How Higher Self Yoga Changed My Life: Eleanor’s Story
Eleanor Goud is an artist, recognized for her work in bringing the beauty of nature to her landscapes and abstract designs with flowers. She has held exhibitions across the Northeast and continues to seek ways to capture the beauty and delight of the natural in her paintings. Read on to learn more about how spending time in nature has positively impacted Eleanor’s journey with her Higher Self.
How did your Higher Self Journey begin?
I had heard about Nanette through a friend who was a student of Higher Self Yoga. The work Nanette was doing sounded fabulous, and after meeting her in person, I knew that I definitely wanted to follow her approach to the divine and God consciousness, using the Higher Self.
Is painting a passion and artistic medium you’ve had since you were a child, or did it develop in later years?
I drew as a child, but it is not until I attended an undergraduate program at the Portland School of Art (now the Maine College of Art) at 35 that I dove into it headfirst.
Many of your works depict natural landscapes, and you’ve mentioned that you find the beauty in nature to be captivating. In what ways have you found that nature impacts your relationship with your Higher Self?
Everything has energy, whether it’s a big city, a skyscraper, the Grand Canyon, or the beautiful plains of India – each has its own essence. Personally, I am drawn to nature in its undisturbed form. Walk in a forest and feel the trees. The trees on the west coast, such as the Redwoods have a different personality than the trees on the east coast, which are often second growth forests. Another noticeable nature experience is the scent and sound of the ocean. Many people are uplifted by the seaside.
Everything has a vitality, like a beautiful sunset. That vitality opens the heart. If you are listening to nature, it will impart its mood and vibrations upon you.
Nature speeds up the process for you to open your heart and feel the universal link between all of us humans and nature.
In the book “The Rose and The Sword,” authors Judith Bach and Nanette V. Hucknall state that we are drawn to nature prints in art, such as of a skyline or sunset. As an artist, do you find this to be true in both yourself and the people who view your work?
In my years as an artist, I’ve found that most people relate to what they’ve experienced. A person that has been around skyscrapers will relate to a painting of skyscraper, and a person who owns a cat or a dog will like cat and dog portraits.
Landscapes, flowers, mountains – these components of nature are accessible to most people. If these scenes are painted or photographed in a certain way, it can be energizing and uplifting to the spirit.
A lot of people have trouble with abstract paintings. If you go stand in front of one you might feel the emotion or the exploration of the artist.
You note that you’ve taken a particular interest in the flower. Have you found that flowers impart a particular or distinct energy different from other forms of nature?
If one enters their kitchen and looks a two cooking pots, they will see that they are distinctly different. Line up different flowers in a few vases and you will see it is the same thing, that each flower is wonderfully distinct. Take the iris, for example. There are many different varieties – Japanese iris are flat and the European varieties are bearded. There are so many variations and scents. Some scents are remarkable. Oils from flowers have be used for milliums to attract or heal. Take a bouquet of roses, especially fresh ones straight from a garden, and put them in a room with a closed door. The whole room is filled with their scent.
Flowers have held a important part in both artistic and divine history. For example, there are many Italian paintings that depict the Madonna holding a lily as a sign of purity.
Just like one can use the beauty of nature to connect with the Higher Self, do you feel that one can do same with art?
Think of writing. Just like each person’s writing has a different quality to it, so does each painting depending on the creator. When viewing a painting, you will receive as much upliftment as the person who created it . We know that different authors and teachers infuse their works with their emotions, and the same goes for art. An author who is feeling universal good will impart that into their writing, just like the way a teacher such as Yogananda, who taught of the heart, warmth and optimism, conveyed that same message into his writing.
Most people find it easier to connect with their Higher Selves through the beauty of nature. For example, when the cherry blossoms bloom at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, there is something wonderful about walking beneath them and seeing all the pink petals falling to the ground. But just being in nature alone isn’t enough to open the heart. One must have the discipline to try and connect with the Higher Self and to make a habit of it. Connection with Nature is only a tool to ease the process of connecting to the Higher Self. The best way is a regular practice of linking to the Higher Self and meditating. Meditation is extremely important.
Another great way to use art as a connection to the Higher Self is to go on a sort of treasure hunt in an art museum, such as The Met or the National Gallery. Wander around leisurely and take note of what you are drawn to and what inspires you. Connecting to the Higher Self in this way will bring you joy and help you to gain the confidence to make better choices. Remember, at every moment, no matter what is happening, you can choose how to think and feel about your situation and decide to use the Higher Self as your guide.
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