It's a beautiful spring day. I am sitting in my little garden in the French countryside, have just eaten a light vegan meal finished with organic, local strawberries, and my pet children are enjoying their siesta while I listen to the birds. Within all this perfection a tiny voice emerges and wants to get stronger by the minute. She reminds me that on this day: Mother's Day in France, I would have gone to "our" café with mom and we would have talked for hours over a cappuccino. That we would have day-dreamed about our life plans and how to build my art business. How we would have enjoyed another great day together as we did for the past few years, before cancer brutally whisked her away barely three months ago. The tiny voice brings me to that threshold where I could easily slip from a perfectly happy moment to deep sadness. I don't want this post, my first ever! to be sad but it has to be real. Cancer is very real, losing the love of my life to a terrible illness is very real. "I got this" I tell myself and engage in a brief 3 minute meditation. Then I look all around me, take a deep breath and feel the elegance of the present moment return like magic. Ok, she is with me, she protects me and our pet children, she encourages me everyday to paint. I choose to not go through that threshold and stay in joy, as she would have wanted me to.
If you have lost a loved one I invite you to try and focus on the beautiful moments, I know how it hurts and how unfair it all seems: why s/he?, why such a horrible illness?, why now?... I understand one hundred percent how it feels. S/he would have wanted YOU to be happy, to keep doing what you love or to find a way to do it. S/he wants LIFE, LOVE, SMILES for you!.
Here is my gift to you, a brief yet effective meditation that works wonders and is super easy: find a calm place at home or in nature, sit with your spine erect, your hands on your thighs/knees and start taking deep breaths. Close your eyes and with each inhalation visualize how you are filling-up with love and health, and with each exhalation let go of sadness and pain. Do this for about three minutes and finish up by feeling grateful about the love you shared. If comfortable, before returning to "regular" life, chant a soft "Om"... open your eyes and enjoy this beautiful day. For me, that means to get back to the studio and do what I love most: paint!.