What makes a true masterpiece? It is engaging, timeless, breathtaking, original, bold. It is relevant to the times, and it carries a message for humanity. What if your life was a movie, a book, a painting or a dance? Would you want it to be boring, unconnected or repetitive? Or would you want to create a unique masterpiece?
Most of us feel that we inherited so much baggage, that it is unclear where to start. We have no blank canvas. We look a certain way, have certain family roots, values, we are born into a specific time and place, with its own challenges and limitations. The canvas we start with often looks like the Last Day of Pompeii: “I am a fuzzy brokenhearted and hardened mess, and the world is a scary and strange place ruled by unfair and unknown forces.”
It is natural to think that nothing can be done to that canvas. And yet, we constantly see inspiring examples of people who changed their life to the core and followed an illuminated path, became artists at the age of 60, totally reinvented their looks or learned a new language and emigrated to some unknown exotic land to teach local children permaculture.
I became a dancer at 42. When I was 35 I thought that it was too late for me. On my 42nd birthday, I thought, “My, I could have been a dancer for seven years. Another seven years can pass and I will look back and think the same thing.” So I became a dancer. A singer. A poet. A comedian, on top of being a tantra teacher and a founder of a successful meditation retreat. Am I the best in all of these things? Well, who am I competing with? Only myself.
Ask yourself: “Is my life a masterpiece that makes me hold my breath in awe? Do I look forward to the next day, which I get to spend with my abundant, creative self? Do I anticipate those incredible hours when I can just be by myself creating a new song of my soul? Do I cherish the days of living that song to the fullest, in the company of real and imaginary friends?” If the answer is yes, then you do not have to read any further. I embrace you and your masterpiece.
If you are not fully there yet, here is my homemade recipe to turn your life into a masterpiece.
1. Create a new plot — If your life was a book, what would be the title? Gone With The Wind? Woman Who Runs With Wolves? Possessed? What would be on the cover of your book? Who are the main characters, the villains, the victims? Would you like to read this book? How much would you pay for it?
If you are not sure you’d like to spend your time and money on the book of your life, let’s write another book. The protagonist, the hero, is you. What is your heart’s true desire? What is the journey that makes your hero light up with excitement? Before you answer, slow down, breathe, feel your pulse and your connection to everything that is alive on the planet. Let the deep core of your being tell you what it needs. Your answer is the title of your new book.
2. The new playground — Now that we know what your hero desires, let’s figure out the set and circumstances. There are two different ways to approach the origins of the hero. You can look at yourself as originating from a particular mother and father, in a particular neighborhood, particular income bracket and familial medical history. You can look at how your parents dominated you, loved you, and neglected, and the particular ways in which they drive you crazy. You can spend years unbundling that specific type of karmic knot.
Alternatively you can rewrite the origins of your hero. Your hero might turn out to be a direct heir to the primordial Earth Mother Goddess and the Divine Creator. List the qualities that your ideal mother and father would have. Then list ways how you could cultivate these qualities in yourself. Adopt your inner child. Teach them about the kind of life you would like to live, and take your child to the playground of the world.
3. Re-connect the dots — One of the skills that we learn well to survive in the Western world is defragmentation. Our whole education system is built on separation between the mind and the heart, the mind and the body and the soul. To send your hero on his journey, you must gift him or her the skill of highly developed intuition. For intuition to work, the heart, body and mind have to be reconnected. The soul has to learn how to respect and cherish the body. The body has to fall in love with the soul. The mind should become a brilliant but humble servant to the hero’s deep intuition.
Invoke the wisdom and self-healing properties of the body. Remember the joy of jumping into the ocean without fear, running out into open space, digging your hands into the dirt. Remember the delight of orienting yourself through smell, through premonition. Remember the joy of making decisions with the heart. Once the mind, the heart and the body are all working for the purpose of the Journey, you can trust your intuition and become whole: feeling the truth of each moment and acting on it in totality.
4. Pump up that kundalini! — Now that we have our approximate plot, set and intuition, we need to generate a strong animating force to start living our lives to the full potential. Imagine that your life-force is water coming out of a garden hose. Most of us keep the hose half open. We work hard, get tired and need an activity that will pacify us: eating comfort food or being entertained by means that do not require our active creative input. That, in turn, only takes away from our energy.
There is an alternative, however. More people are now choosing “high vibrational” lifestyle, which starts with adding raw and super foods to your diet, periodic raw cleansing and a lot of movement. These are great ways to prepare the physical body of your hero for taking the journey. Here is how to open the hose fully, and let the creative life force of Kundalini shakti awaken your being at every level:
- Look into people’s eyes.
- Increase the belly fire with warm liquid foods.
- Do 5Rhythms, contact dancing, Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, or dance in your living room!
- Do Hatha and Kundalini Yoga.
- Actively engage in sacred arts.
- Play in nature whenever possible. Remember: it is always possible.
- Jump into water with every opportunity.
- Give and receive a lot of conscious sex.
- Exchange energy healings and massages.
- Sleep a lot in the most comfortable bed.
- Train the internal clock to wake you up, instead of an alarm clock.
- If at all possible, take the TV and computer out of your bedroom.
- Explore Tantra, which unites it all.
5. Imagine: What if? — Exercise “what if” religiously, wherever you are. Do not let the surroundings seem unchangeable, serious and solid. Do not let other people’s projections of reality pull you in without your conscious consent. Question everything, break taboos, eat with your left hand, try different breathing patterns, new colors for your clothes, new ringtones for your cell phone. See a serious businessman and imagine him naked. Hear somebody yelling; imagine them a cartoon character. See a city sprawl full of concrete and smoke and imagine how it was before urbanization. Learn to see things as impermanent, light and full of possibilities.
6. Play: Act it out — Wake up the child. Reclaim your original innocence, the way you were before the programming started. Through play, we learn that we can be any character in any story, that personality is like a finger puppet — something to experiment with. Play as many personalities as possible; mimic nature, mimic others. Play your body like a musical instrument. Celebrate diversity, improvise, rhyme, rename people and things, become your own biggest parody of yourself, dismantle your personality and come to your true nature, that you are neither this nor that, but a miracle with love, compassion and infinite potential.
7. Become a better channel — The journey of the soul, the river of dreams, can be expressed through any divine language: through sounds, gestures, movements, ideas, thoughts. I highly recommend engaging in tantric practices to become a better channel for the soul, no matter which sacred art speaks to you. When we practice tantra, we become better instruments; we learn how to listen on many levels, not only through our ears, but through our whole bodies. Once your whole being remembers how to be a finely tuned instrument, it becomes possible to express the play of universal primary forces, the glory and wisdom of creation through any art form. You do not have to define yourself as a poet, artist or dancer. When you are playing in the space of the heart, you are all of that.
8. Write your own divine play — Create your own set of meaningful metaphors, which will help you to connect to divine intelligence. Create your own altar, medicine wheel or Tarot deck. Draw a real-life character or phenomenon to associate with each of the 22 cards in the major arcana of Tarot. Make your hero one of the Tarot characters. As you go through your day, observe your characters as their Tarot persona. Notice the loops and the patterns, and you will realize that the world is the reflection of your soul.
Your journey is your mirror. You are going through life emanating certain energies, and attracting certain energies. What is coming to you is what is drawn to you. It can be easy to blame the world for something that emanates from ourselves.
There was a woman in my dance workshop who was often hitting everyone on the dance floor in her wild self-expression. At the end of the exercise, she complained, “Everyone is always hitting me. You, people, please! Be careful!” You will come to the understanding that your own fear creates fear outside, understanding that everything is completely connected and that the only solution is love and compassion to yourself and others. The change always comes from within. To start that change, use your imaginative mind and imagine new scenarios for the characters in your deck, based on the title and the set of your hero’s journey.
9. Live your play — Start acting according to your new script and observe what happens in your life. Let the details of your plot develop organically. You might be very surprised to discover that magic and synchronicity will start happening on a regular basis. Then you can go further by staging this play with your friends and sharing the art of living your life as a masterpiece.
Encourage others to create their own magical script of how to get to the source. This script does not have to have words, lines or even be drawn, and it does not have to be danced, or sang. Ultimately, our whole life becomes a prayer and a masterpiece of our souls, expressed in art, action, relationships and thoughts. You can put the whole cosmos into your loving embrace.
Life is your canvas. You are the artist. The harvest is unlimited. The choice is yours.