Man’s most powerful tool is mind if used consciously.
2020, mixed media (oil, ground, leafs), 81x65cm
We live our lives in our head, most of the time. Most of our experiences are good or bad because that is how we view them. Everything is relevant and it is us who make the choice how we react on something.
It is not easy and I hear this kind of rhetorical question a lot - "but if you have terminal phase cancer then how can you feel good?" And it is absolutely true it’s very hard to feel good in this situation. You cannot be an athlete by never working out and you can't have the mental strength if you do not practice it. Practicing our mental strength is an everyday training, you have to make it a part your character, and that is what this painting is about. I am currently on that path, practicing control over my mind and not letting my monkey brain run wild. This is not to say that I mastered anything or that I will ever have an absolute control. I know my nature well enough, but I know as well that I can always do better.
The painting is showing twelve elephants on the bottom with nine monkeys, and above them a golden globe with a mighty white elephant on top. The elephant is a symbol of strength and in some cultures, the white elephant is a symbol of mental strength and the grey elephant is more a symbol of uncontrolled, animal-like mind.
So, the grey elephants on the bottom are the restless mind, the uncontrolled mind that can be angry, depressed, panicked, guilty, shamed, worry, fearful, jealous, victimized, clingy, judgmental, sad. Next to them are monkeys representing the monkey mind with random thoughts that sometime we take seriously without conscious reconsideration. Our mind is always on and it can be completely random so learning not to run after every negative thought and give too much notice to the noise is what is the beginning of finding peace.
Our mind will, of course, always go back and forth between chaos and peace but trough being centered and conscious, we see it easier when we slide to chaos and we can return easier back to the peace.
The golden globe is the center, or the reminder to practice being centered, conscious of our every moment, as much as we can. Consciousness gives joy to every activity, with it every work can become creative, every sound is profound, you know on what and why you spend your time and live your life, truly and fully.
On our consciousness relies our mental strength - on the glob stands the white elephant, the controlled mind, the gift of humankind, our greatest tool.
I love this painting because it reminds me where I want to be.