A newly published series of experiments by cognitive neuroscientists at New York University is reinforcing the relevance of facial expressions to perceptions of characteristics such as trustworthiness and friendliness. More importantly, the research also revealed the unexpected finding that perceptions of abilities such as physical strength are not dependent on facial expressions but rather on facial bone structure.
Simple: Never. I’ve learned in the last 26 years a very simple and pure truth and that is–people take out their own frustrations on you unintentionally. There is never a moment when someone cannot take 3 deep breaths and transport themselves to a calmer place to have a constructive and/or critical conversation. I think too often we assume the worst and allow other’s opinions to mark us and bend our character, when in reality we are just speaking our minds and trying to gauge what’s real and what’s not.
It’s easy to feel lost, like the “black sheep,” but I think it’s better to think of yourself as a collage, or a tie-died pattern of different shapes and colors. You are a human–complex, wild, and unpredictable–that is what makes you beautiful and unique. Other’s will come to you and express their concern or the things they would like you to work on/not do, but in reality, it’s never personal. Allow people to speak their minds and express themselves to you in a safe place where they feel you won’t react negatively, because honesty is such a gorgeous gift. They are only offering you feedback and sometimes that feedback is valuable and will help you grow, and be the best version of you.
It’s easy to hide and pretend our problems and the things we label as flaws aren’t real…they aren’t there. But we exist, so they are naturally dancing on the surface or deep within. I know I have dreams–very vivid, unpleasant dreams that dredge up the past and tackle subjects I’d love to avoid simply because I feel I’ve dealt with them and I’m over them–but my mind has decided otherwise. You wake up feeling shaky and beside yourself, the memories etched into your brain and they feel so real–you dream your ex has a new girlfriend and you wake up in a panic, checking their Instagram account frantically to see if they’ve followed anyone new, or you dream you never finished your final essay for that class and you didn’t graduate…but WAIT…you graduated already, so how does that make sense?
In the end it’s very simple as to what causes all this stress, worry, concern, and paranoia. It is simple–lack of self-love. Anxiety is something that heightens when you are uncertain of not only your surroundings, but also, of yourself. When you don’t fully love and accept yourself, everything feels utterly confused and wonky. You’ll never feel at peace. You will walk around thinking everyone is judging you and looking at you like you’re a carnival mirror. You’ll be afraid to leave the house sometimes because you feel bloated and obviously everyone will notice. You’ll get upset when someone tells you you’ve made a small error at work or at school. You’ll wonder constantly if your dreams are real and that maybe you made the wrong decision…and then, you’ll be in a state of panic and then you’ll fall deep into yourself and your mind will lose itself–the Alice in Wonderland effect–you are ever running from yourself only to find that you were the answer all along.
Take 3 deep breaths in through your nose–hold for 10 seconds and think of a beach and a sunset, then out through your mouth and do it loudly so you hear the breath and you feel your lungs completely empty. Do this while closing your eyes and holding your hands out, seated with your back straight up (posture is important for good breathing). Then, lay on your back and squeeze your entire body 3 times and hold for 10 seconds. Let it go. Then stand up, stretch your neck side to side, your arms side to side, bend your knees, set an intention, slowly come up, and say “I am so happy that I am alive and that I do not hate myself.”
It sounds corny, but it does work and you should try it.
Remember, anyone that “judges” you, is just being a human being. They are more afraid of you then you are of them–just be yourself, be happy, and you’ll attract the right people who will appreciate you for you.
What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I usually work with traditional themes and subjects. They already have a historic charge that I take advantage of, but when I paint them, I try to apply contemporary plastic treatments to create a new meaning and make them more evocative, even though I do not consider myself a conceptual painter.