Like many of you, I have been keeping social distance for the past 8 weeks and, while I miss the physical contact with my loved ones, I have not lacked the emotional connections. In fact, communications with family, friends, neighbors, and clients have become even more frequent and daresay, more meaningful.
The quarantine keeping us from contracting or passing on viral infection, is indeed difficult for the economy, but is actually a blessing in so many ways.
It is not hard to see improvements in our environment. This past weekend I passed a pond I walked by for the past 20 years. At this time in Spring it is completely covered with green algae. Last Sunday it was so clear, I could see the bottom! Frogs were singing and a family of swans with their cygnets were happily gliding on the glassy surface. The unusual photos of lions napping on an empty highway on Kruger National Park, South Africa and a herd of goats frolicking on deserted streets in Wales clearly points to the impact of humans practicing social distancing.
Families are learning how to spend their time together in creative ways and maybe becoming closer. Some of my friends tell me that despite some difficult moments, they are getting to know their families and children anew and see this as a positive development. At the individual level, we are all discovering new skills, grappling with new emotions, noticing what we miss and not, and discerning how we spend our time. Many of us are paying close attention to what brings value and joy to our existence.
As the world is undergoing a massive transformation, we are being stretched in many ways. We are exercising spiritual, emotional, and mental muscles we never knew we had in exploring ways to thrive at this time in history. If we perceive the pandemic as a gift, we are examining our goals, our vows and the intentions we set for ourselves, perhaps in January, and are now assessing their relevance in an attempt to envision our lives beyond face masks, 6’ of separation and lines at the grocery store.
With limited movement and fewer choices, we are forced to look inward, be more reflective and a new consciousness is arising.
It is in this environment that I created this 12” x 12” acrylic painting a few weeks ago and decided to alter the way I interpret and title my work after completion. I offered the image to my good friend and coach, Kimberly Ward Manning. I asked her to meditate with the painting and come up with a title and interpretation. What follows are her words in italics.
As I look at the painting, what first comes to mind is a garden. In the foreground is a hedge with an opening that leads beyond. The greens and yellows look and feel like a celebration, and the energy rises in ecstasy, into the stars, the Higher Mind, eternity, wherever. It feels more than hopeful — it’s joyful.
As I sat with the piece longer, another meaning came forward. The circles in the foreground are beings/souls. They are being called to the green/yellow area in the middle to ascend in consciousness. Some have already gone and are showing their ascension in the different levels of energy/understanding/love. Everything is shifting higher. Again, the whole feeling is powerfully positive.
There is a calling with this piece. It is asking us to enter and do something — go higher, go inward and up/outward, join together in this journey. In both interpretations, the individual circles meld into pure energy. There is no longer separate self/selves. We are each part of this One, which in my meditation shows up as this mass of energies in the painting.
Overall, it feels like an initiation, a calling, a rising up. Like a secret garden behind a manicured hedge — magical, mystical, marvelous, powerful.
I invite all of you to take in the image and see how view it, and how it may assist you in experiencing this unusual time in your life. What is in your garden? What are you called to move into? What shifts are you urged to undertake?
Are you ready to emerge with A New Consciousness? Click on the link to see the painting up close and perhaps you will be called to own it.
I did not expect it, but then again how could I have prepared for what life presented me 3 days into the new year?
I dedicated myself to leading a mindful life, seeing physical pain as holding gifts and unafraid of death, so when the pain in my chest and shoulders became unbearable, when I began to sweat profusely and no position I put myself in was of any comfort, I prepared to exit in style. I began to breathe ever so slowly and focus my attention on all the things in my life that I was grateful for. I thought of my family and close friends. I did not want a stranger calling to say that my body was found lifeless and in bad shape, a few days after I had passed.
As I reached for my phone, I called the first number that appeared and fortunately it was my friend Donna, whom I had seen the day before. She not only lives very close by; she was miraculously available to come to my house speedily. I thought she could bring me to the local urgent clinic, thinking that I had pneumonia. I was mistaken…
The intense pain forced me to give up control and allow a series of fortunate events to happen very quickly. My heart needed expert help to release the physical blocks it had accumulated over the years thus, a stent was placed in a main artery, medicines were prescribed, and monitoring devices were installed. While half dazed, I received extraordinary care and attention from the staff at the cardiac intensive care unit in Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA and was showered with the affection of my loved ones.
The next night, when visitors had left and my last tests and medicines of the day were given, I laid on the bed reflecting on the situation I was in. I couldn’t help but notice that an opportunity for a great shift was made available, I just did not know how it would unfold. Unworried, I saw a more interesting reality to contemplate: I was alive and pondered whether I consciously chose to live, or a more powerful energy decided that this was not my time.
Over the last few years, it had become much easier for me to live with a healthy dose of serendipity. I know that my best asset is to voice my wishes; some call it intentions, then go through the motions of planning how to manifest them, act on the plans, be present to what shows up, be patient with the timing and periodically review if the intentions are still viable, need a readjustment, or I best stop putting effort into manifesting them.
Most of the intentions I voiced and knew that were guided by the voice of my heart, have manifested when I stopped trying to mold my present and manipulate the future. When I placed my consciousness in the now and trusted the benevolent energies that guide my way, what became manifest has always been perfect. This time was no different.
But now I had to admit that the powerful energy lives in my heart and it was divinely announcing that it was partially blocked to receiving love and in need of urgent human intervention!
How I knew this? I have never felt so loved and grateful for the affection and kindness that came from complete strangers, like doctors and nurses, and even the cleaning staff at the hospital. Nurses even clapped when I was discharged. I received torrents of love and physical assistance from my family in ways that I will treasure forever. I was cradled in unconditional love by my friends, my clients, my neighbors and my colleagues. Additionally, in being forced to let go of how I earn an income, paintings sold on my website while I was in the operating room and more were purchased soon after I came home. Former clients appeared and were willing to wait until I recovered my strength to continue working with me on their design projects. I also received a commission for a new Door Protector!
When I looked back on the journal entry I made on the morning of the myocardial infarction, it spoke of guidance I was being offered; to let the past hurts go and release the chains of fear, guilt and pain that imprisoned me. The reading beckoned me to be at peace with what was and use the past as fertilizer for my life to flourish in the now. It suggested that if I surrendered and allowed for a deep release to happen, I would be fully protected and receive great help. The writing ended with a Rumi poem I found,
Every cell in your body is created
to rise to challenges,
Your life in meant to confront
everything that holds you captive
I know that challenges expand our spiritual light, much like the pearl oyster reacts to an invader by secreting pearlescent layers that protect the treasure within. The jolt that my heart produced affected my entire system and helped me reflect on my light; the valuable uniqueness I bring to the world whether through my intuitive paintings or with the healing spaces I design.
I came away from this karmic experience with gratefulness for all who were involved in mending my wise heart. I am particularly and deeply thankful for my dear friend Donna*. She saved my life by insisting on calling the ambulance and knew that her hunch was correct when it arrived in just 5 minutes from the call. She also stayed with me until I was out of surgery and in close touch with my grandson, who was on his way to join us.
I don’t have all of the answers that occupied my thoughts on that first night. Yet I fully acknowledge the very powerful energy that lives in my heart beckoning me to continue to live my earthly purpose, trusting that Spirit has my back. I couldn’t help to notice that my heart now unblocked is asking that I focus on loving myself deeply and celebrate who I am, just as I am.
A couple of weeks after the surgery, I cautiously entered the studio and created The Unblocked Heart, the painting portrays how honoring the powerful light within me allows me to see life without the murky filters of the past. In contemplating the image and listening deeply, it crystalized a clearer vision I can commit to live by:
To always remember my uniqueness and interconnectedness to all. As written in the Hindu text, Upanishads, “when a blade of grass is cut, the whole universe quivers”, each of us have a very important role to play in the history of the world. Our thoughts and our actions make a difference in how society expresses itself and on the quality of our shared life.
To endeavor to live life fearlessly and to the fullest always guided by the voice of my heart.
To honor my nature and my yearnings by maintaining a healthy and reverent respect for my skills, talents and wisdom. In devoting quality time and attention to doing what I love and what I am passionate about, its magnificence will naturally blossom and benefit many and eventually all.
To never force action yet stay grounded in the always alert, non-judgmental, loving, encouraging and solid gold awareness.
An Unblocked Heart is an original acrylic painting on a 12” x 24” x .78” canvas and needs no framing. It is available by clicking on the highlighted link, or on the art on the header. If you are attracted to it, it will surely assist you in unblocking your heart before it becomes an urgent matter.
Many blessings to all!
*Donna Brallier-Lincoln is an extraordinary massage therapist and Reiki master. If you reside in the Boston area and would like to take in a treatment with her, please email me through my website and I will provide her contact information.
In reviewing this year’s news cycle and my personal news, I see a hardened, more entrenched societal divide at all levels. I also recognize that albeit not politically, I too experienced significant dissension in my life.
What about you? Did you find yourself consumed by outside conflict and did not notice it in your day-to-day life? Or like me, you looked in the mirror and realized that the “wars” were just as present in your world?
Even if we choose to hide in a cave, we are affected by what occurs around us. Looking closer, we will see that we are affected because in some way, what surrounds us, reflects what is going on in our inner world. In other words, the landscape is trying to show us that the storm is also in our homes or businesses.
I call obstacles a growth opportunity.
Just as when we are in an educational setting, the quality and breadth of what we learn is marked by our readiness to engage in the lessons, our willingness to be challenged, our present skillset, and an explorer’s mindset.
I daresay that acknowledging our interconnection to all things and experiences brings about the most dramatic breakthroughs. And taking responsibility for our part in conflict is truly transformational!
How do we expand our skillset and the willingness to see obstacles as crucial to our happiness and the well-being of our community? We could quietly and intently sit outside by a stream and just watch and hear nature or focus our eyes with an open heart on the painting I titled Wind and Water.
Wind and water immediately bring to mind a sense of flow or movement. Wind can be a gentle, caressing breeze or morph into a raging hurricane. Water can be a swirling eddy, a calm lake, a gentle stream or a killer tsunami.
Wind is caused by a difference in pressure from one area to another area on the surface of the Earth. Air naturally moves from high to low pressure, and when it does so, it is called wind. The “cause” of the wind is the Sun’s uneven heating of the ever-moving Earth’s surface.
When rain falls on earth, it either seeps into the ground or becomes runoff-water, which flows downhill into rivers and lakes, on its journey towards the sea. A small creek flows downhill until it merges into larger streams and rivers. Rivers eventually end up flowing into the ocean.
Wind patterns affect water currents. The larger and more spread out is a body of water, the more its molecules are exposed to air and are influenced by wind speed, direction and relative humidity, Water temperature affected by the sun and the earth’s curvature, determines how quickly the water particles are moved. A water molecule that is moving very quickly is more likely to burst from the water surface into the air, thus creating waves.
Understanding interconnection in nature offers us with a mirror into how all else, including our lives, can naturally thrive.
Wind is air in its active aspect. It represents the vital breath of the universe, or what I call Spirit or Source; the divine realm. It is the “fung” in the art and science of Feng Shui. Wind causes movement. Water is the “shui” and as shown, dependent on wind to move, but is also affected by the sun, the moon and the earth. It is akin to life itself. Nothing can thrive without it. It represents our life journey, the human spirit and our emotions.
Our breath is our “wind“ and how it flows is dictated by the available pathways or “ch’i” within us. Ch’i is our life force; it is how Spirit flows within us. A block in the flow of ch’i causes problems; when our breathing has a regular and easy rhythm we feel well. Thoughts and emotions regulate our breathing patterns and cause the biggest blockages. How we perceive a threat determines how easily we breathe. If we sense space, our inner channels are open and we flow like a calm stream.
Fear causes uneven pressure on our entire system. It is a thought not aligned with Spirit.
When fear appears as anger our system becomes blocked by heat. When fear shows up as depression, is like a weak wind gust; ripples appear on smooth water. As the sadness persists, we are overcome with emotional gusts that renders us powerless. The longer the wind blows on the open water of despair, the larger the waves of suffering.
The painting depicts the interrelatedness of the elements with a bright and colorful demeanor. We notice the winds’ patterns and acknowledge that they may change at any moment, but we do not fear it. The water flows smoothly in the middle ground offering a paradox. The bright colors in the foreground implying blossoms on swaying vegetation demand our attention. As we see the firm ground supporting the growth we can be amused by the movement and form created by the wind.
The more we contemplate Wind and Water, the alcohol inks painting on yupo featured here and that is beautifully framed, the more at peace we feel. In time, it becomes easier to look within but without fear, to explore what is behind our current divide.
Because we are interbeings, when we bring harmony to our world by using our thoughts to affect our wind and our water, we take a small step into bringing harmony to the entire planet!
I often liken painting with being immersed in God, because when I am in the studio, it appears that the Universe orchestrates a joyful dance with the materials and processes so that the right procedure, the perfect color delivered in the perfect way, lands on a canvas without my physical involvement.
It may sound otherworldly, but I often feel like a puppet on a string, except that the strings are made up of pure light, and as painting progresses, light pours out in all directions, but I become the one generating it. If I were to describe the overall emotion, I would call it love.
The studio is my happy place where I love openly and where I feel unconditionally loved. It is where, with unabashed trust I allow colors, textures and images to appear on the canvas. It is where I practice trusting life.
Thus, I was not surprised at the images in the completed canvas when I began the post painting meditation. I saw a bright sunrise above a fiery earth, facing a deep blue ocean below. Perhaps there are buildings in the distance, but there are no people about in this slice of Summertime.
My slice of summer was bittersweet. Long held traditions ended and relationships shifted or expired, yet I had many rewarding experiences reconnecting with old clients, successfully designing residential spaces, serendipitously finding places to exhibit artworks, attracting painting commissions and receiving heartfelt testimonials about my art and my designed interiors. Like when I create, I was deeply present to what landed on my life canvas and in meditation, I reflected on the emotions that emerged and the people and situations that provoked the feelings.
I felt like I was being carried into a new life cycle, and consciously allowed all of it to coexist by trusting in its inherent rightness. As such, on the second meditation, I considered that the “fiery earth” I originally saw in the painting, could also be looked at as the very precious antique cloth that is my life.
I can’t prove that we have had many lives and accumulated what in Buddhism is called karma, which ripens in each lifetime. I noticed that not all the experiences and people that show up in our present life are a product of our thoughts and deeds in this life. Some seem to come from some other place and time. We can see strong patterns operating in people’s lives that can either help them grow in a supportive way or challenges them to become stronger. In all cases, when we become aware of these threads, often through meditation, that seem to run our lives and take inspired action, we gain much wisdom and can lead very fulfilling lives.
In my first meditation with the painting, I saw a starry sky receding to make way for the light of the sun. The land below is still smoldering from ravaging fires above the great ocean. The wind helps the ashes and debris to fly off into the ether. The bits blowing away depict the things, people, relationships, thoughts, emotions and life patterns being released from the mind, which is represented by the landscape. The rising tide washes away the last bits of live fire as a new day begins. The sun shines upon the parched land, spreading bits of light to help the ashes transform eventually into fertile soil.
On another day meditating with the painting, I focused on the textured “land” and began to see it as precious antique tapestry. All my life experiences, my mishaps and my triumphs in this or any other lifetimes have given my soul much material from which to create the rich cloth that is my life now and that could not have existed without such journey. Yet, in time, some threads on the cloth wear out and must be discarded because they no longer provide a viable structure to the tapestry. A good restorer can seamlessly weave new threads, place the worn-out ones into the recycle bin and lovingly return the cloth to its original glory.
I looked at the difficult changes that occurred this summer as worn out threads that needed to leave my life. In emptying the recycle bin I saw an opportunity to release old emotional baggage and lovingly weave new patterns into my life tapestry. I appreciate what I learned from the outworn threads and admire the beauty and power of the parts that remain. Its overall stability accepts the new strength being provided by new material and trusts that, restored to its brilliance, it will gracefully carry me into a new life cycle!
I recently shared this painting, but not my interpretations with several clients as a meditation. In most cases, the revelations were quite powerful; all had to do with letting go of old patterns of thought!
The Great Release invites you to look within and let go of what no longer makes your life tapestry strong. Isn’t time to weave the shiny new threads to carry you, as if by magic into your best life?
Call it self-love and take inspired action; find the painting’s purchase options here in,The Great Release.
I felt quite content when I started this painting. It was the day before my birthday. The yellow gold strokes easily flowed onto the white canvas and later, reds blended into yellow to create orange. A wide brush laden with teal blue brought the undulating shapes we now see on the bottom. I don’t remember if at day’s end I had scumbled magenta on the upper right.
The following day turned out to be quite difficult, yet soon yielded a marvelous gift.
You see, sometimes our inner guidance leads us into darkness. Our consciousness constantly mapping our path, sets the stage so that we can learn something valuable. Perhaps we are stuck and unaware that we are no longer moving in alignment with our purpose. Or maybe out of pure unconsciousness, we either cause harm, or we receive it. Perhaps we face a traumatic situation and realize that we had been there before and felt as powerless.
In a sudden flash of insight, we could begin to see these conundrums as a way to heal old pain and past karma. We could decide to mentally step away and hear our high heart, our connection to Spirit, asking us to integrate the lessons. We may be guided to heal ourselves by using the reappeared trauma as the fertilizer to enrich the soil where new seeds of love and light can sprout.
Finding myself at the receiving end of volatile anger, my instinctive reaction was to fight or fly. But something amazing occurred to me on that day amidst loud verbal attacks; I clearly saw the raw pain in the one hurting me and my heart opened up.
I became very quiet and tapped into the vastness, the place of potential, divinity’s abode and the realm of supreme wisdom. In the surreal inner silence, I prayed for guidance and expressed regret and bewilderment, as I can’t say that I understood then my role in the conflict.
What I knew for sure is that I did not want to manipulate or be manipulated. While I did not identify a perpetrator or a victim, I knew that I was no longer available to be unkind or be the recipient of unkindness. At that moment I perceived a bright light emanating from my heart and noticed that the other person had left.
The heart mind had done a great job leading me out of harm, however, over the next few hours, my body experienced what I can safely call “aftershocks”, so I began to practice Tonglen.
The next morning, I went into the studio and continued painting. I refined the shapes in the blue area and added the soft white layer between the yellow and teal colors, thus creating a foreground. The magenta hue in the upper right now became the background, green sticks were painted on the teal surface and, in the process, I felt divinely nurtured.
In such state I agreed to meet with the other person and lo and behold, we both came away knowing that the situation provided us both with profound healing. We each had faith in our bond, but saw that in order to move forward, we not only had to be fully present; we had to trust in that bond as we are now. We had to let go of thoughts and emotions based on the past, on fear, guilt and shame and we had to forgive ourselves and each other for past unconscious beliefs and behaviors.
In the end we both realized that the past is now the compost that will help us build a more wholesome relationship. We had grown from the harrowing experience and released the accumulated toxicity by surrounding it with pure love and utter compassion. We both remarked that this was a marvelous gift!
Today I like to focus on the elephant in the room: FEAR.
Unless you have been hiding underground, you will have noticed that a large segment of our neighbors, friends, co-workers and family are experiencing fear to such an extent that many are changing vacation plans, adding security systems to their homes, avoid large gatherings and make it a point to talk to their children about safety. In fact, ads for bulletproof school bags are again ubiquitous and demands for legislators to enact laws that control gun ownership and access to assault weapons reached a fever pitch while traditional and social media forums are filled with anger, fear and despair.
Here in the United States, we are a nation fiercely divided, with each faction blaming the other for their woes. It is all happening amidst a presidential primary election season where over 20 candidates vie for attention in order to qualify for the next round of debates and an incumbent president has chosen to fan the flames of division and fear as a re-election strategy.
It all got crystallized when once again, two unconscious individuals took it upon themselves and went to great lengths, to commit genocide inspired by the idea that some groups of people have more rights to live in this country than others. Both killers felt validated by the constant replay of divisive rhetoric.
While conflict is unavoidable and potentially enriching, how we think about it will determine if we become richer for it or are so emotionally and spiritually crippled that we fail to physically thrive.
On March 1933, a beleaguered nation heard president Franklin D. Roosevelt say in his inaugural speech, “So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes the needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” FDR himself had narrowly avoided the bullets of a would-be assassin, two weeks before he spoke these words to a country in the throes of the most severe depression the United States has ever known.
Many in the business community at that time, feeling pinched by the economic decline equated the nation with an invalid afflicted with a mental problem; a paralysis of action. This thinking somehow had to be turned around, toward positive confidence.
Julius Barnes, the Chairman of the Board of the National Chamber of Commerce suggested such metaphor, positing that by changing the “patient’s” thinking, the body would naturally recover its mobility. President Roosevelt became the much needed mental healer for the body nation at that time.
Current research suggests that Mr Barnes was quite accurate in his assertions.
I have no desire to run for president, join the shouters or deliver lofty pronouncements, and we have not yet found an FDR for our times, but I concur that the nucleus of our societal problem lies in WHAT we think and the actions that follow our thinking. Thoughts are real forces and this has been known for millennia.
Our thoughts affect our vibrational field and in turn we affect all who surround us in a viral contagion. Whether or not we accept that we are interconnected, all we have to do is look around; open Facebook or turn on the television, check in with suicidal hotlines and speak with psychotherapists.
Instead of complaining, I have taken the quiet yet industrious route, I create sacred objects that help people, slowly over time, to notice their life patterns, become conscious and shift their thinking toward a more inclusive, compassionate and benevolent existence. When I help people install their commissioned Door Protectors, I teach them how to use the art we co-created to derive the maximum benefit. I remind them that it is like a mirror they can rely upon to reflect their true selves. I suggest they aim their gaze inward and see that fear and anger arise when they imagine a future that does not exist or recall past occurrences that are long gone.
The mantra at the center of this Door Protector is the same mantra that the historical Buddha taught 2600 years ago when he was teaching about building a wholesome and fulfilling life. It’s called the Wish Granting Jewel Mantra.
The Buddha noticed that when his disciples learned, chanted the mantra and were present to its sound and meaning, they became enlightened on the spot. That is because each of the 12 syllables are seeds of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path; the most important tenets at the core of Buddhist philosophy.
The mantra was the Buddha’s way to remind us of our own light and the wisdom that we carry…always. When we look upon the mantra, or hear it, we feel its vibration at our core.
Everything has a vibration and an energy field.
We do not need to be Buddhists to accept Door Protectors into our lives. We simply need to connect to its vibration and through practice, deeply connect with its energy. It happens because what I paint for the owners is channeled through meditation and propelled by my conscious intention to be such conduit for maximum benefit.
I am a better person because I work with my Door Protector and the mantra every day of my life. The testimony of hundreds of clients and collectors for the past 12 years caused me to pause and take note of their effect on people and environments. Everyone has had amazing results in many areas of their lives. They tell me that above all, they are no longer ruled by FEAR and that it has become an easy practice to check-in when in the presence of conflicts, questions and the need to make important decisions.
Some feel truly enlightened!
Thus, I have committed to have as many Door Protectors as possible into people’s homes and businesses, as they affect the owners and all those who see it and pass under it. Instead of living with fear, click on the link in this paragraph, above to commission your own or go the the website Gallery to order a print of your choice and start working with its energies.
The commissioned sacred art carries us throughout our lives. Prints have shown to work for a period of time-months or a couple of years, and help with prescient matters. A print works because in instinctively selecting one, we make an important connection through the images, that will be helpful in our life at this moment in our life path.
Prints are a good way to experience working with Door Protectors.
Note: The artwork on this post-Playing with Fear, was published in a post in 2011. The original has sold, but copies are available. If you like it, just touch the image and check out your favorite size on the website.
Awoke shortly after sunrise and as usual, I prepared for meditation. Instead of doing a contemplative exercise, I slid into the studio to make painting the contemplation. I picked a 40” x 30” blank canvas and as I sat in front of the canvas, some words and sentences bubbled up.
Arising, releasing pain, sorrow, guilt, shame, tiredness, frustration, danced in my mind’s eye. A certain pride for having persevered in spite of the many naysayers, including me; a visceral urge to break away, to say good bye to the past, without attempting to change it or squash it emerged, giving me a sense of peace and acceptance never before felt.
Eventually I was moved to pick up a jar of fluid Prussian Blue acrylic paint along with a flat wide brush. I loved how the inky paint flowed onto the canvas!
The last thing I remember was reaching for the cellophane that had covered the brand-new canvas and diluting thick Iridescent White acrylic paint with a little water and colorless polymer.
Twelve hours later I emerged from the studio and fell into a deep slumber. I awoke the next morning feeling lighter, smiling broadly and remembering a dream where Divine beings were guiding me to swim in loving waters of changing colors.
In the dream, the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin was showing me objects beaming with light floating in the water around me. I recognized some of my paintings, a home I had recently designed, students’ artworks, sculptures and photos of happy and grateful people. These were all things and situations that I created in my life and that coexisted with painful situations, interactions and sadness. I realized that Kwan Yin and all the other angels were showing me how blessed I am, as my past became the rich fertilizer that now helps flourish the life cycle I am sailing into.
For the next 10 days I looked at the painting before I turned in for the day and immediately upon waking. Each day I wrote in my journal, knowing that lessons and title would eventually come forth clearly. I noticed that the day I began to paint, coincided with a full moon and a partial eclipse, best observed in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Boston area the moon showed its fullness with alluring brilliance. It was easy to take in its beauty on a hot summer night.
The moon is a symbol of the spiritual aspects of femininity- intuition, psychic abilities, creativity and wisdom. Its phases remind us that all things on Earth have a natural cycle. Water evaporates from the ocean and falls down again as rain. Fruit falls from a tree, carrying a seed that grows into a new tree.
Because of the moon’s connection to water and the tides, it is said to represent our emotions and our subconscious mind – what we see on the surface often does not reflect what is going on underneath, nor does it reveal its vast depths. We must go deeper and explore.
When the moon is completely illuminated, it represents completion, the height of power, the realization of our desires and the peak of clarity. It is a time to celebrate our growth, take note of what progress we have made and reflect on how far we have come.
An eclipse invites us to see what is hidden and release it to the light; the art’s meaning and its title became clearer now.
Several decades ago I was privileged to learn a meditation called Moonlight Rebirth, from my most revered teacher, HH Lin Yun, Rinpoche. A few days ago, as I was again contemplating the painting, I began to practice it and immediately I knew that this is what I had painted!
Practicing this meditation, we are able to touch oneness, when spiritual powers can reach through time and space. A profound physical and mental healing takes place enabling us to “wipe the slate clean”, so to speak and begin anew. Aware of the effects of the moon upon the earth, this practice can improve luck, spur new growth, diminish anger and increase the sense of peace and well-being.
The meditation, the intention, the creative process and the dream are all depicted in the art. Are you the lucky buyer now willing to summon courage, unflinchingly look in the inner mirror and feel Oneness?
Even if you are not ready to shift yet, Moonlight Rebirth Meditation, with its colors, images and textures will infuse any space where it is installed, with bliss, peace and joy. Purchase includes the meditation instructions and one practice session with me to “wipe the slate clean”, own your gifts and sail into a new life cycle.
The newest Door Protector was created for a professional couple in their late thirties, whose new home located in a semi-rural town west of Boston I helped designed.
Like all Door Protectors, it started with receiving a written statement from each person, preparing the support and meditating. And while both partners expressed their desire to experience harmony and be aligned with all things, the art did not seem to readily find the images that would invite those sentiments.
I started by doing an intuitive divination, invited some crystal allies and animal spirits and consulted various oracles, yet I was unable to move the art forward for quite a long time.
After the crystals I ordered arrived and the wood panel was ready to accept paint, I began by applying a Prussian blue coat of acrylic paint and when dried, I mixed in different amounts of Titanium white to create a variety of curling swirls that stretched and moved in all directions. A hot pink hue showed up on the palette and a soft brush helped them merge, twist and blend with the toned blues.
For the next 3 months and in spite of chanting the mantra, eagerly contemplating the canvas and summoning all my guides; nothing else showed up. As I had similar experiences while creating other Door Protectors, I reached out to the clients several times to inquire if there was anything I should know, if there had ben any arguments, or events that may have caused anxiety, concern and conflict. Upon receiving confirmation, and still nothing was happening, I sent an email to the couple, offering a new way of thinking about the art we were co-creating.
We acknowledged that Lillie (not her real name) was expecting her first child and this was the last trimester of her pregnancy. Fears and doubts became hard to ignore, coupled with the physical symptoms of tiredness, irritability with a very demanding work situation and natural frustrations with the on-going renovations in the new home. The husband, Paul (not his real name) who maintains a strong spiritual practice was also struggling with his own feelings about the impending responsibilities while attempting to reassure Lillie. The email and subsequent phone call finally worked!
The next day, a pure zinc white area appeared where the Wish Granting Jewel mantra is inscribed and was crowned by a bright yellow hue lined with an orange ribbon. A deep red line now supports the hot pink spirals, as if it is keeping the confusion at bay and reassuring the couple that everything would be alright. The reassurance is aided by nuggets of Carnelian within the blue. This is the crystal of trust, inner resolve and wisdom. It helps dispel background confusion like in the art, while in the foreground, playful Spring grasses sporting tiny blooms daintily reach toward the mantra and the sunlight.
A Lepidolite crystal is crowned by a raw Azurite stone and sits right beneath the syllables corresponding to ushnisha vimale, which translates as the “stainless lotus of Ushnisha.” This is the name of the Buddha in the manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of limitless compassion. The Ushnisha is the oval topknot often depicted in art on top of a Buddha’s head symbolizing the spiritual power of attaining enlightenment. The lilac Lepidolite crystal is an excellent stress relief stone. It contains lithium, which soothes and calms the body/mind continuum, reduces anxiety, stress and signs of depression. It assists in maintaining an attitude of acceptance of the present moment. Azurite is the stone of inner vision and insight, enhances intellectual functions and helps the mind retain information. It confers awareness to discern where we get stuck in outmoded mental constructs and self-deception, as well as alerts us when someone is not acting or speaking truthfully.
Each syllable in the mantra represents core Buddhist teachings that along with the pictorial symbols continuously emit positive and wholesome vibrations into the space where it is installed. As the people who occupy the space connect with the art, their door protector becomes a mirror of their souls and find opportunities to connect with the immeasurable love of the universe; the divine realm. Every time they see or think of their art, they are more able to abide in joy and gratitude, they come to know that everything is sacred, feel at peace and are protected within this love energy.
The more people intentionally gaze at the art they helped create, the more they recognize the interbeingness inherent in all things and begin to experience unconditional love. The art gives people who own it the opportunity to be conscious beings able to learn, grow and change and act and think as the spark of divine light on earth that they actually are.
And everything did turn out all right. A few days ago, a beautiful baby girl was delivered without complications and joined her truly joyous parents. Please join me in wishing that life continue to unfold for this threesome, with myriads of fortunate blessings!
You too can commission your mirror of the soul. Click on Door Protectorsfor more information on how to order one.
If you are not ready to commission a custom created art but would like to start working with this powerful energy, try purchasing a print that speaks to you from the Door Protectors Gallery and be on your way to connecting with the immeasurable love of the universe!
Created for a couple who collects very unique art and live in a home designed by a star architect, this Door Protector was commissioned to assist them in living consciously, freely, creatively, and compassionately. They desire to age gracefully by bringing light and wisdom’s insights into their lives, deepen their relationship and permeate all other relationships and endeavors with such qualities. They hoped that the art would help them nurture and embody their values, assist them in empowering their intuition and inspire them to own and express their creative talents. In fact, the wife said that she was ready to take one of her dream projects to a deeper level.
A new Door Protector begins by gathering the client’s statements and payment along with the pre-selected surface, also known as supports, and then I bring all of it into a deep meditation that is followed by a contemplative focus on the people who commissioned the art. Working with various divination tools, which include cards, crystals and animal spirits I end the session with a silent intuitive reading. I listen deeply for patterns, meaning and guidance and complete the initial work by purchasing the stones and preparing the surface. Sometimes I must wait for crystals to arrive while the prepared canvas or support sits within my altar, but the blank canvas becomes part of my daily meditation until I am moved to begin painting.
Daily meditation continues, respecting the timing and the process, as I am always attuned to the guidance I receive. I found that when several days go by and nothing shows up on the canvas, I am urged to connect with the client and inquire about their lives so that in facilitating the understanding of a difficult issue, they may help get the images flowing. I talk about aspects of the intuitive reading and invariably, our conversation uncovers events and situations that gripped them. I reassure them that what they are experiencing is part of the process of birthing their Door Protector. I explain that with their thoughts, beliefs and emotions, they are creating the sacred art through me and I invite them to release the resolutions to the higher power that oversees the creation of the piece.
And just as invariably, after the intervention, the images begin to flow on the canvas! By turning their attention on the artwork I am painting for them, the clients and I are co-creating with Spirit.
While working on the Door Protector featured here, and seeing that nothing was showing up for several weeks, I called the client and she confessed that she had been distracted, confused and worried about upcoming pre-planned trips and the impact that one of them, a solo journey, would have in her life. She was also worried about her husband’s health and the outcome of a planned, but potentially difficult surgery.
Alas, our chat seemed to help, because the next day images began to appear on the surface, and within a short time the art was completed and installed, just before the first trip!
Behold the images in the SFT Door Protector, where a magical sun-dappled forest provides the perfect backdrop for the Wish Granting Jewel mantra, appearing to emanate from the sun’s rays and bringing forth the light and wisdom of the ancient syllables. The trees seem to joyously sway to the sound of Igor Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring, prompting all who behold the art to dance to their authentic rhythms.
Tall peaks rise on the left, in the foreground, with a raw Cuprite crystal embedded in to assist the clients in connecting with the grounding and nourishing earth energies and offering the reassurance that all is well; always.
A Rhodonite stone sits at the bottom near the center to remind the couple of the love they share and teaching them to love and appreciate who they are individually. A mountain path strewn with Aquamarine chips helps them reflect on their resolve, offers calmness and flow and as the road dips into the water, it provides clarity and inspires truth in living, provided that they release outmoded mental constructs and allow in the aid of a higher power.
Door Protectors are designed to be installed above a home’s front door, the physical element that provides a clear transition between the outside world and the inner sanctum of a dwelling. Many, many owners of this art report that seeing it upon entering or leaving their space provides everyone, even those who pass under it, with a reassuring sense of safety and well-being. By regularly connecting to their art, owners tell me that they feel at ease at home or within their business. Openness and trust, enables their chosen intentions to manifest in an even better form than anyone could have imagined. They learned that the Universe has their backs and will present them with a broader vision than any human mind could see.
The owners of this Door Protector report that every planned trip unfolded wonderfully, that the woman’s solo trip proved to be more fruitful than she had anticipated and that the husband’s operation was a total success.
See the sacred art up close, find out how to order yours and start to dance to your authentic rhythms by clicking on SFT Door Protector.
A state of happiness when we experience great joy; a sense of profound love:
Very busy with painting commissions, teaching and interior design work, I had been unable to set aside sustained time in my studio to just connect with Spirit and paint together.
On an unusually warm winter’s day I not only began a new painting but followed it with a lot of cleaning and organizing until quite late in the evening. I should have suspected that something was afoot when I awoke at 3:30 AM but did not fret or tossed and turned. I accepted the perfection of the moment and immediately felt light, loved and loving. A sense of happiness enveloped me and in time, I felt asleep again, naturally waking a bit passed 7:30 AM.
In my journal I recorded how easy it was to enter the studio on such bright morning and start a new work. I left all mental machinations behind and opened to play. What I did not notice until today, was that on the night before I had asked for a way to understand Bliss, and that just before I fell asleep, I found a poem by Rumi…
Lose your head!
Not a single thread that has a head
can go through the eye of the needle.
I also did not know that on that night, the moon was on its first quarter phase, when its brightness was at 50% visibility from earth, marking exactly seven days before the full eclipse of a Super Red Wolf Moon!
But what I saw the next morning upon glancing at the unfinished painting left me speechless. Depicted was something akin to an Aurora. This is the natural electrical phenomenon characterized by the appearance of streamers of reddish or greenish lights in the sky, seen near dawn during the winter months on the southern and northern poles of the earth. Aurora Borealis are the northern lights and Aurora Australis are best observed by the South Pole. What was most unusual in the art were the countless blooming flowers; an unlikely find on the Arctic dawn.
The unfinished canvas sat in my bedroom for another week before I was ready to complete it, but memories of an all-around fulfilling and productive day, completing long overdue projects with ease and a sense of joy lingered and helped me turn in every night of that week feeling profound love.
I treasure my painting sessions for in creating I practice surrender and listen to the guidance of my heart. I easily allow for surprises and the entire process brings me to a place of unabashed contentment.
I completed the painting on the morning of the eclipse, and then again cleaned my house, prepared for a special meditation of release and at night, from my bedroom window, I followed the path of the silvery moon until it was above the roof of my house, casting a ring of light around it captured by pristine snow on the ground.
Given the very cold night, I did not go outdoors when the earth’s shadow began to block the sun’s light, which otherwise reflects off the moon. Instead I watched the bright light dim until near total darkness diffused the landscape. I didn’t see the sun flecks that made the moon appear red. I instead visualized and internalized the process until I fell asleep.
When I awoke, I realized that I had lost all hearing from my left ear!
It was hard to miss the connection between the painting and its process, the intention I stated beforehand, the eclipse, an unusual cosmic occurrence and the sudden hearing loss. And it was to this connection that I relied upon as I navigated what I knew was a temporary physical event.
I contemplated the art to learn what was teaching me about experiencing bliss and consulted traditional medical resources and so-called alternative pathways to regain my hearing. It all pointed to an existential crossroads.
What did I need to shift and release to dwell in Bliss?
Answers came as I was ready to face and integrate them. Karmic events reflected in family issues appeared but to be seen in a different light. One morning I focused on the little blooms atop wiry stems quivering high in the sky within the painting, and realized that they depicted old fears surfacing. As soon as they were exposed for the stories they really were, they transformed into unexpected gifts: magnificent winter blossoms able to withstand the harshest of conditions.
Another day I looked intently at the sky I painted and learned more about what causes an Aurora event to happen and why it occurs mostly near the earth’s magnetic poles. Essentially, powerful solar winds stemming from the sun’s own magnetic field push on the earth’s magnetic field, changing shape and thus squeezing and compressing said earth’s field. At the same time, the sun’s coronal mass ejects high voltage charged particles that can more easily penetrate the earth’s atmosphere at its poles. These speeding electrons collide and explode with the mixture of gas atoms that comprise the air we breathe, fueling the gases and causing them to release both light and more electrons.
An Aurora, a dawn spectacle is a magnificent and colorful array of movement best seen in the wee hours that triumphantly heralds a new day, a new beginning and maybe a new way to see life. If we understand that “when a blade of grass is cut, the whole universe quivers”, then you can begin to see how I was guided to paint the picture I call Bliss Blossoms.
By the end of last week I was besieged by a powerful flu virus and was forced to completely surrender to my physical needs yet, I recovered most of my hearing ability!
While I could hear better, I now could not speak racked by a sore throat and could only focus on containing my body’s coronal mass ejections. I continued to meditate and contemplate the painting to learn all that it was teaching me.
I now see that what I am experiencing is serving and mirrors the travails of all my fellow humans. I felt the eclipse’s vibration, one of introspection, reflection and release at my core, next I experienced diminished ability to hear, speak and even breathe well-a sinus infection and the probable physical cause of my deafness.
The illness provided me with time and a safe cover to shift to the consciousness of bliss.
Humanity is in deep need of introspection, reflection and release of old ego-based stories and attachments that divide us, diminish our capacity to experience lasting happiness and find us searching for love mostly in eventually unfulfilling circumstances. A shift will only happen through experiencing a powerful personal eclipse; a meaningful change in the way we perceive ourselves and our role in this lifetime, in how we perceive each other and the world we cohabitate.
My personal eclipse led me to dwell in bliss but before I understood it, I had to “lose my head”
As I journeyed through the situations that life provided me these past few weeks, I realized that the shutdown afforded me the opportunity to awake to a dawn unlike even the most amazing ones I see out of my bedroom window, thus I gave in.
I surrendered impatience for what I didn’t yet have and allowed for the natural unfoldment of my desires into form. I placed trust in the perfection of each moment. I did not judge myself; I did not worry about my extensive to-do list, I slept when I felt the urge and I spent time in stillness, sometimes just following my breath; my wind, and at other times, I contemplated my unusual depiction of an Aurora.
Feeling open, curious and present, my quiet mind could more easily discern what I had magnetized, and I turned my focus on how I could manifest more of my goodness, my inner light in the world. It became clear to me that the answer was in the act of creating.
If I experience bliss every time I paint, I can also live each life situation as it if were a fresh canvas!
As a result, I experienced a rather swift physical recovery, my to-do list was breezily managed, and it included releasing outgrown expectations of myself and others; noticing if my time commitments elicit a sense of well-being and joy, and looking at how these commitments connect to my path of service.
Personal creative time moved up to the top of my daily routine, for like meditation, it is my practice for living a wholesome life and fulfilling my path of service.
Out of my bedroom window the sight of a wondrous Aurora greeted me today. It is exactly a month since it all began, and it coincides with a complete moon cycle. My state is one of happiness; I am experiencing great joy. I turned my gaze to the painting and smiled at the icy field of violet flowers in vibrant bloom at the height of winter.
A sense of profound love erupted from deep within my core. I now knew bliss and recognized the flowers as Bliss Blossoms!
Purchase Bliss Blossoms and install it in a room where you can lose your head and enter a state of happiness when you experience great joy; a sense of profound love. It is also a good idea to let others to see it too!