4 Tips to Empower the Artistic Process (VIDEO)

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There is nothing quite like the artistic process.

For many artists, having the vulnerability and courage for artistic expression can be a very difficult journey. Some artists believe that the more difficult journey the better the art.  Personally, I thrive on joy and discovery which is the cornerstone of my artistic process. While there are a lot of painful aspects of life that art can teach others about, I would rather keep my sanity. I am sure you would too — the benefit of self-acceptance and sharing  your inner world is a rewarding journey in itself.

I developed a four-step process to navigating the artistic process without losing your mind. Nothing in life that carries great worth is easy; the artistic process is still challenging. Embark on the adventure!

5 Gentle Ways to Empower Year of The Sheep

Sacred silence is not silence at all.

It is a cushion of whispers that supports your every step along your path in the world. It is the warmth that wraps itself around you that has been defined as faith.  It is the gentle guidance from spirit that keeps you tapped in. It is the sound of life.

It is difficult to experience sacred silence, the moment when you sit in total quiet and allow the divine to speak to you and through you, when you are afraid of what you may hear. Your own inner judgments, fears, and unexpressed emotions may act as cheap imitations of divine guidance. They are also parts of yourself that are crying out for help, that need to have your full attention and the benefit of your intention to release them on their own personal healing journey.

Setting intentions via sacred silence is the prime definition of church. When we become comfortable with solitude and allow ourselves to connect infinitely with the divine from the small space of our humanity, we expand. It isn’t that we are small and insignificant, we surely are not. Everyone here is meant for a great purpose and yet very few of us actualize what that purpose truly is.

Why?

Some listen to the noise of other people’s dramas to distract them from their own. Some have been so hurt by the world that they cannot trust the beauty of the unknown spiritual realms to guide them to greatness. Others just rely on logic. It is all a path, and it is all sacred.

The importance of solitude and sacred silence is paramount if you wish to transcend fear, anger, judgment, and most importantly your misgivings about your calling. Picking up the receiver to answer the call means you must be quiet enough to hear the subtle ring.

The birth place of intention rests in the quiet moment between life and death, the place in which your mind, body, and spirit become one with the universe, holding hands and supporting you as you bear down to push forth a new reality for yourself.

Welcome to the year of the Sheep.

When we think of sheep we often think of mindless obedience to authority or the inability to make decisions on our own. “Sheeple” has been a reference to people, usually with opposing political views to our own, who just follow along without asking questions or taking action. But did you ever consider that Sheep are animals of loyalty, integrity, trust, and unconditional love?

Last year, the Chinese New Year’s patron animal was the horse. The horse represented the divine empowerment that is innate within our nature, enabling us to not only harness the quiet yet powerful equine energy within ourselves, but to also open our hearts to become our best leaders when the reigns are gripped by our own hands. This year, we counterbalance such great energy through welcoming the year of the sheep. Year of the sheep is all about opening the heart to become more deeply aligned with our authentic selves, so this means we must possess more loyalty and integrity for our greatest dreams to actualize to fruition and our relationships to become the best they have ever been.

To be as gentle as a sheep and loving to those around us as a flock, a family, a sacred unit is what the world sorely needs. Right. Now.

Who is our Shepherd?

We are our shepherd. We make the decisions as to who we are, what we wish to accomplish in our walk of life, and ultimately what indelible mark we leave behind. If we leave a legacy of integrity, unity, oneness, and love, we follow in the sacred silent footsteps of Ghandi. We follow in the unconditionally brave footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr., we follow in the footsteps of those who will not go quietly in spirit because they know they can change with world with words of love and acts of unity.

Here are five empowering ways we can invoke sheep energy into our lives as we prepare for a year of love, awareness, and empowerment through acts of peace and sacred silence.

Conflict Resolution:

See the Other Person’s Point of View: So often we fight to be right without realizing that conflict begets more conflict. When you find yourself in the midst of this quandary, employ compassionate dialogue. Empathize with the opposing force that has been presented to each side to learn a deeper lesson. So often our conflicts are not about ourselves, but about the deeper issues that we have yet to resolve. When you are able to look at conflict from both angles, commonalities manifest between two hurting hearts.

Sacred Observation:

See Yourself through the Eyes of a Person You Admire and Want to Meet (living or dead):

When you step outside of yourself to see another person’s point of view, looking at yourself through the eyes of your hero or higher power is a sobering exercise into sacred self-observation. What you see may surprise you. You may find a sense of self-worthiness you never thought you had. You may recognize elements of unforgiveness or unworthiness that have held you back from connecting to others and your ultimate dream. But when you look deeply, be gentle with yourself. You are worthy of love whether you find beauty or darkness.

Healing:

Learn to Let go of Defensiveness in Your Relationships:

Oftentimes, when we have been hurt, we are left with scars that tell us that we have to hold onto the hurt in our lives as a badge of strength. This is not strength, but victim mentality. If you let go, forgive and YES, YES, YES FORGET, you are empowering your purpose, calling, and destiny. Forgetting the pain does not mean that you begin to trust your relationships blindly. It means that you have the opportunity to activate healthy boundaries in your life, which is the primary reason why rifts and rends manifest in relationships. Let go of defenses and create beautiful fences. Boundaries are a form of love.

Intimacy:

Look Past the Surface in Others and See the Divinity:

Everyone, please, for the love of God, stop measuring a person by their weight/size, their socio-economic status, their sexuality and any other measure of worth found in rag tabloids and bullshit sensational media. It is all a lie. The truth is that divinity is within all of us and our uniqueness is the spark of life force that none of us can touch or recreate. The closest we have come to understanding divinity is through acts of love. Start with acts of love for yourself. If you can’t love yourself, you have no capacity to love others. Use your spiritual gifts such as encouragement, discernment, intuition, and compassion to help you. Call upon your higher power to help you see beyond the mad, mad, mad world of humanity’s deconstruction and open your heart to the intimacy of divinity. Rise above the fray. Most importantly, for those of you that hide behind the keyboards and computer screens to dish out superficial hate fodder, open your mind and get some fresh air. Life is too short to be so hateful.


Renewal:

Forgive Past Hurts, Start Anew

What would happen if one day you just decided to turn away from the pain of your past as a gauge to your future, allowed it to make you stronger (since it didn’t kill you), and went after a life of joy? This is a sure-fire way to break destructive cycles and to open your senses to receiving accurate messages as to who you are and what you have come here to do. Forgiving past hurts never excuses behavior but cuts away cords and limiting tethers of shame, anger, and times when you have felt your dignity has been compromised. Why go backward when you can break away from bondage and forgive. Look at your past with a new perspective and grow toward the understanding that self-betrayal is the inflicted wound of unforgiveness.

Be Love. Act Love. Empower Love.

Five Sacred Steps to Your True Calling

With my heart open and my vision clear, I understand the importance of my life here in this place: space, time, here, now, the Earth dream of which we are all a part. My life and yours are here for a greater purpose. Let it be established: we all have a significant reason for being here, otherwise we would not exist. Through our conscious and subconscious growth we have the opportunity to live fully authentic experiences – more authentic than what we believe to be the most real aspects of ourselves.

The Care of Souls

That is my purpose here. Sometimes I feel very shocked by the dichotomy of this truth against the dreams and goals of my formative years. However in this moment of truth, I realize that my formative years really were not preparing me for the life that I had in my daydreaming mind so much as the life Spirit was preparing me for within my circumstances.  The sacred place where the two worlds have merged is the creative realm. For me, that realm contains books, unconditional love, music, dancing, and most importantly, a limitless fountain of spiritual wisdom that quenches my thirst and empowers me to teach all that I have learned. It is the place that I go to have my cup refilled.

I have always had the desire to enjoy life, feel love, inspire others and partake in carefree, healing play to my heart’s content and that has not changed. Laughter, encouragement, and kindness have always been go-to staples in my life, but the best way for them to be used has not been anything that my limited human tendencies could have ever fathomed or have attempted thus far. It has been very difficult to trust in the truth of my calling because…well, I am stubborn. But with each and every falling of the leaves on the trees outside my window, I could attach the number of failed attempts at a life divergent from my calling. When this kind of epic failure happens, I retreat more deeply into meditation and dream work to discover answers.

I feel extremely connected to the love in my heart when I meditate. It opens everything so deeply that sometimes I feel overwhelmed, anxious. I think it is because this life means so very much to me. It is so real, so precious that every day I feel like I am a living a miracle.  Every day I feel tremendously connected to this world and what lies beyond the borders of the mind. So in my meditations, my calling’s whisper became louder and louder. When I ignored the call, I only experienced suffering. I thought if I answered the call, I expected my life to be over. And so began the tango between my truth and Spirit’s knowledge of me.

When I heard the calling to become a minister, I thought that I had to become pious, stop having sex and other forms of great fun. I didn’t want to memorize scriptures (even though I had half of Christian text memorized by the time I was eleven), edicts or creeds; I didn’t know whether or not I believed in God at all.  I mean, I certainly didn’t think that God was a man dispensing grace to some and not others…

 I wanted to know more about the nature of all things from a spiritual perspective. I wanted to know why there were whispers in the breeze and wisdom in the forest. I was voracious for unseen knowledge. I wanted to lift the skirt of providence to see what was underneath. I wanted to ingest all forms of art as a holy Eucharist.

Then, I wanted take what I learned and tell others with excitement and joy about the mystery and power of life, especially their own. When I came to the realization that life was my sacred church, I understood that these acts of discovery above all else are the pearls of my life’s work and my problem was one of expectation. I made expectations of what my calling was supposed to look like, and rejected what it actually is. I was totally confused as to the difference between the perpetuation of religion and the care and feeding of the soul. I didn’t realize that when the call comes, not only must it be answered, but the way I answer it is completely up to me.

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Own Your Shit. No one else can do your work, except you.

“There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” ― José N. Harris

No drama llamas need apply

The older I get, the less tolerance I have for drama. Simply put: Life’s too short to deal with people who are constantly in a state of nuclear meltdown.

Of course, we all have our moments of quiet hysteria, but when a person starts writing on the walls of my life with the contents of their poopy diaper, I have to draw the line.

Years ago, I might have harbored the illusion that I could help them.

Now, other than possibly harboring a momentary fantasy of using a high-powered hose to make a point, I’ve got little interest in engaging with or encouraging crazy-making behavior.

The truth of the matter is, we’re each responsible for cleaning up our own stuff.

If our messes weren’t meant for us, we wouldn’t experience them.

Therefore, I have plenty of drama of my own to deal with.

Your drama is, well, yours.

You figure it out.

Not my circus, not my monkeys. ~ Polish Proverb

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Goodbye Again, Persephone: Advice from an Autumn Leaf

As I sit watching the wheels of nature turn, I wonder what advice the leaves would give me if they could tell their life stories.

I’ve seen them grow on what appeared to be desolate deadened trees, blossoming into their spring and summer finery, surrendering the first flush of green with orange, red, and yellows. Then, they gracefully drift on the winds of the changing seasons to carpet the ground with rustling tapestries. They speak to us in their ancient tongues. We can hear them when we listen.

Be Unafraid to Bloom.

In the beginning, the start of any project, there is darkness. There is a point where we don’t know and we don’t understand. We wonder what if? Will the risk we’re about to become engaged to grow or will it whither? We don’t know, but we can hope. We take the idea that needs great care. We water it, coax it, and nurture the idea like we would an infant. The idea becomes a concept.

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Change and Progress: Learning to Birth Risks

I am gestating in the womb of change and progress.

I am developing the skills and strength to become reborn in my own image without the yoke of false hope, without the bearing of bloody lies, without the praise for being different tainted with shame. The strings and ropes that moored me to the shore are severed with my clear consent. I am no longer anchored at the pier of someone else’s demands and lack of mercy. What is no longer necessary for my survival is falling away rapidly, some of which is regret.

I Regret that I didn’t realize sooner what was occurring. I Regret that my need to hope that things would improve could not be sated by the harmful actions of others. Regret that I saw the omens, realized the map, and ignored my compass.

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