Know Thyself (How to Know Yourself)

“Know Thyself”  It wasn’t a voice, but I heard it clearly.  As soon as I sat up in bed one morning, I heard “Know Thyself”.

– Know thyself? Know myself? How do I know myself? –  I thought to myself, but I went on my normal life that day.

It was almost 2 years ago.  It was difficult to know myself than I thought. I only found what is not myself.  I was not what I thought I was and I was not what others thought I was.

I’ve learned a few things since then.  First, I had to let go of what I thought I knew.  My mind had difficult time letting go of some beliefs accumulated over the years.  All judgments came to my mind from my experiences.  Some beliefs were not even mine, but I adopted from someone else (my parents, teachers, friends, society, TV, etc.) along the way without realizing it.

In order to know myself, I had to ask a lot of questions to myself.  When I get upset, I ask – Why am I so upset? What is it bothering me so much? What is triggering me? –  When I feel negative emotions from something or someone, I ask – Why is it so bad? – then ask against my own answer – If it is true, what does it mean to me? –

I realized I could find my hidden beliefs through my emotions.  Asking questions against my negative emotions can lead me to the root cause of the negative emotions.  It was not the person or situation that causes my negative emotions.  They just triggered something inside of me.  I found out most of them (if not all) are from my childhood.  My parents used to encourage me to study, so they kept telling me, “If you studied a little harder you could get better score.”  I don’t remember any praise I receive from them.  Of course, my parents did what they thought best at that time.  But as a child, I started to believe that I was not good enough and I always had to work harder to get their love and praise.  That became my core belief.  I found many core beliefs like this.  Financially… in relationship… everything I interact with outer world is made of those core beliefs.  And many of those were detrimental to me.

I see many people stuck in their own beliefs like myself.  Beliefs do not have to be the same as others and you can change your beliefs.  I decided to choose beliefs that beneficial to me.  I started getting it now why that voice said to know myself.  By knowing myself, I can find my core beliefs, and I can change the core beliefs to beneficial ones instead of detrimental ones.

I think I touched only surface.  Like an onion, after peeling a skin of onion another skin comes up.  Getting deep. 🙂

contemporary surreal painting LIGHT by Masako

Vulnerability, Fear, and My Paintings

I’ve been always introverted. I don’t usually speak up my opinion or share my thoughts. It is very scary to me. I feel so vulnerable. All fearful thoughts come to my mind before I even think about opening my mouth. ‘What if nobody agrees with me… what if someone opposes to my thoughts or opinion…’  So, I normally ended up saying nothing.

So, where does this fear come from? Fear of what other people think of me. It is all in my mind!

I used to write a lot in my teens. But after I became an adult I got busier and busier, and eventually stopped writing. All of my unspoken thoughts were suppressed deep down inside of me. Those suppressed thoughts came up and manifested in many ways in my life. After I went through some of “sufferings”, I started painting. Expressing something that has been so deeply suppressed for so long was very much like therapy at that time.

In the beginning, I had no intension to share my paintings. Just like speaking up my thoughts, it was scary to show my paintings to others. All the fearful thoughts came up again. ‘I don’t have skills to show… nobody would like my paintings… so many great artists out there, why would I want to show my paintings…?’ But this time, I decided to get out of my comfort zone.

If someone happens to like my paintings, that would be wonderful. If someone saw my painting and thought “I can paint better than that”, that would be wonderful too. One day, it dawned on me that when someone sees sunset someone else sees sunrise at the same time depending on where they are at some may not even see the sun, but it is still the same sun. Each individual has each individual perception. When I accept that I felt at ease. It is almost like zooming out and including everything. I’m still introversive but I don’t have to be fearful of sharing my paintings anymore.

Now, sharing my thoughts and writing may be different… I want to choose my words correctly and accurately so that I can express close to my authentic thoughts as much as possible. But I decided to get out of my comfort zone on this subject also. So…, this is very first writing of my thoughts. 🙂

Dark Sunset fine art photography by Masako

Dark Sunset

Hampton Arts League Open Members Exhibition 2014

It’s time of the year again! Hampton Arts League Open Members Exhibition is coming up!

This annual exhibition features works in all media by many of the 326 members of the Hampton Arts League.

February 4 through March 9

Location: The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center

Address: 4205 Victoria Blvd. Hampton VA 23669

Phone: 757-727-1490

Gallery Hours: Tue-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat & Sun 1-5pm

Surreal original painting reflection


Original Surreal Painting “Time” at Limner Gallery

small works surreal painting Time


One of my small works, “Time”, will be exhibited at Limner Gallery in NY.  If you live close or have a chance to visit, please stop by and check it out!

Small Works at Limner Gallery – January 30 – February 22, 2014

Over 60 contemporary works under 20″

Reception: February 1, 5-7pm


123 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534

Tel: 518-828-2343

small works at Limner Gallery 2014

Small Works at Limner Gallery


Update on Exihibitions

I haven’t posted my updates for long time. About a year now? lol

Off the Wall at Norfolk Collegiate School – January 25-30. 2013

Off the Wall show went well despite the fact it was a crazy weather.  I couldn’t even make it to the opening. But turned out, one of my painting was sold from that show. I am so grateful.

fine art acrylic paint Gem #2 by Masako

Gem #2
The original sold


Art and Music at Stacy Whiting Creative – March 22. 2013

559225_516879591683775_1222936092_n 581508_516215051750229_1229966706_n 577669_516215075083560_2115908696_n 575728_516215058416895_807327650_n Masako at Art and Music

It was an awesome night! Great food, great friends, great music, and great art!

Stacy Whiting, Ayano Gibson, and me, Masako got together with a musician, Otis. We talked, had some food and drinks, dance with the music.

On top of that, my new patron bought three of my paintings that day! What a wonderful night that was.

When I paint something, I always feel that there is someone who is searching for this painting. 🙂




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