This Human Life Is Impermanent

Katie Kuykendall

Hey, ya’ll - what’s goin’ on….. right now?

My life, love, art, joy, career and life experiences are all lessons in staying present in the, “NOW moment.” I’m eternally grateful  for simply being aware of the, “now moment,” for there was once a time in my life where I knew nothing of this awareness or what the “now moment” even meant! Practicing yoga … and eventually teaching yoga and meditation have opened up my eyes to new ways of thinking that were not taught to me as a child or in school. My intention is to share with you what it means to live in the NOW moment, how this has changed my life for the better and how it continues to help my art and my relationships with myself and others GROW and THRIVE!

So, what does, the “now moment” even mean? Don’t worry - this can be abstract if you’re first learning about this! Be patient with yourself!

In my experience, in simply means being completely aware of what is going on in this exact moment in time. Not what’s going on later today, tomorrow or what happened yesterday. Being in the now moment is HARD because our society has evolved to keep us thinking about the future, what is to be, what we already accomplished, what we need to do, what has been, etc. We’re conditioned to mulit-task, to perform, to do more, to think more, to do EVERYTHING. Phewwww! This can have negative effects on our mental health, relationships, self-esteem and more.

Learning about the, “now moment” took me a lot of time - and I’m still learning and practicing this way of life. It is a practice, it takes time, it takes guidance and takes openness to opportunities and detachment from expectations. If these ideas speak to you - I encourage you to also practice and see where this journey might be for you, right now.

Impermanence - A Story of Heartbreak

Being in the now moment or present moment is an act of embracing impermanence.

Everything in this human life is impermanent or temporary. Fear, happiness, love, tranquility, bliss, anxiety, sadness, joy, jobs, relationships, experiences, EVERYTHING is temporary. This can be a daunting concept. One might think, “But I want to be happy forever!” That’s an honorable wish - but, all good things and bad things are temporary. The idea that happiness may be gone in an instant, can be painful! Can be frightening! Can be daunting! Why? Shouldn't all good things last forever?

Impermanence is painful. When you have something “good,” it’s natural to want to keep this going for as long as you can! Because it feels SO GOOD! But over time, we can learn to detach from expectations, material objects, and worry less about what was and what will be. We can understand that perhaps this is GOOD but when this passes maybe something GREATER will come!

Impermanence is change. Embrace the change! Ride the wave! Let things come and go from your life without holding on to them! Everything changes and constantly shifts, flows, evolves and grows. Change can be both good and bad.

There are times in my life where I was heavily attached and did NOT want change. I wanted everything in my life to be permanent, to stay exactly how it was. I was happy and content where I was. I thought I’d found love and family and friendship and career - all in one - and I wanted to keep that SO BAD! When suddenly this was all swept up from underneath me in the blink of an eye - I resisted the change SO MUCH! It hurt so bad! In the moment - this sucked - I would have given ANYTHING to go back to my “normal.” My heart was shattered!!!

Now, when I look back at these times of attachment, I’m grateful that that time in my life has passed, both the good and the bad. If I had not gone through that pain and suffering…. if everything would have stayed the same, like I wanted it to, I would not be the person who I am today. Sounds SO cliche! But, it’s true!   

Because of impermanence and change - I have met so many new amazing people, started new relationships, solo traveled, started my own business, evolved my self-love and self-care routine, and created WAY MORE ART than I ever thought possible!

Let’s be real - pain SUCKS and who wants that!? No one - but it's part of the human experience! Next time your experience pain, stop and acknowledge your feelings and know that they will pass! Suffering is the unavoidable result of attachment. Let go of attachment and be free from suffering!

Art helps me stay in the, “now moment”

From the jolt of impermanence and change comes new things! In my life, these new things surfaced in the form of abundance in art, culture, travel and relationships!

I’m a full-time artist and creator! I’m so grateful to spend my time doing this! I have other party time jobs, too - but art is my full-time passion and has now evolved into my career!

My ENTIRE artistic existence and expression is based on IMPERMANENCE. I make art that is temporary and slowly disappears over time. It’s actually rather amazing to me at times that people choose to get “disappearing art!” It is a beautiful symbol to embrace this art that is on your body RIGHT NOW - because soon it will be gone! And that’s okay!

My medium is natural henna. Henna is a plant based pigment that leaves a temporary stain on the skin. I apply the pigment to the skin in an intricate design, it stains the skin for 1-2 weeks, and slowly fades away over time. When I work with clients, together, we talk about what is going on in life RIGHT NOW. I ask questions like: What do you love about life NOW? What are you trying to bring into your life, or let go of? How do you want to be RIGHT NOW? Together, we create an intuitive design that is unique and specific to this individual.

I’ve been uplifted and supported by SO MANY PEOPLE in my life on my artistic henna journey! But this love and support came with a lot of pain. I experienced immense change and suffering - because I had expectations that people would and should support me on my journey. Truth is, some chose to not believe in me. Truth is, I’m okay with that now! The life of an artist is NOT EASY. But it is rewarding! I’d go through the pain, suffering, heartbreak and discomfort again - just to know that I could make artwork and share it with others and lead the life that I live now.

Henna changes people! It brings creativity, confidence, self-esteem, light and happiness to those who allow me to draw on them. Henna brings a temporary experience of

Sharing the joy of henna as created a ripple effect of creativity, confidence and boosted self-esteem in my own life, too! I’ve made new friends and embraced many new artistic adventures. When I met Molly, creator of Zealous Stills, she embraced me, my art, my passion and together - we fused our art together to create some boudoir henna shots! My mind was BLOWN! I had been fearful in the past about being behind a camera - I was worried about how I’d feel, how people might judge me. For a moment in time, I let that all go. I focused on the, “now moment” when we were doing our shoot, and focused on breathe, body, art, mind and spirit. All the fear slipped away and a confident goddess developed! The photo shoot sessions we have together are impermanent, fleeting and time flies by when we’re in the bliss of a photo shoot. But the pictures are permanent gifts of the experience of that moment.

Life is a beautiful adventure - I encourage you to keep exploring and trying new things! Let this moment, right now, inspire you. Follow your heart and embrace the flow of change. If things feel stagnant, move, flow, grow and do!

Our bodies and mind are impermanent and constantly changing. Do things that help you to embrace and love your body for how it is right now! Go on a road trip, book that flight, buy that dress, bath nude in that mountain lake, and no matter what - do what makes you happy - and live without expectations!