I really want to be in my studio painting.
I probably should be cleaning for my parents’ visit this week.
I KNOW my dog would love a walk.
My stomach’s grumbling, so maybe I need a little kitchen time-out…

But I’ve just got to invite you today, because even though it’s down the road,
this one has been waiting to be unleashed since I completed my first prayer painting invitation
back in February.

Those of you that followed know
that this was an incredibly moving way of connecting with others in prayer….
It evoked deep emotions in many of those who submitted prayers,
as well as in myself.

For me, my mind could barely wrap itself around the idea,
and offered many objections
as to why I might not be prepared or able or charming enough…
but it wasn’t about charming people into participating.
It was just about doing what I was ‘told’, more or less,
accepting one prayer or forty as the perfect number,
trusting it would reach exactly who it needed to,
and then showing up to see what happened in my painting process
as I shifted my intention to include the prayers of others.

What I found in my body was a charged, tingly sensation that one gets
(and often barely notices)
when swimming in the sensation of universal connection and participation.
It is like the most perfect, ironic blending
of physical Presence with out-of-body Awareness
as one surrenders to the creative river that flows around and in us.

For my heart…. 
For my heart, it was like the softest, widest opening
of Light and trust and gratitude pouring in and pouring out…
it was quiet.
It was stillness.
It was full of love and life and the fading of the illusion of separateness.
And my heart knew I have more work to do with this calling, this suggestion I received…

You can read more about the story behind this whole idea HERE.

So, not only am I now accepting prayer submissions for my next prayer painting,
I also have another invitation to anyone who feels called
– an invitation inspired by the unexpected responses I received following the first prayer painting.

Since the first prayer painting, many women have written me
to express deep gratitude for sharing and carrying out the process,
and some have felt so moved that they decided to give prayer painting a try themselves.

Some of them are artists already,
while some admitted that they never thought of themselves as such.
I remember one reply so strongly, so simply, stated the main sentiment,
“I want to do this, too!”

I just love that by listening to my own intuition
and reaching out into the world,
then retreating back to myself to reach in to my own creative process,
I was able to inspire the motivation in others to try this out.

That is a gift right to my heart, right to the Source of my process.

See, there’s no ritual or doctrine or sequence here to this process.
I am, admittedly, making it up as I go, so to speak.
It is just that simple for us to tap into
and touch the part of us that senses the sacred
in all we do, in all we are.

That simple. It is in each and every one of us.
It is in You. It matters.
And it makes a difference.  

The seed for our unique practices
have been planted and nourished and nurtured
by the stories that belong to each of us from our lives and experiences.
So, quite obviously, no two practices
of devotion or prayer or creative expression
will ever be exactly the same in process.

It is this diversity that offers the mysterious beauty of life that enraptures us all in our core.

And in this way we can all participate
as divine children of this magnificent Universe/God/Source.
There is great power in the collective that forms
as we each do this in our own way,
right from where we are.

There is great power in how this affects the way we encounter the day-to-day moments of our life.

At least this is what I believe today
to be a morsel of my truth unfolding and blooming before you.

SO, in addition to showing up to my own process with open arms,
so that I might continue to learn and expand
from this prayer painting process and the sharing that ensues,
I have also created space for others
to share their creative prayer artworks,
if they feel moved to explore the process.

I intend to share these in the following ways, to suit the needs of those involved and participating.

The main way is in a newly created Flickr group called

Art of Prayer

which you can join by clicking HERE !
(Come join me – right now it’s a little lonely!)

For those mostly over at facebook and wanting to participate there,
I will be accepting images of artwork created between now and July and sent to me in a message,
which I will add to an Art of Prayer album on the LilyWheel Slide facebook page.
(more on this one to come – just stay tuned at fb)

In addition, once I finish my prayer painting,
I will also have a place in the post to submit a link
right back to anywhere else on the web where you have felt called to share your prayer artworks between now and then. So, if you wrote a blog post about it, you can link to it right under the prayer painting I create and present here.

That post, and each of these places, 
will serve as a collective circle of all of our prayer artworks and intentions – 

I am already just so filled up when I think about it!

WAIT!!! Are you wondering just how the heck you might go about participating or beginning a prayer painting or artwork on your own??? 

This question is coming up and I intend to address it with some easy tips, ideas and ways of thinking about how you could choose to participate very soon. You don’t have to create some big invitation of your own (unless you feel called to)… so just stay tuned and I will post some ideas (maybe a pdf) to help along the way!

In the meantime,
If you would like to submit a prayer toward my painting process, you can do that in the form right below or by visiting the prayer painting page anytime between now and June 19, 2012.

Sending so much love and gratitude to each of you.

~ hali

Listen. Pray. Trust. Surrender.

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