Who doesn’t want a little light in their lives? I know I do, hence my painting of a Yoga mat meditation, which was donated to a great charity for cancer patients and their families, called InspireHealth. While the original is no longer available, it is available to download and PRINT. Check it out in the Shop.
The original painting was offered up in summer 2018 in support of the cancer care charity InspireHealth.
Yoga Mat Meditation in its original form was inspired by the dedicated work many people do to support their best health or recover from a life-changing illness. This is what InspireHealth supports with its resources, counselling, courses, classes, and other forms of support for people suffering from cancer, in hopes of recovery. All of these are free to members of this charity, funding coming entirely from charitable donations.
Yoga is one of the practices available through InspireHealth. Because of this, and because most people nowadays have some familiarity or experience with this meditative practice of balancing mind and body, I decided to depict the sense of light, peace, rootedness, and wellness that yoga can support in people. Art is one way that I express appreciation and support for others. This is the heart of this painting.
I donated this piece to InspireHealth to hang in the Yoga studio in hopes that it would act as inspiration and acknowledgment of the good work InspireHealth clients commit themselves to in supporting their best health.
This kind of work is particularly meaningful to me as I have had to reinvent my life to recover from and simply accommodate chronic health challenges of my own. In 2015 I was taken to the hospital after passing out at work in the nurse’s office. After some x-rays and scans, doctors discovered that my lungs were full of blood clots. I spent a week in the hospital until I was stable to go home and continue to recover there on my own. What neither my doctors nor I myself expected was that this was only the beginning of a long and complicated recovery. Even though many people who have been successfully treated for pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs) fully recover, I tried to return to my life as normal, as the doctor advised, but I could not. Two months later, I hit full collapse. I stopped being able to function, and not only did I have to stop work. I had to stop everything.
Long story short, through a rather extensive process of tests and expert clinician consultations and examinations and reviews, my doctors and I have had to conclude that I may simply never be able to return to life as I knew it: I was a half-marathon runner, I rode my bike everywhere, I had an active social life, I was an active painter, I volunteered in the non-profit work of my employer, and so on. I was in the prime of my life, and all of a sudden, this life as I knew it was over. I will never be able to do most of those things again. I have had to narrow my life to only the most necessary and rejuvenating endeavours, which have turned out to be sleeping a lot (which I will not complain about… I have always LOVED sleeping); adopting refreshing and balancing practices like meditation and yoga; art, art, and more art; friends and family; and taking inspiration from others also necessarily reinventing their lives to support their own best health.
InspireHealth is particularly meaningful to me as a local charity because of the way it benefited a dear friend of mine and her husband in his fight against brain and thyroid cancer. He did eventually die towards the end of 2018, but not before experiencing longer and greater quality of life than anyone expected, no doubt at least in part due to his inspired and supported dedication to his health. RIP, Volker. The way this man lived and died inspires me to be my best self and to enjoy my creative impulses. He was himself a talented photographer and devoted a lot of attention to his art in his last years.
As this dedication in others inspires me, I here in this painting appreciate and hope to return and pay forward some of that inspiration.
And now I am sharing the painting more broadly through a downloadable PRINT, which you can find in my website’s Art Shop.
I’m not yet a Photoshop expert, but I have put together a few images that show how the print might look in your hands or your house. I imagine this yoga mat meditation image adding a sense of freshness and balance to a space of relaxation, or perhaps it reminds one of the benefits of mindful, purposeful, and dedicated but also calm practice to a home office or rec room.
Amidst the noise and haste of life, I hope you find your own refuge of peace, quiet, balance, and refreshment.