Guest Post from Libre Leading Light Marlene Lowden
Abstract painter and a creative yogi
I am an abstract painter and creative yogi living on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. I am constantly coming up with ideas and I’ve devoted most of my life to exploring those ideas through some form of art whether on a canvas or on a mat. My yoga practice has made me a more confident and expressive painter. The physical act of painting, the process, is as important to me as colour choice, contrast, composition, and all the “laws” of design and art making. Honouring the process is the greatest gift my yoga and mediation practice has given me. I strive to embrace the journey in all my life’s “practices,” learning along the way to let go of my preconceived notions of the outcome and express myself freely. I offer Art & Yoga workshops and retreats.
I’ve also just published an adult colouring book called Outside Your Lines so that you too can explore this amazing freedom and the connection between my two life’s passions.
Read to the end for a special creative muse podcast Marlene created that you will love, as well as a few pages from her new colouring book to enjoy!
I’ve learned that my big “ah-ha” moments in life have come from a place of stillness and my “tea” time has become symbolic of the need to pause. My Libre Tea glass travels with me to class but it is just as comfortable at home or in my studio because it has become my reminder to take care of myself, reflect, and honour the present moment.
Being present in the process.
I love tuning into the world around me through my senses. The way the light sparkles on the water from the view out my window, the taste and smell of my fresh lemon and ginger tea, the warmth of my cat curled up beside my feet and the sound of her gently purring. A pause in my day like this is simple and yet rich. I feel inspired and connected to the moment.
What if we could string some of these moments together?
What if we could be present in the task at hand, present in the process of making so that we can reap the rewards of the kind of presence we feel in stillness and meditation?
I associate this kind of living, with people like the Dali Lama, Pema Chodron and Thich Nhat Hanh. They work hard, creating a huge impact in this world but all the while they tread lightly.
I’m calling this way of being, present in the process. I discovered it while creating art. While I’m working on a painting, I’m tapped inwards. I tune into quiet questions like, “what am I really feeling, “what’s occupying my mind,” and “is it serving me”?
Attaining inner presence while you are working is tricky. It is different than being absorbed in a job. When you are focused on a task it is really rewarding because you are stimulated mentally, you are problem solving and learning as you go. But it is different from what I’ve been experiencing.
The present moment in motion comes to me when I practice one of yoga’s finest gifts – the art of letting go of the outcome.
When I paint, I tap into a flow. When I get out of my own way, I can create without any expectation of the outcome and I truly feel like I’ve got a direct channel to what I call the divine. This kind of flow is incredibly inspiring and freeing! If I remain open it feels like I’m trusting the divine to lend me a helping hand. It is so refreshing to not have to have the answers, not having to lead, steer or be in control! I’m not actually trying to figure anything out, I’m open to what comes.
While I’d love to live my day like an enlightened being and always be tapped into this flow, right now, the best tool I have to practice is through creative play.
After painting, I always feel calm, full, grounded, like I’ve returned home or to a welcoming place. It is like letting light into all the dark corners and being ok with it all. It is a practice of allowing, trusting, tuning inwards and it feels like a dance!
I’ve recently created a colouring book called Outside Your Lines to help everyone access this kind of joy. It is full of all kinds of chakra insights because the wonderful themes of the 7 major chakras align beautifully with the creative process.
Here are a few pages from the book for you to enjoy. The point of this book isn’t for you to create pretty pictures – it’s simply to help you unwind and tap into your innate creativity. The true value of creating lies in the practice of being present in the process, not in worrying about the end result.
Here is a 20-minute podcast I created about the chakras. It is a meditation of sorts, feel free to colour while you listen.
I invite you to fill up your tea glass, enjoy some unplugged relaxation and please share your experiences with me. I’d love to know if the idea of presence in the process resonates with you.
To your boundless creativity,
Facebook – Instagram