Today I am practicing the fine art of seeing myself as truly divine. It is my doctor’s prescription to heal my sore throat, cough and laryngitis I had for the past week. The funny, crackly voice of this “divine me”, was deemed horrible by a dear friend who could not understand me. Can one be divine and horrible?
On the surface, pollen and the attending allergies have weakened my system so I “caught a virus”. My voice box is sick. Speaking has been a laborious activity and even though today I am feeling better, I choose to be even quieter than when it all started. I wanted to open to the learning that this illness is offering. Many of my clients and students heard me say that when it gets physical…we had not paid attention to the spiritual conflicts we were encountering.
In the art and science of Feng Shui, we learn that throat disorders correlate with the Children and Creativity sector of the Bagua. This gua is located on the right side of a home/workspace, from the front door. So, if you divide the space in 9 equal quadrants, this gua is in the middle of the furthest three right quadrants. In the body, it correlates with the throat, mouth, teeth, and the lungs and large intestines. All these energies coalesce in the throat chakra. The throat chakra is the energy center that filters issues of identity. What we create, whether it is birthing children, art, writing, and all that we bring forth, consciously or unconsciously as an expression of who we are, affect this energy center. It follows that our own issues with growing up, our adolescence and our first conscious attempts at asserting our needs and fulfilling our desires are part of the mixture. Any perceived thwarting of the natural unfolding of our ability to see ourselves as whole, healthy and powerful created a resistance that unchecked, lays buried until we choose to deal with the pain we felt. In other words, when we attempted to express ourselves as we believed it to be authentically, and our parents, family, society and the larger world (movies, TV, advertising, peers) disagreed, or did not approve quietly or overtly; we eventually learned to conform, to blend in (some of us blended in grinding our teeth all the way!). This mirroring of our world as we perceived it became the fabric of what Eckhart Tolle calls, the “pain body”, or the “small child within”. It pops up when we least expect it; when our present “pain” matches the original wound.
As we grow up and our desires become deep yearnings, we question their validity. Are we unduly attached to long gone dreams? Do we deserve to manifest what we yearn? Is it our ego’s urges? Are we talented enough? Why me? I don’t have anything new to contribute? Others are better at it than me…
These are the typical thoughts that surface when we open to manifesting our dreams in regards to a career, a calling or anything to do with expressing what we have been hiding from within our pain body. It is in the discerning of the various messages that created our inner compass and the many roads we traveled to cope with, as Nancy SantoPietro calls “this false self we created” that growth, transformation and manifestation occur. Because, the farther and farther we move from our truth, which is our divine nature and power, we see the overcoming mechanisms we used to numb the pain. “The messages” are addictions to food, drugs (alcohol is a drug), sex, debt, hoarding, depression, attachments and co-dependency and all manners of self-sabotage and are the results of living the life of our false selves.
Awakening to our innate power to heed our calling and to act on it; to “speak our truth” and acting in spite of fear leads to other developments, and some of those are definitely physical and at times quite debilitating. Because when we disconnect from our truth, we are also disconnected from the wholeness that we are. In an attempt of our bodies to regain balance, all other systems start to act up, and in some cases fail all together. The physical results are our divine nature’s way to get the healing started. We take care of our physicality, nurture ourselves and in the process, we may see that we attracted this situation to learn how to be our authentic selves and speak with clarity, conviction and compassion about our deepest needs.
Putting in the time to learn may help us avoid bigger illnesses, such as thyroid and all sorts of endocrine imbalances, chronic neck pain, and lots of dental bills payable to our friendly dental office (my best clients :)). Sore throats, coughs and bronchitis do not have to turn into Pneumonia.
And now we come full circle to my “voice issue”. Throughout my life, I experienced many of the imbalances listed in the above paragraph. I also experienced not spending time painting, writing about painting, teaching painting from the deepest recesses of my soul and not painting and more non-painting what I wanted to paint about. I too ended up blending in, doing what I thought was expected of me and yes, I tended to do it grinding my teeth all the way. I became what Julia Cameron calls “a shadow artist”. I created wonderful works of art that enhanced the interiors I created. I designed beautiful interiors that in the words of a dear client “have soul” and yes, I cultivated the love, appreciation, trust and support of a wonderful group of clients for whom I continue to interact and do work for in one way or another for the past 27 years. I even worked as a kitchen designer for a home center and filled my days with beauty, solid works and busyness. Something was always missing but I filled it with all my wonderful work, my clients, my staff, my children…
Recently I decided to end my home center’s part-time job and fill the time with my “art career”. I didn’t know how I was going to replace the income, but I trusted that my last 27 years as interior designer and spiritual teacher; my creativity, my ingenuity and presence but most of all my focus on attending to my yearnings will cause me to be in a constant state of trust that Spirit is “the wind beneath my wings”. It is. I see the fruits of the trust already. I did not see how the body would react to inviting wholeness and unleashing my authentic self.
Last week I ended my part-time home center’s job. Two hours before the end of my shift, my voice came out hoarse and about an hour before the end, I had no voice. I left without saying a word 🙂
This morning, I had planned to do more “work” in my office, but instead stumbled upon this piece I created four years ago when I started to shift-yes, it takes a long time to transform crusty false selves! I remember cutting the arch, gluing the metal strips and the mirror in the center. I had been meditating on the road, “the door” to being able to paint, and serve through my artwork, those who could learn from my trials. I had been teaching meditation and spiritual growth for many years. I now wanted to let the art speak to others. At the time, I had just started to work at the home center.
When I created this piece, I had spent an entire day in silent and solitary meditation. I started by creating the archway out of old-looking paper. I wanted it to look refined and weathered. Ancient hieroglyphs are encased in old gold and browns. I wanted to show my appreciation and reverence, for I love the life I led up to this doorway. But I didn’t know what would be beyond it. I intended to look to see what was there. I was committed. I called it I Dedicate Myself to the Path of Enlightenment.
Today I see that the little flying trees represent my willingness to change my thinking. The small figurines represent all my little “children within” who may not be so willing to heal and transform. The scattered mustard seed aides with the process of burning old beliefs. I see that I embraced the turbulent waters rising and painted it as merging with the sky. No beginning or end. No bad, no good. The square mirror in the center allowed me to look and see myself as part of it all. I had no boundaries. I had no form. I became Spirit. I AM That, I AM. I affirmed that if I didn’t share my skills and talents, I was not doing Spirit’s work. I went into the vortex and merged. I entered and re-dedicated myself to the path of enlightenment.
Yes, I am willing and able to enter the door to the path of Truth-seeing things as energy. I ended another life cycle. I am both divine and horrible. Yin and Yang…My voice is better, my throat is clean. Another lesson learned 🙂
References: Feng Shui and Health-Nancy SantoPietro-Three Rivers Press, NY 2002
A New Earth-Eckhart-Tolle-Penguin, London 2006
The Artist Way-Julia Cameron-Thatcher/Putnam, NY 2002