Conscious Awakening – Phase 1



After yesterday’s post, a friend gently nudged me to create a painting around the theme of Conscious Awakening. Since intuitive painting is very attractive to me and this is the direction I’m pointing myself towards, I’ve decided that this was a great idea. So this morning, I closed the door of my studio (my son’s room while he is in New Zealand), lighted some incense and a candle and put on music: first – Fire Prayer by Denean and then – Invocation by Sylvia Nakkach. I took a few minutes to move to the sound of the music. Then I sat at my painting table and started painting on a 20″ X 20″. I’m very attracted to square canvases at the moment. The image you see at the top is a picture of this piece after painting for a couple of hours. I came out of this painting session feeling so at peace with myself. I felt the stillness within and that is quite the experience for me since I seem to always be in constant motion internally.

I had an idea about where I thought I was going to take this piece. I sort of, vaguely, had an image in my head of what I was going for and I can assure you that, even though I had planned on some black as part of this painting, I never planned on having so much black. In fact, I have never, never used so much black in my paintings before. I have let this painting guide me and it took me deep into myself.

Here are some of the things that came to me as I painted and as I look at this painting:

  • In the beginning, there is pure intent, pure creation. When the sperm reach the ovum, this is the moment of miracle when nothing but perfection exists. Life in its utter magnificence has materialized. Some would call this the Breath of God, Soul Essence, Essential Self, the Soul.
  • As time passes this fertilized seed takes its own individualized self, its own unique personality.
  • Over time layers and layers of lies and conditioning are built upon this infinitely miraculous creation and the call to slumber gets louder and louder as the layers keep on being added on and the light within becomes dimmer and dimmer.
  • Even though the layers might be very thick, there is always a bit of light that seep through.
  • This is my story and the story of many. For me, my impulse has always been to reject this experience, to want to make it better, to change myself, to find ways to escape this experience at all cost. This is not who I am! This is not what I’m supposed to be! What is wrong with me???? Can’t I be more disciplined? less a wimp? have self-control? On and on it goes and it seems that the call to slumber just gets louder instead of being softer or even better yet, disappear altogether.
  • This painting did not want splashes and rays of bright colours coming out of the centre as I thought I would do when I started painting. It wanted black. black!
  • Black – part of who I am, light and shadow. To only want and accept the light is damaging. I am all of it!
  • Black – before the light, there is always darkness. Darkness comes with its own unique gifts. The only way to collect these gifts is by sitting in the darkness.
  • Black – the comfort and safety of the womb. Darkness is crucial to the birthing process.
  • Black – “The wound is the gift.” (Patrick Harbula),  The Gift of our Compulsions (Mary O’Malley). Darkness is the gift!

I am very grateful for this experience, for the wealth of information that this painting has given me. I feel nurtured and blessed in a very powerful way through this first stage of this painting. Conscious awakening…


The Call to Slumber

aguila-atardecerI’m much intent on staying awake but it is a challenge. The road well traveled has deep and wide ruts. Last night, once again, I found myself asleep at the wheel. I went to bed with the intent of being fully awake today and I’m relieved to say that I have kept my word to myself. This is a big one! In the past year, I have broken my words so, so many times. I don’t want to do this to myself anymore. It’s too painful and detrimental to my spirit.

The thing is, the call to slumber is so enticing! Slumber is comfortable in the moment and muffles everything around me and most importantly, it numbs me. Slumber comes to me in many forms, although compulsive/binge eating is definitely my sleeping drug of choice, it also comes in the form of too much Facebooking, game playing, online shopping and Netflix watching. Slumber to me is anytime I am not consciously living my life from day to day, hours to hours, minutes to minutes. It is is anytime I’m letting precious time be sucked in by activities that are hurting me whether physically, emotionally, psychologically and/or spiritually. This is not to say that these activities are bad. However when these activities are out of balance, it is being hurtful to me in some ways. The way it is hurting me the most is in the way that it is sucking my time, leaving me with very little to no time for activities that really nurture and feed me physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually such as movement/exercise, time to prepare nutritious meals/foods, quiet time to centre myself/meditation, quality time with my husband and with family and friends and last but not least, time for creativity. All these activities make my whole self soar to great heights and the bottom line is that I do deserve nothing less.

I have noticed a slight shift this past week. I actually caught myself a few times experiencing the feeling of sliding into slumber and making the conscious choice of waking myself up. This is very hopeful to me because most of the times, I find myself in slumber with no idea how I got there. To actually sense myself sliding into it, actually gives me the gift of conscious choice.


Beginning and Resurgence



For most of my life, my artistic self hid behind my perfectionist side. I had ‘tried’ to draw over the years but it was never good enough. Near the end of 2009, I think it was, I came across the SoulCollage website. I fell in love with the process and was about to order the book when it dawn on me to look at my collection of book and there I found that same book. I had ordered it a couple of years prior and was a bit turn off by the art of collage so I proceeded to stash it away. I picked up the book and instantly got started with doing my own SoulCollage cards and loved it! It gave my spiritual self and my artistic a voice. Then a bit later, I came across art journaling and much enjoy doing this. There were so many wonderful art journaling teachers on the internet. I could watch Youtube videos for hours. I learned so much from these artists who freely gave of their time and shared their processes and techniques. I gobbled it all up!

At the end of April 2011, I was looking for something to put on the wall above our bed and didn’t come across something I fell in love with. Then, my sweet, encouraging and supportive husband suggested that I paint something. I thought about it and I decided to give it a shot. Out we went to buy my first canvas, a 100 cm X 70 cm piece. I proceeded to paint the piece you see at the top using the wording from an email my husband had written me. This was my first piece and obviously my perfectionist self was nowhere to be seen as this is what launched me as an artist. It is still hanging on the wall above our bed and will probably be replaced at some point as it is not all that great and the canvas which is really cheap is warped.

I have a very good friend who really encouraged me to see myself as an artist as it was hard for me to think of myself as such. It took me a while but I eventually I accepted this label and really owned it. I then started pricing my art pieced and posting them on Facebook. Then I attended the Art from the Unknown weekend show we have in the city once a year. Then I found a couple of places in the city to hang my art to sell. Somewhere along the way, I created this website: GVD Studios and posted my art on here as well. I did a few more shows as well.

This part year has been hard for me ( more about this here.) and two important things were put aside: my health and my art. I have painted over the past year but very little. I also started revamping my website and this was put aside as well. Over the year, the thought of letting my art go came to me a few times and I knew this was not something I could do. That would be totally devastating to my soul. So I didn’t and I’m still here. My voice as an artist is a little bit fainter right now but I feel it becoming stronger and that is a great feeling.

I find myself at a sort of crossroad artistically (and quite possibly holistically). I’m not sure what direction to take. I sense that I have not found my unique voice as an artist yet. I know that I have so much still to learn. I know that I need more discipline and I need to give my artistic voice a greater place in my life. I look forward to seeing what that will look like. For now, I’m enjoying this most welcomed resurgence.




It occurred to me yesterday that 2014 has been a hard year for me and I reverted to the old habit of numbing myself.

My only son left home for a year working vacation to New Zealand. My reaction to this was a total surprise to me. The bottom line is that our relationship as it were is in the process of transformation and I’m feeling unstable and insecure about this. Of course, this is an important and needed change for him and for myself and I celebrate this but it hasn’t made the transition less painful.

At work, I took on a new position which has been challenging, in a good way, but challenging just the same. I went from a job I could do with my eyes closed (well, not literally) to a job that I had to grow into. I welcomed this but it definitely was quite stressful at time. For a while, I did wonder if I was up to the task. Things are much better now and less stressful. I can’t quite do this job with my eyes closed though.

I put on a lot of weight back, at least 60 lbs if not 70 since the beginning of the year. I lost my weight log so I’m not sure. In gaining this weight back, I’ve lost a whole lot. I lost my self-trust, my self-confidence, some of my mobility and my knees are that much closer to needing surgery and I don’t really like myself a whole lot right now.

BUT, I believe that everything happens for a reason, that the wound is the gift, that life is a road map that points to the way HOME. I realized something important. I’ve been through a storm that uprooted me and this is because my roots weren’t deep enough. I need to strengthened my root system. I need to ground myself deeper into the soil of my own essential Self. The deeper and the stronger my root system is, the stronger I will be through the storms of my life.

In 2014, I’ve let myself go to sleep. What has been, has been. There is no undoing the past. There is no point in beating myself up for past choices. I’m ending 2014 wide awake with the intent to stay awake. My life is too precious to waste sleeping and destroying myself in the process.

My word for 2015: ROOTED


What’s the Story?



Earlier today, I had an important awareness. As mentioned in my preceding post, I’m in the process of mining the diamond that is buried deep in my issue with abandonment. I once thought that psychotherapy was the way to free myself from deep rooted and debilitating issues. When I feel helpless and hopeless to ever live a life free from food addiction and self-destructive habits, I think of engaging in therapy as I did many years ago. This is an idea that always remain an idea. This is partly because I’m no longer convinced that delving into the past is actually necessary, partly because the thought of finding the right therapist is exhausting and partly because the many, many hours I spent in therapy in the past weren’t that fruitful. The bottom line is that therapy no longer feel like a fit for me.

The awareness I had earlier is an affirmation to me that the past isn’t the issue. The issue is actually in the present. Without doubts, I have experienced true abandonment at a very young age and many times over the years. This is a very sad story in and of itself but certainly not unique in any way. There is a reality that is even sadder though. I realized that, when I engaged in the food addiction, I keep on re-creating this story over and over again! So what is the real issue? Is it that I felt abandoned 50 so years ago and over and over during my childhood? Or is that I keep on perpetuating this feeling of abandonment through my own actions?

A story is just a story. A story only comes alive when it is being told in the present moment. It is up to me what story is brought to life in my own journey. Yes granted, I have been role-modeled to abandon myself. But at 54 years old, perhaps it is time to write a new story for myself and to keep it alive by consistently re-telling it to myself in different ways. It is also in my power to re-direct my gaze towards people who are great love role-models. I’m blessed to have at least two of these people that are really close to my heart. In the end, I know how to love. I just need to remember that I’m deserving of my own love and that is key. So what story shall I write today?


Checked in!


I’m in the midst of processing the last few months, dating back possibly to the end of last year. These months have been hard months, in the sense that I’ve reverted back to old addictive patterns. This translates to feelings of anger, disappointment and sadness towards myself and has left me with a lowered self-confidence, self-trust and self-love. As it has been customary in the past, once again my body is left battered and bruised through re-gaining 70 lbs of the 110 lbs I had lost.

My only child, my son Chris, left home for the first time at the beginning of the year. He left for a year working vacation to New Zealand. Being more of a letting go mind, I was totally taken by surprise when upon returning from the airport I collapse into deep sobbing that went on for a full two days and intermitently for a couple of weeks after that. It didn’t make sense to me. Yes, I expected sadness and a slight sense of emptiness. Of course! But I was so happy for him. To see my son take flight, literally, brought joy to my heart.  I had a sense that something more was going on, something that his departure tapped into. So I allowed it to be what it was. Actually even if I had wanted to,  I’m not sure how I would have stopped this flow. It was bigger, it was stronger than myself. The waves of pain just kept on hitting the shore over and over again. All through this, I was blessed with the ever loving support of my husband. My heart overflows with gratitude for his acceptance and his flawless support during that time.

I’ve always been aware of having an abandonment issue. Many years ago, I worked with a therapist in relation to this and other issues. How much of it I was able to heal, I’m not sure. My guess is that it was very little if any at that point. When my son left, this abandonment issue was highly triggered. Before he left, I think I had started to numb the feelings, related to him leaving,with food. When he left, the pain that surfaced was so great that I couldn’t even eat. Then as the pain diminished, I returned to numbing myself. The pounds kept on adding up but I couldn’t stop.

In the past 2-3 weeks, I have regained enough lucidity to want to extricate myself from this destructive path that I’ve been on. This is not the way I want to live my life. I have a very bad habit of ‘checking out’ of my life when things get rough. The worst part is that I’m not even conscious of doing it till I’m faced with the stark naked truth which could be months after engaging in this habit. I’m not even aware that I’m having a hard time with something. Crazy making stuff but that’s the truth.

Now I’m open and somewhat engaged with mining the diamond that lays deep within my issue with abandonment. I say ‘somewhat’ because I’m not fully certain on how to proceed with this. However I have made time and space for ‘mining’ activities such as quiet time, movement, music, chant, writing, collaging, art, etc. I trust that the path will show itself as I go forward. I have made the first step. I have ‘checked in’ back into my life.


Let’s Make Our Way Home


Robin Williams passed away this week. For those who loved him but didn’t know him, this has been an incredible shock. He was undoubtedly at the top of my list of favourite actors and comedians. He made me laugh and he made cry and reflect on the things that matter. His acting was absolutely stellar. I didn’t know much about Robin Williams. Yet I knew enough to be astounded by the news that he had such severe depression to the point of taking his own life. Incredibly sad! Incredibly sad.

What saddens me even more is that we are part of a world where these things happen all the time. There is an incredible amount of suffering on this earth… depression, suicide, addictions, and the list goes on and on! What hits me at this time is that we all have our parts in this suffering including myself. We are soldiers and our commander in chief is FEAR. We must protect our ‘country’ at all cost. There are many casualties and in the end, there are no victors. There are ONLY casualties. We are all casualties of this nonsensical war that is led by FEAR.

It is so important to realize that we must put down our weapons of mass destruction. We have bear arms for so long that we don’t even know why we are bearing them. We have been at war for so long that we don’t even remember why we are at war anymore.  We have forgotten that there is a world that is free of war, free of casualties, free of suffering. There is a world where we need to make our way back to. We must make our way home back to ourself. In the safe refuse of our being, we can heal our wounds and remember that we are whole, perfect and complete. Our nature is to LOVE and that LOVE must first be nurtured at home in the recess of our being, at the very heart of life itself.  I am LOVE. You are LOVE. We are LOVE. Let us come HOME to ourselves. This is the first step to putting an end to the incredible suffering that permeates our world. Let us come HOME!


A Lesson in Self-Trust



You know more than you think you do.

Benjamin Spock


For a few months, I hardly painted. Now I’m back into it but it still requires me to consciously make the choice to paint. The thing is, painting is so good for my soul, for my heart, for my whole being! I don’t want to paint when I’m not doing well mentally and emotionally and I don’t do well when I don’t paint. So I’m painting again and every time I consciously make the choice to paint, the more I want to paint. So I paint!

Above is the piece I worked on yesterday. Last week, I did the background stencilling leaves in different hues. I didn’t know what would come next till yesterday. This isn’t a finished piece. I will add a smaller flower and do a bit of finish up, possibly today. I’m really proud of how I painted these flowers. I’m so proud of them because I didn’t know I could paint flowers that I didn’t feel was the work of a 5 year old. So I avoided painting flowers for the longest time all the while really wanting to lean to paint flowers. This is now a thing of the past.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson while painting these flowers. I’ve learned about the important of self-trust. Of course I knew that it is important to have trust in myself but yesterday, I was able to witness self-trust in action. When my mind isn’t engaged in all self-doubts, negative judgements and/or what ifs, I simply access that part of me that knows. To allow myself to go with that, is self-trust. It is amazing how that works. When I was painting these flowers, I knew what layer to apply next and where and what colour to use. I just knew. I wasn’t trying to copy a teacher or to search through my intellectual knowledge bank to find out how to paint these flowers. I just knew, one layer at a time, one colour at a time. That’s what happens when the self-doubts are quiet down. There is a place in me I can access that knows. That knows. This is a good reminder that this, in fact, is true for all areas of my life. I known this for a long time but as the zen saying goes “To know and not to do is not yet to know”. To know something intellectually doesn’t seem to have a great an impact on my life. To know something from the actual experience of it is so powerful. This is the gift that yesterday’s painting time presented me with, a deep knowing of the experience of self-trust. I’m grateful for moments like this that brings me in better alignment, if even almost imperceptively,  with my true nature.


Experiment in ‘Tie-Dye’

A couple of months ago, I took a class in fabric painting. As part of the class, we painted a couple of silk scarves which I greatly enjoyed. So right away, I ordered a Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Kit from Darma Trading Co. as well as diverse white items to paint on. I did order a few scarves but since I’m not much of a scarf person, I also ordered a t-shirt and an apron to try painting on. All arrived fairly quickly and was put aside till the time and mood was right.

A little while ago, my husband asked me to get him a new apron while I was out shopping. This is when I remembered the apron that was waiting to be painted on. I know my husband likes tie-dye so after researching how to tie-dye, I proceeded to ‘tie-dye’ the apron for him and do the t-shirt for him as well. Below is the finished t-shirt, proudly worn by my husband, Evan. Thanks sweetheart for being such an handsome and willing model!


Technically, this isn’t tie-dye as it was done with paint instead of dye. At first I was a bit disappointed as the colours are not as vibrant as I was hoping for and I referred to it as looking ‘faded’. Now the more I look at it, the more I like it and now see the colours as muted instead of ‘faded’. So all in all, this was a fun and successful project which I plan on repeating. One of the things I really enjoyed is that some of the fun techniques that I used when painting on canvas can also be applied to painting on fabric. That makes me very happy!


Video Be Inspired: Jim Carrey

“Our eyes are not just viewers, they are also projectors that are running a second story over the picture we see in front of us all the time. Fear is writing that script and the working title is ‘I’ll Never Be Enough'”. – Jim Carrey

What if we were to put down that projector for a bit and really see the picture for what it truly is, without our own projection? What amazing picture that would be, wouldn’t it? Most of us know who Jim Carrey is. He is one of the best comedian of your times. He is definitely  one of my favourite actors. We are so much more than what you do and Jim Carrey is no exception. Actor, philosopher, painter, and so much more! if you want to give yourself a treat, I highly recommend watching Jim Carrey Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM (Maharishi University of Management) graduation.