My son has been fighting a flu-like bug for a week now. We have done little but ensconce in our family room finishing our first viewing of the amazing television odyssey that is LOST.
As we journeyed through the series’ end in the final episode od season 6, I couldn’t hold back the tears…not only for the touching ending, but for the vast Spirit-Voice that opened up as a result.
My whole adult life I’ve used movies as a form of hallucinogenic for the heart – to open and explore themes in my own life I had no idea how to access without the Spirit guide that certain films became for me – leading me through the labyrinth of my own psyche.
One of the ways I can tell a film has transcended mere media and become a spiritual inciting incident in my life is when it inspires me to write – music, poetry, journal entries – when it provides a catalyst for the overflow of my own heart.
That’s what good Art does, you know. It’s more than a time waster or pretty picture or cool groove – ART, at its essence, is an invitation to connect with the spiritual TRUTH within us all – to connect with ourselves and with others.
“ART is The LOOKING GLASS of the SOUL” – tweet this
When we are touched by Art, we transcend our physical reality and enter another aspect of our existence. Really GOOD ART – Art that transcends time – is a portal to another dimension – one we’ve carried within us unaware throughout our lives…
In a culturescape like ours, so heavily invested in our collective unconsciousness, where we are prey to the siren song of advertising’s “manufactured need” – to the use of Art as transaction rather than interaction, we become unwitting participants in a form of spiritual prostitution where Art is SOLD to SELL US, rather than GIVEN to FREE us.
The Arts have been scrubbed from school budgets not merely for financial reasons, but because without them, without our being encouraged to CREATE our OWN magic, we are easier to manipulate, easier to control. We see the establishment, outside authority, as the one with all the answers.
Through the act of creating, we discover that we are indeed CREATED in the IMAGE of our CREATOR…we were, as Austin Biel of Catharsis Worship asserts, “Created to Create.”
ART gives us wings to rise above the surface of reality and enter the hidden realms of the Heart where we are able to see the TRUTH of who we are… and the TRUTH sets us free as we are able to SEE…
No longer shackled by the prison of self-hatred that comes from believing the externals hold the treasure we seek, we are at last able to reconnect with the spiritual DNA we were given at our inception…
Jesus said ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand – it is Within You’ – His was a heretical voice to the religious establishment of his day because he DARED to call GOD Abba – Daddy – when the establishment was selling the populace on their brand of ‘God hates you unless you do_______.”(buy what we’re selling… purchase salvation from us).
Jesus was an Artist of the Spirit who dared to invite us into the Kingdom of Heaven in the Here and Now.
True Artists are dangerous to the game – they dare to ask WHY – to question the rules. Jesus did this A LOT! ‘Was the Sabbath made for man? Why do you clean the outside of the cup?’ His parables said our externals will take care of themselves when our internals are walking in TRUTH. The LIE says fixing the externals will make the internals work, when the opposite is TRUE.
The Pharisaical LIE is at work today in the realm of advertising – we’re told we’re fundamentally flawed and that only THIS (insert product here – thin waist, perfect teeth, unblemished skin, perpetual youth, the right clothes or car) will heal the rift within us.
The Externals have NO POWER to do this, as is evidenced by our society’s reliance on massive consumer debt and anti-anxiety meds. We are collectively the richest nation in history and simultaneously the least happy. We work ourselves to death in pursuit of a life that is already our birthright.
I’m inviting you to set your spirit free. Find ART that touches you – MAKE Art that touches you and SHARE IT! Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t compare your art to the polished product of the establishment. Just CREATE SOMETHING – a doodle, a folded napkin, a song or a sonnet…paint a room a color that brings you JOY… surround yourself with BEAUTY…LISTEN to the VOICE of the Child inside your HEART…
Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Before that they just WERE…they accepted themselves and one another without question, comparison or judgment.
The process of CREATION invites us back to the Garden…
Sin is missing the mark, but I believe it has been misinterpreted to deliberately manipulate us into self-hatred. The mark we miss most is seeing ourselves as God sees us – as his beloved a delightful children… whose paintings He would love to hang on the wall of His House…
There is a forest we all encounter and that forest is named loss…
Upon entering its borders we are seized with a gripping
pain in the chest, as though clawed fingers are ripping
through our lungs, emptying them of air and pinching the
heart before pulling it out to lie bleeding on the ground.
As we stagger back, gasping for the breath that will not
come, there is a new sound in the forest… a sound of
softly padding feet loping toward us as we see forms
approaching in the moonlight…
One by one our new companions reveal themselves… they
are fierce and beautiful silver wolves, yet we are not
alarmed at their presence…
They walk towards us, heads down in seeming
submission, inviting us to run our hands along their silky
backs… We hear their voices inside our minds, promising
protection and companionship… we relax and begin to
breathe again as the wolves slowly encircle us in their
It feels safe here with such majestic predators keeping the
forest at bay… but the safety is an illusion we discover as
first one wolf then another squabble over what is left of our
hearts, nipping away pieces, just a little at a time… Almost
imperceptible at first, the blood trickles out – the blood of
trust, of hope, of joy, of love… and we become hollow,
bloodless husks, staring into nothingness… and the
wolves, sated, abandon their protectorate to the further
ravages of the forest.
But the forest is NOT the REAL enemy.
The forest has thorns, to be sure, but they are thorns of
preparation – each seemingly impossibly painful jab opens
our hearts to the air of the forest – air that is pure and
clean and fresh and glorious – healing air that cleanses
our ancient woundings and renews our strength…
We do not realize this at first – we only feel the thorns –
recoiling from the pain and seeking solace in the soft,
warm fur of the wolf pack.
We are deceived.
The forest has a name and that name is loss…
The wolves also have names – their names are Bitterness,
Resentment, Anger, Self-Protection…
But the AIR… the air that heals and strengthens us… the
air that can only enter through our wounds…that air is
Once upon a time there lived a happy town named Chocolateburge, in the beautiful town there lived a dragon named Inkling, made of gumdrops and goodness. He was a very nice dragon who lived in a cave of chocolate and poprocks. He would fly into the middle of town and give everyone poprocks and chocolate. This is how the town got its name. As the day grew on Inkling grew tired so he saided goodbye to the town and left with a smile on his face. As he flew into his cave he felt a nudge on his right ear, a little girl not older than three, with flowing burnet hair and the most radiant skin you have ever seen. Inkling was very surprised he put the little girl down on his bed. Inkling heard a knock on his door. He opened it and saw a woman with tears in her eyes and she asked, “have you seen my little girl?” Inkling opened the door all the way, the mother sunk to the floor as the little girl asked why her mother was crying and ran to her. The mother’s eyes lit up and she ran to her daughter. Inkling started to cry too and the mother thanked the gumdrop dragon named Inkling and called her little girl to her. The happy family left as Inkling closed the door. He was very happy as the mother was. The clock chimed and all in his cave grew quiet. He fluffed his pillow and fell asleep. Chocolateburge grew still and quiet
I was watching this video training the other day on how to be a rockstar public speaker and I’m pretty sure the advice is applicable to blogging too, so here goes…
I will be 49 in October and I’m a solo mama of an amazing and asynchronous 11-year-old son. I am also an artist-writer-singer-musician-in-hiding who has been working in massage therapy for 20 years and feeling like a sell-out fraud. I’ve been carrying about 50 pounds more than my body was designed to carry and I’m TIRED ALL THE TIME.
Can you relate?
I’m convinced that when we allow ourselves to live lives that feel inauthentic to our spirits, that do not encourage and allow us to fully express our gifting – how we were designed by GOD – this fraudulent existence catches up with us all sooner or later.
For some, it is a terminal diagnosis that turns their world upside down. For others, it can be the end of a relationship… a divorce or the death of someone dear… Whatever disguise our personal harbinger chooses to wear, the message is the same to all of us… TIME is SHORT – GET MOVING!!
My personal life-altering experience took the form of being rejected from the first person I’d opened my heart to in nearly 30 years, followed by being thrown out of our home of five years by a tearful landlady who needed us to vacate so her daughter could move in…
So, here I am, forty-eight, overweight, exhausted, 100% responsible for the well being of a gifted child who is entering puberty with all the accompanying mood swings and angst exacerbated by his mentally ill father’s emotional and physical unavailability and the resulting feelings of rejection and worthlessness that just add to the mix. Oh, and HOMELESS – did I mention HOMELESS??
I took my son out of private school in the third grade because he was being unmercifully bullied and NO ONE would help despite repeated teacher conferences and trips to the headmaster’s office groveling. Our lives had become a series of parting at 7:30am and reuniting physically and emotionally spent eleven hours later, only to go home and endure his hour long anxiety attacks nearly daily… the fragile veneer of holding it together he managed to prop up at school came crashing down at night all over me. But I was so exhausted from spending my days caring for hurting people in a too-fast-paced-for-me environment that I had nothing left to give.
Something had to shift.
I dropped my hours at the office, and eventually left that place and pace altogether to work limited hours at a quieter office and on private clients while I attempted to deschool my son so he could breathe and feel like a human again…
We went from having adequate money for bills to struggling financially, but emotionally we were both better off. Some things are more important than money and those things are us.
Without the constant stress and anxiety of running on empty, I was finally able to breathe and think and look around and ask my heart what was true and what she needed.
What was true of me was that massage therapy, though I was good at it, was a means of hiding from my purpose.
I went to massage school in 1995, not because I had any burning desire to be a therapist, but because the tuition was $16,000 less than the recording engineering school that was singing to my heart. I’ve spent 21 years languishing in a profession where I’ve done the minimum to get by. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a competent therapist and have many clients who are delighted with my work. But I have NEVER had that spark… that JOY… that desire to devote myself wholeheartedly to massage that I’ve experienced with songwriting and sharing my songs with the world.
It’s not always that glaringly wrong choices that rob our hearts… sometimes it’s the ones that make good fiscal sense…
This is why, I believe, Jesus said the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil… not just the obvious corporate greed killing baby seals or poisoning the environment evil… Perhaps most insidious is the evil that seduces us with the promise of financial security at the expense of our dreams…
Could it be that the very God who created us actually WANTS us to live as joyful creators too?
I’ve been sitting with this thought for a while…then romantic rejection opened the floodgates of my heart and I saw the rejection for what it was – a mirror.
I had been rejecting MYSELF – my heart, my vulnerability, my passion and artistry – in the name of being a responsible parent. I was robbing MYSELF of the life I was meant to live AND robbing my precious little boy of the JOY of the mother he had been born to…
His mother was not some medical-machinery-live-for-a-paycheck-sellout-hopeless-drudge. HIS mother was a magical, ethereal faerie dancer whose prose had been praised as “miraculous as the Birth of Venus!”
When we ALLOW ourselves to REMEMBER who we ARE… THAT’s when the MAGIC can start to happen in our lives…
My passion, my heart’s desire and my MISSION on the planet is to hold up to your face that same Silver Mirror so that YOU can REMEMBER who YOU ARE!
Be Who You Are…
The World is full of people no one’s ever known…
And Each of them a treasure waiting to be shown…
So take this invitation to set your Spirit free…
And you can be who you’re meant to be…
The World needs YOU…
If you would like to join our adventure and follow us as we follow our hearts, click here (email list link).
Good Morning, Loves,
After my last post, I was thinking about how to encourage you all. And then I thought what better way than to share my journey of recovering my own creative heart? This was a doozy and I hope will inspire you all to work through the garbage that comes up and remember who you are…
I am a songwriter, but I became a mother almost twelve years ago. After the initial burst of manic lullaby-churning-out, I lost touch with my writing in the day-to-day grind of survival mode. I was completely smitten with my little boy, who is of course my finest creation. But I had lost my artist self along the way. Suddenly I found myself working menial jobs to pay the bills and coming home exhausted to three hour naps, bad cheap food and weight gain depression.
I had no idea how much I was dying.
I remember before I had my son I imagined I’d be the coolest mom ever! I had this amazingly creative bohemian lifestyle that would be a wonderland for any child. I was not prepared for the soul shredding reality of losing all my alone time and never getting a break…of paying RENT after a life of house sitting and couch surfing. I got really adept at pouring out of an empty cup. Although I never resented my child, I often wished for a fairy godmother who would sweep in and offer to give me a week’s vacation in an empty room with a piano.
It’s been a journey getting my heart back.
The journey involved meeting an emotionally unavailable man eleven years into motherhood who for some reason resonated with me in a way that opened my heart for the first time since I was seventeen…Doing this frustrating dance of yes but no but yes. Spending nearly a year in constant emotional turmoil. Being alternately adored and ignored. Intermittent woundings, each of which felt like contractions in childbirth and ended up delivering the album WARRIOR*POET*BRIDE..
The initial shock and pain of rejection when said fella bailed brought ears, prayers and tantrums to God. Then, in a sunrise of sudden clarity, a sort of defibrillator for my artist heart… I pulled out my old recordings and sat in my kitchen being amazed at the level of brilliance they contained…
I might never be married. I may never experience the transcendent bliss of melting into the arms of a man who knows and loves ALL of me. But, by GOD, I can WRITE MUSIC and I can do it BEAUTIFULLY.
So I had this thought: “Why continue to chase a ‘normal’ life? Why force my heart to settle for less than I am capable of becoming?”
As I listened to the music that had been born of the jagged edges in my heart, I knew. My mentor Austin Biel of catharsisworship.com/ likes to say, “I am a creator. I was created to create.” I write worship music. I write love songs. I write poems and stories and prose and music. Not everyone can do that, but I can. And maybe, just maybe, that’s WHY I’m on the planet. To write, to sing, to dance, to share JOY in the way that only I can share.
If I am forced to sit at a desk, I will stare at the clock and eventually snap like a twig. But if I’m forced to sit at a piano, I will completely lose track of time and midwife into being worlds of sound and words that move people to tears.
Maybe the things that sing to our hearts sing for a reason. Maybe we are SUPPOSED to do what brings us greatest JOY. Maybe we are SUPPOSED to do what causes time to fade away and GOD to enter the room…
Maybe the things we love to do are the very things we are MEANT to do.
What do YOU love to do?