altered book journal

Some days, some weeks, the only time the world makes sense to me is when I paint.

This past week has been a rollercoaster. I paid too close attention to politics and felt the usual… icky-sensation of having done so. I sat in circles four times – circles where the work is of the heart and soul, between women. These circles stretch me, and fill me, and help me define and practice. I launched an offering from my heart to my private list and group (it goes public Monday) – what I would call the first BIG online experiential offering from me and my sustainable life creation efforts. I learned how to begin to set up a decent gallery on my site here. I felt the irritation of rush-hour traffic outside our home… and walked in the woods as my salve. I quarreled with my husband and made up, and felt the cracked open questions of love that ask us again and again to check in, if we are to remain nurtured in commitment.

I found there to be themes in conversations within ear-shot, virtual and live. The great dichotomous questions of self-awareness and wholehearted connection with others. How do we honor ourselves fully and continue to serve and show up to the needs of each other as well? Whispers of the places where women have hurt each other deeply, and continue to do so when the reaction is knee-jerk, embedded-deep and not acknowledged… when the energy exchange is indeed just reaction and not post-pause truth and response.

Discussions have moved into the places of our sacred hearts, where we know the truth of freedom lies in a seeming contradiction – of non-attachment and Presence. Whole self and self-Free. It is here that I visit every day, many moments over, between the other moments when I forget. It is certainly a journey, a practice, a movement.

I’ve prayed on the fragile manipulations of our egos, in its dance with the great desire we each hold and share – that innate core longing of our heart to have something of value to offer, a purpose, a role, to be seen, to be welcomed, to belong AND be recognized for our specialness and gifts. This translates outwardly in such strange, forced ways that can really just turn away the connections we long to create – as we proclaim, exclaim and disregard the perspectives of others to declare our own knowledge, expertise and individual opinion. In the fight to make our offering, we so often forget to receive the offerings of others. If we’ve worked hard for knowledge, well of course we want it to matter and count for something… and therein lies the danger of isolating our choices to one path, one way, one answer… when really all that ever connects us is the comfort we can find, together, in honoring the questions.

What I always come away with on this one, after some time in prayer, is that open kindness and honest listening go so much further than specialized knowledge or flashy freak-flags and fancy-flung lingo… what I always come back to is that if there is A Way, well it just might be humility… because humility always leads to opening ourselves to love. At least that’s what I know so far, but I’m still learning the words that express these impressions upon my life.

All of this contemplation has been a natural response of the depth I feel when I move into my Prayer Painting practice, and begin again a deeper witnessing to myself and those I encounter.

I’ve been painting this week overtop of 40+ beautiful prayers. Before I began, I wondered to myself exactly why I do this. The minute I began to read the prayers I knew why. When I started laying the color down, I instantly moved into the space in my heart where I know my place – out beyond all of this other chatter, even the deep chatter of good, important reflection.

The place where it all makes sense.

~

Just This Life is a series of frequent, spontaneous musings & prayers from my heartmind and bellysoul

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