Open Secrets

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Prospect Park, Brooklyn. 2016.

Anxiety. It sometimes gets the best of us. Our hearts take off running and jumping, in no particular direction. There are instances when we set ourselves up by setting expectations. No, let’s not do that so much. Let’s live, moment by moment.

Change. It sometimes manipulates what’s best for us. Our hearts stop, and we become nervous, concerned, even fearful. There’s something about what’s happening that appears too unnatural. Then it happens again, almost becoming a cycle. We’d hope to understand that it’s inevitable, only to find ourselves in anticipation.

Aspiration. It sometimes prepares the best in us. Our hearts direct us to search for the passion. There’s a fire that burns, and we calmly seek ways to keep it burning. We understand that the fire serves as light, warmth, and possibility. We need that.

Delight. It sometimes affects our best judgments. Our hearts are satisfied when we listen. There’s a particular attention span we’re supposed to have when it comes to our desires. We’re to be faithful, loyal, and optimistic. We’re to walk the path of satisfaction, with peace and joy as our footprints.

Tranquility. It sometimes encourages our best ideas, especially in times of uncertainty. Our hearts need regular moments of stillness and silence. There are pieces of us that we dive deep for, hoping to be strong enough to bring them to surface. All we’re really looking for is direction, to inspire our next move.

Vibe. It sometimes simply attracts the best energies, for us. Our hearts are in charge. We understand that, so we listen, and we follow. Harmony then exists. Doubt then exits. We’re able to extend ourselves, to experience joy on a level that goes beyond the universe. In those moments, we don’t ask why, or how.

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Grace.

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Montego Bay, Jamaica, 2016

It was so peaceful atop the rock, which was perfectly positioned for one to take in such astonishing natural beauty. Wow, Jamaica – you’re gorgeous. There was such a strong sense of stillness as I sat there, taking a moment to be grateful for all I am, and all I have. I admit, again and again, “It’s the simple things that makes me happy.” It’s life’s purest and most innocent beauties that I admire so much. In those moments, I am reminded to show gratitude for good health. Not great or excellent health, because I believe we all suffer from some sense of mental, physical, spiritual and emotional imbalance. I’m grateful for loving and supportive family and friends, opportunities to travel, living dreams out loud as an author and artist, and working in an admirable field of education where everyone around me is helping to inspire and teach children (our future). I love this quote, “When you change the way you see things, the things you see will change.” I believe that to be true. It is all about perspective. So, when I think of the guardian angels that have been placed in my life over time as my very own spiritual guides, I am now viewing them from an angle of appreciation. Physical loss of near and dear loved ones may be the greatest form of pain that any human endures, but we get to a point where we are even grateful that their spirit carries on. As much as we miss sounds of their laughter, warm hugs, and kind words, it’s comforting to know that they are always in our hearts and guiding our steps. Over time, the light in which we see them shifts from darkness. It does not have to be sad forever…because we all know we’re going some day, and when that day comes we’ll become guardian angels ourselves. Losing their laughter, warm hugs and kind words, should only encourage us to laugh more, hug more and speak kindly to others, as often as we can. Our guardian angels feed our destiny. They are light. It is a struggle to always see them in this way, but it is the best way. So, I’m grateful for them, everyday, in every way. I try my best to keep an attitude of gratitude, because I’ve noticed that when I’m gracious and grateful, blessings that were never even imagined begins to surface, and my life experiences truly turn out to be just as beautiful as nature.

Meditate on Purpose

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Cartagena, Colombia. 2016

I don’t do it often enough, at least not in any traditional way. I don’t have a special pillow, particular place or time of day. I don’t listen to any distinct songs or sounds, and I don’t try to completely empty my mind. I move at a pace that best fits the moment, my moment. I don’t meditate on purpose, it just happens – and when it does, I meditate on purpose! Who am I? What am I feeling in this moment? What does it mean to sit in silence, trying to connect with God, the universe, myself and reasons for existing? I choose not to allow complaints into these moments. All things and people placed in my life, existing in my life, are all a part of a plan. But why, what is their purpose? They all play some role. It can be as minor as the 13 markers in my bookbag (which actually serves no purpose at all, at this moment), or as major as having a device that allows me a few minutes of FaceTime with my mother. Much of what is in between is up for elimination. Everything existing in my world causes an effect on one another, because they all affect me – I am the common denominator. I am the one who decides to build on something, or break it down and remove it. If I’ve read a book that has greatly encouraged me and has served its purpose by reading it once, then maybe it’s time to pass that book on to someone else – why allow it to sit in one place and be useless. This way of thinking is applied to all things, and people.

In moments when I realize what I want, I act on my wants,  and those actions lead me toward introductions to new people, places, ideas, eventually tangible things or new feelings. All is connected! Seeing life in this light has everything to do with being conscious. I am not only meditating on my purpose, I’m meditating on the purpose of the amount of clothes in my dresser drawers, the purpose of the groceries in the cabinets, the purpose of spending time with people who may or may not add any value to my life, the purpose of exercise (for the mind, body and spirit), the purpose of love, laughter, inspiration, faith and so on. All things I try my best not to take for granted. Everything and everyone has a reason for existing in my world. One thing I know for sure about myself, is that I’m always spring cleaning, because I value “less” as being so much “more”. Meditate on that!

Art Event Announcement: DMC Original’s Shape Your Peace

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Photo taken at the DMC Original Solo Art Exhibition: Whatever Glitters is Gold. Brooklyn, 2015.

I’ve been working with paint colors since 2010. I coordinated volunteer events for people to paint murals at schools and community centers, but I was no artist. At least not until two years later. I became inspired to spread paint over blank canvases, similar to the way I’ve crafted words together to create stories. I was exploring a new creative outlet, a new type of journal. I am expressing myself through blended colors and golden highlights.
I began posting photos of the finished pieces to my social media networks, and surprisingly received a lot of feedback from my peers. They seemed intrigued. They’d hit the “Like” button on Instagram and Facebook, then followed up with a comment or private message, “how much?”. When I sit down to paint, I never know what’s going to be created, until it’s complete. Sometimes I reveal pain. Sometimes love. Sometimes hope. I noticed that no matter what story the painting is telling, there is always a search for peace.
After almost three years of painting and having created over 100 pieces, I held a premiere art exhibition for DMC originals in October 2015. It was a solo show that took place at Amarachi Lounge in Brooklyn, NY. The show was entitled “Everything that Glitters is Gold”. I wanted my paintings to encourage people to see the possibilities. As they scanned their eyes over the layers of paint from each corner of the canvas, I hoped for them to see that they were on a journey: jumping over forced shapes, sliding down blended colors, climbing up impulsive angles, inspired by bold golds, all in search of the peace everyone is trying to find. A great amount of people showed up to the exhibit, and my art was just as well received as my children’s book during the signing for Peers, Cheers, and Volunteers in 2013. I loved that I was able to bring people together for an evening filled with art, love, laughter and an open mind for creativity. Many went home that night with their very own DMC original. I was lifted! In that moment, I felt that I was in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing – existing in part of my purpose.
So, I’m indulging again! I invite you to come out to Verboten in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Saturday, January 30th from 5-10 pm for an evening of art in every form, a PHD Experience (see flyer below). DMC originals will be on display, in addition to live music, dance performances and so much more.
When I think about the people who have DMC originals on display in their homes, I hope they understand that they have more than just a painting. It is mostly my intention to inspire them to see beauty in all things.
You are encouraged to follow this blog and my Instagram page @dani_chery. Cheers.
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