What if you saw your life as a work of art?

This morning, as I lay in bed, I thought about the whole universe as one big work of art.

What if we saw each of our lives as little works of art, inside this big artwork?

Art can be so many things: painful, disturbing, transformative, funny, but it usually strives for beauty. Beauty is hard to define, but in the context of living life, I think that beauty comes from being more deeply yourself.

I recently heard this talk by the artist Jonathan Harris, in which he presents the perspective of seeing your whole life as a work of art. Here are three questions to ask yourself, inspired by this talk:

  • What are your routines / practices? These give your life a structure. Some of mine are running, intuitive walking, drinking tea, reading novels, and writing.
  • What are your ceremonies? These are communal rituals that bond you to others. I am working on having more of these, but right now they include co-watching TV, shabbat and other Jewish holidays, and birthday celebrations. I’m dabbling with doing rituals tied to full-moons / solstices as well. Last full moon I swam in the ocean, which was pretty awesome.
  • What are your spells? Harris talks about spells as transformative rituals that can turn one thing, say a painful pattern or stuckness, into something else, something beautiful. I’ve never really thought about casting spells in my life, but I’ve heard people describe such things. A friend of mine told me how she once supported someone going through a divorce by making this person write a letter to her ex-spouse, and then send it off in the ocean in a bottle. Harris offers many beautiful descriptions of spells in his talk. On my blog, I transcribed a conversation with a friend where I talked about playing with Palo Santo and crystals, but Harris makes a good point: spells are more effective when tied to the actual stuff of your life. Harris ties many of his spells to the farm he grew up on, which is a beautiful place but has many shadows and painful ghosts.

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