I had a rich experience the other night while doing some meditation: I began experiencing myself as if I were a rose as it began to unfurl — gently opening petal by petal. As one petal would open, it allowed the next petal that had been folded in behind it the freedom and permission to open next, followed by the next, and then the next until the rose (as me) gradually went from closed to fully bloomed. I was that rose, I am that rose, and it was an exquisite experience.
With an eye towards nature as teacher, I then found myself reflecting upon what a revealing metaphor the unfolding of a rose is for the process of being human, for the process of living. It also captures my experience during counselings and workshops when I am privileged to support people in their process of sacred discovery and unfolding. It never fails to astonish me how easily and deeply people open to new levels of sacred expression when they feel safe, seen and invited. I find that courage and vulnerability are certainly required to live an authentic life, yet it is empowering to remember the perspective that we are all budding artists and students of creation.
For me, the crafting and sending of these weekly journals has been the most recent petal to unfurl in my creative process. I am delighted to be sharing them as part of my blossoming, and pass along my thanks to those of you who have let me know that you appreciate receiving them.
Speaking of relating to ourselves as artists, you might enjoy these words:
“The ancient roots of the word “art” have to do with connection, and art, at its best, is our connection to the mystery, to the parts of ourselves that are deeper and truer than the day-to-day world. Art connects us to our dreams, to the things that can’t be explained in words, to the things that have touched our core, to our imaginary worlds, and even to our own personal chaos. Art has something to do with the part that doesn’t want to be tamed, that can’t be tamed. Our challenge as artists is to muster the technique, the vision, the persistence, and emotional courage to explore what means most to us. Our challenge as people is even greater — to live a life that is in itself a work of art.”
~ Roderick MacIver, from “Art as a Way of Life”
This poem often inspires me towards taking next steps to live life more wholeheartedly:
WHAT TO REMEMBER WHEN WAKING
by David Whyte
In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other more secret,
moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began,
there is a small opening into the day which closes
the moment you begin your plans.
What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.
To be human is to become visible while carrying
what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world is to
live in your true inheritance.
You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents.
You were invited from another and greater night than
the one from which you have just emerged.
Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be,
What urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and
spread its branches against a future sky?
Is it waiting in the fertile sea? In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself? In the open and
lovely white page on the waiting desk?
With much Peace your way during the holidays, Gavin