Archives for posts with tag: Life

ContinuumSometimes… I get lost in the tangle. I get lost in the confusion of space and time, which carries me through the quietude, an encompassing silence that shares its mass and weight with me until I am no longer discernible from the vastness I’m attempting to fill; not to substantiate it, but to mitigate my own burden, which is comprised entirely of gravity, evidence of the stillness that flourishes at the center of everything.

From the surface, the pattern may appear only to perpetuate the repetitions. But the extremes of that structure have become so abundant and so intricately woven that the accumulation now seems like ornament, from a distance, like a dense cluster of meticulously carved impressions that were purposefully arranged within the enormity, which has no rhyme or reason on its own or within the immediate. Though, we may find ourselves at any time within that same instance.

The winds of change have begun to blow, moving through and around me in such a way that expresses who You are, You who are discernible and always present like the deep seeded vibration that awakens and animates one’s dreams, the quiet though resonant Om discovered in sustained meditation, the Vitality that must be recovered from misconception (each in our own tongues) so that You may be planted, nurtured, and harvested as Fruit. We have walked together, side  by side, for so long that I have not known a Life without You. Therefore… amid this change, amid the metamorphosis of my consciousness and the transformation of Life as I know It, I seek to discover You completely and in every capacity (spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and in all periphery) so that we may (together) express the beauty of our union, the Poetry of that Promise which belongs to everyone!

~ Feeling Lifted

I am an artist. And like many artists, my life remains in a constant state of flux, always transitioning from one iteration of myself to another in a meditative state that is expressed in my work. It is how I encounter this lifetime, though I could never explain what that encounter means. How could I, when Life (in general) is transient and variably perceived, always corresponding to even the most passive of interpretations as part of a shared human experience? So, as I begin to rummage through the wreckage of a scarcely-remembered past, attempting to excavate a story… My Story… I’ll readily admit that I haven’t the slightest clue where to begin (except perhaps, at my opening statement).

What I have discovered so far is that the resourcefulness I’ve enjoyed as an artist can be easily modified and incorporated into other (more neglected) areas of my personal and business life to create a complete picture (of past, present, and future). It is a strength I can build on in The Now, as long as I am actively versatile instead of purely reactive, and I am optimistic that the pieces of this  “Who is Michael Torres?” puzzle will soon fit together.

Until now, I hadn’t truly engaged in Conquering the Course (pursuing my art as a career) but have only played the game, perhaps because I’ve always just enjoyed the journey. So despite the determined will that propels me forward, I have really only trusted my instincts to pave my path, to provide opportunity, expecting that a foundation for the changes undergone await me on the other side while knowing full-well that nothing in life is guaranteed. And my instincts have served me well. But I now realize that a passive flexibility doesn’t necessarily equate to “progress” in an evolutionary sense. Adaptability alone is not enough, because the ability to adapt is only an instrument if not directed, but not the work itself, which is a more determined and purposefully coordinated commitment toward “Becoming” (whether becoming something more, or simply becoming one’s Self more clearly).

I regularly immerse myself in research and development as a way of honing and expanding my intellectual tools. But I am also inspired by the success stories of others. And I also appreciate self-help books that effectively provide benchmarks for measuring my own progress. I think it’s simply foolish to believe that any one us has all the answers. Therefore, I actively participate in the shaping of my own life, and although I may be a dreamer, seen by some as naive or unambitious (as the stigma of the artist goes)… I am living proof of that dream, not as an idea, but as a “work in progress” that speaks for itself with each new accomplishment. And I finally understand what that means (applicably) because of The Start-up of You, written by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.

The Start-up of You is an insightful and practical book that is filled with navigational advice, intended to inspire and guide the entrepreneurial spirit in all of us. Though the central concept alone is compelling enough to provide a birds-eye view of the landscape that is your life (your current position, your pursuit, and your destination). It’s about achieving “Permanent Beta,” which means, “to always be starting, and to forever be a work in progress” as a way of navigating through an ever changing world. It’s about recognizing and defining an already existing Self while simultaneously discovering your genuine interests, as compliments, that are capable of coexisting in a persistent stage of development (as progress/evolution requires of everyone). That means, not only pursuing what you love, but also, recognizing and building on existing “Assets”, weighing them against your “Aspirations” and core “Values”, and finally, determining the “Market Reality” (what is possible) of your ambitions.

Want more insight? Check it out: thestartupofyou.com

Although I am always learning, I’ll readily admit that I am not always actively utilizing that new-found knowledge. Though I certainly should. “Each day presents an opportunity to learn more, do more, be more…” and in a state of Permanent Beta we allow ourselves to acknowledge that there is room for improvement. “It’s a mind-set that is brimming with optimism, because it celebrates the fact that we” actually “posses the power to improve.”

“Success is fragile.” But, with active participation and a willingness to rediscover yourself everyday, you can confidently count on a fruitful tomorrow, as the result of an attentive today. Even though “your aspirations shape what you do… your aspirations are themselves shaped by your actions and experiences. You remake yourself as you grow and as the world changes. Your identity doesn’t get found. It Emerges.”

That is my mission, both creatively and spiritually. And that is the mission of this blog – to finally Emerge from the depths of obscurity. It won’t always be lollipops and roses. But, oh! What a beautiful and exciting journey!

~ ’til next time!

At the beginning of the year, I casually decided to begin my mornings with a Sudoku puzzle, before anything else; not just for fun, but also, to get the creative mechanism firing on all 16 cylinders (like a Bugatti). It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution or anything, but a random internal suggestion I surrendered to to stimulate brain function before facing the day. And wouldn’t you know, in line with all the other improvised activity that has inundated my life as of late, it has had a tremendous impact on productivity.

3 weeks ago, I compiled a list of things I could do to bolster my business that didn’t cost me a single penny. They were simple things, such as: Promptly responding to emails or other correspondence, Following up with friendly inquiries that could result in opportunities, Organizing my contacts, Etc. The list, in one sitting, became 31 items long, comprised of notes from several notebooks and memo entries in electronic documents. And from there, it has now grown to almost 60 individual tasks that require no more than a few moments each day. I’ve literally committed to just one per day (at very least), and have since closed a sale (through pure initiative) and proposed 4 others, have introduced my blog to a new audience (from 65 under-utilized contacts) and have finally begun tackling the enormous task of coordinating a content marketing campaign that will tie all my social media together (to become more engaging with my audience).

All of this, from a game (because, much of what has been accomplished lately has been inspired work that has eluded me for so long). Wow! It’s amazing how big the little things really are sometimes. So when I took a moment to soak up and consider the significance of my Sudoku affair, it wasn’t difficult to find poetry in it’s simplicity, to find substance in its practice as a building block for solving puzzles (such as Life and Business).

So… for your pleasure… I’ve included a sample below, so that you can SEE how everything truly is present, despite our inability to recognize the completed puzzle at first glance and without closer examination. All the answers are there. But it is our job to probe for clues to find them, so that we can create that bigger picture for ourselves.

Sudoku_Eq

~ Enjoy!

January was a ghost in my calendar, a window through which I retreated into reverie and remained steeped in meditation for most of the month, reflecting on the clumsiness of 2015, all the improvised steps and leaps of faith that somehow helped me re-establish a foothold, allowing me to see and chart a course through the new year. Most of my journey has been a baptism by fire, because Life never ceases. But neither does the instinct that drives me, even if at times they both seem obscured and unattainable (as if Life and Inspiration were destinations).

There is a natural ebb and flow in everything I suppose, a necessary push/pull that means to teach us that our highs and lows are complimentary movements rather than opposing forces. Last year was filled with those emotional peaks and valleys, a broad spectrum of triumphs and failures that each added substance to what would otherwise seem like an unfounded fantasy. But the most profound of those impressions turned out to be 2 conversations that led to questions that set my mind in motion to find answers.

I was asked by a client, “Where does your work come from?” (its roots, the motivation, and purpose). She explained that the imagery didn’t deal with conventional Hispanic themes, which are infused with tradition, culture, and heritage. But she also expressed that I didn’t quite fit the American model either, and instead seemed more closely aligned with European sensibilities, which honor the tradition of painting.

And if that wasn’t enough to get my gears turning, my dad randomly called one day to share an epiphany that prompted the question, Who am I? He said, “I know why you can’t sell your work (referring to more substantial pieces). It’s because you don’t know your own story.” And after a moment of silence… I realized that he was right. I don’t know my own story. And worse yet, I’m not even certain that I’m the best person to judge what that story is, because I am so closely tied to the event of my own Life, immersed in it, moment to moment.

So, what is my story? Who is Michael Torres? That is the question I must find the answer to. And that is my mission for this year… to discover that narrative and share it with you, because, as the central character in all my work, it is perhaps the most vital piece of the selling puzzle: To Know Your Product

Ironically, I touched on this subject previously without FULLY comprehending what was meant (though I was on the right track of who and what). I just hadn’t dug deep enough for the information to be useful, because Art truly is an abstract concept to adopt as a business. But the principles themselves are sound, remain relevant, and are truly adaptable in any business model, including that of Fine Art. 1. Know the Product 2. Never Bullshit 3. Make it Personal 4. And always Offer the Best Deal Possible. Read: The Crash Course Begins

’til next time…

In striving, I am not always present in the moment, but instead stand divided, anchoring my position with stillness and a steadiness of heart, though I may feel like the remnant of accumulated yesterdays that is forever indebted to tomorrow. Yet, as the scattered milestones along my timeline begin to overlap (as if space-time were bending), I press onward toward my own equanimity where, among the ruins of deserted, half-conceived dreams and the wreckage of forced attempts, I am beginning to comprehend the meaning of a Limitless Self that is capable of transcending not only what is seen, but also, the boundaries of all that can be perceived by any faculty of the senses.

In striving, I seek. But I do not hunger for stature or possession, though the world may measure my accomplishments in such ways and accord those honors as wages paid. I will graciously accept such concessions as well, as recompense for having traversed the wilderness of this lifetime. But I long to behold something much greater than any convention can furnish; a Self that is seamless, in body, mind and spirit… within time, and without it. I want to belong to every moment, simultaneously, and to occupy a consciousness that requires neither Will, nor Reason to be; for I simply am… Sentient, and Ephemeral.

Life is a deliberate and personal encounter, a choice I make every day, to remain vulnerable to every nuance of feeling like an exposed nerve that amplifies the slightest touch. I want to always know what it means to Love and to experience heartache, to endure and to persevere. I have walked the edge of a knife for so long that the knife’s edge has become my bed, but not because I am unafraid, but because I hope to transcend even myself, to know with absolute certainty that the knife never existed, but instead has been my own incongruity.

I started planning my upcoming exhibition in 2014, knowing that countless variables (some determinable, others unknown) would ultimately decide the scope and scale of the project. Orchestration, as it pertains to a career, is a multi-layered process that requires patience and finesse. So, while I must remain wholeheartedly engaged with the business at hand (day in and day out), each consideration and effort must also remain simultaneously focused on the future. And I must say, “What a glorious view it is, amid the vastness of today and tomorrow!”

I maintain a two-year calendar, which is nothing more than a dated string of markers/occasions I use to celebrate my journey, and short term goals that keep me on track – actively LIVING my dream. And as we quickly approach the next milestone, my Fall Exhibition (2015), I thought it would be fun to offer you a rare glimpse at the chaotic final stage of preparation – when all the big decisions are made.

The date is set.

Opening Reception: November 20th

Other Details: To Be Determined

~ Stay tuned!

%d bloggers like this: