News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Living Creatively: Get to know yourself; get to know others

2013_COLUMN_KOENIG_B_smallerOnce, while shopping at the supermarket, I noticed a baby staring at another baby, who stared back. Nothing else seemed to matter to either of them, until they were finally wheeled out of each other’s sight. Later I visited an art gallery and saw some figure studies which consumed my attention, because I also draw people.

Although those attractions are physical, based on sight, they also point to a deeper type of attraction, based on the non-physical principle “like attracts like.” I believe this transcendent, spiritual principle exists because there is something in us that is attracted to the same thing that exists in others. We also bond with others because we share something in common that mirrors an aspect of ourselves.

To me, deep mutual recognition is fueled by love, and is an aspect of being that cannot be described, but is intuitively recognized in personal relationships and creative expression. To experience it, we must first come to know ourselves. We can grow in self-knowledge through self-acceptance, which comes from forgiveness, to forgive ourselves for our lack of fulfillment with work, relationships, goals, dreams. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves.”

When we look within and realize what we really think about, and acknowledge how we truly feel, we develop compassionate self-awareness that leads to self-realization. Self-realized, we can find and bond with others through mutual acceptance, love and compassion because “like attracts like.”

It is also important to get on our heart’s path. Joseph Campbell said there is something within us that knows when we’re on the mark or off the mark. According to Campbell, if our aim is just to gain materially, we’re off the mark and have potentially lost our life. How do we know when we’re on the mark? Carlos Castañeda’s mentor, Don Juan, taught that a path is only a path. What matters is whether or not our heart is in it. Does the path have a heart? Do we really want to walk it? If not, it’s not our heart’s path, and will ultimately lead nowhere except to feeling a lack of fulfillment.

Some say they have no choice because of circumstances. I believe we always have choices, because we have a will. Choosing is an expression of free will and to change circumstances, we must make the choice. When the time comes to choose a path – and you can say to yourself, “I would love to …” or, “I would like to …” – then your heart is in it. When you commit to it, magic happens.

Goethe observed: “Unless one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning acts of initiative … the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred … raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no person could have dreamt would come his way.”

When ready, seek others of like heart and mind. Whether or not we know we are doing it, we all broadcast vibrations to others. We get “feelings” about others which connect us to them through the powerful “like attracts like” principle. However, we can talk ourselves in or out of anything. I have found that sometimes the “Star Wars” character Obi Wan Kenobi’s advice to Luke Skywalker works: “Let go your conscious self and act on instinct.” To me, “instinct” is intuitive awareness.

We can find friends, our heart’s path, and happily also our “match” through self-knowledge and the powerful influence “like attracts like” has on us – for what goes from the heart, goes to the heart.

“In you is hidden the treasure of treasures. Know thyself, and thou shall know the Universe and the Gods!” – Attributed to Socrates, and inscribed in the ancient Temple of Delphi.

Barbara Basia Koenig is an Encinitas artist and personal counselor

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Living Creatively: Get to know yourself; get to know others