WORKSHOP TEACHINGS

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This past weekend was my very first watercolor workshop, hosted by Poketo. I had been looking forward to the day for months, thinking about what to share, how the class would flow and what the students might enjoy learning, but as my last entry shared, it was a rough few days prior and the day of, was feeling quite thrashed, to be honest.  With so much anticipation, I was a bit bummed, wanting to be in my best condition when teaching the class, but found that it was the best gift ever as it taught me a very important lesson — that letting go of the ego and flowing allow for what is meant to happpen, happen, flawlessly, as we all have a place in life.

I have always believed that we are one world, united, and here to help each other, but this past weekend, the meaning played out in such a beautiful way, I could not help but be mesmerized at how life works like a well oiled machine if we were to just step back and allow all to unfold. 

The morning of the workshop, my husband, who had to be at the opposite side of the city that day, drove me to and from the workshop, totalling close to 4 hours of drive time, not to mention having to attend his own happenings, let alone help me with mine, as I still am not fully able to drive to certain locations, especially when not feeling well, did all this while not complaining once. If anything, he asked me how the workshop went when picking me up and smiled hearing all the wonderful news shared.

Upon arriving at The Line Hotel, a friendly bell boy approached immediately, helped me with my very heavy luggage and cheerfully escorted me to the workshop room on the 8th floor, while sharing some background story about the hotel.

Right when I entered the room, Lisa, who is the coordinator for the Poketo workshops, greeted me with a smile and had already set up the room with much thought. Such a brilliant individual, I felt almost bashful asking her to help me with mundane tasks, but when voicing my concern, began to share with me her thoughts, goals and dreams. It reminded me of how a fulfilling life is not created by the awards and credentials we receive, but how we choose to use these experiences towards building an unique and meaningful life for ourselves.

Thanks to her help and while enjoying hearing and sharing stories, we finished setting up early and I decided to meditate a bit to ground energies before the start of class. After this private session, I heard a gentleman come into the room, speaking in a yellow-tinted voice, which associates with positive, uplifting energies (I sometimes see colors in sounds) and immediately drawn, I went to go see who it was.

A spanish gentleman had come in with a pully cart filled with deliciousness — ice cold water with floating strawberries and mint, coffee, cream inside a cow shaped carafe, crispy, fluffy, croissants, chocolate chip cookies, and jam in adorable tiny jars. As he smiled and whistled while setting up, I was amazed at how quick, yet particular he was about each element placed on the table and thought about the large amount of work it is getting ready for any guest dining experience, yet here he was, flawlessly going through the motions to create an inviting display. 

Before the beginning of the class, Ted and Angie of Poketo came to support the workshop and shared an introduction with the students about how we first met when I applyed for an intership at Poketo during my sophomore year in college. That was many years ago, but through the years, they have been so very supportive of my journey and to that, I am and will always be deeply grateful.

The workshop itself was an experience on to its own. Throughout, I continued to be inspired by the many facets of each students journey, from the questions asked to the artwork painted, each person came with intentions of exploration and ended up sharing with me more than I could have ever imagined. Toward the end of the class, artworks were put up on the wall and we spoke about the thoughts behind each piece. Although it was the first time meeting each student presenting, it felt as though a connection had already existed prior to the meeting.

How did the lesson present itself through these different moments?

If the ego presents itself as self assertion, self fulfilling, self absorbing, selfishness, I can see, even in sublety, where it might have had the opportunity to creep in. Whether it being a word of control or wishing inside that things would go a different direction, when we move through life with the ego, we tend to go against the current instead of with the rhythm of life. 

That day, due to my ill-ness, I was in a state of relaxation and flow, as my energy only allowed for such a demeanor and was taken aback at how simply beautiful life can be when we allow for things to unfold naturally, without willing things to happen. We forget that with each push we may give towards our own ideal, we rob another of their place in the flow of life. When we force things to happen based on our own wants, we may end up saying words or acting in ways that hurt another without even realizing, as we would justify such actions with our own selfish mission. What was meant to be an act of kindness from another becomes a nuisance and gratitude morphs to anger. Thankfulness is the key to happiness and letting go of the ego the answer to flowing through life.

The lesson learned was the importance of respecting the roles that each one of us are meant to play in life, as these are the gifts we carry to share with the world, and that nothing is achieved alone — that we truly are one, together. 

 (photography : carmen chan)