Every time I come to my painting wall with an intentional reflection,
and open myself to Creative Mystery in this practice that has become my temple of sorts,
I find I am left with simple words that only kiss the surface
of what has just FILLED me up in the process.

Simple words,
that ask to be shared,
just in case their message speaks to You…

At the beginning of August I invited the Art of Prayer group on facebook 
to join me for a collective prayer exploration.
I offered them two words to hold ~
two words that were deep in my heart
in relation to the people of the world,
the natural course of our earth and my own journey.

They were to hold the words and make a piece of art.
Simple as that.

You see,
There is something in me that believes
that we are all connected by an energetic thread
that yields us capable of empathy and compassion,
expansionary awareness,
self-realization,
great power in the face of change,
and, ultimately, deep peace in the face of all things.

When we come together, intentionally, mindfully,
and center ourselves in the union with focus,
I believe this thread lights up
creating very real shifts within all who showed up
and for all who we touch in our lives.

Since I offered the invitation,
members of the group have shared the most beautiful art,
insights and exploration of these two words together:

Water & Forgiveness

We all have become a little more aware of what they mean,
for each of us, in our own lives,
and on how we relate to our world and others…
and, just in that, we’ve raised our own stakes so beautifully
in how we engage in our lives.

detail of final painting

As I painted,
many personal things surfaced, as they naturally will,
but I was also just enraptured
by how the process itself is a great ocean of opportunity
to interact with water (literally and symbolically)
and forgiveness.

I forgave myself repeatedly as I painted,
when my critical mind would try to sneak in with commentary
about this line or that, the color choice, the lack of planning (not what this process is about!)…
or with doubt about whether or not it would be good enough for a video (expectations)…
yep, all of that comes up at times.

The beauty of the process is that I get to learn and practice,
time and time again,
to be gentle about the commentary (just notice and release)
and I get to override it with a firmer declaration of my intention & prayer,
by guiding my focus back to the moment,
the wonder of creative unknowns.

EVERY TIME I do that,
a wave of fresh understanding and joy floods into my heart
as I connect closer to my sense of a higher power.

For me, the greatest realization that shifted from concept to *feeling* with this painting
was that Forgiveness is a place of TRANSITION.
A place that lies between two states of being:
the rigidity I (we) sometimes hold onto
and the wisdom of change that can and WILL flow once I (we) have released it.

It is a spring that awaits,
always within,
a healing cleanse,
where we shift from stagnant waters
and trust the natural rhythm of our life’s tides. 

I cannot reach that place of freedom
without turning forgiveness and love, first,
onto myself
moment by moment.

detail of final painting

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There will be monthly prayer art invitations offered,
and the Art of Prayer group is open to all who are interested
in exploring, or being inspired by,
art as a form of spiritual practice and connection.