Monday, September 9, 2013

Wise Words of Henry David Thoreau on Heartful Art by Raphaella Vaisseau

This lesser-known quote from the beloved transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau, speaks to me: "Every leaf and twig was this morning covered with a sparkling ice armor; even the grasses in exposed fields were hung with innumerable diamond pendants, which jingled merrily when brushed by the foot of the traveler. It was literally the wreck of jewels and the crash of gems ..." Every day as I marvel at the extraordinary beauty of this world we live in, I hear Thoreau's words in my heart and head.

I love nature with a passion. I am a seeker, devoted to aligning myself with my best and highest expression of the gift of life and the world we live in. One day, years ago, during a spiritual retreat in Minnesota, we were given an exercise to go outside and find something in nature that reflects who we are. We were given an hour to do this. When the facilitator said to start, I rushed out the door and ran full speed down a country road in the woods, thinking that by getting first to the farthest place, I would be the one to find the treasured thing. I searched frantically for something meaningful. Not finding anything, I was fearful that the time would be up and I wouldn't have discovered the perfect thing I wanted.

It was then a glimpse of a beautiful flower flashed momentarily through my mind. I had rushed past it being first out the door. I turned around and walked back to the beginning, to the building, and there it was, just to the right of the door: a magnificent flower unfurling it's beautiful self. I knew this was the thing I was looking for. I found it and it had been right there all along. I wouldn't have had to go farther than one foot from where I'd started my quest. Again, I heard Thoreau's words in my heart and mind, and understood: "Such is beauty ever, neither here nor there, neither in Rome nor in Athens, but wherever there is a soul to admire. If I seek her elsewhere because I do not find her at home, my search will prove a fruitless one."

The power of the universe is within each one of us. The beauty and wisdom of the ages is inside of me and you, and it is available to us, should we choose to turn the key to and open the door of our hearts, and use the power of our minds. As wonderful, beneficial, and helpful it might be to travel to faraway places, take another seminar, read another book, find another teacher, if we are doing that in order to find the piece that's missing in our own selves, we will not find it. We must first know we are a magnificent creation and the power, beauty, and majesty lie within. Know the truth and the answers are inside.

Look within. Discover the ever-unfolding miracle of being. Step out into the world with the knowing that you, me, and all of us are equal parts of the magnificent creation of our glorious world. What you find, and me as well, will amaze us even more.
-Raphaella Vaisseau

Monday, July 22, 2013

"What's Right For You, What's Right For Me" by Raphaella Vaisseau

     Our world is diverse: diverse in climate, terrain, topography, animal life, culture, and in our human family. Diversity is a big part of what makes this experience of life here on Earth so interesting and beautiful. Tolerance of diversity is essential to freedom. However, tolerance, as important as it is, is only the first step.
     The next step is taking a look at the differences among us and celebrating them. Yes, celebrate, even adore. It's noticing contrast that gives us ideas of what we want more (or less) of, who we want to be, where we want to go, and who we want to spend time with. Henry David Thoreau posed this question: "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?"
     The essence of being free allows room (tolerance) for everyone's unique expression. No need to all be alike. Being different doesn't threaten anyone simply by being different. It's layering judgment, righteousness, fear, scarcity, and other negative emotions on top of differences that create separation.
     John-Roger, founder of MSIA (the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness), shares three spiritual guidelines for us: 1. Take care of yourself so you can help take care of others; 2. Don't hurt yourself and don't hurt others; and 3. Use everything for your upliftment, learning, and growth. Simple, yet profound.
     Common sense is not common. There is no rule book for our diverse human experience. We figure it out as we go along. Again, Thoreau's words speak the truth: "It is never too late to give up our prejudices."
     In reality, giving up our prejudices can look like giving someone the benefit of the doubt, refraining from thinking you know what's best, or right, for another person, letting go of the need to compare and find fault. It's about respect. How might our world transform if, instead of being fearful of others not like us, we were curious and eager to learn from one another? How might our lives be enhanced on a daily basis by accepting an individual's choice to step outside of a traditional, accepted way of being and walk a different path?
-Raphaella Vaisseau

Friday, July 12, 2013

Frogs, Flora, Fauna, and Creativity by Raphaella Vaisseau

The other night in a dream I was swimming in a beautiful body of water and met a frog. It was a large green frog coming right at me, eyes saying something intently to me as it approached. I was mesmerized by the scene. The blues and greens and yellows were stunning, and neither one of us spoke. When I awoke, I was aware still of the presence of the frog and I wondered what message it might have for me.

I thumbed through Ted Andrew's Animal Speak until I found Frogs on page 356. "Transformation through Water and Sound" it said. "A totem of metamorphosis, [the frog] is a symbol of coming into one's own creative power." The author asks "Are you needing to dive into some fresh creative water?" That sounded good to me so I took out my paints and let creativity flow forth from my inner being. The result is Flora and Fauna, a 5x7 swirl of blended color evocative of rain forest ambiance and lush watery spaces. Enjoy my art. Love frogs.
-Raphaella Vaisseau

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Activism, GMOs, and the Law of Attraction" by Raphaella Vaisseau

I believe in choice and free will. However, as I've become aware of the introduction of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) into our food supply, I've learned from the Institute for Responsible Technology and other sources that "the FDA does not even require the labeling of GMOs in food ingredient lists." Thus, until GMO labeling is required, the choice to avoid GMOs is not an easy option for consumers in the US.

Making a difference matters to me, and contributing to the greater good is important to me, as it is to many people. Several years ago, Gregory M. Lamb wrote in the Christian Science Monitor: "Nearly nine in 10 [Americans] (85 percent) agree they can make the world a better place through their actions, 91 percent say it's important that individuals get involved in positive social change, and 77 percent say getting involved is personally important to them, according to a [2011] survey of more than 2,000 American adults conducted by Walden University, an online university, and Harris Interactive, a market research firm."

At the same time, I believe in the Law of Attraction, that where a person puts his or her attention will attract more of the same. So it would follow that fighting against something would make it stronger. How then can one navigate this universal law to effect change? How does activism mesh with the Law of Attraction. These are questions I've been pondering of late.

Much of my Heartful Art inspires people to stand tall, speak up, be brave, and walk the talk of whatever it is each person believes. Marianne Williamson's words from A Return to Love speak to the power we each have when we "let our own light shine."

Perhaps the key in this instance (instead of fighting against Monsanto and similar companies who have been creating genetically engineered food for over 20 years) is to focus on what I want more of, which is to have mandatory labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms in the US.

According to The Center for Food Safety, 64 countries around the world currently require labeling of genetically engineered food. I would like the US to be on that list. Labels offer consumers the choice to buy GE food or not. To join in this effort, or to learn more about this issue and "let Washington know that Americans want labeling of genetically engineered foods" explore Just Label It.
- Raphaella Vaisseau

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Magical Moments in Everyday Life in the World of Heartful Art and Raphaella Vaisseau

Yesterday was an extraordinary day at the Venice Farmer's Market here in Florida. It wasn't just the record sales of my Heartful Art (best day ever at the market), but many sweet moments of conversation with women and men who browsed the inspirational art I create for them continue to touch my spirit and uplift me this morning.

One woman shared her experience from twenty years ago when she woke up and knew, "I am enough," believing this inner knowing was a gift from God given to her in her dream. She'd been sober for two years at that point and went on to be a recovery counselor. She has since helped countless others realize this important truth as well. At home on my refrigerator I have a page from Louise Hay's daily affirmation calendar from June 18th of last year. It reads, "I am neither 'too little' nor 'too much,' and I do not have to prove myself to anyone. I am okay just as I am."

Another magical moment was recalling and sharing an experience I'd had at my Heartful Art Gallery in Sausalito eight years ago about a hornet:
"As I prepared to leave the gallery tonight I noticed a rather large hornet crashing against the sunlit windows of the gallery looking for a way out. I was tired and ready to leave. However, the thought of the hornet's long night ahead if it remained trapped inside was not a pleasant one. I put down my bags and fetched my rescue tools (a stepstool, backboard and vase), and set about my task. After I carefully captured the insect in the vase and covered the open end with my backboard to prevent escape, I made my way for the great outdoors. As I did, I talked to the little creature, saying that it would only be a moment longer and all would be well. The hornet continued to struggle, thinking itself caught. As I reached a safe distance from my gallery door, I removed the backboard and released the hornet into the air. It was free. A thought occurred to me as I watched it fly away that it might be a similar feeling of loving compassion our Mother/Father/God, our Higher Self or our guardian angels have as they guide us through our trials and tribulations here on Earth. The hornet didn't know that in it's capture, I was bringing it to freedom. It only felt the confinement of the glass. Sometimes we may think we are blocked and feel there is no way out, but who's to say there are not unseen forces capturing us from unpleasant fates and circumstances and gently carrying us to freedom. As we breathe a sigh of relief at our eventual escape, know that we are not alone. Give thanks where thanks are due." - Raphaella Vaisseau, Journal, 03.11.05
When hearts are open, and vibrations are in sync, human interaction can be so perfect and beautiful. Whatever the catalyst, heart-to-heart sharing is important. It allows growth, understanding, and beauty to be present, be felt, and to flourish. I appreciate the opportunities I have every day to interact with my beautiful fans and collectors of my Heartful Art. I sincerely thank you for blessing me with your support, and honoring me with your sharing. - Raphaella Vaisseau

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Affirming the World We Want with Words and Heartful Art by Raphaella Vaisseau

Affirmations work. Words are powerful. What we affirm we can strive for until our believing makes it so. Words and positive self-talk became forever tools in the tool-box I use to navigate life in 1975 when I first read "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale. I was in Lowell, Massachusetts at the time and around that time I had a powerful change of consciousness and began my quest for spiritual knowing. I learned more about affirmation while reading the 1963 edition of Joseph Murphy's book, "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind."

Recently I've discovered the importance of feeling in the practice of affirmation. Yet this is not new information to the already initiated, as Thoreau wrote in his journal, vol. 3 on April 22, 1851, "It is not the invitation which I hear, but which I feel, that I obey."

In the old days I'd write an affirmation and repeat it 100 times a day for 32 days in a row. It was a powerful exercise. Now I simply live affirmations on a daily basis, loving the words that surround me as I work. I enjoy the quotations and color that fill me as I create positive, life-affirming art to assist you and everyone in having a great life and great relationships.

As Lewis Mehl-Madrona said, "Every thought is a prayer, and every prayer is answered". Remember, any thought can be replaced by a new thought in each moment. So, don't get hung up on challenges. Rather, switch your focus to something you love, and find a feeling that is the essence of that. Go with the flow, and your emotions will lift. Surround yourself with positive words and positive people. Abraham-Hicks teaches that fighting against something makes it stronger, so instead be FOR what you love - in your self, in others, and in the world. Namaste. - Raphaella Vaisseau

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Day Exploring Boca Grande with Friends

Living in Florida, with so much beauty surrounding me every day as I look out the windows of my home studio as I work, or run an errand near the beach, I sometimes forget to take a day off to spend quality time with friends and explore a local travel destination. Thursday, February 7th, I did just that.
My friends John, Stan, Shirl, and I drove to Boca Grande for lunch, and to explore the exotic little town on Gasparilla Island. Although it's located less than 30 miles and a short 45-minute drive from home, I hadn't ventured there in the four years since moving to Venice in the fall of 2008.

We lunched at Temptations, walked under tree canopies on Banyan Street, explored shops and galleries, and enjoyed walking and talking while we shopped and photographed beach architecture, flowers, churches, their golf cart transportation (for pups), and life on the island. I was thrilled to discover the art of Del-Bourree Bach at the Hughes Gallery on Park Street in the little downtown. See more photos for a glimpse of our day. - Raphaella Vaisseau

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Loving you is blessing me" by Raphaella Vaisseau - a Valentine and more

Here's a new 8x10 matted, colorful print of the "almost famous" love affirmation I created decades ago to express the joy received when loving someone or something unconditionally: "Loving you is blessing me."

As a student of spiritual enlightenment, I've been working with the concepts of law of attraction, karma, and the circle of life for a long time. The up side of the Law of Cause and Effect (what you put out comes back to you) is that it includes the good stuff as well as the not-so-good.

Whether you believe in karma or not, let your feelings be your guide. Doesn't it feel great inside of you when you are centered in your heart and sharing your love unconditionally? You betcha!

Not only is this a great Valentine, but it is a happy addition to the walls of any baby nursery or child's room. It's a present for anyone, any time that you'd like to remind that you love them, and you are totally enjoying giving the gift of love to them.

Live in the present moment. Notice the joy in loving. And, know I am blessed by loving you, my family, friends, and fans.
-Raphaella Vaisseau