Time To Smell The Weeds

Ever felt that there must be more to life? Well, good news, there is! And it’s right here in front of us. We just need to stop and take notice.

As an artist, I have taken a notice of color and contrast in the world. There are times where a vivid sky or blade of grass will stop me in my tracks, I will take in the color combinations and imagine using them to translate into the emotion I’m feeling at that very moment.

I remember at a very difficult time in my life, where everything just seemed wrong and I found myself downward spiraling into despair, that hope came from a simple place. I was on my way to work, and I felt like breaking down. I pulled over and despite running late, decided to sit down at a park bench.

There I saw people walking their dogs, playing with kids, and relaxing. This was a stark contrast to my mood, and actually caused me to feel more bitter. Suddenly, a sad little weed caught my eye, it was the way the sun was casting a shadow that almost made it seem to glow. It was this ugly, little, insignificant weed, and it was glowing brighter and more vivid than anything else in that park. Suddenly, I couldn’t hold back the tears.

I sat there, me and my new glowing friend, for quite some time. I turned off my phone, and just sat there, and took everything in… This time, without judging what I was looking at through a filter of misery.

For the first time in probably my whole life, I just sat there and took everything in. I wasn’t thinking or worried about the future and I wasn’t dwelling in the past… I was just there, in that moment.

That moment changed me forever.

Magic Seasons Trees Textured Original Painting by artist Rafi Perez on Canvas

Learning to be more mindful and aware can do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, so we get more out of the day-to-day.

When do you stop and take notice?

I Burst Into Tears… Well, Kinda.

Empowering Art By Rafi Perez

The other day I was thinking about working on a special piece. I started sketching it out and thinking about the meaning. Someone being pulled in so many different directions that he becomes a puppet to the world around him.

Art By Rafi Perez

While talking to Klee about it, I broke down and my eyes started tearing up. The only reason I didn’t go into a full sob was the fact that I was so surprised at my emotions.

Listen, I am a grown ass man, and I’m not embarrassed to cry, or admit that I cry, but this actually caught me off guard.

It made me realize that something had felt off. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but deep down I knew something was bothering me.

Do What You Can Rafi Perez

For the most part I’m a pretty happy guy, in fact our following online knows us for our upbeat perspectives on life and being artists full time.

Over the last few years I had developed a public image of a guy who’s genuine, creative, happy, upbeat, and loving life. But recently I had been a little stressed about some things… and I didn’t feel like myself. Worse, was the idea that I had never been that guy and that my entire life was a sham.

Luckily, Klee was there to talk sense into my confused brain unit. She told me that the only reputation I had to uphold was to be the real me. She said I have a really hard time being anything not real, so I have nothing to worry about.

2 Birds On A Wire By Rafi Perez

I guess sometimes you may try to bury things inside, but they’ll always come up to the surface for you to look at and face head on. So next time you cry during a cheesy commercial, think about that.

I was allowing myself to feel like I was less than who I am, and that everyone was pulling me in different directions. I have done a lot of work on myself for over a decade, to make sure I am comfortable with who I am, and that’s who everyone sees.

Whether it’s in a YouTube video, a blog, a work of art, it will always be me… So, if anyone expects anything different, then they’ve never looked at any of my stuff before.

Moral of the story… Just be you, it’s way easier than not being you.

Overcoming Fear and Keeping It Real

Some of you already know that I am a big supporter of overcoming fear. If you have been following my art for any amount of time you may have noticed a common theme of self empowerment and badassery.

Rafi Perez I Am Not An Exit Art Show
Rafi Perez Internal Universe

A lot of people assume that I am fearless because of the topics I tackle and the things I push myself to do in life. The truth is, I’m kind of afraid of everything, and when I say everything, I mean… EVERYTHING.

I think fear is an ongoing thing, like layers in an onion, the more you uncover, the deeper the layers can go.

I don’t think there are people out there that are completely fearless. I think they just handle their fears differently than most of us are used to.

Rafi Perez Live Painting Empowerment
Rafi Perez Live Painting Empowerment

I’ve developed the mindset that I would be more afraid of sitting on my ass and not following my dreams, than letting day after day go by without me taking action and conquering the things I fear.

I have four things that I do when facing a fear:

1. Go to war

Your brain is going to give you a line up of worst case scenarios. Use it, act as if you are giving yourself the opportunity to trouble shoot and prepare yourself for the worst thing that can happen and plan accordingly.

2. Will I regret not doing this?

Simply ask yourself if you would regret not having at least tried.

breaking-through-full

3. Blow your own mind.

Ask yourself four questions that follow this pattern:

  • What would happen if I did this?
  • What wouldn’t happen if I did this?
  • What would happen if I didn’t do this?
  • What wouldn’t happen if I didn’t do this?

It will blow your mind and breakdown any irrational logic you are using to stop yourself.

4. Stop thinking about it and just do it already.

Stop hesitating… plain and simple.

I go into more detail in this video and Klee tells a powerful story about her own experience with fear… it’s pretty awesome.

 

Let me know your thoughts on fear and how you overcome your own fears that may be keeping you from following your dreams.