“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” -Maya Angelou
I want to tell you a little story of a timid girl. She was like a wallflower growing up. She didn’t want to be noticed. Raising her hand in class was something that would make her heart pound as if her chest were about to explode. At the age of eight, she realized that she loved art. It was the place where she could express herself and be free. The teachers had a story for her and they gave her thoughts and beliefs about herself that were very untrue. It took this girl 28 years to realize that she had this hidden potential to be something more than what those teachers planned for her. If you haven’t guessed already, that timid girl was me.
This just shows the importance of planting the right seed in those little minds. I am constantly telling me children that they are capable and can do whatever they put their minds to. My nine year-old is writing his first book on You Tubing. Why not? My 5 year old made $50 this summer selling lemonade. Why the hell not? If someone asks me if they should do something, I always answer back with, why not? Just go try and do it!
When I saw another artist do these inspiring body painting shoots I was hooked. I wanted to try it myself. I didn’t know how, when or where? I just asked that the universe guide me. I asked my closest friends if they would be my models and they were more than happy to help out. It turned out better than any of us expected. It ignited this fire in me that I had not experienced in a long time. I was flying high (naturally).
My photos got some attention on social media and people started asking me to do the same thing for them. This time I got paid! So I am asking you to do the same. GO out there and experience life without fear, without limits. See where it takes you. It doesn’t matter how. Just take those baby steps. Everything will fall into place because the universe is watching and it really wants you to succeed. It truly is a vehicle that is guiding us, we just have to let go of the wheel eventually and just trust. Now go out there and show the world what you are made of! Namaste my beautiful creative souls.
“All things are in a state of vibration. Vibrations from objects in our surroundings are constantly impinging upon us and carry to our senses a cognition of the external world. The vibrations in the ether act upon our eyes so that we see, and vibrations in the air transmit sounds to the ear.”- Max Heindel
Once I began to start meditating and reading more books on spirituality I began to realize that I am responsible for everything I bring into my life. I can no longer be the victim or blame others for what I am not getting in my life. As soon as I realized this I began to see all the things that I was manifesting. For example, my husband and I went to the Hollywood Bowl this weekend to see Tony Bennet with our family members. The whole time I was thinking “how cool would it be if Lady Gaga had a guest appearance”. Guess what? She did have a surprise guest appearance and it made my night. The next day I had to most amazing body painting photo shoot with a lovely family. I will share those photos in the next blog. While I was painting each person, all I thought was “I manifested this” and it felt so good.
A book I am currently reading called “Super Accelerated Living: How to Manifest an Epic Life” by Bentinho Massaro touches upon this subject so well. He writes “Be aware of your vibration and choose yours. Many people do not realize that they’re sending out signals all of the time. Right now you’re emitting a certain vibration-based on how you’re defining something and how you feel about it–I bet your aren’t aware of it. Right now is what you are sending out into Creation, into your reality. You are are vibratory being; you are a state of consciousness. So, what is your state of consciousness like? What is it emitting, radiating? What is it saying to the universe?”
If you are on Facebook or watch the news, choose wisely. Social media can bring down our vibration and send us into a depressed funk and in a state of comparison. There was a Harvard study done on happiness by Shawn Achor and he showed that there was a 25% chance of you having a bad day if you started listening to the news first thing in the morning. I’m not saying you should avoid everything but to be more aware of what you put inside your mind.
Keep those vibes up and high because you never know where they can take you next. You choose your reality, and you can master the state of your being at any given moment. It is up to you–you have free will, you have choice. Heres to manifesting all our dreams and making them into reality. Namaste.
“Some may say that I couldn’t sing, but no one can say that I didn’t sing.”
— Florence Foster Jenkins
I was at a fancy gallery a week ago and I introduced myself to the gallery owner as an artist. He replied by saying “everyone in this town is an artist”. I proceeded by putting my hands on my hips and sticking my chest out (superman pose) and told him “I AM an artist”. He backed off pretty quickly. A few years ago I would not have been able to do that. I would have walked away feeling sorry for myself and maybe even given up the idea of pursuing my dreams of becoming an artist. The person I am today will not allow ANYONE to take that away from me! No one has that right. Yes there are many many artists in this city, in fact, in this world but there is no other artist like myself. We are all so unique and have something so wonderful to offer. The world needs us to shine and spread our light. In fact, the next day another gallery contacted me and wanted me to stop by because they loved my work.
I also just completed my first children’s book written and illustrated by me! Am I a writer? Not really but I tried. Am I an illustrator? Now I am. I know that even when I write my blogs I probably have a ton of grammatical errors but guess what? I don’t give a SHIT! I am learning. I am trying. I am Sheryl Benjy and I am an artist. I am an art teacher. I am a life coach. I am a writer. I am a children’s book illustrator. I am that I am and so much more. Who are you? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to follow your bliss. Namaste.
A BEAUTIFUL RETREAT FOCUSING ON PURPOSE AND PASSION
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs
Last weekend I was a part of an amazing retreat in Ojai that was started by a good friend and yoga instructor Feri Ebrahimi. That painting above is a representation of her. This was our second year leading the retreat. I can’t tell you how inspired I was to be in the presence of so many wonderful women. The theme of the retreat was finding your purpose and passion. I led a life coaching and vision board session as well as an art session. Yrma Wilson did reiki healing. Allie Bright led the yoga nidra portion. There was so much inspiration and healing all in one little weekend.
All the women left feeling rejuvenated and with big smiles on their faces. I left realizing that this is why I do what I do. I also got out of my comfort zone and did something that made me a bit nervous. I had to talk in front of 20 women about my life story and be vulnerable in front of many people I did not know. It was my first time leading a life coaching session and it was so invigorating! I have also led many art classes in front of groups and that has also made me nervous. Was it perfect, no. Was it from my heart, yes. I think that is the key to anything new you ever want to try. Just be yourself and let it all come from the heart. If you are afraid of doing something that is out of your comfort zone then that is more reason to go and do it.
I know last year at the retreat when I had to speak in front of all those women I was shaking in my boots. This year I was better. It’s about practice and exposure. I’m not sure where I will be going with my life coaching or with my art. I do know that I will put my 100% in every opportunity I get. Now it’s your turn. What makes you nervous? Is it speaking in front of large crowds, is it taking up a new class or something so small but you make it seem so much bigger than it is. Share them with me!
“Art provides a healing force which aids both the maker and the viewer…” -Richard Newman
I have healed myself in so many different ways through art. After having my second child I went through bouts of depression. I sometimes didn’t know how to get out of it. It was a struggle. Through therapy and spiritual work I was able to slowly find my way. But after my third child, I really started to paint again and I began to see the effects it had on me both emotionally and spiritually. My husband noticed it as well. I began to heal that part of me that needed so much nurturing and it was through creating. We all came into this world to create, it’s in our DNA. I went to a reiki healing class and the picture above reveals the healing power of reiki through art. It was such an inspiring class. I realized we all have so much power right in the palms of our hands. There is this energy force we all possess that is ready to come out be activated.
I went to the bookstore today and I bought the book The Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron. She also wrote The Artists Way. In it she writes “At its essences, art is an alchemical process. By practicing art, by living artfully, we realize our vein of gold. What I refer to as “the vein of gold,” Egyptians referred to as “the golden ray.” It is the individual, indisputable, indestructible connection to the divine. The vein of gold in every life is located in the heart of that life. The heart is the origin of creative impulses. If that heart has been wounded, it must be healed for our vein of gold to flow freely. As we travel further and further into our own interiors, we will be taking the dross of our lives–the disappointments, wounds, and burdens-and we will make them into gold through the power of creativity. All of our lives are already golden–in potential–if we are willing to do the necessary work of transformation.” YES, YES, YES!! This is what I have always been talking about in most of my blog posts. This is essentially everything the Gold Necklace is about. That is why I put the symbol of the gold necklace on all the women in my paintings.
We ALL possess that inner potential to create something magnificent. Not just women but men as well. My husband sometimes complains that he has not found his talent. But I always tell him that it is there and he just has to find the patience and time to dig for it. Once it is found he can heal and shine. Now go out there and find your “vein of gold!”
“To truly become a fulfilled person, be prepared to undergo every kind of trial. Without the pressure, the fight, the work, it is impossible to transform yourself. Without the struggle, there is no reward. We’re all like lumps of coal: If you simply dig the coal from the ground, it’s nature doesn’t change. You must apply thousands of pounds of pressure to transform into a diamond.” -Karen Berg
How many of you come up with a list of excuses to why you haven’t started something? It’s too hard, it’s too much work, I don’t have enough time, my kids, my work, the housework…blah blah blah. STOP!! Now go write down one goal right now that you have had on your mind. It could be as simple as wanting to take a cooking class. Now make a list under that goal of all the steps you need to take to get there. Time yourself for 5 minutes. Now every morning get up and do one thing to get you closer to your goal. That’s it! Easy. Don’t overthink things, just do it. Move.
Ten years ago, my father left my mom and she was all alone and had to take care of herself. It was heartbreaking. We all played the victim role, why? Because it’s an easy role to play. We decided to stop that pattern and decided she had to get back on her feet again. I used to work at a daycare and I knew all the ins and outs of one. So we started with a small daycare. It was HARD at first. There were so many disappointments along the way. But we had to keep moving, we had no choice. With time, a lot of work, and patience my mom made her daycare into one of the best daycares in town. She has a waiting list and the parents and the kids love her. She transformed her business from that lump of coal into a diamond.
I have observed her along the way and have taken in all that she has done to get there. Now I am trying to grow my own business. It is still in it’s toddler stage unlike my mom who has her baby in the double digits (10 years strong). I am patient though. I am enjoying the process even with all the challenges and difficulties. The rewards are so much sweeter in the end when there is a challenge. So go out there my friend and conquer the world! Baby steps is all it takes, baby steps.
“I really think you can manifest your dreams. You can manifest your destiny. If you want something hard enough and you’re willing to work for it, I think you can get it. I truly believe that.” – Billy Magnussen
There are no excuses, stop making excuses. Where are you going with your life? Is it someplace magical and positive? If we focus our thoughts on being sick and bad news, guess what?? That is all life will give us. But if we focus on the good and have gratitude for all that has been given to us then we will thrive and be given so much more. It’s not just about making your vision board, it’s about taking action as well.
I remember when I first started painting again my art mentor told me I had to paint 10 paintings. I just thought “how the hell am I going to do that”. I could have stopped there and just given up. I just painted and painted and stopped thinking about what would happen in a week, a month or a year. I didn’t even know what I was going to do with all those paintings. I just knew I had to start and get the momentum going. Over 150 plus paintings later, I am now the artist I always envisioned myself to be and it feels good! If I didn’t take action then I would not be where I am today.
If you can just spend 10 minutes a day envisioning what you would like your life to be like, do it! What is it that you have always imagined and dreamed for yourself? What is holding you back? Take the time to write them down. I am a true believer in writing down everything you want to manifest in your life. I have done it for years and have seen so many of my visions and dreams come true. I still have a long beautiful list and I encourage you to make one too. Dig down deep for the gold within and shine baby! Namaste