I have been having a lot of epic thoughts lately. A lot of struggling, mentally more than physically, though I am body tired too. Or perhaps the struggle is emotional I guess? I have been working very hard to achieve two long standing goals through this project, and as it comes to an end I suppose it is probably beneficial to not only state those goals here, but also check in on the status a little. The two main things I hope to accomplish through this project, along with the obvious act of making a solid body of work and completing something hard, I have been searching for a way to understand my process and trust in my capacity to continue working throughout hardship in addition to opening my heart on several levels. I think the latter is probably the more difficult task, so I will get to that in a moment, but I do think I have already succeeded in the former. I probably did not feel this way earlier today, and I might feel differently later, but tonight I had the pleasure of hosting a brilliant group of artists for a critique in my studio, and one of the things that is resonating with me is the idea that all of us waver. Every decent artists doubts themselves, deeply, borderline detrimentally, at times. It is part of the process, and having that fear is something that fuels us to triumph over the weaknesses that we think we have. How can we progress into strength if we cannot even identify that which can destroy us? I do think that sharing this self consciousness with a group of people that I respect wholly and with my entire heart and brain, does in fact help in reaching my second goal. The physicality of the yoga practice has also been helping to at least force the feeling of an open heart through pushing the body to limits and releasing muscles that have never been stretched. But yesterday the yoga instructor was also talking about inspiration and using your breath to take in inspiration... touching on the notion that even that which we do not consider or think about, the bare necessities, are the most basic and essential forms of inspiration. I have a much more crude way of thinking about art, and have mentioned it to many friends, but I have justified my practice (or rather the lack thereof, moments of blankness and emptiness, terrifying times) with it before and so I guess I must mention it here. I sometimes think of making art as taking a shit (bear with me), in order to produce something, you must take in nutrients and sustenance, and you must digest those elements in order to transform them into something else. It's crude, but I still like it. We breathe in and out, like the ebb and flow of ocean waves, recycling and churning, bringing new information into our minds and our hearts and there will never be a shortage of material if you are always paying attention and viewing each experience as fodder for something greater. All of this being said, it isn't really a step directly towards opening my heart, as I am still not entirely sure what that even means, but I do feel rushes of gratification in between moments of doubt, and tonight, even though all day I felt the ebb much greater, a room full of great minds can definitely turn the tide.