Listening and observing is one of the ways of my being. I've been communicating with the unseen since I was child. Many of us do, but we mute these conversations and move them into our heads. Making them private for fear of being deemed crazy. Because God forbid we talk to ourselves! That to me, seems crazy; cutting off the connection to seem sane. Our experience of the world is always alive and active, abundant and overflowing with sacred information.
And even though, I share that, I've also learned how to blend and seem "normal" while remaining open and connected- privately. I don't feel bad about this. This is a power I've learned to harness. At times it seems like I am talking to myself, but most likely I'm talking to some being, a spirit or a manifest. When I was young, this was not supported. Because there wasn't a framework for it. It was just labeled as "weird". Sometimes, I think about how challenging this may have been for those around me as a child. They didn't know how to respond to this. I get it. And I wouldn't want it any other way because I think they were responding in the way they knew how. This pushed me out of the tribe into a place where I met teachers/mentors. Those people who walked the edges and shared a similar story took me under their wings.
The gift in this can be mapped and understood as the great hero's journey. Everyone is on this journey. There is lots to share on that and everyone has their own individual connection and meaning to it, but I'll share quickly here my words.
The gift is how I can return and bless those with a language to understand, take in and realize. Because I come from different angles of living, I can compassionately offer a familiar language, reaching in and soulfully feeding those that hunger for this.
The space holding I provide offers those a foundation to lean in and unfold. I hold gently this, by revealing my own humanness.
The questions you are asking, are also my questions and the answers are within our reach as we share story with openness.
This exchange between you and I is a gift. We are shaping meaning into existence and clearing pathways that are aching to flow.
The gift is in the remembering that you too are an open channel and I am a reminding messenger.
Let's stay open to the unseen. Even if you have to edge a little in at a time. I'm here for you. This gift is also you.
I create as a way to navigate my life's journey. This is my personal and spiritual practice. In fact, all this other "living business" filters through my creativity. Each time I find myself at the art-table, I am gazing into a mirror. I trust it...deeply. I trust it to show me the way, to reveal the higher road or to knock me down when surrender is a really good option.
Creating helps me: reflect, investigate, map, assess, release, reconnect, commune, heal.
Some day soon I hope to share more about my journey as an energy practitioner. There is a simple explanation as to why I am open to this way of walking in this world; this open communication to these energetic multi-realms. It was an initiation that didn't look like one and to tell you the truth, there are many that continue to present themselves as doorways in which I must step through. The simple explanation is: trauma broke me open and the need to survive became my lessons. I became hypersensitive; a sensing soul to all those subtle energies, that eventually became my guides. My soul was cast and over the years I've been shamanic-ally pulling back the layers revealing the tightly knitted web that gently houses my essence. It's the part of me, and the part in you that is untouched, sacred, holy, pure, eternal. Art making is a way home to this. A way back, centered into this realization.
The image below is a captured moment of my creative process. I call this the crap-painting stage. I say it with a frustrated tone as well. I call it this because when I am face-to-face with the things I perceive to be awful, ugly, dark, shadowy (within myself) it manifests onto the canvas. I am not saying this is "THE" process for everyone, I am just sharing my process here.
How can I say there are these damaged parts and pieces of myself, you might be thinking.
And, I'm responding with yes, of course there are these unmet pieces of me, sometimes hidden in the shadows.
Most of the time, I don't even have a clue what they might be because I'm too busy projecting them. And, I haven't met anyone who doesn't do this (jus-sayin). This is just one way to notice them and bring some conscious light to them. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, unless you are not willing to look at your part in it. Which, again, isn't easy. I know...I know.
This is a stage in art-making or life-making that is formless, unknown, in between. It's the grit and grind before the smooth and shine. This place always feels challenging. I have no control and I feel so powerless. I don't know what to make of it. I'd rather throw it out and start over. I want to quit and deem myself a sucky-artist. Never having to take responsibility for my own expansion again.
Ever experience this?
Well, dear tender-heart...please stay with me here,
What's happening here is: I've forgotten to see the beauty in the cycle or in my creative process. My vision became blurred by the illusion of perfection, And perfection cuts us from many different angles, For example: the false illusion to a permanent happiness or worse, a great fear that we won't be accepted, loved or seen.
This is some huge, deep work. I know this, because this is my current work. But, there is hopeful movement making its way through. It's all such a journey to be taken in and held with reverence and grace. Hold that so-called "ugly" art with compassion because it's just the early stages of becoming or emerging.
Just like you.
"We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to chase, to birth, to create a life. When women's lives are in stasis, ennui, it is always time for the wildish woman to emerge; it is time for creating function of the psyche to flood the delta."
My love for you is suspended between time and admiration.
I'm dancing to give you the words.
Words will come later feeding off the nectar of this rhythm.
For now, here is a sweet hush that sounds like the mist rising at dawn.
My body remembers; the movement like a fire dance.
Voiceless and fury.
Furious and gradual.
The restless dust follows my lead,
Here, I am comfortably nameless. No one sees my scars. My discolored past- invisible.
These imprints are tribal marks with stories of initiation that I rightfully claim with each pounding heartbeat.
Here, I can love the only way there is to love.
Like how the rocks cradle the tide pools, giving life and home.
The bounty of my flesh has been liberated like a thousand starlings drifting together magically.
In cycles. In secret.
My love for you is serene madness.
Sewn loosely around the edges so that everything eventually flows out
staining all who come too close.
Forever marked. Love this dance like a vine that clings.
It is holding you. It is with you.
What would happen if I decided not to write about my struggles. How things were unfair, how people hurt me, how I would often find my self in situations or relationships where hurt happened.
What would happen if I decided not to continue the stories? My history unfolded over and over. Spread across so that I can see what and how I did it wrong. How I'll never be enough. And how my real, slightly wounded self is the problem. Even, how that exposed wounded-ness made others leave me.
How would it feel if I changed the story and stopped blaming myself. I could. I could try by refusing to take on the blame for others too. And how quick and willing I've been to take the blame or the fall just to keep the peace.
What if I just changed that story?
I think I might even be strong enough to admit that my part in this is that I haven't quite fully grasped myself worthy.
What would it be like if I just crossed off my list as "done" the constant need to make sure people are okay with me.
What if I left these things out of the life script this time around.
What would it feel like if I started a new story?
A new story is emerging. The need to be seen, accepted, "liked" are fading off into the distant past...to some place where only dust and ash remain.
That fire has burned. I have put flame to it too many times, letting go in small handfuls because it was so damn hard to change my ways.
No more resurrecting the fragments. They want renewal.
Let what has been released be released for good.
I am worthy. I am worthy for this moment.
I am worthy of this possibility. I am worthy of so many possibilities.
And so are you. New stories are worth your breath for life, rebirth.
They had great white
crisp sails for wings
these angels beside me.
They winked with gentle
slowly and swiftly supporting.
These angels beside me
offering their feathered arms,
asking me to lean in.
Gliding through the winds
Beside me...these angels
Moments from my travel to Nor. Carolina with my husband and the spiritual helpers that held me close with such comforting love and grace. They could have been angels. They were definitely otherworldly, sometimes showing up in human form through gestures or a soothing smile from a stranger. They were everywhere that day. I am grateful that I was receptive to this experience. Magic and mystery. Imagination and essence.
On the first day of the year I woke up with an insatiable tug at my heart. Everything up until this day felt old, worn, just-not-working-anymore. All my so called "knowing", lessons learned, training and accomplishments just peered out of the mirror and had a great hearty laugh.
This shook me.
I felt defensive. I felt as if I knew absolutely nothing. I was being challenged and really, what I wanted more than anything was to ignore it. I decided I wouldn't tell anyone. I kept avoiding it and convinced myself that it wasn't important.
But one morning, I woke up and wondered if I would attempt to try and cross that creaky bridge? Wouldn't this just go away?
I had been working at making myself someone who had been "correctly trained" or certified by a guru that I didn't even know of nor could locate.
All this to try and find a name for myself. I still wasn't able to pay the "big guys" in my field to certify me anyway. I questioned if I even believed in this.
Sadly, in reality I wrote myself out.
I somehow adopted the belief that I wasn't worth much. Nothing at all without someone in an assumed position granting me some sort of validation.
I felt I needed permission, recognition, approval or somehow be okay'd into the system.
This feels very much like the last few traces of institutionalization that I am shedding. It tells me that I don't think highly of myself. It tells me that I don't value myself. The big question: "am I enough" echoes through the quiet hallway of my soul.
I would never lead anyone to believe this! This is crazy-talk!
Now, I'm going to get real with you here...time for some #realtalk.
As much as I'd rather not even share this, I've realized the hunt for approval is still a not so healed wound in my life.
This is the kind of #realtalk I am committed to and this is why I decided one brisk January morning to claim 2016 as #myyearofgentlerevival.
There is much to look at here, much to sift through, this is why I am also choosing to go gentle.
Gentle Revival: allowing the soul to rise, be in it's most authentic and original form. All knowing intact. All wisdom collected. Noticing all the beauty. Gently reminding the pulse to find it's rhythm and wake up. Awaken to the life that is already full of meaning.
I'm writing in my head as I go about my day. I bet you do this too?
Right before writing this, I was penciling these exact words on a folded legal size sheet of scratch paper that I found tucked in my "to-read" folder . I was writing in my head. Again. Yet this time, I wrote it all out.
From the car, into the coffee shop...writing. Standing in line, waiting my turn...thinking in writing. Maybe it was more like flowing words or in-my-voice and in-my-head-writing.
Here's what I was thinking:
I was writing about my physical body as an outer shell with plentiful story. There is much to share; like how my facial expressions say more than I want. How my insecure body movements reveal so much or how my messy hair gives away it's secret about not being washed this morning.
An abrupt pause in my writing-flow enters as my favorite barista greets me with a cheek to cheek smile and glistening eyes. He takes my coffee order.
"The usual", I say in mid-thought. In mid-flow of this thinking writing.
I think this is what writers are made of. Naming experience as it unfolds. Reading (in their head) the story they are writing or the idea they've shape-shifted into to help bring the characters to light. Bringing through the imaginative scenes that will form a book or a blog post for that matter.
Writers are also made of this: I'm thinking...
Blotchy ink, mesmerizing tales, real life experiences, painful periods of writers block, inspired words, chatter, eavesdropping, research, good mystery solving, inner critics that are extremely loud, bravery, openness, willingness, intensity, vulnerability, late nights, caffeine, wanna-be periods, failures, rejection, regrets, fears, dreams, spaciness, cut-out images sprawled out on vision boards, podcasts on "how to write", lined or unlined journals, napkins with penned ideas, blank pages, distraction, sloppy writing, unwashed hair, doubt and resilience.
Most of the time, writers are thinking in writing. Especially at first when a story is being drawn to them, like gravity and a loudness that cries to be born on paper.
I admire these brave souls. Putting themselves on the line, naked for the sake of story, to breathe, to live and experience life.
Thinking-Writing is the same. Getting it on paper, or computer screen is a radical creative expression. I'm thinking, we should write and share more. Let's show them what we're made of. Let's be writers of our own.