So I was taking a quiz recently about strengths on Authentic Happiness (VIA Survey of Character Strengths). My top strength was seeing the beauty in the everyday and my second highest was honesty. I’m not surprised by either of these but something did stand out for me while I was taking the test. I realized that I believe in being honest and telling the truth, and appreciate the same in return, but I don’t always openly share my opinions on controversial items. While I don’t feel that I’m being dishonest, I do feel that I’m not completely speaking my truth. I would much rather keep the peace than state my thoughts on hot topics.
For example, I work with a mostly Republican team who have very strong opinions yet I don’t completely have the same views as they do on issues. I rarely state this and prefer to keep quiet. Not that I have a problem with a healthy debate but being bulldozed for my beliefs is not my idea of fun or productive.
(FYI – I made it a point when creating this blog to not bring politics into discussion. I still stand behind that decision so this is just an example and not an approval of any political party nor meant to bash any party. )
I’ve been in this same position in other social situations and instead of voicing my truth I chose to keep quiet. I don’t want to create an argument, divide a group, force others to choose a side, or cause any unneeded drama. I know who I am and what I believe and that should be enough, right? So that’s where I’m questioning my behavior.
Am I being inauthentic by not sharing? In my mind I’ve always felt that I was making a peaceful decision to practice ahimsa (Sanskrit: nonviolence, do no harm). And maybe there’s nothing wrong with that. If asked I wouldn’t deny but since I’m not I keep my views to myself and things remain peaceful. And honestly (no pun intended!), I don’t feel the need to shout my thoughts from the rooftop. I don’t want to talk for the sake of hearing my own voice or be concerned how others feel about me. That comes from a place of ego and attachment to an outcome. As things stand, there is non-attachment (vairagya).
Hmmm...I’m at peace with that.
Check out Authentic Happiness if you get a chance. It was interesting to see my top strengths according to the survey and how accurate I feel they are to me.
There are 24 strengths in all, here are my top 5:
1) Appreciation of beauty and excellence; 2) honesty, authenticity, and genuineness; 3) Love of learning; 4) Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith; 5) Fairness, equity, and justice.
Ladies, you are so much more than what can be viewed in a glance. You are more than your body shape, size, or skin color. You are more than the airbrushed images you see in magazines. You are more than you believe you are. You have thoughts, emotions, and dreams. You are amazing, a miracle, brave, bold, and beautiful.
Oh how your heart has suffered, sweet girl. It’s time to let that pain melt away like ice on a sunny day. Your heart is so warm and full of love that there’s no need for all that heartache and heartbreak to weigh you down. Let your warmth break through the hurt that you’ve endured. Slowly becoming lighter and freer. You are so much more than the baggage you carry. Gradually increasing in strength. You are strong and brave.
It’s not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human.
Art is not in the …eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.
The cross I had been eyeing for a while at Hobby Lobby and finally purchased at 1/2 price:
The top right was one I did for Art Every Day Month back in November, Love with all your heart. I didn't plan on adding it to this arrangement but something was missing and it fit the bill.
The bottom painting is one I just finished called Always. It's the largest canvas I've done so far (16x20) and inspired by this wooden sign art. Here's my beginning sketch:
Speaking on Jodi, I'm working on her online faux encaustic class. Here's a sneak peek as they're not complete yet:
And lastly, I'm really enjoying Body Restoration from Brave Girls Club. I'd really encourage anyone who struggles with their body image (I think that may be everyone!) to sign up for this class. Whether you have weight you want to lose or just want to integrate a few healthier habits in your life - this class is for you! Here's a peek in my body book:
Sensitive, sweet child of the universe. You may view your sensitivity as a defect, a weakness, but what it really means it that your heart is so big and full of love that some of your love must escape somehow. Don’t be ashamed of being able to sense the pain of others and being receptive to their feelings. It just means you’re more in tune to those around you. What a compassionate heart you have!