You’ve Got This

As the earth and the entire human race shudder with the monumental shifts occurring, the pendulum seems to swing more dramatically back and forth from the darkness of isolation to the light of inclusion and connection. I believe the key to navigating these changes is to be willing to experience the full discomfort of the dark places, however briefly, and realize that though part of the experience, it is actually what is falling away , making room for a greater intimacy with each other and “All That Is”. For me personally, the entire month of October featured one experience after another that left me feeling wounded, rejected, unworthy, inadequate and fearful. Astrologically, the planet of Chiron, the Wounded Healer,( representing our deepest wounds and efforts to heal them) and the asteroid Black Moon Lilith, (representing our deepest fears and shadow side) feature prominently for all, bringing attention to these skeletons in our closets. November arrived and with it the determination to move through my fear paralysis. Painting time in the studio was being avoided due to a lack of clear direction. Fortunately, I had a commission, although I did not know if I could accomplish what had been asked (a horrifying prospect for me). I began anyway with little-to-no confidence, and what I saw on the canvas initially was quite unappealing. I heard, “Be with it in its ugliness”…I listened and persisted. As so often happens when surrender to the creative process is achieved, a magical painting resulted! Feeling triumphant, I moved on to the next item on the agenda, a meeting to discuss some ongoing issues with my...

Still Center

In times that the world feels increasingly chaotic, I notice my tendency to reach for more reassurance from outer circumstances. Are my family and friends okay? Can I pay my bills? Is my job secure? Are my emails answered, errands done? Is my community safe? But wait! What about the state of the election, violence, global warming, terrorism, the refugee crisis, oh no! It is then remembered for the millionth time that the peace I seek can only be found by going within. I will find that I have been compromising the practices that I KNOW help me, meditation, Qi Gong, mandala creation, in order to accomplish more tasks, fulfill more responsibilities, cross more off my to-do list. Why is this journey to the inner realm resisted when it can offer such relief? I’ll admit that there are invariably some shadows and cobwebs encountered on the way in, the residue of difficult emotions that have been ignored and need acknowledgement. There is a misguided preference for the familiar, yet confining feel of my small self, avoiding the exhilarating, abundant, but strangely unsettling nature of my expanded Self. Persistence in the practice of centering, however, is always rewarded. The “Still Center” mandala began in an unusual way, from the exterior edge (I always start in the center). First featured are hearts, protected by little spikes, followed by spirals. Scrolls, diamonds and ovals cascade to the center, where an Om symbol resides, representing the soul itself, as well as ultimate reality and the entirety of the universe. Working the mandala in this way helped transition me from outer chaos to inner...

More Questions Than Answers

I love having the answers. From the time I was a young student in grammar school, it was exciting to be called on and hear the teacher say, “That’s correct!” It felt so gratifying and affirming to know, to be right. As I grew successively into the roles of employee, artist, wife, mother, friend and confidant, it was a source of pride for me that people in my life often came to me for guidance in times of trial. Knowing who I was, what to do, and be able to offer help to others satisfied me and gave me a sense of purpose. The shift began in 2000 and everything changed. My marriage failed, my creative expression evolved and became more challenging, relationships crumbled, my confidence eroded rapidly. I began my quest in earnest for healing, a deeper spiritual connection, in essence to find out what was “wrong” with me. In the 15 years that followed, my life has undergone, shall we say, a heavy remodel, basically, demolition to the very foundation. I have viewed this less often as an opportunity and more as tragic loss after loss. Creating mandalas, such as “More Questions Than Answers, Not Simply Black and White”, has been my way to make peace with my experience. Meeting with Charles just last Wednesday, he offered the suggestion that I teach. I replied that I felt empty, not knowing, without the answers that I assume everyone is seeking. He said, “What if you invited people into your process and let them see your search?” This syncs up perfectly with the vulnerability practice I have been studying....