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:

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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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