Painting – ‘To Be or Not to Be…’

“To Be or Not to Be”. 48″ x 31″. Endeavor to be true to yourself and fly with all of the colors you are.

Shakespeare’s character Hamlet has a soliloquy that reflects a distraught man asking himself if life is worth living…’To be or not to be…’.

as well as another popular quote;

“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow,
as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

This painting illustrates the question a little differently, as well as reflecting the symbolism of this quest;

To Be or Not To Be –
True to Yourself…

I have heard “Be true to yourself” many times…but I never really asked myself what that means to me. At that late-in-the-evening moment everyone was surely sleeping, so I went to my backup guy, “Monsieur Goo-Gel.” Of course, there is a lot of info but this is a personal quest, and I settled on just ten areas to meditate on as I began to paint. I created a list and each topic had the same question to ponder;

“What do I truly believe that originates from deeply within my being, and not what I unconsciously accepted from misunderstandings, or outside sources, i.e., society?

1. Authenticity/Individuality

2. Integrity/Impeccability

3. Value

4. Belief

5. Serving the Greater Good vs. Self Serving

6. Truth

7. Ethics

8. Honor

9. Sincerity

10. Unconditional acceptance and love.

This was a great adventure. It’s like cleaning out the garage, surprising yourself with what was hanging around. Just let it all go. Being true to yourself and arriving at a deep understanding of what that truly means is personal, and can not be given, nor taken away. It is an individual adventure, and brings great peace and freedom… flying!

And in its own way… this current time on the planet, I think we are all being asked to “Be True to Yourself,” and what that means individually and in connection to the greater good each day.

– Thank you.


    1. I seem at last to be in a safe home now — and I still have every one of your beautiful pictures.

      When I get to set up the room next week they will be my chief decorations, and I will be thinking so gratefully of our two years of communion, and of your kindness and the beauty of your soul.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. O Ana, I am so happy for you! At last…. peace and harmony, you have certainly worked for it. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. I am looking forward to how this new space influences your gift! Best to you ⭐️⭐️⭐️

      Liked by 2 people

    3. It’s early yet — I’ve only been here two days, but heaven willing this could be a beautiful long term thing. Thank you for all your wonderful energy, and for reaching back today. Much much love to you 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thoughtful and interesting.
    Here’s another quotation you might appreciate on the need and even urgency of authenticity…
    “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” from the Gnostic gospel according to St. Thomas.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love those quotes from Hamlet. Polonius, the hover parent, doling out advice to his son before he leaves. “To your own self be true,” is a quote that has stayed with me as well. I have often sat in silence thinking about what being true to myself really means. As a woman, it is often difficult to do what it is I want to do, but I can always make peace with what is “true” for me. I liked this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I am very glad you liked the post… I am finding that this exploration has now expanded on its own. In the midst of a response or even a thought, I hear myself asking “is this true for me? Do my emotions truly reflect the goodness within myself and what I believe? I laugh as I now call it “zen authenticity “ thank you for your thoughtful comment! ❤️+ ☮️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Nina and a very beautiful painting. Reference honesty and truth, for me, too much sincerity is a hindrance and a burden and can at times sicken others. I believe truth is something that you treasure and you never put pearls before swine. You must be very careful who you tell the truth to, including yourself…lovely, take good care and all the best,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much. Your kids are so fortunate, and soon… they will be giving you the sound advice you have given them, only, they will think they thought it up all by themselves! Each time I experience this, I just love it. Great to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I can only hope! There are so many kids around us that believe that they have to keep up with all the trends and do everything just perfect. They are on antidepressants and it’s scary how fast the doctors prescribe them…..I apologize for not being on as much. I e been very busy despite the pandemic!

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Glad to hear you’ve been busy! And I’m sure it’s with great creativity. Guiding children’s social self-worth is difficult, and a difficult lesson to learn, and continue learning. It can also take time and maturity. But I’m sure you’re an incredible guide!My best to you and motherhood!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Stunning image that is imbued with the essence of Shakespeare’s famous quote. I have shared and attributed appropriately supported by a link to your original post; scheduled for Friday. Best Regards.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love that your paintings have underlying meanings. This one is certainly a good illustration of Shakespear’s words. One of my sons was a non-conformist from day one. He had “to thine own self be true”, tattooed on his leg long before tattoos were cool and trendy. I’ve always loved the quote because it reminds me of my wild and crazy boy..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that boy! Oh, how I wish I would have understood that as a child. That is so fabulous to hear, about a person that already knew to be true to himself at a young age. You must have such an amazing time with him, and he must be great at supporting you to be true to yourself as well. Then again, I’ll bet he learned to be true to himself by observing you! Thank you so much for your comment, it was a great delight for me!



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