Tag Archives: art as spiritual practice

Doing Something Religiously…?

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Even though it’s the dead of winter here in the northern hemisphere, the Feast for the Soul is a springboard for renewal, spiritual renewal.  It’s a good time to spend time in silence, following my breath, my heartbeat, and my motivation for inspiration.

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Preparation for the journey

Unlike many, I don’t meditate sitting on a cushion, chanting, or burning incense (although I do often burn a candle).  I use my meditation time to work on one piece of art, forty minutes a day for forty days.  I delve into the consciousness of my soul and how it shows itself in my art.  I give myself the space to allow the art to tell a story, a theme that is the focus for the length of the meditation.

I find it interesting that when someone asks if we do something regularly, we’re often asked if we do something religiously?  I’m not sure how this came about, but I don’t believe it had anything to do with organized religion.  I believe it relates to the idea of creating a practice.  Engaging in something with regularity and intention.  Intention is the key because it drives my focus, and in turn allows the release of negative energy.  It gives me the opportunity to allow the energy to guide my actions and provides me with a forum for something that is utmost importance to me, and in many cases, society.

We live in an unsettling world.  The amount of uncertainty is enormous and that provides a state of anxiety for many of us.  We’re hyper-vigilant impacting our sense of calm, perspective, and focus.  The media has heightened our need to be informed.  Our safety is threatened by politics, the environment, and the recent repeal of human decency.

The focus of my forty days of meditation is “protection”.  The desire, need, and right to feel safe in our country, our homes, and our hearts.  The work I’m creating will provide me with a sense of safety because I have the freedom to create.  It will provide me with a sense of calm because I’m choosing to be mindful (anyone who doesn’t think textile art doesn’t require mindfulness has never been cut with a rotary cutter or burned with an iron).  It provides me with a sense of community and purpose because I’m hoping the work will share the common story we’re currently living.

Join me on this journey (www.feastforthesoul.org).  It can have transformative capabilities and will reinforce the feeling of being in community.

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Creating with Conviction

Art is a personal expression of our thoughts, beliefs, hopes, and dreams. It gives us a voice that is clear and pointed in this noisy and often blurry world. We create in order to give ourselves an escape hatch from spending too much time ruminating about things in our heads. It gets our ideas out to the world giving us a platform to live our lives.

One of the things I’m exploring and would like to take a journey with you is the idea of creating with conviction. When we create some do so to make pretty things. There are other artists who use their art for political activism and still others who combine autobiography, beauty, and exploration. There are many who use their art as a spiritual practice delving to the depths of the soul through creativity.

Are we creating art with hesitancy either figuratively or literally? Are we editing ourselves before we even get the work out in the world? Are we fearful of our message or story that holds us back from fully expressing ourselves with conviction? I know this is a series of startling questions, but I do believe that conviction is a like a muscle; it gets stronger with use. I know personally that I have had many doubts when creating and instead of going through the fire I switch projects because it seems safe. I guess my next self-exploration is to flush out whether or not it’s really safe or a false sense of security.

I don’t know that I ever equated bravery with being an artist, but I am considering this as one of the components to art and healing. When we bring our true stories to life we stand taller. We are seen in the world and that means we knowingly are societal influencers. Our choice of creating with conviction deepens our spiritual practice. It announces to the world that we have set our priorities and our priorities include ultimate self-expression through art.

How does creating with conviction show up in your life?

Follow me on twitter: @GregKatz2

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