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Grab a tea, get cozy. It’s story time :) I've been very existential lately... make that teabag double.


 LIFE  Disappearing of the "self"

My parents' house has always been full of spiritual books. As a child sometimes I would peek at them, losing interest immediately. Words like "consciousness creates an illusory sense of SELF, attaching itself to certain forms, feelings, desires" I interpreted as "seek to detach from everything, feel nothing, until you disappear”. And I would think: -How awful!


Years later, nomadic life showed me that detaching is not terrible, what hurts is regretting the inevitable. "We cannot hug on a videocall". I know, but given that I travel, we can suffer or call eachother and celebrate the bond that unites us (in 2020 many people in lockdown had to catch up with that circumstance, replacing “travel” by “there’s a damned pandemic”).
Practising to let go helps stuff not to get stuck in your head without resolution. Thinking about how everything flows, starts and ends at every moment, is especially helpful when one of those things is pain. 

In recent years painting around the world, experiences (mix of happiness, stress and sadness) hit me like waves -one after another with too much intensity. Meditating helped me to take some distance. This didn’t mean to stop feeling, but to have more mental space; to move aside and watch the wave crush from an additional point of view -not just from below. It is not achieved overnight, and I don’t know if you ever succeed entirely. But practicing helps a lot.

Little by little I’ve changed my "self" to something less hermetic. I learned that if I take too many steps inside my head before speaking, the words come out of my mouth like a bullet train and I don't make room for anything else. Speaking is not always necessary to communicate (for a verbose Argentinian this is hard to learn). With people I don’t share a language, it was frustrating at first. Then I learned to share silences, paying attention to things that I did not understand, and there was no chance to ask, but just being there was enough to enjoy it. This was deeper than any words I wished to use. Life was suddenly filled with humble adventures. 

Neuroscience explains that the brain is configured according to the experiences we live, and the most beautiful thing, that it has the ability to reconfigure itself (neuroplasticity). It pretty much aligns with the Buddhist idea that the mind is nothing more than a complex entanglement of passing mental states. So the "I am this way" doesn’t exist, nor is reality written in stone. We can craft options, to choose how to face what life throws at us. Understanding that, was like knowing that there are hidden treasures everywhere.

ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ  I always say "I wish they had taught me that in school." But remembering the books I peeked at as a girl, I think sometimes you have to live a little to understand a little. This year felt like a test for all this practise. How are you getting along with yourself?

 

 BY THE WAY  Thank you, Animation!

“Neon Genesis Evangelion” (Japan, 1995) impacted my teenage brain 20 years ago. With the concept that individuality is like a sack containing your gooey soul; If the sack is too thick, you can’t connect with anybody else and you suffer; but if we take all sacks away, humanity would dissolve into one big puddle of soul. Disturbing and beautiful.

“The Midnight Gospel” (USA, 2020) has too much information compressed in every second, so it was hard to watch. But it left me with bits of knowledge and some tears. Here’s a short clip that introduces the concept of “being present” (click on the image to open video)
 

This newsletter is a window into my soul. It has unpolished processes, insecure words, and all that you can't see in the final pieces. These accompanying paintings are part of that study. If you want to take home any of them, you can find them in the shop on my page. I also made a video showing them in detail, in my last instagram post (click the image to open the video)



Thank you for joining me and inspiring me to continue. I paint to understand life and I write to understand what I paint. If thoughts arise, email me.  If you like this, share it. Here is the form to subscribe, and the archive with all previous editions.

Thank you


xoxo,
Animalito
 
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Animalitoland · 888 Hamilton Street · Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5W4 · Canada

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