Sunday, September 23, 2012

Echoing outward

I have found that journaling with my 40 Day Creative Process takes me deeper and deeper into my Heart.  I journaled throughout my July/August experience.  This time as I began anew, I changed my format to journal for this blog.  I will be sharing parts of this journal with you all from time to time.  Below is Days 4 through 10.  In my life timeline, it is the week I started Spiritual Direction training.  It includes the days just prior to and the days of retreat, as well as the day after.  I am always amazed at how echoes from this process show up in other works and how other works, in return, echo into this practice.  The organic nature of the Creative Process continues to amaze and entice me...

Day 4:

I began by growing the figure again, this time in green.  Then a yellow heart in the figure.  it wanted to shine forth.  I pulled the yellow out and found that the figure and the hearts were also included in that shining.  Then the yellow heart expanded to cover the entirety of the screen.

I continue to feel my heart opening and coming back to life anew.  There is a bit of fear in that experience; fear of being hurt again; fear of failure; fear of risk.  And yet, the fear is not overshadowing this growth, this transformation, this re-emergence of my heart.

I like that my Creative Self is focused upon constantly reminding me to expand my heart outwards.  To let it so shine brightly in the world.  To not hide it.  To not fear what could happen.  To seek the Light and emanate that Light from deep within my Soul.

Day 5:

I’m back in Philadelphia and drawing at the end of the day.  It was too early of a start to a day of travel to paint before I left NH.  So, feeling exhaustion from the days travel creeping into my spirit, I sat and gave my attention to my Creative Self.  And this is what happened...
A purple heart appeared in the bottom corner and glowed outwards.  It sent arrows pointing to the little figure in the opposite bottom corner, connecting itself to that figure.  I found myself circling that figure in blue fireworks, drawing more and more attention to it again.

A reminder that even in exhaustion, love emanates from our beings; from my being.  Love is the energy that will carry me through each day, strengthen me, focus me, drive me forward into my fullest expression of myself.


Day 6:

Blue squiggles started my morning between the two outer yellow hearts.  Then that one blue circle echoed itself outward, growing to fill the screen, to touch each heart, to connect deeply with all that is there.

After some time, one single star appeared in the top corner.  At first I left it blank, but it wanted to be filled in.  After filling it in a few more appeared near that small figure.  

That one large filled in star drew my focus to the morning.  It is as if the circles echo right up to that star.  There is something I need to learn from that star.  It rests in my heart this day, awaiting the next moment to offer its invitation to me.

Today, I am off to begin my journey to become a Spiritual Director.  I see that movement in those blue circles, that invitation to expand and deep my spirituality, to open myself more and more to all the dimensions of the Holy.  

I am bringing paint and paper.  I will work on another piece during my time there.  I will process through paint and paper in the silence of the night.  I am curious to see what that silence will bring forth here on this piece and on the piece I shall begin there.  

Day 7:

I began with the  star, early in the morning.  The star wanted to echo outwards.  Then it wanted light (yellow) to emanate out in its echo. 

As I worked on the star, somehow I purple line appeared in the middle of my screen.  I did not put it there consciously.  But there is was.  It was pointing to the yellow heart.  I added a green heart overlapping the yellow a bit.   Then that line wanted to become an arrow.  I surrendered.  The arrow wanted to grow, to become more noticeable.  I followed its lead.

What struck me in contemplation was that there are two hearts:  mine and the Holy’s.  They overlap, one touching the other.  I am struck by the safety of that.  I am struck by the tenderness of it.  I am struck by my desire the merge more and more with all that is Holy, with that Sacred Energy in the Universe.  

That purple arrow focused me on that movement.  What a blessed way to start a day!

Day 8:

That green heart expanded outward and filled the screen.  I get the sense that is the Holy, expanding within me.

I used to pray this simple prayer everyday:

“Fill me with Your presence until I am empty of all but You.”

There is it.  The Holy filling me with Her presence until I am empty of all but Her.

And that sense of the green being the Holy strengthened as I circled that tiny figure in blue and created an arrow pointing to the green heart.  Pay attention Present ME to that movement of the Holy in me.  Surrender to it.  Welcome it.  Allow the Holy to do Her thing within and around me. 

The eraser arrows appeared pointing back to me.
It is a flow of energy from the Holy through me and back to the Holy.  If I am open to it, if I empty myself, I will be transformed into the Heart of the Holy.

That is my deepest be transformed into the Heart of the Holy.

“Holy Love, fill me with Your presence until I am empty of all but You.”

Day 9:

Today began with a tiny figure reappearing in the green heart at its base.  Then came the yellow surrounding the green heart.  The star exploded more Light outwards.  And the purple arrow grew deeper and stronger, adding some red tones to it.  Finally red bubbles appeared in the bottom corner and began to encircle the right side of the piece.

I was struck later when looking at the figure that it is the same purple as the small figure in the bottom corner.  As I contemplated this connection the feeling of sinking into the heart of the Holy and residing there bubbled up strongly in my Soul.  The arrow strengthened that feeling.  

I am noticing how the blue arrow points directly to that tiny little purple figure in the midst of the green heart.  I am noticing how all the large figures that filled the screen have become part of the piece and are no longer distinct, seeable.  I”m noticing how the green heart expands outward growing as it does so.  I’m noticing how the purple arrow weaves its way amongst the green expanding hearts.

As I sat in Centering Prayer, I noticed this joy bubbling up again and again from deep within my Soul.  I noticed how my mouth formed a smile with each bubble of joy, how my heart felt this strong sense of laughter fill it and how peace deep inner peace was left as the joy continued its journey upward and outward.  

I am grateful for this invitation deeper and deeper into the Holy, into that Sacred Energy that continues to create and nurture and Universe.  I am curious to see how my Creative Self continues to respond to that invitation.

Day 10:

This morning my attention was drawn to two tiny circles when I first opened the drawing.  My Creative Self wanted to circle them and draw more attention to them.  I circled the first, a circle at the base of the purple arrow.  I used arrows to point to the circle in the middle of the star.  The arrows came in the form of a star, which I thought was pretty cool.

Then the circles came.  They started radiating outward and upward from the tiny figure at the base of the green heart.  Then I flipped the drawing around and radiated circles from the small figure back to the figure in the corner.

I sat with it for a bit.  Then my journaling began right there noticing what was happening as the circles radiated outward.  I began to notice that it felt good to have the circles radiate outward and upward, like my heart and self was ready to expand and grow into the world; express my fullest sense of being.  Then I spent some time noticing what happened as the circles echoed back toward that figure in the corner.  It felt like a conversation between my spirit in “ordinary awareness” and my spirit “nestled in the heart of the Holy;” an invitation to deepen my spiritual connection to the Holy.  It feels like a confirmation and affirmation of this journey I have begun to become a spiritual director

Monday, September 17, 2012

When Intuitive Painting meets Spiritual Direction...

I knew more was to come with the painting I began the first night of Spiritual Direction training, but had no idea what that would be.  

Throughout that first full day I returned to look at this painting, to sit before it, to take it into my Soul, into my Heart, into my Body.  I waited for something to stir.  And something did.  It needed two more words...Breathe at its roots.  I grabbed my sayings and searched for the word.  The Universe provided two “breathe”s.  I cut them out of their sayings and glued them to the roots.  Now the tree felt grounded in Holy, Sacred Breathe as it should be....

I continued to await the next bubble.  Stuck came instead.  

I had the color yellow and the shape of a heart.  I knew the painting needed more yellow.  I knew that a heart needed to appear.   I knew something needed to show up on the left.

I contemplated hearts on the left like stars on the right.  Nope!!!
I contemplated put a heart in the trunk and expanding it echoing outwards covering the painting (like in my 40 day painting).  Nope!!

Usually at this point, when I’m stuck, my teacher would magically arrive and ask me a wise question or give me a comment that would crack me open to the next thing.  But my teacher was not there!!  I was on my own.... or was I?  I was surrounded by spiritual directors.  Hmmmm...

The invitation was there in my spirit, “You don’t have to do this alone.  Ask for the help you need.”  I asked.  I asked one of my Spiritual Director teachers to sit with me at the beginning of evening silence and help me open to the next invitation.   I explained the process of “Three things I could do to the painting” and how that usually helps me move forward.  She accepted. 

But here is what happened.  We did not use the “Three things exercise.”  She used Contemplative Spiritual Direction techniques to open me up to what was next and it was powerful.

I talked about the last thing I did, the word Breathe.  I talked about the circle being off center, about how inside myself it was supposed to be a heart shaped, but came out as a circle.  I talked about the stars and maybe bringing them across the painting, wondering if it was my own need to balance out the painting.

She reflected back what she heard:  The circle is your heart.  (Wow.  The circle is my heart.  Yes. Powerful)  It feels off centered.  (Yes.)  Maybe the stars would balance it or maybe you want it balanced.

That is what I had said.  She asked me to notice what that felt like inside my Soul.  How does it feel to bring the stars across?

I stood my nose almost against the painting staring at it....and noticed radiance, the greenish background radiating out from the purple circle.  I spoke the word radiance.

Ah, radiance.  Notice radiance.  Where is it?

It is coming forth from the purple circle.  I looked closely.  It was coming forth from one side of the purple circle -- the non-star side.

The stars were really only to go as far as I had painted them.  They felt like my Shadow side.  Here was my Daylight Self, Light radiating out from the purple circle.

Notice what it looks like....

Like solar flares jumping off the sun, all across this side of the painting.

I commented on how beautiful and healing it was to notice that finally I felt like there was more Daylight Self than Shadow self.  I commented on how I was noticing that there has begun to be a shift in my Soul.  In June, I was covering my paintings with blood red, with Shadow, with pain, with wounds.  Now, here I was looking at a painting with more Daylight than Shadow.
Powerful.  Powerful.   Powerful.

I was ready to paint, but my teacher said “I don’t want to lose this image of the heart.  Take a moment and notice if the heart needs to appear or not.”

I had forgotten about the heart.  It had been in my mind all day and I had not found a way to put it up.  With this new insight into my painting, I was ready to move on.  But she was right.  I needed to notice the heart.  The heart is where this work is happening in my soul.

I took some deep centering breathes.  The heart needs to be on this painting.  It needs to be on the trunk, at the core of this tree.  It is the trunk of the tree, all that holds this life force up.  Green.

She repeated:  The heart is at the center of the tree and it is green.

Beautiful.  Now I was ready to go.  I thanked her and we both entered into silence for the night.

I picked up my brush and put a few different shades of yellow on my pallet and began to allow the solar flares to come forth.  I found that at the top of the painting I wanted it to dance.  On the side, I wanted it to flame outwards.

What I did not expect was that the spirals wanted the radiance to spiral out to each phrase, touching them with Light.

And the heart.  The green heart in the trunk.  The finishing touch.  Holding it all together.  bringing together Shadow and Light.  Balancing all that is in my heart and opening me to more growth.

I have a where intuitive painting and spiritual direction blurge together.  I wondered how it would work, whether it would work.  What a blessing to experience the depth and power of the blurring of these two spiritual disciplines together.

That night I awoke at 2 am with a blessing washing over me.  I laid there and listened as the Holy blessed me deeply, echoing the blessings of this painting.  I allowed Her words to wrap themselves around my heart and Soul.  I dwelt, for just a moment, deep in the Heart of All That is Sacred in this Universe, and I wept....blessed beyond words.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Grace of Silence...

I began a Contemplative Spiritual Direction Certification class.  It is held at a retreat center three days a month.  As I prepared for going I felt a deep invitation to take paint and paper with me.  My teacher had recently given me a bucket full of paints.  I packed those and all my paint into my car, picked up paper from her studio and headed to the retreat center praying that there would be a place for me to paint.  Painting has become a real important tool for my inner work and processing.

When I arrived I checked out the “map” of the center.  There was an art room!  Yeah!  I checked it out and everything I would need to paint was there.  We were the only group there so I was not going to be interrupted or have to share the space.  Totally awesome.

I got my paint and set myself up for painting.  Each evening after evening prayer the program practices silence until after breakfast the next morning.  I decided to spend that time of silence with my paint and paper and see what shows up.

Prepared I went off to evening prayer....then in silence returned to this new sacred space.

I started with a deep purple circle in the middle of the paper.  Next came blue around the circle, then blue all over the paper covering integrating the purple into the blue.

I began to feel an invitation to change the orientation of my painting.  As I looked at the blue paper, it wanted to be horizontal not vertical.  I followed that invitation and changed the orientation of the paper.

And then the purple circle showed up again, in the same spot.  A spiral formed with the back of my brush as I scrapped away the purple paint allowing the blue behind it to come through.

I stood back and awaited the next invitation.  It was green.  I did not know where, so I grabbed the green, put it in my hand, and trusted my Creative Self to guide me.  The green started in the top right corner and came down like a funnel cloud diagonally through the painting, touching the edge of the purple circle.  I did not like that.  My heart was unsettled with the invasion of the circle, with the disruption of that spiral.  And it was too dark.  I wanted Light.

I grabbed the yellow and put a single line of yellow alongside the green. Then I used a brush and put yellow echoing out from the purple circle.  I filled the space in between the yellow with a bright fluorescent green.

I stepped back and took in the painting.  That green felt like it went right through my heart.  My Shadow present.  Light working to balance it out.  My journey blocked, disrupted, obstructed....

I worked at the green some more.  Running my fingers up and down, integrating the yellow in, adding more brighter green to lighten it up.  But it was not changing.

I turned to the circle.  I grabbed purple and began to reform the circle.  It got murky, Shadowy.  It was too wet.  It needed to dry some.  There was too much paint, too many layers to do what I wanted to do, so I went and grabbed a fan and put it directly on the painting.

Then I changed my focus.  Back in May, I began to pay attention to the sayings on Dove chocolates I was eating.  They began to sink into my spirit, to resonate within my heart.  I started saving them without thinking really.  I would eat a chocolate, read the saying and if something resonated I would fold the foil in such a way as to preserve the saying.  The sayings then were deposited in my singing bowl for safe keeping.

When I moved out of my apartment, I unceremoniously packed them in a snack-sized ziploc bag and threw them in with my paint supplies.  I did not want to throw them away.  I had a sense that sometime they were going to become something greater.

That night, in the midst of silence, I grabbed those sayings.  I began to sort through them.  I read them.  I paid attention to what resonated within my heart.  I put them aside.

I grabbed the scissors and began to cut them up.  I made some into ovals; some into hearts; some stayed square; one became a cloud; some diamonds.  I allowed the saying to determine the shape.

When I had completed that invitational task, I went back to my painting.  It became clear what needed to happen.  A tree needed to form in the painting.  But first, the painting needed simplicity.

I thanked the green for showing up in its tunnel form.   I grabbed the green paint again and began to integrate the tunnel and green into a background.  I kept going all the way around the painting.  I began to feel an invitation to move my fingers outward from the purple circle as if the purple was radiating the green, blue and yellow.  I added light green and yellow to lighten it up. 

I realized that I needed to accept that one side was going to be lighter than the other.  One side had more Shadow.  The Other side more Light.  

I grabbed red, primary red and began to work it into the circle.  The circle became this really cool purple shade.  I added some lighter purple that I had and worked at the circle until I was satisfied with its roundness and size.  

Then it was time to leave it for the night.  The paper was too wet for a tree to form.  I was tired.  I cleaned up and headed for bed.

Here is the thing I have learned about this process, when the time is right my body reacts to the invitation.  So, at 4 am my body awoke with this sense that now is the time to paint that tree.  I have learned to not fight that will only lead to frustration on my part.  I have learned to accept  this as part of who I am, and how I process.

I got up, took a shower, journaled, and headed to the paint room.  I turned on the lights.  The circle looked wet still.  It was tacky to touch.  the rest was dry.  I realized that I would not be able to paint the tree with my fingers and hands, a brush was the only instrument that would work.

I grabbed a brush, my pallet and the brown paint.  I put brown paint in and began to paint the tree one branch at a time.  I started up and to the right.  Then the left began to form.  Then the center.  I ended each branch with a spiral, with that invitation to journey.  I had a sense that something was going to grow out of the spirals, flower forth.

I noticed that the tree as not balanced, that there was more on the left than on the right.  I noticed that the circle was also more to the left, off centered.  I sat with that for a bit and awaited what was next.

A Star that was what was next.  One star that became a night sky of stars.  I began with that large star.  What is curious to me is that after that the smaller stars appeared (for the most part) in threes.  I kept going, adding large and small stars until I hit a spot of resistance.  I did not want to add a star below the branches. 

I went to the top of the painting and hit resistance again.  This time a different resistance, more like a resistance that said “Stars do not go past here.”  Each time I thought about or even reached to place a star past that top spiral, my belly and heart said NO!, my body stopped me.  After a few tries, I surrendered to this movement within me, curious as to what that was about.

I turned my attention back to the base of the tree wondering if the same resistance was there.  I took a deep breathe and reached to paint a star.  The star went up.  But it asked to be bigger.  I painted a larger and larger star over it until the star was big enough.  

Then the stars said, that is enough.

And I stopped for a bit.  I cleaned up and prepared for morning Centering Prayer...then off to a silent breakfast.  What I am noticing in this silence is that my internal creative self does not have to push as hard to get me to listen and heed its invitations.  I was eating when this invitation arise within me to go and finish the tree.  I knew what was next.  

I finished breakfast, and left rather quickly and headed straight for my painting.  It was time to glue the saying on.  The sayings were the fruits, the flowers of this tree.  I grabbed a saying, read it, put glue on it, and allowed my Creative Self to place it on the tree where it needed to go. 

Each spiral received a saying, an invitation to my Soul.  
“Feed your sense of anticipation.”
“Feel free to be yourself.”
“Open your eyes to all the love around you.”  “Do all things with love.”  
“Dare to dream.” 
“Believe in yourself.”  
“Forget the rules and play by your heart.”

The base of the tree received one rooting itself deeply in this sense of life and love. “Be free.  Be happy.  Be You.”

Now it was time for class to begin.  I was ready.  I felt gratitude for the “flowering” of the tree.  I felt a sense of closure.  I knew the painting was not done, but it was at a good place to rest.   

As we broke silence together in group, our teachers asked us to share the grace that came to us in our silence....  I took everyone on a field trip to see and experience the grace for themselves.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

40 Days of Creating Begins Anew...

Day 1:

I have begun a new painting in MyBrushes on my iPad for the next 40 days.  I decided that this creative ritual in the mornings is important to my growth and healing.  It has taught me a great deal about myself.  It has helped me process through the crap and pain of my summer, through my broken heart.  It has helped me open and cleanse more of my Shadow.  It has begun to help me feel whole.

So, I opened a new empty blank screen.  As always happens with a blank paper, I have this moment of panic:  “Where to start”  “What if I don’t have anything to say?”  “What if I am a fake?”  These are the thoughts that go through my head before I put my first mark on the paper. It is my Critic messing with my head and heart.  I have to breathe it out so that my creative self can take over.  “Get out of my head Critic.  Get out of my Heart Critic. This space is for my growth and creative self.  This is about Future ME.”

I started with the dark green spots then added black dots.  Then I changed to the glowing brush and put the purple spiral.  A green circle formed followed by the white heart in the middle.  Then a small tiny yellow figure at the base of the white circle.

It feels like my future is going to emanate out of my heart.  It is all based, housed, in my heart.  My heart is connected to Light.  So really, my future is connected to the Holy, to Light, to all that needs to emanate into the world.  I know that.  I feel that bubbling up more and more each day.  I’m beginning to really truly accept it deep into my belly.  Then I believe that it will explode out into my career, into my family, into FUTURE ME -- a life and way of being in this world that is full, large, creative, happy.

Day 2:

I began with the blue scribbles around the spiral in a circle.  Then the orange fire works brush around the green circle .  Then yellow glow around the whole painting, bringing forth more radiance and brightness. 

Then the white hearts appeared.  Growing.  One larger than the other.  Reaching out into the world.  Expanding.

Then a figure arrived.  At first it came in the eraser brush, like Light hidden among the painting.  Then it morphed into orange and the green heart appeared in the figure.

My heart is definitely expanding.  I feel it sitting on top of the peaks contemplating the beauty around me, allowing all that sadness at the latest round of pastoral rejections to bubble up and out, tears to flow, reordering to happen through contemplation and prayer.  I feel the Holy nearby.  I see the Holy all around me.  How can you not when this is your view:

Everywhere I looked beauty was around me.  It was my first solo hike in a long time.  Me and the Holy and nothing between us.  Stuff bubbling up.  Good stuff.  Hard stuff.  Me breathing it out with each step, focusing in on my heart, on Love, on Hope, on Light.  Allowing the Holy to do Her thing....

And today’s painting is the result of that time with the Holy.  My heart expanding.  Me showing up larger than yesterday.  Day 1 I was a tiny figure at the base of my heart.  Today the figure is large amongst the growing expanding heart.

The mountains always do me good!

Day 3:

More growing in my heart.  More expanding.

I started with the figure.  I traced it with a dark purple, made it clearer.  Then a smaller figure showed up in the bottom corner.   I wanted to connect the two.  It felt like the smaller one was projecting itself to become the Large Figure.  I began with purple fireworks brush, then used the green.  That was not quite doing it.  It sort of showed the movement.  So I used red and made a heart around the purple figure. Then I went back to green and used green arrows moving from the small to the large figure.  Then the blue heart emanated out from the small figure holding and encircling the large figure.

Then hearts appeared all in the blue heart.  Red, blue, green, white, orange and finally the green hearts in each figure.

I came North for the weekend in search of some quiet meditative hiking to allow the silence of hiking to bring me closer to Future Me; to put me in contact with the Holy; to engage my body physically in this meditative process.

I have done just that.  I have immersed myself in the beauty of the world around me.  From the high peaks, to cascades and ponds and wilderness.  Yesterday’s hike was through the wilderness.

I spent time sitting quietly by a cascade, contemplating the stone river bed, listening to the roar of the flumes and water, breathing it in.  I sat quietly by a pond deep in the wilderness.  I breathed in this quiet silent space, untouched by technology and the busyness of the world.  Contemplative Prayer in each place.

I needed that quiet.  I needed that reminder of the beauty around me.  I needed that experience of becoming one with the world around me.  I needed to get in touch with the rhythm of Mother Nature, touch and root myself back to Her core, to Her beat.

When I touch back into the real world, back to Philadelphia, I want to feel more grounded, more ready to dive into the hard work of creating this career I feel called to.  I am ready to dive into Spiritual Direction work, into creating a Spirituality Center, into embracing Future Me.

It will be hard work.  I trust that this creative process that has brought me to this place will guide me to Future ME; will journey this journey with me, opening my heart, grounding me, energizing me, focusing me as I do the work I am meant to do.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Light! Light! and more Light...Painting my Crown Chakra

Light has been a theme for the last couple of weeks in my 40 Day Creative Painting Experience.  For the past 10 days it has exploded in that painting on my iPad.
I have not been able to get enough Light in the painting.  I feel it exploding in my Soul.  I feel it expanding my Heart, opening it once more to the world.  I feel it opening my Shadow more and more to the Holy for reordering, cleansing, reclaiming.  What I find most interesting about the appearance of Light is that it began when I sat for the first time in Centering Prayer.  Each time I sit prior to painting, more and more Light comes in and through me, in and through the painting.

When I came to paint my Crown Chakra this time, I was curious to see what would happen.  I wondered if the Light would migrate onto this painting.  I wondered if I would be able to surrender to the Holy my attachment to this painting enough for the Light to appear.  This painting began as a lesson in acceptance and surrender to the Holy’s presence in my life, so it seemed fitting that the final layer’s focus was about the presence of the Holy in my life.

I began by re-visiting that blood red circle with the blue swirl that I exploded the prior week when painting my Third Eye.  It felt like it needed more Light.  I got the twirly brush-thing and began to intensify the Light that was exploding.  I brought it to the edge of the blood red circle.  I began to feel my body relax and my spirit begin to open...

A purple swirl appeared in the middle of the circle surrounding the Eye that I had etched into it at the end of the previous week’s painting.  

I added more Light, twirling it out and integrating that swirl into the explosion of Light.  That felt better.  But there was not enough Light.  I needed, I craved more and more Light.  The painting needed to shine forth with Light!!!

So, I turned to the top corner where I had put the star the previous week.  I painted it white, hoping that would bring enough Light.  (Notice how attached I am to what is there?)  Well, the Holy has been teaching me to surrender to the Light in Centering Prayer.  So, the only thing the Holy would accept, the only thing my creative spirit would accept, was surrender and unattachment to the painting.

I took a deep breathe and using white (yes white, even though it looks mauve) and covered the star and the circle.  The white mixed with the blood red on the star and made it mauve.  I began to pull the Light out from the circle, to swirl it out from the center like a hurricane.  I added more and more white.  I pulled out further and further... so far that the orange arrow was in my way.  I turned the arrow at first, leaving it hanging; but when it was totally in the way I removed it and put it on the floor.  The Light wanted to grow bigger and bigger.  It wanted to be brighter and brighter, so I grabbed yellow-white and began to use that to enlarge the explosion of Light.  I would put a good amount of yellow on the the spot and then begin to pull it out and down.

It really had a cool affect to me.  I was struck by how it resembled a Dr. Suess flower, and yet exploded Light forth.  Both.  

I sat down and took it in.  My soul wanted more.  The Holy wanted more.  Light!!!  Light!!! There is still more Light to shine forth from this painting....

I turned my attention to the gold circle in the top right corner.  I grabbed the brightest yellow I could find and covered the circle in it.  I was generous with the yellow so that the gold would not seep through as much.  I worked gently to bring forth more Light from that circle.  Then I glitter-glued it with yellow glitter to make it sparkle.  And it sparkles and shines brightly!!!

But yet, I wanted more Light!!!  The only place for it to come was the bottom right corner, from the dark green circle next to the path.  I decided to follow the same method and grabbed white-green and covered the dark green circle.  Again, notice my attachment to the painting, my resistance of the real invitation to explode that green.  I did not want to “mess up” the path.  I was completely attached to that path, that unobstructed path. 

But the Light wanted to explode.  It did not want to be contained.  Contained by the circle.  Contained by the path.  It wanted what it wanted!!!  I had to surrender to the Holy’s invitation....

I continued with the green-white and exploded that circle right over the path, up the painting almost to the yellow circle, across the painting, into the blood red circle and blue swirl.  I exploded that green circle as far as I could.

Then I sat back and looked at the painting.  I missed the path.  Part of it was missing.  I wanted the path.  I needed the path to be there.  I wanted to walk amongst the Light.

I grabbed the magenta and painted the path’s squares over the green Light.  That helped.  It looked really cool.  My unobstructed path beginning in the midst of Holy Light and leading me forward in life.....  I could resonate with that.

Now I felt stuck.  I sat and looked at the painting so far.  My teacher joined me.  She had already commented to me that the orange arrow had been removed.  I had already put it back up, but with tacks still.  We talked about it.  I know why I have not glued them.  The arrows are pointing in direction.  It is a huge commitment to glue them.  What if they want to change direction?  What if I want to change their direction?  She laughed.  She reminded me that I have issues with direction and accepting direction in my life, and then with great direction told me GLUE THEM!  So, I glued them.  

It was okay, but challenging to do.  I liked that they were movable.  I liked that they could change direction and allow my unconscious to point where I needed to place my attention.  But I have to admit, they had not moved or changed direction in a few sessions.  I even took down that orange one to preserve it and it went back the same way!  The arrows had committed themselves on their own already.  I needed to accept that and surrender to that.  GLUE THEM!!!

Once done, we began to do the “Name three things you can do to the painting...” exercise.  I don’t like this exercise.  It requires me to detach from the painting so that I can imagine new things on it.  It may even require me to “mess up” the painting even more.  I usually resist it.  And I did.  But my teacher, being wise, pushed hard....

I came to stars.  Stars on the painting.  Purple.

And here is what happened when I went to do it:

I grabbed the magenta and added a second coat to the path.  My teacher stood there next to me and said “Really?  I thought you were doing stars....”  I know I’m resisting....

But the stars came.  I did put them up.  They appeared around the vine by the magenta flower.  And that is where I left it for now.  It is not done yet.  I know it.  There is still more Light to add in the form of stars. The path is inviting me to attend to it more, to open my heart more, to invite the path to express and manifest Love in that deep Holy Sacred sense.

I feel like the Holy invited me into a physical painting experience of the last step of Welcoming Prayer; “Centering Prayer’s powerful companion piece for turning daily life into a virtually limitless field for inner awakening.” (p135)  Welcoming Prayer invites us to break our reaction cycles by taking us to a more spacious inner place so that our unconscious patterns of reaction do not just keep playing themselves out mindlessly.

It happens in three steps:  (1) focus and sink into the issue allowing it to embody you; (2) Welcome it, accept it as part of you; and (3) Let it go.  

I feel like this Chakra painting experience up to this night of painting was a physical manifestation of the first two steps, sinking into Present ME and welcoming all that is there.  This night, was letting go, surrendering to the Holy and the Light of the Universe, allowing it to transform me.

The teacher of Welcoming Prayer would end it with these words:

“I let go of my desire for security and survival.
I let go of my desire for esteem and affection.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire to change the situation.”

I let go of MY desire to change this situation.....