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Saturday, October 30, 2021

You Are an Artist

You create your experience and participation and input into life.

Artists begin with the same materials and implements - pigments and canvas and medium and brushes and palette knives, etc. They each create a range of paintings. Some create mediocre, dull paintings and some create brilliant and great works of art.

We all begin with our life force and our bodies and our ideas and experiences, our humanity. Some of us create and live dull lives, some magnificent lives, and everything in between. Some start with apparent advantages, yet we see magnificent lives all through history who started with no seeming advantages.

As with artists who only bloom late in life, such as Grandma Moses, as long as we have breath, it is not too late for us. At any moment, we can open to be and do more.

I know that Spirit whispers in our souls always, and when we listen, we are guided to surprising places, doing more than we previously could imagine. 

Imagine with me for a moment that God created you to be here on earth in this time and place to be an artist with your life. Not necessarily be a literal artist who paints or sculpts, but an artist who creates something lovely with your life. Think of your childhood dreams and interests, they can be a clue to what your art is to be. Before family and society may have diverted you, what were your dreams? You can turn in that direction today.

Now imagine your life, from entry here to exit, as an epoch painting with every detail in living color. When you exit earth, you present this painting, this life, to God. Ask yourself, am I creating the painting I want to present to God? Can I proudly say, "I did the absolute best with the tools of life that You gave me."?  If not, this very day begin the next section of your life painting that you will gladly present to God. Because of Grace, of Forgiveness, the shining part will be what matters. 

You are the artist of your life. The rest of your life is yet to be painted. Make it a beautiful ending.


Saturday, October 23, 2021

Christmas?

We've been watching some Hallmark Christmas movies. In every single one there are statements like "This is what Christmas is all about." They refer to tree lighting ceremonies or community parties or some kindly event that is lovely but not what Christmas is ALL about. I think of the emphasis of Christmas in the past, in my life, in history.

Christmas is the time to pause and celebrate something spiritual and amazing. If you are Christian, it is time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the entry into history of a deeply personal relationship between Jesus and God, some say the birth of God's son in a different way than we are children of God, while some say his is the path to our adoption by the Divine. If you are not Christian, you might be honoring the birth of a wise prophet and teacher. If you are agnostic, you might still say it is worth honoring a man who has changed history over and over again for over 2,000 years and bore testimony with his life of the power of his faith, who has inspired great art and music and architecture and put his stamp upon humanity.

Whoever you think Jesus was/is, I believe the shallow commercialism that has emerged is not healthy and not in line with anyone's view of Jesus and his birth. Let's put a healthy dose of spiritually back into Christmas - the mass celebrating Christ, Christ the annointed one, the Christ in you, the Universal Christ knocking on the door of every human heart.



Monday, October 18, 2021

What Is Truth?

Of course all things are filtered through the biases and lenses of those who see or hear something or the other. It could almost be said that truth is somewhat elastic. I'm not talking about some of the wild stretches of the woke world. I'm talking about normal conversations. One person takes something as a compliment and another as a sarcastic remark. We are told more about the one evaluating than about the situation. I give some examples of this in my book on forgiveness.

When conveying something within the other's decided worldview is usually simple. Each has adopted the same underlying assumptions, so they are basically already in agreement. This is possible in their particular worldview. They know and understand the things upon which the already agree. For example: they have the same religious convictions, they have the same political convictions, etc.

The friction arises when worldviews clash or when something comes up that is way outside one's chosen worldview.

I have found that when something is far outside of a person's usual worldview, they tend to view that as fantasy or untruth. It can be very frustrating, even devastating to the person in the middle of unusual circumstances. To convey the veracity of some thing way outside of someone's worldview may be close to impossible. People can become uncomfortable, even antagonistic.

If you find yourself in such a situation, I suggest some internal questions you can ask yourself rather than jumping into an argument or running to tell someone this person is lying or in fantasy land. Ask yourself, could this be possible? Would this be unlikely, yet still possible? Can I just listen with an open heart? Can I refrain from the personal need to be right? Can I just stand as love and caring?

It might change both lives.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Not Set In Stone

Our lives are lived in constant possibility, pregnant with options. We are limited only by our beliefs, self talk and fears.

We are not given a limited supply of life force at birth that runs down as we age. When I think of this idea, I see the aged Buckminster  Fuller jumping up and down on stage filled with enthusiasm (I was privileged to see and hear him several times). Or I remember Dr. Joseph Murphy rapidly talking with zest in his later years. There are quite a few examples just in my personal experience. My age is no excuse for not participating fully.

If we believe all is lost, for us it is. If we believe there is no hope, for us there is none. We set the limits of our lives ourselves. There are countless examples of overcomers strewn across history. They are our heroes. So I suggest - be your own hero.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Furniture

This week the idea of using furniture as a metaphor for beliefs came to mind. Beliefs may be negative/harmful, or positive/helpful. We can stub our toes or cuddle up comfortably in them.  Our lives are largely created by the beliefs we hold. Our experience of life is according to our beliefs. 

Whatever we believe, we attract experiences of like kind. Joyful, happy, loving, giving people have a far different experience of life than angry, unhappy, unloving, selfish people. Jesus told us that it is done unto us according to our beliefs, that our faith makes us whole. James Allen's classic little book, "As a Man Thinketh," says it clearly.

We may need to rearrange the furniture of our minds, take some pieces out to the trash, refinish some pieces or make various changes here and there. Along with Henry David Thoreau's idea that an unexamined life is not worth living, we really do need to examine our beliefs and whether or not they lead us to a more fulfilling life.

Make a list of your core beliefs, such as for me: it's all spiritual, earth is a learning opportunity, our souls were before this life and continue on after this life, God/Divine Presence is Love and does not have negative human qualities, I'm to be learning unconditional love, I'm to listen to Guidance and act accordingly, what I choose to do matters, I am part of all that is, I am responsible to God for how I live and what I do, I am to endeavor to walk The Way.

From these core beliefs, branches and roots spring forth. If you see some less than life affirming beliefs in your list, take them out to the trash and replace them with higher ones. Keep rechoosing the higher beliefs until they are firmly in place. Watch the almost magical changes unfold.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Fun for Me

I have a different version of fun I think than many others. Saturday I got to lecture and show some of my examples of art quilting and then give a little lesson on how to make drawing simple at our local museum. It was truly fun for me. I felt happy and free. I really loved it.

The past few years have been a time of challenge and therefore spiritual growth.Yet, they have been somewhat tiring too.

What brings me enjoyment varies. I like being with others, I loved being grandma, I like being in nature, cooking, reading, speaking and teaching, and of course writing and all kinds of creating. These have been closed down a bit with the weight of circumstances. I have continued to be fully me and to do the best I can in all of the areas that call my soul. But in some many ways, my life has been shattered. Many of the parts of my life are no longer the same. It is the constant activity of picking up the shards and assessing something else out of them that can be wearing.

This is life's process of diminishing the ego and helping something more come to the fore. I know we all have times of this sort, and it is how we deal with them and allow them to teach us that makes all the difference. 

It is with a tinge of excitement that I again pick up the shards and begin to see a new way, a new pattern, some More.