Opportunities for engagement blossom in the warmth of summertime—creative projects, gardening, festivals, vacations, building projects, performances, walks in the woods, trips to the river—there’s so much to do! Typically, summer’s long days translate to fuller schedules. For sensitive folks, and those who struggle to set boundaries around time and energy commitments, the unchecked expansiveness of summer can lead to overwhelm. If we can’t find the space and time to chill out, the heat of summer can lead to burnout. This month, we offer a gentle reminder to switch gears before your engine overheats.
About the spell
This month’s image and spell were created to offer focus and recentering to those with active lives and restless minds. In moments of pause and reflection the mind shifts to a receptive state, able to listen, watch, witness, and drink in life’s absurd splendor. Life is a collaborative effort; if you are always giving of yourself, you may miss important chances to be given to. This month, consider the subtle relationship between focus and relaxation—our minds naturally focus when they are relaxed. How can you introduce relaxation to the spaces between your busyness? Can you allow for full-throttle enjoyment of summer’s hustle and tend to the call to replenish your energy? Underneath the constant pressure to do something well and be someone great is a reality in which you simply are. This beingness is like a deep well of cool spring water that you can choose to tap into it in any moment.
Receptive Mind Meditation
This meditation could last only a few minutes, or a few breaths, but it's a chance to practice holding clear boundaries around whatever length of time you choose. Be intentional as you consciously move your awareness into this practice. Begin by feeling the place or places where you body comes in contact with the ground (or chair or floor or earth). Breathing naturally, focus your eyes on a point just above the horizon. Gradually, shift your focus so that you can see everything in your peripheral vision, all at once. Let this softening seep into your face, smoothing tension and expression away, until you are a mere vessel for perception. Notice the sounds, smells, feelings, thoughts, and moods of the present moment. Paying close attention now to the bottom of your exhale, perhaps you pause for a brief moment. Then, as your inhale comes, consider that you did not have to do anything to earn this breath—you didn’t have to work for it, or compete for it—it just comes. You just get to have it! See if you can enjoy the simplicity of receiving, and the sweet softening that comes when you allow yourself time and space to pause and settle in. When you’re ready to close this practice and move on with your day, consider packing the essence of your experience into a tiny seed and planting it deep, deep down in the fertile dark of your being.
About the painting:
Corina: This painting was a departure for us. We know we wanted to do something minimalist, which means it had to pack a lot of weight into very few brushstrokes. The idea for this painting was Jo’s, but I had a lot of fun working on the concentric circles and the cut-out areas of the mandala.
Jocelyn: I love the simplicity in this image—it calms me even as it delights me. I enjoyed the ease with which Corina and I collaborated for this image, too. It was like simple, focused doodling yielded a sophisticated and impactful image. We both love Gingko trees so much—their leaves are becoming a theme in our artwork together. It feels good to create images that have a subtle grace to them.
This month's offerings:
We've got a sale going on this image for the whole month of July! Buy a print of Receptive Mind and get 15% off, using the coupon code: RECEIVE.
Corina is still running her astrology survey for feedback on future offerings—enter by August 1st to be entered to win a free reading with her! Also, Corina and Jocelyn are beginning to sketch and paint next year’s calendar. Stay tuned for photos on Instagram by following @abacuscorvus, @corinadross, or @jocelyncorvus!
This month, Jocelyn is vending at The Big Crafty in downtown Asheville on July 16th (come visit!!!). Also, it being calendar- making season, this month will be spent deep in the creative process with Corina: sketching, painting, planning, loving, being ridiculous, getting annoyed, getting amused, being sisters. It’s the best. Be sure to follow our progress on Instagram!