Mind

Using painting to ‘let go’ and to cultivate awareness in empowering women around the globe – Thankyou

September 21, 2018
Mind

Using painting to ‘let go’ and to cultivate awareness in empowering women around the globe – Thankyou

September 21, 2018

Recently I had the pleasure of attending one of the most mindful events to date. It wasn’t hosted as a mindful event but I haven’t felt that present and focused in a while.

The gorgeous event was hosted by social enterprise Thankyou as a launch of their new hand wash in collaboration with well known Australian artist Sarah Kelk.

What was so inspiring was hearing the story behind Thankyou as a brand and their initiative to empower women across the globe with clean water supplies. Thankyou, commits 100% of their profit to end global poverty. They are found in over 5,500 outlets in Australia, including all major supermarkets. The Thankyou consumer movement has raised millions of dollars to get safe water, toilets and child and maternal health programs to hundreds and thousands of people in need – HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!?

The new handwash is made up of Earl Grey and Clary Sage and boasts a natural blend of eight botanical essential oils. The Australian made hand wash has no SLS, SLES, EDTA or parabens, is vegan friendly and not tested on animals. The ingredients are naturally derived and gently cleanse the skin and it LOOKS absolutely beautiful in my bathroom with the gorgeous artwork on the front.

Thankyou collaborated with well-known Australian artist and change maker Sarah Kelk who produced her work of art ‘Momentum‘ for the project. She explained her creative direction for the piece here:

I gave Momentum a deeper base hue to reference the serious subject matter and the sizeable task ahead of us – helping to end global poverty. It becomes lighter as I worked up the canvas, portraying the journey of Thankyou towards this end goal. The piece purposefully showsglimmers of hope throughout with contrasting coloured shapes coming through,”

I had such an amazing time at the event and I really enjoyed producing my own piece of art. Growing up in a really arty environment still didn’t prepare me for the blank canvas that was in front of me and it really helped me cultivate my own mindful way of ‘letting go’ and enjoying the moment. I knew what colours I wanted in my piece but that was about it and I found the whole experience so present and mindful! I’m actually thinking of starting art classes!!

Thankyou to Two Birds Talking for organising the event.

Anyway it got me thinking about the art of letting go and so I wanted to detail the importance of letting go below and maybe you can utilise it in your daily lives 🙂

‘the art of letting go’

 These points are inspired by the teachings of Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm. If you haven’t checked out his teachings you should! He offers really interesting talks complimented with his quirky sense of humour.

So the four ways of letting go are:

  • Throwing physical and mental baggage away, be simple and free, have few possessions

As a closet hoarder this is a tough one for me but something I am working on. When I ‘de-clutter’ I really find my mind becomes clearer and I don’t feel bogged down with all the stuff. Emotionally, Ajahn made a great point about throwing your emotional baggage away. For example, people go on his retreat and they are all worried about their partner, will their children be ok and so on. He takes them to the forest where they write the name of the person they are worried about on a stick or rock and he gets them to throw this stick away. To let it go. The family members and friends are fine and they will be fine. What matters is enjoying and cultivating awareness on the here and now. As he says: the past is in the past and the future is uncertain, so all we have is now.

  • Be content

This is not about changing your job, relationship or where you live necessarily it is about changing your attitude. Cultivating an attitude that you WANT to be here doing the things you are doing everyday. When you wake up and you want what you already have you are content. This is the same if you are stuck in a traffic jam – instead of getting consumed with stress and tension turn it around to wanting to be there. Then you experience contentment. The struggle, the anger and frustration is not going to get you anywhere so accept it and then you are free.

  • Give and expect nothing in return

When you give don’t expect anything back in return. For example, when you enter into a relationship give but don’t expect anything back in return. When you impose expectations upon yourself and others it can bring about disappointment and suffering. The more expectations you have the less you can enjoy your life and slowly the expectation will eat away inside of yourself. Let the expectation go and just give. You don’t meditate to get anything back in return or to attain things you meditate to let go. In this moment you are giving to yourself and that is a beautiful way to live. Find the joy in giving and all the gifts of life will come as a great surprise.

  • Have a Teflon mind, don’t let knowledge stand in the way of truth

I love this analogy of having a ‘teflon’ mind. What is meant here is having a mind where you don’t let things stick to it, instead you experience it fully. This resonates with me, I am always trying to take notes, photographs, recordings and sometimes I miss the beauty in what is actually happening. Letting go of this need to document everything and enjoying the present moment so that you are ready for the next moment to come. As Ajahn Brahm says: ‘never allow knowledge stand in the way of truth’. By this he means knowledge is all that you’ve learned which is fuelled with expectation, sometimes this can block us from seeing the truth and uniqueness of what is happening right now.

I hope these tips have helped you in your pursuit of letting go and cultivating a focused awareness in the present moment.


Sophie is available for one on one coaching in person (Sydney) or via Skype. Please click here to get in contact.

She coaches on health, fitness, weight loss, break ups, mindfulness and meditation.

She gives talks at events and in the corporate space on health, mindfulness and meditation.


If you want to see some talks by Ajahn Brahm click here

More images from the event below x x

Sophie Benbow

Hi, I'm Sophie. I work as a Health coach, Personal Trainer and Meditation and Mindfulness teacher. I spend my time coaching my clients face to face and online, I speak at events and in corporate environments, I hold meditation classes and retreats and I create content especially for you on my blog to guide you on your healthy, purposeful path in life. I love what I do and I love connecting with you all, join the newsletter and let me ignite the healthy you that you've been waiting for. SB x x

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