Monday, May 4, 2009


I am reading a book by Sonia Choquette, The Answer is Simple.... Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit. It was the "Live your spirit" that attracted me to the book.

Sonia Choquette is an author, storyteller, healer and spiritual teacher. Her writing sooths my spirit. In this book she distinguishes between false self (your ego) and true, authentic self (your Spirit) and then guides you to let your Spirit direct your life rather than leaving it all to Ego.

The first step is to recognise your spirit, "the part of you that is light, happy, creative, and kind...the part of you that's present, lives in the moment, and laughs easily. It's the aspect of your nature that's tolerant, forgiving, easy going, and confident. It is also the side of you that's enthusiastic and generous." All the qualities that come to the fore when you are happy.

I'm reminded to turn my thoughts to Spirit when Ego becomes overbearing and to remember what makes my spirit sing. Whether it's walking my dog at dawn or searching for pebbles in the stream, paging through my favourite art books or reading through the quotations I've collected over the years, it uplifts me and puts me in a stronger position to face the things that weigh me down.

Today I cancelled a dreaded trip to town, ignored unmade beds and a sink of dishes, and took myself quietly into the courtyard to work on a carving beneath Autumn skies.

The monkeys always seem to know when I'm there. I can hear them chattering far in the distance, getting closer and closer until crashing through the trees, they arrive on my roof where they sit, looking down at me.

I realize they're coming in search of food but it still gives me a thrill knowing that they are aware of the exact moment that I step into the courtyard to work. That makes my Spirit sing.

The trip to town and the household chores aren't going to disappear but right now I need to connect with Spirit. A morning working in the Autumn sunshine replenishes me.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind its faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Einstein.

Katherine Treffinger has started a series on her blog Treffinger Daily. She asks "What meaning does doing art have for you? Why do you show up in your studio, or wherever, and pick up your tools day after day?"

Various artists are participating and today it is my turn, here.If you do happen to pop over there, have a browse through Katherine's beautiful paintings. Her blog header makes my day each time I visit there!


  1. even though they may be coming for food, it is also spirit working through them.... I choose to believe. And these wonderful non human relationships we build with monkeys, sky and the muse.... gorgeous gorgeous pics of their little faces.. thankyou

  2. Robyn...beautiful post about connecting with Spirit...thanks for the reminder. Sad how easy it is to forget at this frantic world we live in.
    Those monkeys!!! They get me every time...just so gorgeous. I could gaze at them all day!!!

  3. What charming companions the monkeys make while you work. It is nice to have an adorning audience while working.

    I will check-out the blog you mentioned. I am needing some spirit nourishment.

  4. What an uplifting post, Robyn! How nice too, that the monkeys come and watch you - they must get good vibes from you! The ones visiting my garden are not so welcome - they love the Frangipane leaves and my young trees cab get stripped bare in one session! Perhaps I should also try working outside! I enjoyed reading about the meaning of art for you - thanks for pointing me in the direction of Katherine's blog.

  5. That sounds like a book I should read! I am proud of you for giving your spirit the attention it needs.

    I love that you are visited by monkeys. What different worlds you and I live in!

  6. Grrl, those little faces make me smile every tme I see them!

    Jo, the more frantic life gets the more we need reminders to appreciate the small things.

    Lisa, a troop of clowns!

    Thanks Caroline. When the weather is right working outside is bliss.

    Hi Karine, speaking of which, it's time I visited your world. Over in a sec!

  7. I've had a hard day today. SO looking at your little monkeys makes my spirits soar. I wish I had such beauty around me. I absolutely love animals and their mere presence is enough to quiet the nerves and elate the spirits.

  8. mmmm...for me too, it is very important to have those few special books speaking to me and keeping me going. how good it feels to do something, anything in the studio every single day. worries vanish, confidence returns...
    i have just returned from the treffinger blog. thanks for the link!

  9. same - I've been working on the very same for the past year or so - I'm finding it well worth the effort - smiles to you :)))))))))))

  10. Robyn, thanks for the information on this book. I think it may just be the thing my spirit needs. I was just commenting on another blog about how my quiet lifestyle and my bolder art seem so different from each other. I had never questioned why. Perhaps this book can lead me to better connect my spirit with myself.

    And those monkeys are so amazing. I wish you could send some up my way.

  11. “Live your spirit.” A great reminder. It feels better when we do. Thanks for the reminder Robyn. I love these monkey portraits. Over time, I feel I have come to know some of the land of South Africa through your blog. Thank you for the connection. I also enjoyed your feature at Katherine’s blog.

  12. I want monkey visitors!!

  13. Yoli, I hope your day has improved. You've hit the nail on the head about animals quieting the nerves.

    Priya, worries vanish, confidence returns...exactly!

    Jeane, it makes a difference doesn't it? Smiling back atcha.

    Kim, reading the book confirms and reminds one that there are easier ways to live life. Creating art is the easiest way for me to connect with Spirit. Don't you just love getting so involved with what you are doing and the next minute you look at your watch and 2 or 4 hours have passed?

    Leslie, it's strange but I've learned to appreciate this land through my blog.

    Cynjon...I know you do!

  14. That's a beautiful thought. It sounds like a wonderful book. Love the monkeys. We used to have them visiting our house regularly while I was in India during my college years. None here in the US though.

  15. I will look for this book at the book store! Thanks for sharing this lovely post!
    Wow! It's so cool that monkeys come and visit.

  16. What a lovely post Robyn. Thanks for the reminder. It is something we all need to remember to keep us balanced and whole. Art is my inspirer but when I need a spiritual refresher I take a walk in the woods. Being around nature and trees always soothes me and puts life in perspective. Love the monkey shots!

  17. Loving your spirit for introducing this book...I had not heard of it and this is exactly the kind of book I read regularly. On my next trip to the city, I will be picking it up for sure.

    As for the monkeys, I just can't imagine it, it is so far away from the animals we have in New Brunswick, Canada. And most of our wild animals are so fearful, they flee as soon as a human comes around. It's too bad because there is nothing quite as energizing for me than being in the presence of something so pure as wildlife.

    Have a super day, Robyn!

  18. I'm just catching up with my blog reading. It still takes my breath away to see monkeys looking in on you!

  19. what a wonderful (and timely)reminder ... thank you.

    ... I believe I need to add that book to my birthday wish list. :)

  20. Thank you - I'm in need of a good book and Sonia Choquette's sounds wonderful!

  21. Discovering other's art contributes to the music for my spirit. Your work is amazing. Thank you.

  22. Living your spirit makes you a much more happier person and I completely agree with you.

  23. Your monkeys made me smile today. Thanks.

  24. What makes my spirit sing?
    An audience of monkeys, watching me while i'm working in my studio ;-))
    I wonder if it would effect my work?
    I like very much the totems you make,
    They remind me of the so-called "Plank-Idols" from Cyprus, female figures with details indicated by necklaces, incissions and dots.

  25. Bindu, I never tire of them.

    Manon, they are very amusing visitors....even when they raid the kitchen!

    Cathy, a walk in the woods....or along a beach...bliss!

    Curio, it's just as well that the wildlife is not too tame. Not everyone is enamoured with wild animals coming into their gardens.

    Jackie, I've got quite a bit of catching up too.

    Michelle... Taurean?

    Beverly, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

    Thanks Nellie.

    T&S, every time I look at your fantastic photos i can see you are living your spirit.

    Heather, I would send you a whole troop if i could. They would have you rolling around laughing.

    Wim, they would defiinitely effect your work! Thanks for mentioning the plank idols. I had a qick google and will go back to read up on them.

  26. Such wonderful thoughts you have shared. I try to pay attention to my muse when she visits. I certainly wouldn't want to offend her for fear of her not returning!

    I can only imagine the delight of having a monkey audience.

  27. Fantastic post Robyn and very thought provoking. I think I do try to live my spirit and my art is always a way to lift my spirit again when I feel other worldly things nibbling at it.
    I liked your comment that your blog has made you appreciate you country more. I often think the same...I see everyday things around me differently now and often think of sharing them with my blogging friends.
    I love your little visitors (can imagine then crashing through the trees for a closer look, and food). Such inquisitive little faces.
    Thanks for sharing your world and spirit with us.
    I look forward to seeing your piece you are carving now.

    Jacky xox

  28. Hey Robyn, I love this post. The monkeys, their sweet faces and long bodies are too sweet. What it must be like to have them come to see you work, curious to watch you create.

    And I love this post for the special way you connect to the world. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are very uplifting.

  29. How I identify with this post. I'll have to find that book. I love your visitors.

  30. one thing that makes my spirit sing (and smile : ) is your art, robyn... yes, it does...

    i think the importance of having fun is so greatly underrated -- whether we're making art or cooking supper. we've been taught that too much fun isn't good; serious is better and more 'mature'. this kind of programming is being tossed out the window by me. i don't need it any longer... xxoo

  31. This post was so touching, Robyn. It made me take a deep breath. I guess I was holding it again. Sounds like a good read full of wisdom and truth.

  32. You make my spirit sing, Robyn. Thank you for these words and the reminder that my spirit is my authentic self... so much to think about. I had a long weekend and am back at work today. My spirit is refreshed. Roxanne

  33. Beautiful!
    Thank you so much!
    My spirit is singing!

  34. you really do have monkeys... its such a different world! I love the first photo and wonder if the monkeys say to the others, "We are going over to Robyn's to watch her work! What a treat!"

    Everything you say is true. (Sorry to hear about your daughter... that must be hard or hardest!). Peace to us all.