By Tracy Buckalew
Photography by Christian Lee
I met someone. Someone really impressive. It’s especially noteworthy because although the vast majority of those I meet have something interesting to say, at times, I need to squeeze them pretty hard to get to the flavor within. Artist and Yogi Cindy Male simply radiates intense, vibrant flavor.
With a degree in interior design, certifications to teach both special education and art education, master’s degrees in Creative Studies and Fibers, and having studied in Cortona, Italy, with the University of Georgia and at the Fashion Institute in NYC, this motivated, pretty blonde is a creative dynamo. Cindy uses her intelligence to understand the human condition, and in her unwavering focus to harvest a variety of considerable skills into the creation of art forms, which speak to and impact those pursuing enlightenment. With endless dedication, she tirelessly seeks ways to educate others and enrich their existence through art and Kundalini Yoga workshops on Hilton Head Island and St. Croix.
Why? “When a person is enlightened, they teach those skills to their children,” Cindy explains, as we discuss the importance of understanding our individual places in the universe. The premise is a loose version of the “pay it forward” concept with an environmentally responsible/culturally tolerant/self-enlightened theme. She believes that each of us needs to be aware of how we influence ourselves and others around us. “If we learn how to listen—truly listen, deeply and with an inner calmness—we may just start to understand the grandfather of all questions…Who am I? And then….we can teach our children.”
Exactly how does one begin to understand something so abstract? According to Cindy, one begins by cultivating an awareness of their own personal ingenuity. “Most people think that creativity is simply making things, or is the ability to reconstruct or reinvent something. That’s only partially true,” she says. “Energy exists inside every person, which allows their finite mind connect with their infinite mind.” In other words, people need to understand their boundaries are limited only by what they can envision.
“Even making a decision about what to wear in the morning is an exercise in creativity,” Cindy explains. “People who think they aren’t creative…it’s just not the case.” Through a concept called ZemiZen, Cindy attempts to offer people a tangible jumping off point from which to grasp a familiar element of creativity—fashion. “People deal with fashion every day—every person, every generation, across history and cultures. This helps people be aware that each action and decision they make in their daily lives, creates their lives,” she says.
The ZemiZen concept is a traveling venue that provides a conduit for educating people on consciousness theory—essentially, awareness of what is happening around them. It’s a program that Cindy teaches to businesses, organizations and community groups for them to use as a fundraiser. A combination of fun, food, art and fashion is the theme. Tickets are sold to the ZemiZen fashion show, which is put on by the members of the organization, modeling Caribbean flavored clothing, all designed by Cindy. All attendees participate in a group art project, which is then presented after the event. Through this positive collaboration, Cindy hopes that the senses are opened and the intuitive mind is engaged. What is the result? An awareness of possibility, options and of meaning. If you think ignorance is bliss, you’ll be blown away by the wonderful feeling of awakening your mind.
What are your latest reads? Biocentrism by Robert Lanza; Physics on the Fringe by Margaret Wertheim and The Future of Physics by Michio Kaku...besides my Kundalini Yoga textbooks with and through Yogi Bhajan.
Tell us something funny about yourself. If you spend much time with me, I am all over the place—losing keys, my way home, dates and times. But when it comes to accomplishing a task, I am focused, and you can consider it done. My father used to say I was the dumbest smart person he ever knew. I always thought that was so funny.
If you could only describe yourself in one word, what would it be? Fun-loving!
"Beyond Singularity" Fine Art Exhibit opening April 30 at 6 p.m. Windows on the Waterway in Hilton Head Plantation
ZemiZen “Live Art” Fashion Walk and Fine Art Exhibit April 30 at 7 p.m. Windows on the Waterway in Hilton Head Plantation.