My First 2-Day Workshop

Meant to Be – rediscovering the true self you bring to the world

Theory/Idea: Each person comes into the world with treasures within as well as a purpose. We are like seeds of potential. We lose sight and awareness of this as life happens to us and we listen to negative messages or expectations from others or the over-culture. We conform to something that may not be who we really are meant to be. We may not be in touch with who we really are. This process is a way for people to be reminded to embody the real part of themselves that is inviolate and has purpose. We are making a clearing for mindfulness about the true self. As we make it visual we are integrating our inner and outer life to align more to that original true self.

wristsI invited 3 friends to do this 13-step workshop with me and also a friend of one that I didn’t know. We ended up with three women participating, plus me. I hosted it. I had them bring brushes, paints and a large canvas and I supplied extra paints, brushes and things like paper towels, plates for palettes, etc. and charged them only $45 as an “introductory price.” I provided coffee, chocolate, and snacks and asked them to bring snacks to share. We would bring our lunch or order out for pick up.

The theme and flow were what I designed for the curriculum assignment and I refined it and added readings to it that I felt were appropriate for this group at this time.

They were unfamiliar with Intentional Creativity, but were open to finding their content within. There was no resistance to visioning or ritual. Resistance was more to trusting and going boldly through each step, especially color blocking and darks and lights! This was surprising to me and I couldn’t always tell what step they were on by looking at their painting. We talked quite a bit about the critic, perfectionism, the need to release at each step, etc. They were all rogue enough I couldn’t tell if I was clear on directions. I had it all scripted out with the steps so I felt I was explaining the instructions, and I told them to ask questions or get input whenever they needed to. I did express that I could support them better if they kept boldly doing each layer as we went. They really seemed to be getting a lot from the journaling and inquiry so I felt they were following the steps for what they needed along the way. This was our process, in brief:

I invited them to place an object that spoke of themselves on our altar table which I had set with a painting, candles, ball of red thread, scissors, large flower and other things. (I asked them to bring something for this in an email prior to the workshop.)
rosebowl-smWe sat in circle for an introduction to the Red Thread and our time together. Our opening circle inquiry was: “What’s one thing you came in with? As you think about who you see yourself to be, what’s one word you would say that is representative of who you’ve always been?”

Before visioning I read from Shiloh’s Tea with the Midnight Muse: the poem “Not Enough.”

The visioning was down a spiral staircase to a store room to meet the Muse and to notice familiar pieces from our past story and then journal about it.

symbolsWe put our intention for our time together into the canvas and blessed it with rose petals and water before painting a portal and background color. The essential seed of our story was painted and milestone marks and tragedy marks were added around it. Then we painted over the seed and marks, burying the seed in the dark that it may grow new life.

They watched me demo the iconic 20-line face and the face map before practicing it several times.I asked them to write what message each face held for them.

faces

Then they chose one of the faces or a new one to draw on their canvas.

Next was color-blocking shapes between lines. I was hoping to get through the rest of the steps to the integrating glaze, but we stopped a bit short of that to end with a ritual.We wrote what we would like to release and put the strip of paper into the bowl of water with the roses.
julia-color

We started the next morning with some movement to music (Send It Out to the Universe by Samantha James) as we continued to release and open to what was coming.

Our next visioning had two parts with journaling:
-Think back at a time when you know you were really being yourself, not what was expected of you from without. How old were you? What were you doing? Notice anything about the scene. What elements or people were involved? How did it feel?

-Now let yourself identify a time when you felt you were being your best self with others. What were you doing? Who were you helping? How did it feel?

At the canvas we considered symbols that wanted to be added as we are awakening to our true self. We continued on through our steps with more inquiry and listening. I demonstrated illumination with stars, biophotons, rays, etc.jen-muse-dots

Each participant gave her muse the pen and received a message. They titled and signed their work and shared their message and any of their symbols, etc with the rest of the group. There were tears and laughter. It was very touching and everyone was resonating with what was being said. After each person spoke we replied, “You are witnessed.”

Our closing was a beautiful blessing by John O’Donohue. We finished on time and cleaned up, then had toasts with champagne or sparkling water and coconut macaroons. They all hung out to extend the celebration and visiting for another 2 hours!jen-ptgfinal

Testimonials came from a questionnaire that I asked them to fill out after closing.

J.P.- “It was an experience of growth. Not all was easy. I appreciated the self-inquiry the workshop led me through. I had “aha” moments of discovery of what I consider important in my life. For a non-practiced artist putting paint, color, symbol onto canvas is magical. I highly recommend it to everyone!”

M.A. – “Good way to spend the weekend! I’m not sure I would have known where to begin a painting on my own. The format—structure was helpful. It did help me take another look at how I became me. The technique was good for beginners, too. I would recommend it because it’s especially good for people afraid of being creative if they over-judge themselves and art. This is unlike the local beginner’s art experience where everybody paints the same thing, a design by the teacher, It helps break the ice, but I don’t see the value. This was making art!”

final-ptgs

J.D. – “This group, this workshop, and this person, Jenny-made me think of something a friend once said to me, “Be careful, your heart is showing.” So, in our time together to explore ourselves through this process, I did not need to be careful, but my heart was showing me to me. I constantly had many “ahas.” For me, even from the beginning, I knew we were creating a wonderful bundle of memories shared by all of us in our group.”

Reflecting back: I had asked one person to come early to set up the easel she had loaned me and she got lost and came late and then took a long time to set up. This and a couple of other unforeseen glitches caused us to begin late the first day and added to our not getting to the glaze step. It was frustrating, but the next day we made up time somehow.

I learned that hosting and what it required beforehand to get the house ready was a lot of work. To keep dishes washed and ready for the next day’s set up was a bit more than I want to do without a helper since I spent time scrubbing carpet, walls and windows (in my mom’s condo!) from paint splatter the first evening. I also didn’t sleep that night so day two needed to go well!

I was hoping the time would work out if we just kept stepping through on Day 2. I kept an eye on the time and was ready to condense steps if necessary, but we covered it all.

Keeping an attitude and an atmosphere of it being a sacred space helped keep things on track. The people felt honored and like something special was happening. Even though I didn’t always think they were following directions, they were getting a lot out of it, so I am thankful and satisfied. My inner wisdom says the process worked and their paintings are wonderful. I know at least one will continue work on her painting as she thought the whole time together was so amazing and transformative. She told me again a couple of days later she can’t wait to work on it.

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Workshop flyer

This is a flyer created in Canva. I am so used to Photoshop and being able to do layers, drop shadows, etc., that it’s not as easy for me to create in a program like this. Many people like using it. I’ve seen some great results by my Color of Woman sisters lately.  I tried it again after using it when it first came out and not liking the limitations it has. Since I am away from home with a new laptop I don’t have a photo program to rely on and am trying different options.

meant-to-be-flyer

Flyer for my actual 2-day 13-step workshop happening this weekend with 3 participants.

Artist’s Statement

The benevolent all-encompassing creation by its Divine Creator is my inspiration. I believe I am made in the image of this Divine Creator and take great joy in bringing things into form. The creative process is a transformative one which connects me to so many other parts of myself and my world. It is an alchemical journey to embark on through inquiry and courage to see and learn and create something new. My art embraces the greater mystery and that I cannot know everything. There is always more to discover and more questions that are unanswerable to trust my infinite Divine Source for.

I have been crafting and creating since childhood. I eventually studied art in college and have been employed in the creative field. For me, art is an ongoing quest of discovery that reveals inner knowledge and produces connection and oneness with others and with all of life. Art-making is dynamic and always moving toward something. There is a spark of excitement that arises. Participating in creative expression offers a chance to move toward choices for change and healing, action steps that are aligned with authentic desires, and impact that spirals out for good to the larger community.

An important aspect of my work is its intentionality. Having long been drawn to contemplative thinkers, writers, saints, and mystics, I approach painting and even photography with inquiry, noticing, and listening as a contemplative practice. I believe the work is sacred as it touches that true sacred center of us that holds the essence of who we are and how we are connected to our Divine Source and to others.

Inquiry and reflection are the starting point in my teaching and the creative expression springs from it. Participants employ both their right brain and left brain in service to their heart. They may come to a place of embodiment and presence, or perhaps step into a thin place between the worlds, or explore the cosmic wonders as they follow their intention through to the completion of a creative process. What they end up with will be meaningful to them and may be a turning point toward more authentic life choices.

Version 2

Detail of painting: The Energy of the Black Madonna

My hope with my art and with my teaching is to be a torchbearer for Beauty and its power and ability to connect us to the Divine, to ourselves, and to others. I see myself as facilitating sacred space for that to happen. I want my work to be effective in bringing positive change to the world, especially in areas of social justice and equality. My recent paintings feature female iconic and archetypal images that imply the strengths and gifts that women carry to the world. They offer an alternative to cultural imagery often based on surface prettiness or patriarchal values.

Visionary Painting and Message

Soulwork is my greatest work. When I am in alignment with my soul, I create an offering and a pathway to share it with gratitude. I want to live from love. I want all my choices to be based on love. I want my love to be big enough to extend to the soul of the world. I am called to live from my heart. The visionary in me knows how to move from this desire and calling.

My intention/inquiry for this painting is:
May I be open to something that I don’t know about my soul work. Show me how to sustain my soul work. May I discover that which my soul wants to show me.

visionary-portal-sm
I invite the unknown and mystery and make a shape for it.
I then put marks for what I do know about the relationship with my soul. “I am a creative.”
Next I let a 3rd color move around the shapes. I am creating an invitation so I can listen to my soul.

visionary1-sm
In the visioning I ask my wise one to show me my true soul work and how to make the most of my time. Time feels valuable and short at this point in my life.

After a glaze, I begin a stroke, loose and flowing to bring an essence of her to the canvas. It is a single uninterrupted stroke. A ritual follows where I wash my hands in a bowl of water, pour it onto my yard and say a prayer for myself. It is meant to be an end to fragmentation and a resetting. This ritual is done at the transition point from old to new (story.)

visionary2-smI do a glaze of self-initiation, then do color-blocking and turn the canvas in between colors. There is a reminder to call myself back together and listen for what’s coming through. Visioning is done with the painting as the new portal. I’m asking what personal symbols need to be included? What warrior marks? The canvas continues to be a permeable portal. There are marks for things of concern on my heart, a rose for the bowl in her hand, tear drops to fill the bowl, etc.
visionary3-sm

Applying shadows offers an invitation to contemplate shadow. Illumination and highlight creates a flow of bio-photons and light. There is energy in motion all around her. There is a whole body experience happening. When I take a shower later I remember to notice and appreciate the blast of warm water that wakes up my senses. I bring this heightened mindfulness of senses through the next days.

visionary5-smThe awakening step is about lighting up from within. I ask the question, “what would it be like to be who I am?”
Some areas of the painting are brought out and some are pushed back. The next steps bring adornment, loving attention, details and highlights. The birds on her eyes were one of the last symbols. They speak of seeing from within. Birds are also a personal symbol for me of freedom. There are rays and stars which speak of the spark of Divine illumination.

My soul archetype has a message for me when I give her the pen:

I am bigger and more powerful than you think. When you don’t trust you limit me.There are lots of colors you haven’t seen yet. Open to them. Make space for them in your consciousness. Keep looking.

You hold something precious. I am trying to show you.

There is a swirling. It is stirring stuff up, stirring you, moving things. There is energy for what is coming and what needs to be done. You don’t have to work it up—just move into it and stay.

Keep seeing with your heart.

visionary-final-sm
She has me excited and a little afraid of what’s ahead!
This is the loosest painting so far in the sense of being less controlled and allowing it to be what it quickly became. I didn’t continue to rework it after the Visionary livestream weekend–just listened to see if anything else needed to come forth or be enhanced or adorned. And I did that after a break to work on a different painting. Is she complete? Will she call me back for further attention? I have to wait and see.

Messages From the Muse

musea-entranceI started the Muse painting at the gathering at Musea Sophia in Sonoma in March. It was such a delightful experience for me to be at the in-person gathering with others on the Red Thread who were beginning the Color of Woman training. I was excited. The room was full of energy. It was a “now” moment to absorb as much of the 13-step process as possible. It was a time to feel my own insecurities, explore my own story and to be stirred in my passion for using creativity for transformation. My original word from the opening circle was “present.” Be present to the now, not the past, not waiting for the future (for when things change.)

studio

The time went by very quickly. I am used to taking the time I need to accomplish each step and this was an accelerated version to get the painting “done” in 2-3 days. I did work through all the steps, yet my painting was unresolved. I took it back to Colorado to flesh out things like symbols and illumination. I was inspired by the variation in the results of all the others there. We all got the same instruction and we each painted something totally different. That is one of the things that confirms that the process works. Each person goes on their own journey for insight and brings a unique expression of it into form.

Stepping through my process
My muse speaks to me within an inquiry about access to my own information and that of the Divine which wants to be revealed. It is an exploration into the hidden domains of my being. The muse empowers me to address each day’s part of the journey and to be able to use alchemical means to be proactive and ready for the unfolding.

Access
From what directions do I detect information coming to me?
Certainly from above or from God, my Divine Source. From my eyes as a primary source, from my ears, my hands, concepts to my mind that shape my thinking. But what about my heart as the main organ of perception? I think my contemplative outlook and practices help me to involve the heart to a greater extent than if I had a non-contemplative lifestyle. I am thankful that I am accustomed to listening within and pausing to notice things. I look forward to becoming much keener in listening as I continue on this deep-diving journey through Intentional Creativity.
Do I know how to decode the things my heart wants to show me? This is what the muse wants to teach me.

Visioning
In the first visioning the cosmos is my portal and spiral stardust is my path. There is an old retro stone building (perhaps made of individual rocks) and it is a studio. It is like a printmaking studio and I know I will work in there. It is clean and ready. Over the door is “Beloved are those who enter.” I enter a warm welcoming space with a smile. My name is called liltingly like Aunt Ida would, “Jenn-ni-fer!” I sit at a very small table for good coffee with cream with my muse. She has dark hair and and her eyes sparkle. She has been waiting for me and looks at me lovingly and at some point takes my hand. She has a resemblance to my friend, Juanita R. She wants to know how I am. I feel loved and that she really wants to hear me. She is dressed in layers and color and jewelry.

Intention
My intention arises and I write it on the canvas in charcoal:

“I hear you call my name and I am here to be known, and to discover what is mine to know.”

Portal
I chose 3 colors for the portal. Yellow, thinking the muse had a yellow jacket on in the visioning, then green and turquoise. One of the new friends I sat with at lunch said maybe my portal was a yellow rose. I hadn’t thought of it looking like that before, but the rose is a symbol that is significant to me.

Her simple form appears
I followed Shiloh’s demo of bringing the simple form with access lines and the iconic face, leaving space for other elements later. My idea is to follow her templates closely to learn them well before I launch out on my own brand of it or take on it. I pay close attention to what she is saying while she is doing the demo. I want to catch it all and absorb it so I am not hung up on getting it right, but just have it downloaded on the inside to work with naturally.

Time to journey. What are my own unique ways of knowing and access?

In this visioning I had an impression of energy flowing and swirling around me. There was a heightened awareness and response (even physically like the hair on the back of my neck standing up and the sides of my neck being brushed. I felt my heart swelling up, having an epiphany. There was a release or letting go intentionally or unintentionally. There was a sense of being loved, both a calming and a quickening.

These are the phrases that I think of about where I find access:
-Inner stories. Deep heart space and realizations that arise from this spacious realm which contains knowing from experience
-Spiritual access linked to clouds and sky and open spaces. Spaciousness of the daytime or nighttime sky which is a reminder of the greater mystery
-Holy Spirit guiding
-So much is happening that I detect, but can’t actually see with my physical eyes
-Listening
-A word or phrase, a sentence, a concept that I hear that strikes me, or that arises and occurs to me
-Reading those who speak to me in their writing
-Pausing—perhaps that’s where that space is created or at least noticed
-The space between 2 hearts (Richard Rohr talks about the space between the Trinity in their circle dance, the space where relationship happens) Maybe space is not all rest and pause and wait. Perhaps it requires a certain energy or contains a certain energy.
Perhaps it’s where the energy exchange takes place—the giving, the receiving, the witnessing, the little adjustments in the path. Perhaps it’s when the deep heart space connects to the really real. Perhaps there’s a space in the heart where there are realms of knowing from experiences contained there.
-Setting aside time for something like a creative practice or spiritual practice
-Showing up to the unknown in a small to a big way
-Even joining a group, signing up for a class or an event, and being all in—making space for it and for the people
-Noticing something, really noticing mindfully
-Prayer and listening
-Reminders like breathing, eating, drinking and physical metaphors
-Gardening, the physicality of it as well as all its metaphors
-Walking the labyrinth—unique each time for a different experience
-Places of wilderness, barrenness in my soul and in the season
-Rituals and experiential reflective stations
-Liturgies
-Symbols
-Colors
-Candles
-The dark rudimentary elements of earth and soil
-Nature in every way, mountains, ocean, trees
-Unexpected occurrences
-A connection with another person or group
-Seeing beauty
-Creating
-Seeing faithfulness or fulfillment after all

Source and Spirit uses every avenue I know of and ways I am not aware of, to connect me, to bring me back to knowing my own preciousness and my simple beingness.

What does this muse embrace?

  • The season
  • The wind (even the wind of change)
  • The present year of age
  • The body
  • The next step
  • Allowing something to happen-not controlling it
  • Inner knowing
  • Flexibility
  • Wherever the moment of sweetness is
  • Light when it breaks through
  • Warmth and its comfort and freedom
  • The buzz of bees that make the honey
  • The earth
  • The trees
  • Inner terrain to be explored
  • The mystery
  • This very moment

What does she want to say to me?
She tells me:

“Things are unlimited. You are unlimited. Keep going. Pause and be present to the space where things happen.”

After the long drive home to CO, I looked at my Muse anew to observe her. She seems to be looking more inwardly than outward. Perhaps there’s an equal focus, but it shifts from one to the other. She is very quiet, noticing, listening, contemplating—waiting for illumination.

I believe she is giving me more of a needed connection to the earth. Her golden rivers go through and over the top of the helmet/hive shape on her head. She wears a beehive full of honeycomb. (There is a pun here about a beehive hairdo. No need to take myself so seriously!) Honey is pouring on her head and face. There is sweetness to be noticed and to be had. There is spaciousness above her head suggesting greater realms to connect to.

Grandmothers appear to help her, along with written words that sink deep into her heart. In her heart is the rose of her own self opening up, and as a symbol of deep revelation happening.

I found that a couple of times I dreamed about paintings and Color of Women stuff. It is so on my mind. I think I dreamed the idea of walking through an alchemical forest. It was a powerful experience. It’s a place that is full of mystery and filtered light. When you come through to the other side change has happened. I wanted to include it in the Muse painting as a symbol of revelation, discovery and transformation.

She is surrounded by the alchemical forest. I wish I could make it (in paint) as powerful of a symbol of potentiality as I see it to be. It is a place you would gasp as you walk into, but soon you are seeing filtered light and following a path. The trunks of the trees have become paint brushes indicating the importance of the 13-step painting process in the alchemical transformation. They drip blue paint, a metaphor of bringing the past story into form.

Winding through the sacred triangles and circles of her earrings there is a line dropping down from her mind into the deep lake of unknowing. Or it could be that it is the lake of what she does know within, but doesn’t realize yet. She must bring inquiry to it. The question mark of inquiry is the hook on the end of the line lowering into the water.

She glows in sunset colors, but she has cool translucent gossamer bee wings. What will it take to lift her up so that she soars? This is almost a sad question for her, as though it is wishful thinking or wistful.

Releasing
One thing she is doing is releasing the house of disappointment and the dancing figure of longing. The wispy smoke rises from the house of disappointment and floats upward in a spiral, part of consciousness, but dissipating. The bare tree limbs reach into her heart as more of a reminder of her story than an active current pain.

Realization
Se has what she needs to feast on the sweetness of life that is all around her— and that comes to her as she dwells in the spaciousness of the places of access to her knowing and her Divine connection. She lives here instead of dwelling in the past hurt of broken relationships and what never happened and the losses She trusts that this journey into the alchemical forest is a special gift—a journey of transformation, even though it can be dark and mysterious and sometimes daunting.

 

muse-final2

I give her the pen and she says:

There is a place of knowing that is part of you and part mystery. It needs to exist in the present for that is where true life happens. The past has shaped you, but it does not shape your future. You do. There is sweetness in this moment.—sweetness to experience, with your soul, your senses, and your mind as your brain is rewired. Have courage to walk through the alchemical forest, knowing there is a shift that will happen by the time you get through to the other side. And know it is not a one-time experience. It can happen over and over as you choose to enter. The path of inquiry will carry you to deeper understanding in all that is yours to know. You have teachers, guides, your collaborators and friends, and there are those you are yet to meet. There are bees busy in your bonnet. They are producing something sweet. Some sweet things come as ideas. Let go of the sadness so that your natural gift of equanimity can assist you in the things you think are too hard. You are designed to lift off the ground and see far distances. Your visioning of the big picture has been a gift in service to your community. You have more than one realm, though. You also deep dive into Source and sometimes dematerialize into spaciousness. You’ve wondered what is real your whole life and how these realms work. They all connect you to the Really Real. Do not grow weary. You need to pace yourself in a sustainable rhythm. Care for yourself so you can keep pace. Your sadness will be transformed as you move through. God is with you. Let yourself go and let the fear go. You are learning to walk with even more intention and focused purpose.

Upon further reflection
I’ve worked more on finishing her now (after months of being away from home while caring for my mom) and I’m ready to let her rest. I have some final reflections:

Most of the time the unseen world is the Really Real. Sometimes the outer world reflects it in a portion or in a metaphor or in a flash of insight or in a sensory impression. Emotion often cannot always be trusted, but can be followed to find the story attached to it. All of the ways of access provide what I need to know to move into more and more freedom. Freedom offers the choice to live from love—and the choice to receive love. I hope to partner with my unlimited Divine Source and my own wisdom to live freer and freer, to partner with my Beloveds in offering a process of access, and to joyfully continue this journey of bitter and sweet and choosing joy in the midst.

Alchemist – Soul Fire Painting

I watched the Soul Fire Sessions video series to inform my Alchemist painting. I found it to be a dynamic series of rituals which I could enter into to connect with myself and my “mission.” I built my substrate out of birch 2’ x 4’ plywood with a frame support on the back. I gessoed and sanded it (just like I did for the Talisman painting) in preparation for painting. I liked creating my and tending my own painting surface.

After the first few steps I brought her into view with a large brush, not lifting it up, and drawing as freely as I could. I do like the continuous line look like Shiloh is able to do. I wanted to keep it organic and raw without confining it. I usually struggle with this as my graphic designer self steps in to perfect and tighten things. This time I wanted to find freedom in working through the steps without that perfectionistic attitude.

I had a conversation with my muse after the glazing step. I asked her, “How can I become more free? How can I free you?”
“You are free in the flames in your mind. Be free in your body. Get up and move freely. Anywhere you don’t feel free while moving, you need freedom.”

What story am I still running that I need to get rid of?

  • that I can’t teach as freely as I want and express myself verbally as easy as I want to
  • that I can’t paint as freely as I need to to be effective (and not be a poser)
  • that my content doesn’t come easily
  • that my creative ideas don’t show up for the painting

I released these fears and insecurities and reaffirmed: “I will make this my own. I will find my way.” I shed these layers of comparison, insecurity, and resistance to risk. I acknowledged as I added dots on the painting, “I have my own content and information and I can access it, and moreover, the world needs it!”

Her symbols continue to come forward. She holds a bowl, a container of Soul Fire. The vine growing from her mouth suggests her words are life-giving. There is cosmos in her belly area where a baby is forming. The new life is connected to her Soul Fire. The pendulum clock speaks of there being enough time, even though I might think I am too old, too tired. She wears roses near her heart. She is illuminated by the sun and moon together in the cosmos. Her hair is formed in braids, but still wild and flowing. Her signet ring speaks of ruby red royalty. There is an eye in her heart area. Her energy is stirred. Her sparks are released.

herrick-alchemist-soulfire-sm
What she says to me:

If you keep the flame within you hidden inside, it is likely to burn you up. When it is offered, it provides warmth, light, passion, inspiration, invitation and ignition to those around it. It could be dangerous, but you are not burned by it when it is in its container. It is in the vessel shaped to hold it where it can be held carefully for its intended use.

You tend to always be looking forward— looking out ahead, longing for whatever. But now, make sure you are looking through your Soul Fire so as to stay focused and to sharpen the image of what you are seeing. Your soul fire is a lens to look through for planning, for setting parameters, for visioning.

You are still roses and you know what they represent in beauty, sweetness, unfolding and so on. Wear the roses at all times (figuratively), and sometimes literally on the outside.

There is a void in you, but this means there is space for containment of something. The mystery of the cosmos and Divine mystery reside within. There is a pregnancy also, something growing in its proper time. Make ready. Tend and nurture. It is held and surrounded by fire.

The signet is your special dedication to your own sovereign work in the world. The work makes way for the Soul Fire to be shared. It opens doors. Your Soul Fire is yours, yet your Soul Fire can spark others to realize and live from their own. Your speech will be life-giving as your voice deepens.

You want to fly through the cosmos (and dance on the astral plane), but you will need to keep your footing here so that you walk both planes. Contemplation will help you to be rightly aligned with God, your Source, your creator and sustainer and guide, and to earth where you reside in body. The eye of your heart is centered and open. A pure heart is necessary to walk this path. There will not be understanding or agreement from everyone, even with those you have been close to, but you will have a tribe and a few special ones for encouragement and collaboration.

Go with God. Don’t abandon your first love. Think about and be curious about what’s growing inside. When its time is right it will be birthed into action—each one as it comes, because there will be others, too.

She is very brightly colored, wild, and possibly scary, though she is really just intent and has a steady surety in the face and eyes. She is quite different than I expected. She is a bit untamed. But that is a good thing.

Artist Painting and Message

The Talisman
I am called to move beyond where I’ve been and into my next state of being.
My intention for my canvas:

“I want to journey to my next step of awareness and freedom and to deepen my connection with my internal compass.”

Each of the nine key and doorways in the process of this painting and journaling journey are different. I’ll highlight a few. The first key given to me through visualization is much bigger than a normal key. It is to a much bigger space in which to work, to serve, to lead and to cause and create change and healing.

  • I’m no longer willing to be ashamed of being me, being myself, different, gifted, quiet, opinionated, smart, spiritually inclined.
  • I am no longer willing to be intimidated into giving up what matters to me.
  • I awaken to the “I can” part of me- able to dream, vision, and make it happen.

With the third key and visualization I am calling my creations, my personal work, my beloveds and my communities into my present realm of vision.

tal-symbols1My three symbols of early wounding are now transformed with revelation that my story is made useful:

  1. Where being ashamed of being me has been true in the past, I now throw open the blinds and shutters to let the light shine out. I am unashamed that you see me.
  2. I am not confused by life and circumstances, but clearly see with my heart and process all through love.
  3. Whereas I often couldn’t breathe and felt fear and rejection, I now appreciate breathing into the moments as they come. I may have a respiratory weakness, but I am not weak. Life and beauty are being brought forth. I am nurtured by the energy of Divine flow that breathes into me.

I embrace the self of the past and listen to the critic’s story about it:
“You set yourself on a course of protection and defense through withdrawal and not being receptive, and not being expressive with your body or your words. You missed so much, you lost so much. You became like the ugly parts of your dad.”

But now something else needs to happen, so I turn and declare,

“I am no longer willing to lose expression and connection. Thank you for trying to protect and guard me, but now I will be aware and present to myself and others.” I am in concert with the Divine and am heard and witnessed. I declare that “I am unlocking the receiving and expressing what I need to in the moment.”

paisley-wingeyeWho am I? I am a being that has piercing eyes who knows what her name really is. Her creative paisley winged eye is viewing things from a possibility perspective in a non-linear way. She has epiphanies and creation bursting forth with flourish.

Meaning of some of the symbols
Paisley seems to represent exotic beauty and pattern, but more. I found that paisley is significant as it represents the totality of life within a teardrop.It has Persian or Indian origins as a floral element, signifying a time of harvest, and all of what is necessary to bring something into being. Fertility, creation and abundance are represented in an entire plant from seed to root to blossom within their shape which is essentially a spiral. It is also an ancient Zoroastrian symbol of life and eternity. The bent cedar shape is a sign of strength and resistance, but with modesty.

The symbol to remind me that I can access the world between the worlds anytime is a monkey. It is a personal symbol to me as I was fond of monkeys as a child and even wanted to have a chimp as a pet. I found that the monkey symbol can mean playful, mischievous, agile, honor, community, authority, laughter, happiness, jokester, liveliness. monkeyThere are spiritual messages of wisdom, intensity, and contribution. It has understanding, bonding, and compassion. It also reminds me not to forget that entertainment and playfulness make the soul sing. The monkey speaks of using our ingenuity to solve both our problems and the follies of others. That the journey through life is not a solitary one.

The at sign, “@“, in other languages means “monkey’s tail.” I found references to South African, Dutch, German, and Polish. I put this monkey tail “@“ symbol in the middle of the seeing heart at the bottom of the painting. Within that sign is also a shining sun.

My archetypal self goes with me into my future life and no longer am I allowing woundedness to stop me, but I am living the legend. I can practice feeling embodied and integrated so that Life can take on a different quality and be an adventure.

Receiving a message from the Talisman

talisman-final-sm

She Guides Me Through Deep Waters and Into Other Worlds

I’m almost afraid to sit back and look into her eyes. They are penetrating. She may want more from me than I am expecting. As I look into the eyes and heart of the painting, she says,

“When you look into my eyes what you hear is ‘You know. You know. You know. And you know that more is coming. You’ve just scratched the surface. You can choose to dive into the current and find yourself and find your way. Don’t worry about the beloveds. Dive deep. It becomes clearer—and you really can breathe underwater. Do you see me struggling? No. You will flourish. You will have so much more revelation and be surprised by what you see. You will have so much to offer others as you learn to swim in the flow for longer periods of time. Keep your heart pure. Listen to the Spirit. That’s where life and comfort, guidance and healing come from. What you have been through will just help you connect with the struggles of others. You are moving out of being held back by shame and fear of disapproval and failure. You have what it takes to meet the challenges of health and disappointment and grief if you stay on your path. (It would help if you would exercise more and sleep more!) You need to be strong. You are going to make a difference especially in those areas you care so much about. Pray into these and listen for answers and images to help light the way. You are a transforming being. Use your keys. Take joy.”

The Talisman painting is the most potent one for me so far. I have completed the Alchemist/Soulfire painting and several others since, but this remains one that I will look at and look to for a long time.

My Legendary Self

legend-final-herrick-smInto the canvas:
I am leaving behind always being in conflict with myself about making decisions. I leave behind not measuring up. I leave behind feeling like a failure because of my primary relationship, no matter my other successes.

Some of the takeaways:
There is a resilience from continuing to show up.
The tears are cleansing.
I am held and okay, no matter what.
I know that there is something more to aim for. It’s not all over.
I feel a resolve to push forward into freedom and into what’s ahead.
I can embrace and support my body, as it has supported me all these years.
I’m perhaps at a turn in the path which is leading me closer to my goal, though like walking on the Labyrinth I can see only a short way ahead and may not be able to accurately say how close I am to the center.
I can pursue and express my passion.
My vision and heavenly connection have been a consistent source of strength, and now my connection to earth and to myself will deepen and will cause an increase in effectiveness and wider service.
Community continues to be so important to me and I will be able to be more vulnerable and allow myself to receive more—not just give. Becoming more visible sharing my own creative expression through paintings and teaching will also keep me on a vulnerable edge.

Bringing form:
What I see in her: She is firstly connected to the Divine as her Source, with the Holy Spirit illuminating her spirit, and yet a crown is prominent on her head because she is sovereign in her person, in her ability to make decisions for her life and trust her inner knowing. She does have a scepter—a large paint brush to paint stories and create transformation, to call beauty to come forth.

She is awake. Her eyes are open as she watches and intently notices all around her and within her. She is also full of vision that connects to her creativity, her ways of knowing, epiphanies from on high, and even to future imaginings. She trusts her vision based on her spiritual path and past experiences, and the purpose that calls her forward.

She is starting to hear her own voice grow louder and more powerful and is aware that it affects others’ lives in healing and empowering ways. The passion blazes in her heart and emits warmth and light that radiates outward far into the field around her, though that is a result, not a goal she sets. Her sovereign throne is rooted deeply—into the waters, the oceans, and the ancient life-giving River that is never dry. She finds nourishment there as well as in the quiet dark earth and in the mountains which make her feel small, yet secure and belonging within the whole.

She has always been one who walked between the worlds, not quite fitting fully in the world of her peers. This is hard for her because she values relationship so deeply. In the dark spaces there are pools of pain, sorrow, disappointment, and tears. She knows her age and wonders if there is still time. The old story says, “I’m old. It’s too late.”

Though there are definitely feathers that have fallen out, she realizes they are making way for fresh healthy brighter colored feathers to replace them.

She remembers her father called her “Rose” while she was growing up. For no reason. He just made it up as one of his names for her. There is something old about it and something new.

My muse says to me:
Always wear ears of listening.
Always look for the new bud growing after the long winter, pushing up out of the dark.
Remember you are the Rose—that was not a mistake, but an endowment.
The new Rose is mature, fragrant, and expressive, not hiding or ashamed.
The thorns and the tears are transformed.
Be wild, be bold.
But you will also have great equanimity.
It is part of your nature, and will help your heart and your head to work together.
Trust yourself.
You have much to do.

Version 3

Version 2

Originally posted March 27, 2017