Covering Up

I have written two blogs about graffiti. Recently I took a walk back to one of the places where I had taken a photo that I had used in the blog “Graffiti 2”.
The graffiti had said, “Love to the Masses”. I was sad to see it had been covered up. It was even really well-done graffiti. I found the blotch of white paint offensive. Who is to say that the white, boring wall was better than the positive message that the graffiti had said? That graffiti had spoken for a lot of voiceless people, including me.

How much covering up do we humans do? If my life is any example, covering up and “looking good” is what I noticed is part of the American way of life. Years ago I also had the good fortune to take a course from a very observant teacher who was from Chile, and he talked a lot about “looking good”, so I started noticing the covering up and looking good I saw around me.

What is interesting, looking good goes along very well with denial, which I realized, after the fact, that I had used as a tool to survive certain experiences in my life. Once I became an adult, that denial made it possible for me to deceive myself which, in turn, kept me stuck and brought drama into my life.

“The only thing more shocking than the truth are the lies people tell to cover it up.”
http://www.mrnevergiveup.com

What I find ironic, is that we often only think that “covering up” happens with politicians, business leaders, entertainers, and others, but we then fail to notice in our own lives how we are covering up our own stuff. I know I had my own blind spots and self-deception going on.

The day came when denial didn’t work for me. Awareness is wonderful. What is great, now I get to be me without covering up, looking good, and denial. Now I am free. Sometimes that means I make new choices of the people I am close to in my life or choose a different action to take.

Covering up graffiti or anything doesn’t make sense, to me, including covering up concerns in my OWN life. That just blocks my OWN love, joy, and gratitude.

Today as I was driving home and uncovering another interesting piece about my life, the Grateful Dead came on the radio and comforted me. Take a listen.

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Graffiti Artists Part 2

Since this is the time of year that is about being thankful, loving, and kind, I wanted to show you some of the graffiti where I live.

graffiti 1 Part 2

graffiti 1 Part 2

Now, if we could only do this!  It is hard to walk in some else’s shoes, and fear can stop us.  More recently, I got to witness now fear was stopping me for doing the right thing for myself. It was not about the other person, it was about me! I needed to trust myself.

graffiti 2 hearts

Graffiti 2 Hearts on the path

Last summer on another walk I saw these hearts, they extended past what I could capture on my camera.  I LOVE the message. Skip the Yellow Brick Road, take the path of hearts.  The more I seem to feel what is happening in my heart, instead of my head, the more I feel all together. It could be joy or sadness.  It is great not to be numb! Great to be fully human!

graffiti 3 Part 2

Graffiti 3 Teach Love

This graffiti touched my heart as a teacher. Can you imagine what kind of world we would live in if we were able to teach LOVE.  Love is a choice. Since I took this photo back in May, this graffiti has been painted over. Some graffiti with loving messages, I feel we should let stand. However, I do NOT work for the city where I live.

graffiti 4 part 2

Graffiti 4 SMILE

We may have the same graffiti artist to thank for this sign as well as the hearts that on the graffiti 2 “hearts on the path”.  This is in a different area. Smiling I consider an act of kindness to self and others. Years ago I had a teacher who told me that when you smile you trigger two points in your forehead that increase your immune system.

Here are some other things that smiling does:

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/15-fascinating-facts-about-smiling/

It is no wonder that I always feel better when I smile.

graffiti 5 Part 2

Graffiti 5 Heart

This heart was not far from the “hearts on the path” graffiti 2.  I leave you with this heart to try to remind myself and you who we could be during this season of stress, irritation, and LOVE.  Here’s hoping the LOVE overrides the stress and irritation. We have a choice about this, too! Smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Graffiti with a Purpose

I love art! To me art reminds us humans who we are- both the good and the ugly.  To me graffiti can be great street art. Wandering around where I live I have found graffiti that says something to me.

Graffiti

Graffiti 1

Much of my life I have worried about a lot of things, way too many things. At times some of my worries came to pass. While I was worrying, I surely did not feel good about my life or myself.  Usually I worried about things over which I had no control, or sometimes they were problems that were some one else’s business! Therefore, this graffiti made me laugh at myself, and it gave me some relief.

Graffiti 2

Graffiti 2

This graffiti speaks to me because I didn’t get to ask  questions growing up. That was a new “brain” muscle I have had to learn to exercise: how to question anything. The “Keep calm” part I like too,  as I have learned to value serenity greatly. Sometimes it takes time for me to get there, but I have found programs and tools of living that are supporting me to regain my serenity.  P.S. I’m glad I photographed this graffiti when I did because recently the fence where it had been had been white washed.

graffiti 3

Graffiti 3

I’m not sure what all of this graffiti is saying, but the “Hear” part spoke to me. For much of my life, I have been a poor listener.  That got me into trouble along with my being arrogant about “what I knew”. I did NOT want to hear what others had to say, so I and some others I loved have had some consequences which were unpleasant.  It was a great lesson in humility though too acknowledge how poorly I had listened and try to be more open to listening today.

The now well known Graffiti artist from Bristol, England  had this to say:

Sometimes I feel so sick at the state of the world I can’t even finish my second apple pie.”    –  Banksy,  pseudonym

graffiti 4

bonus Graffiti

I called this bonus graffiti because I got it as an early Mother’s Day gift. My daughter is a photographer. She photographed this in LA years ago.  This is street art that I find beautiful because it reminds all of us that we can at least be beautiful on the inside if we choose with how we behave on this planet. Sometimes it takes years to change old unkind habits and defenses, depending on the childhood you had. I have found that this journey has been rewarding, and I’m still in process.

I’m thankful for street art- graffiti is my good friend and teacher.

If you still don’t get this blog or even if you do,  please watch this TED talk from JR:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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