Roaring, Snarling or?

Watch this oil painting of a lion come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

You might remember when I painted the snarling lion in the video above, as it was fairly recently (August). Perhaps you see him as growling or even roaring. Although his mouth is not wide open in a roar, some of you may see beyond what is there.

Are you feeling like this lion? Do you feel a tension that is roaring, snarling or? Maybe you feel something else. Maybe you resonate more this THIS lion:

Lion of Judah oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas
Oil painting “Lion of Judah

Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

I was inspired by the grief of injustice. When crime that is far reaching, affects human beings worldwide, and hurts so many innocent people, is perpetuated, orchestrated, and covered up by powerful persons, entities, and governments, it’s in our nature to have moments in which we feel righteous anger, courage, and the quiet strength of a lion who is observing, unseen. He’s watching. He’s biding his time. One day he may be surrounded by hyenas, and if that day comes, he will be bold.

We may hope to never be that lion ourselves. We may feel as trusting as child, that there’s a lion out there who will protect us. All we need to do is take care of our families and stay out of the way when the time comes.

There is something about the sadness and wisdom in the eyes of the silent lion that resonates with me more than the snarling lion. The power that is yet to be seen can be more chilling than the power revealed. Humanity has great power. When we collectively desire goodness, mercy, and justice, we shall have it. God bless you and your families.

Embrace the Storm

Watch me paint “Eye of the Storm” in under 2 minutes

(time lapse)

This painting was inspired by live radar of Hurricane Irma. How fascinating to watch the storm as it moved over the ocean! Up North, I’d been through bitter life threatening cold of -25 actual temperature, not including wind chill, blizzards, tornadoes, and floods, but none of those were a shared experience world wide. When a hurricane comes, humanity watches in breathless anticipation, in awe of nature. It is a bonding experience, and seems everyone who’s been through a hurricane, even if only to evacuate from it, has their hurricane story that they love to tell. I was worried that hurricanes would be a deal breaker for me down South, but everywhere I’ve ever lived, there has always been some type of dangerous weather. In fact, there were more episodes of dangerous weather in other places I’ve lived. At least with a hurricane, there is plenty of advance notice (usually- sometimes the forecasts are wrong about exact landfall or which levies may breech, tornadoes that spawn, etc.). My point is, I no longer fear hurricanes. We can’t escape risks in life. I love living in coastal Georgia, and hurricanes are a risk I’m learning to live with. I’ve only evacuated from the threat of two of them, but each time, I felt a renewed gratitude for my community, my home, my family, and my God. Maybe that’s what storms are all about?”
- from the book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

“Brace for the storm!” is a fear based approach to life. “Embrace the Storm” is a mindset that takes us out of a powerless victim role. We can’t prevent or control all of the storms that come our way, but what we can do is see opportunities and make the most of every situation. A crisis is an opportunity to connect with other people through shared experiences and powerful emotions. A scary event can also heighten our spirituality and sharpen our senses. Suddenly what’s important to us seems clearer than it did when life was “safe”.

Life is never truly safe. We weren’t meant to be idle with too much time on our hands to fret. Some moments we forget to worry about the dangers of living because our minds are occupied.  When we push ourselves to be active and engaged in pursuits that we’re passionate about, we have little room left in our day for fear.

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Holiday Break

Our house is already changing from pumpkin spices to gingerbread. Today we decorated the Christmas tree and made cookies. Yesterday for Thanksgiving …

Happy Thanksgiving!

This has been a wonderful day. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. I’m sleepy and will soon go to bed. If …

Thanksgiving Eve

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Baby it’s Cold Outside

This painting was inspired by a rare snowfall in the Deep South (Savannah, Georgia), the first year we moved here. Of course …

Happy Anyway

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Praying in a Dark World

Sometimes tragic events unfold and there’s nothing we can do but pray. Tonight something heartbreaking has happened in America involving a horrific …

New Painting – Campfire

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Time and Roses

I shared the story behind this painting in an April blog post called “Beauty of Time”. It was a long post and …

They’re Back

The geese came back! I thought they were done visiting us for the season, but I looked out and there they were, …

Are you limiting yourself?

I shared this painting in March in a blog post called “Power of Steam“. Today I’m reminded of this again, as I …

Choreograph your Life

Watch me paint “Dancer in a Floral Forest” in just over 2 minutes (time lapse)

Did you notice how my painting comes alive to the rhythm of the music? My brush strokes seem choreographed, as if dancing. This synchronicity was natural and authentic, not contrived. I sped up the painting video and then dropped the music in. Some would call it a coincidence that “random” music synced up with my time lapse painting, but to say that would be to deny the existence of serendipity, collective consciousness, and spiritual connection.

The connection between art and music is very strong. Sometimes when I hear music, I imagine what I’d paint to express the song. An idea flickered through my mind that I could collaborate with indie musicians and songwriters to create something truly original… never before seen! My painting experiment pushed me to new heights and helped me grow as an artist. This first piece was inspired by the original composition of a talented pianist. When I heard it, I asked him if I could use his music as inspiration for my next painting. I painted what I see in my head when I hear his beautiful music. “Dancer in a Floral Forest” is the result (the composer is credited in the video)."
- "Painting Music" blog post by Natalie Buske Thomas

Interactivity usually refers to computing and AI, but imagine this concept in a spiritual sense. In technology, interactivity refers to an individual’s ability to actively communicate with a computer that will reciprocate by responding or adapting its programming to fit the specific needs or wants of the user. What if the spiritual world is even more powerful than any computer?

Imagine if you could choreograph your life in much the same way that my painting appears to dance in rhythm to the original music composition created by a stranger I connected with? What if you had the power to create happy encounters and special opportunities, by merely choosing an extraordinary life? You do have this power. 

From where does this power come from? I believe this power comes from God. Nothing will ever convince me otherwise, but that journey is deeply personal, intimate, and individual. No one can travel the exact path as another, although we may share the journey from time to time. Our connection to each other is nonetheless very powerful, should we choose it to be.

As you read this, I wish health and prosperity for you. May the sun shine upon your face. May you and your family be blessed. Have a good week, dear friends.

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Holiday Break

Our house is already changing from pumpkin spices to gingerbread. Today we decorated the Christmas tree and made cookies. Yesterday for Thanksgiving we had a

Read More »

Happy Anyway

I struggled to think of what to say for today’s blog post. World events paint a bleak, angry, and fearful picture. What popped into my

Read More »

Dark to Light

Watch me paint “The Moon and the Stars” in 2 minutes

(time lapse)

The phrase “dark to light” is heard a lot these days. Often, people refer to the disclosure of a horrible, grim truth that they perceive has been covered up by those who gain by secrecy and lose with transparency. Some of those issues are factually proven to be the case (powerful persons, entities and governments hiding unfavorable information to evade justice, accountability and/or damage to reputation and standing). Others are propaganda causes that the populace has become irrationally loyal to (causes promoted to manipulate the masses toward political change by skewing statistics and exploiting events, using advanced marketing and profiling strategies along with community organizing and other masking terms to package and disguise the abuse of the citizenry). 

When filtering information to determine if a “movement”, “science” or a call to “civic duty” is real or not, consider the following:

  1. Who is promoting, supporting, and possibly excusing accusations or even concrete proof of wrongdoing associated with their favored issue/agenda/call to action? Are they profiting or benefiting in any way from the popularity of the movement or the response to a call to action? Political gain, monetary gain, notoriety? Where there is motive to lie, there is likely bias, deception, or even outright fraud.
  2. Among those who seem to have no motive to lie, what might motivate them to believe what they do? Do they cite the media or other supporters? In other words, do they trust those in the first point above, those who have motive to lie? In this case, the source is the same, as they merely repeat the same things that untrustworthy, biased sources have said.
  3. If the information is coming only from those motivated to lie, and those who repeat the same things from those same untrustworthy powerful sources, then it’s prudent to research the events, issues, and people ourselves. A wealth of information is found in public sources, meaning that we can simply look statistics up for ourselves. We can compare and contrast the numbers for various issues and see what the true risks, fears, outrage, or hatred level should be. Better yet, since all statistics can be accidentally wrong or intentionally misleading or brazenly fraudulent, it’s good to listen to real people who have experienced things firsthand. In many cases, it is clear that the populace is being deliberately manipulated to respond emotionally and react irrationally to information that has been exploited, skewed, or even invented. This is never for the good of the people, but always for the benefit of those who profit from pushing people to do what they want. Often, SOME of the information is true, which makes forming an opinion difficult (by design… the best con artists use truthful foundations to “sell” a lie that is added to that layer, so when people see the part that is true, they will likely believe that the lies must also be true).
  4. Is this call to action moving at a fast, manic pace, with coordinated messaging meant to push people to respond emotionally? Are the messages hostile, shaming, or fear inducing? Consider that people who genuinely, authentically care about others seldom use an abusive approach to coerce people to act. When truth and pure intention is on our side, we need only honest communication, delivered with respect.

But, the oppressive actions of others (governments, entities, or other organized agents of darkness) are not the kind of “Dark to Light” that I’m talking about. What I’m reflecting upon today is what we can control, which is our own thoughts, beliefs, responses, and actions. Even when it seems that we are powerless, we are not.

There are few instances in life when we are ever in complete and utter darkness. We are more aware of this during a power outage after our eyes adjust to being suddenly without a source of artificial light. Even without a flashlight, candle, or other illuminating tool, we quickly adapt.

Our eyes decipher light when we are in darkness. We see it in the moon and the stars, as it filters through nature and into houses. We see it in reflections bouncing off mirrors, glass, and glossy objects. We see it perhaps on our own bodies or clothing.

The darkness is not purely black, but also purple and blue, and splintered with yellows and whites. We are not in a colorless vacuum, even when it seems we are. This is a metaphor for life. No matter how dark it seems, there is always light if we train our eyes to see it.

Seek good people.

Do things that give you joy.

Work passionately.

Love fiercely.

Play hard.

The darkness of lies, deception, manipulation, greed, and evil cannot destroy us without our consent. We give consent spiritually when we comply with the call to live in fear, anger, and malice. We refuse to comply when we choose the opposite- when every call to live in darkness is countered by living in Light. 

When the world says “FEAR”,

we must say hope.

 

When the world demands “ANGER”,

we must choose self-control.

 

When the world screeches as demons, commanding we live in “MALICE”,

we must choose love.

 

Hate destroys, love creates.

 

When enough love is created, it outshines the hate. When the global focus is on destroying everything “bad”, destruction overtakes creation, leaving the world in darkness.

 

When the world is saying, “hurry, hurry, act NOW”, when the world is shaming those who do not respond, and when the world leverages others to do what they demand, this is an abusive relationship. A healthy relationship allows space for people to reflect and make careful decisions before acting. A healthy relationship doesn’t play around with emotions- using gimmicks and flattery, and manipulative language to entice people to act together as a group to feel as if we belong… and then if this fails, snapping and turning on reluctant citizens in psychotic anger. A healthy relationship is one that cares about the truth so deeply that the source matters. Anyone with profit motive, associations with those who have a profit motive, or who are merely quoting those who do, are not valid sources. This matters when one cares about the truth more than an agenda.

We must reject dysfunctional relationships, whether they come from people in our inner circle, our workplace, our communities, our governments, or our global society. We must be empowered to counter unreasonable or cruel demands with demands of our own. Demand these things:

  • Time: we must be granted the freedom to slow down, think, and filter information at our own pace.
  • Calm: we must be protected from shaming campaigns, hostility, and punishments. As they have all of the information and have the advantage, we must have calm as we process what is demanded of us.
  • Power: we must have the power to say no. We must have recourse if we choose not to believe in the positions that force change, in the science that forces change, in the doomsday scenarios proposed, etc. It is not our responsibility to prove our right to freedom. It is THEIR responsibility to prove us guilty of citizen crimes. It is THEIR responsibility to prove their claims and their supposed reasons for why the world must comply with their demands. It is THEIR responsibility to prove that we must change our thoughts, words, associations, and actions to comply with their agendas.

If, after thoughtful consideration of the data, facts, information, and personal experiences of all parties, we decide that we agree with the claims used to argue for change, then it becomes our choice to comply. We deserve that choice. This applies to any situation, as there is no such thing as a social crisis, health or climate emergency, or impending disaster great enough that there is no time or space for individual human freedoms. Anyone who claims otherwise is using panic, fear, and bullying techniques to push people to make impulsive illogical decisions that always land in favor of those in power who benefit.

Analyze if dysfunctional relationship traits are clearly visible in the darkness. If you see unhealthy coercion, it doesn’t matter how many people are doing it or how widely coordinated it is, it is wrong. There is always a better way. There is no such thing as hate for one’s own good. Goodness and kindness give time, space, and calm to people. We do not abuse each other in the name of progress.

Today, if you feel pressured and pulled, imagine yourself as that little figure I painted in the video at the top of this post. There you are, standing in a peaceful space, in which you see that the darkness has beautiful colors. You are not without light, as you have the sky to guide you. No one can keep you from this spiritual place, where you can choose calm and hope over mania and fear. You can look up at the divine order instead of down at the manufactured chaos.

Choose to be loved as you deserve to be loved.

If you make this commitment, pay attention to what you see.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you see something beautiful… a butterfly that flies directly in your path as if to communicate with you, an unexpected visit by a wild animal, a flower growing in an odd place where you never planted it, or something else. Just wait and see.

When we choose to see Light, we do.

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Holiday Break

Our house is already changing from pumpkin spices to gingerbread. Today we decorated the Christmas tree and made cookies. Yesterday for Thanksgiving we had a

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Update

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Thanksgiving Plans?

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Is it a sign?

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Peaceful Sunday

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Tired?

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Humanity

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Fluttering

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Take my Hand

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