October 3, 2014

What is practice?

Recently, a wonderful woman posted this question on a Facebook thread - for you, what is practice?

Viewed only from the perspective of making art, it can manifest as sketching, or trying various color combinations, which are all essentials for artists.  However, I realized that for me, practice does not only apply to art in its most literal meaning... it's about connecting with art and life at the heart level, at the deepest level of intention.  

In fact, for me "art" does not only translate to what is showing up on my canvas, sketchbook or art journal, but actually includes, infolds and embodies all areas of my life.  The ability we each have to author and create our own life.

Practice manifests for me as a way to connect my heart, my body, my breath, my mind, and my art to this present moment... what wants to be expressed? What needs to move into form? What do I need to hear, see, feel, release, claim? Infusing everything with intention, whether it be my yoga practice, painting Her into being, the energy with which I great strangers and friends, the holding in my arms of my daughters, the kiss on my husband's neck, the smile and looking in the eyes of a friend... Practice is both the mean and doorway into becoming fully manifested and living a fully-expressed life..


One of the first verse of Pantajali's Yoga Sutras that I learned from my yoga teacher Robin is:


Atha yoga anushasanam - Now, we begin the practice of yoga.

Atha in Sanskrit means 'now'.  Which reminds me that we are always beginner -and that to be a beginner is a privilege. This state of mind allows us to remain open to possibilites, receptive to welcome and honor all that is present in the moment.  

Practice for me is another word for presence.  Presence to what truly is.. both within, and without.
Work-in-process painting - Acrylic on wood panel

I will be sharing more with you in the upcoming weeks on the wonderful unfoldings both on my easel and in my everyday life that these past few months have bestowed upon me.  I have been quiet intentionally, as these past few months were a time for me to go within, dig deep, heal, reclaim, and manifest... but more on this on posts to come!

I would love to know.. what does practice mean for you?

With a full heart,

Isabelle

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