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Forest travels by Suzanne Belair

Forest travels
©2017Suzanne Belair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

Today I am sharing a new painting finished in January. Forests are one of my favourite subjects and I really enjoy painting this new series.

 

The traveller is moving towards the other side of the trees, towards the future. So it is in life, where we are forced to move constantly and become someone new everyday of our life.
Change is constant and our travels through life are life changing. Learning something every day, being kind to others, progressing, building, changing ourselves or something.

 

Painting and writing are metaphors for life. We strive to do our best, we have to confront our fear of committing to color and shapes just as in life, we often fear committing to something, we fear making decisions.

 

A good example is related in a book I have been reading authored by Joseph T. Hallinan, “Why we make mistakes”. The author relates a scientific study that concluded that when faced with the choice, students prefer not change an answer on a test (i.e. prefer doing nothing) rather than make a decision to change their answer even when they suspected the change might end up being the right answer. In follow-up interviews, it was revealed that it is the notion of regret that influenced the students most. They were afraid of regretting taking the wrong action and they regretted less not taking action and leaving the wrong answer.

 

So often, we get stuck in this way in our life, being afraid to make a decision we might regret, we prefer not to do anything which in itself is a decision but is not perceived as such by the brain.

 

In conclusion, be bold, dare to step over the threshold into the unknown, for this is what life is all about. Travel fearlessly through your life’s forests.

 

Ref: Hallinan, J.T. 2009. “Why we make mistakes”. Broadway books. New York.

 

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair

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The light will find you ©2017 Suzanne Belair Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

The light will find you
©2017 Suzanne Belair
Acrylic on canvas 30 X 30 in

Today I am sharing a new painting recently finished. It speaks of the light that is in everyone’s life and that will come out after any episode of sadness.

 

When you are feeling sad, discouraged, in a rut, it is better to stop and take a few moments to think about it and feel it fully, than to keep on going, making believe it is not happening. It is important not to run away from your feelings.

 

Here is something that I do and that makes me feel better every time.

 

When you get a chance during your day, stop what you are doing, sit down or lie down and feel these feelings fully. It might feel like heaviness in your chest but it could also be the panicky sensation we get when fear wants to insert itself into our life, when indeed it has. What can we do to help this?  It all starts with mindfulness and acknowledging what is happening inside you.

 

Breathing slowly and becoming aware of the physical feelings and calming these, is essential. Here’s how I do it. I sit down and close my eyes and I imagine a beautiful space surrounding me like a lush garden or a deep blue sky.  My own preference is I see myself sitting in a forest beside a tree near a small river, and I hear the water flow and it is very calm. Once the image is clear in your head, start breathing mindfully.

 

Breathe slowly through your nose. Breathe in your sadness, feel it in your body, around your heart, and then release it with the out breath, feel the sadness get out of your body with the breath and vanish in the forest (or whatever space you created). Continue this for a while until you truly feel the release (minimum 10 breaths).

 

Continue the slow mindful breathing: Others are also feeling sad, so think of them also, feel their sadness at losing a loved one or at their situation. Breathe in their sadness through your heart and breathe all this sadness out toward your beautiful image surrounding you, toward the vastness it, feel the sadness dissolve around you. Visualize your out breath carrying the sadness away from you.

 

While you are doing this exercise, be present to how you feel when you release the sadness in the nature surrounding you. Be present to your feeling of compassion for others and your feeling that you are not alone.

 

Be aware that all in temporary, life is impermanence and your sadness is also temporary. The light will find you.

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair

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I love this blog I posted back in 2011 – Impermanence and living the moment : still working on that !

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©2016 Suzanne Belair Clivia- the Strenght of Africa Oil on canvas 12 X 12 in

Enviroart by Suzanne Bélair, IAF, AFC

I feel very Zen this morning maybe because I got to sleep last night…Life is different when you sleep.

Wonderful day yesterday, had fun with friends at Wildcards exhibit where I put 2 small works and playing with photo album on the net

Creative juices are flowing with new projects taking hold in my mind.

Energy is flowing through me and I am fully aware of the impermanence of everything which makes every second more precious.

I am a vessel through which energy passes from one person to another, from one object to another, from one event to another. Life is an energy dance in which I am a willing participant.

Awareness of the present moment and of the impermanence of all is of vital importance to bring appreciation of everyone and everything around us.

Today I am letting my spirit fully inhabit my body. I will let it stretch…

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Best wishes !

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I just finished this painting a few days ago.

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La traversée (The crossing) ©2016Suzanne Belair Mixed media on canvas 30 X 40 in

 

I started it during the summer of 2015, painting outside on my patio in the beating sun and feeling exhilarated ! Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was short lived. I ended up with a result full of colors, but empty of meaning and after looking at it for a few days, I decided this canvas had to wait and go into hiding. It lacked harmony and hated it.

 

I have looked at it a few times over the last year and each time, the same reaction “NO” and I would turn away from my poor failed project. I had no idea where to start to fix it. There was no focal point, there was no story and I always like a good story !

 

A few weeks ago, I took it out from its hiding place and turned it around. After a long look at it, I emptied my head and tried to listen to what it was telling me.

 

And I saw it, the water fall, the struggle to cross it, the bridge I had to complete. We hear a lot about the fight to survive of war refugees these days. We are seeing a whole ancient city being destroyed before our very eyes while the world basically stands by. Thousands of families, women, children, men, die everyday because a few crazy people are greedy and selfish, because they want to control other people’s lives, because money and religion has become more important than their humanity.

 

This painting is entitled “La traversée” (The crossing) and talks about survival and determination, crossing to another, better world where safety awaits, and of the hope that carries us all towards survival.

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair
www.facebook.com/SuzanneBelairArtist

 

Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair

 

 

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I have been looking for something I lost recently and went through a bunch of papers sitting in a pile near my desk. At the bottom, I found this quote I wrote years ago with the intention of displaying it where I can see it everyday, which I didn’t do yet:

 

BE THANKFUL !

No matter how good or bad you have it

Wake up each day thankful for your life

Someone, somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs

Instead of thinking about what you’re missing

Try thinking about what you have, that everyone else is missing.

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It reminded me that many years ago, I wrote a blog about finding a way to influence the first thought of the day in order to influence your mood. Essentially, if your first though is joyous, the rest of the day being off t o a good start, there is a good chance that your attitude will make it so that the day shapes up pretty good.

 

Here is a reblog of my own blog from 2009 – To see the original go to : https://enviroart.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/first-thought-of-the-day/

 

First thought of the day

 

I have been researching how I can influence the first thought of my day with the idea that if you wake up and your first thought is joyous, then the rest f the day is off to a good start and should have a joyous background that can probably be maintained throughout the day.

 

Looking into this, after asking many people what their first thought of the day was, I heard a lot of simplistic things like I am hungry or I have to pee, but this does not depict the first mood of the day. This only speaks of the body. Although, I found that in general, people are not starting their day with a very positive thought, unless they are on vacations. As a matter of fact, a lot of us wake up thinking “Oh no! Not another day at work, I’m still tired and want to sleep”, basically equaling: “I’m pissed off I have to get up, I’m resentful I have to work”, things along those lines.

 

It has happened sometimes that I have awaken exited and wanting to get up and accomplish something right away. I am trying to figure out what is the key element between these two states. Why are some days starting off better than others?

 

Sunshine is a big influence in our moods and how we feel about waking up. After a few sunny days, life just seems better and more exciting. But it is not all. I am convinced that our last thought before going to sleep and our adventures of the night, dreams and nightmares, are influencing our general mood when we wake up, our first thought and your day.

 

Have you ever had a wonderful dream, full of love and tenderness? You then wake up feeling great, or you come back to reality and are disappointed. But at any rate, you did experience it and you know it exists somewhere, and at some level, it fills you with hope.  What about a terrible nightmare that sends your heart racing and really scares you, giving you a glimpse of hell? In our mind, these experiences are real. They are night adventures which are sometimes difficult to leave behind and should not be left behind altogether. I find dreams are great teachers sometimes.

 

One of the ways to influence the first thought is to control the last thought. To reflect, as you go to sleep, on the people and things in your life that you are grateful for, no matter how small and far between, gives you hope. This becomes a building block on which you can start to construct the life you want. The only way, or at least the best way to effect change in your life is to find yourself in a positive hopeful mood, so it is of the utmost importance to be able to influence this first thought and, if we find ourselves waking up in a negative mood, have a strategy in place to turn this around as quickly as possible.

 

Going to sleep with thankful thoughts will influence your first thought in a positive way.
Site web Suzanne Bélair

www.facebook.com/SuzanneBelairArtist

Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair

 

 

 

 

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I started reading the wonderful book from Thich Nhat Hanh again “Peace is every step”. Since 1992, I have been carrying this book with me on and off and I remember the very first time I read it how I was able to become extremely mindful and calm and how everything made sense. Since then, I have lost some of my mindfulness by being caught up in everyday life and not taking the time to stop and be present to the moment.

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I had not touched the book in a few years when I picked it up again last week and since then, I am rediscovering some of its passages. I read a bit just before I go to bed, picking pages randomly and absorbing the message. Yesterday, I was reading about how Mindfulness must be engaged and how “once there is seeing, there must be acting. Otherwise, what’s the use of seeing?” p. 91. Even if it is hard to see the world as it is, we must so that we can see how we can help. I really liked this chapter and its wisdom and how it empowers each and everyone of us to do something by living mindfully and by being an influence for the benefit of people and situations around us. It is by changing ourselves that we can change the world.

Ref: Thich Nhat Hanh, 1991. Peace is every step. Bantam books, NY

 

Site web Suzanne Bélair

www.facebook.com/SuzanneBelairArtist

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