comes when you have reached the "difficult". =D
Having said this, IF my mother was able to teach me to be social... it must be possible. And IF we could teach the social ones to be tolerant - and maybe a bit more introverted... we could have these two groups meet halfway.
Real treasures are hard to find.They probably do lie at the end of the rainbow...
DON`T open it! <3 <3 <3
Saturday, 14 February 2015
There is love.... in the dark
Just finished watching "True detective"....
in the end, the two main characters are looking up at the sky...on a bright starry night, and Woody Harrelson (great performance) asks his friend what he sees up there...
"the eternal, the ever-changing struggle between light and dark...."
"Seems to me, says Woody.... that there is quite some dark"...
"You got it wrong" says the friend...
"In the beginning there was just darkness!"
"how do we see things?"
Teaching art taught me a very interesting thing... we all see things differently yet, we somehow believe everybody will see them in the same way we do =D I was oftentimes amazed at some art piece that was developing under the struggling hands of a student. There was life there!!!! the will to create, the desire, the vision,,, maybe not enough talent yet to take it to the point I imagined the student was aiming for... but because of this it was alive! I would be thinking "wish i could create that.... or please... let me take it from here - envisioning many possibilities, open roads to tread on happily in the bliss of creation". which is when the student would turn around, look at me unhappily, and say "what a crappy day I am having, nothing is going the right way, i hate what I have in front of me!"
This made me realise that the biggest party pooper in life is expectation. We expect too much - and don´t emphasise with what life offers us! I might be mistaken, but to me, the reason why my pupil could not see the beauty coming alive in front of him/her... was that it did not come close to the image stored in his brain... the expected image. As an outsider I could not know what this vision might be, and so I just enjoyed what was in front of me.
interpreting Picasso - later messed up
What I love about the painting above is the mix of simple understandable areas together with more intricate and seemingly messy chaos.
We like what we understand....
and we understand what is similar to what we have stored in our brain. I guess, THAT is why artists are called rebellious.... they try to work on the sector most people don´t understand... therefore accepting they probably will not be understood > not liked > controversial figures.
I once read that Beauty is the mirror of good, and the artists job is to help people understand this. I interpret that as "the artists job is to try and broaden peoples mind - thus to create tolerance and openmindness. Beauty is loving also what you don´t understand - you just have to learn to see it, in a new perspective.
My soul brother Rudy said to me the other day over the phone.... I believe in good!
And so do I. I have always believed in good... Life IS GOOD.
Sometimes we might believe it is not.
However... this I find strange.... with Kids we deal with that problem easily.... take for instance when they are blissfully playing.... and time is up for bed.... we tell them its time to pack up the things and put on their pyjama. This disruption of their fun might throw them into a fit, crying, complaining they are not tired... etc. And what is it we do???? We tell them, "son, this is for your best! Believe me, you will thank me tomorrow when you wake up full of energy in the morning after a good night sleep!
Sometimes we might even say "this is for your best .... don´t ask me why, you will understand when you grow up!"
However, when life stops our fun... we also go into a fit of crying and lashing out.... and totally forget it also might be for the best. WE SHOULD GROW UP - to understand!
These lyrics of Paul Simon I like very much:
I know a father who had a son,
he longed to tell him all the reasons for the things he had done
he came a long way , just to explain,,
kissed his boy as he lay sleeping and then he headed home again.
.... You know the nearer your destination the more you are slip-sliding away.
God only knows, god makes his plan…the information is unavailable for the mortal man. we work in our jobs, collect our pay, believe we are driving on the highway when in fact we are slip sliding away….
We definitely don´t understand the plan.... cause we are kids. And oftentimes... though knowing what is the right thing to do (good)... we give up just as we are on the final stretch to succeeding. We lack patience to deal with what we don´t like. We simply don´t like to work to understand. So, we just slip slide away.... in our highway of EASY.
Tough times, rough patches... they come. But I believe they are... for our best. To grow up.
My way of dealing with them is to paint...
and to listen to music with good lyrics... and melodies =D
Because its artists trying to make us understand... the difficult.
One of my favourite singer - song writers is unarguably Vesa Matti Loiri...
and today I am going to share with you two of his lyrics.... that help and have helped me on struggling times! =D
1) "kaiken nähnyt" (Everything been seen)
I know everything there is to know
I can close the book
and never read it
I have seen everything there is to see
I can very well close my eyes
But if I still don´t fully feel and understand the blue sky,
I should go and measure it.
I have done with my hands,
all there is for them to do
let them rest forever
If I have been with my feet to all the places they can go
Let them stay put
But If I still don´t know the peak of the mountain
I should go and measure it - too
If I know you, I can close my eyes in front of you
If I know by heart your thoughts,
I can turn my back to your smile...
But if there is something I don´t know about your life...
I have to go and measure it too. =D
2) Hyvaa elämäää (Good life)
I do not sorrow anymore, it is redundant
a new day I got as a gift today
not too much but not too little
this is a good life <3 <3 <3