All I could think when I first looked at this beautiful, carefree, red-haired winged woman was awe. She could not possibly be me, I exclaimed. Yet, she is who I AM, but could not find for many decades. To meet her again, I had to grow backwards to catch up with a time when I knew I had wings, when I walked the streets of Buenos Aires and could skip about whimsically.
When my green hazel eyes could scan the horizon and see magic and beauty everywhere, I had just completed graduate school and at 19 years old I won the second prize in sculpture for a plaster bust. The model had been my best friend and her piece got the first prize. Both sculptures were on exhibit at a prestigious art museum, just outside Argentina’s capital city. We both were on top of the world. You know what I mean…Young, wild, foolish and free!
Well…it took me, as Picasso said, “a long time to become young”! Eighteen months after the exhibit, I immigrated with my family to the United States and life simply changed. Since then, I went to life school and learned a new language and habits. I faced new values, I made new friends, I traveled the country and some of the world, I got married, moved to another state, had a child, became an art teacher who taught English as a second language, created art curricula, taught art, founded an interior design business, became a grandmother, then a divorcee, and all along lived by a paradigm that negated who I was during those first 19 years of life. What I did not know until recently is how much pain I accumulated in the process and how burying the pain negatively affected my life choices and quality.
In retrospect, I see that even though I had great success in all that I created and was involved with, there was always an underlying feeling of mental fogginess. This feeling permeated my relationships, my actions and my work. I was a chronic underperformer in consistently attracting abundance, resilient love and familial ease. I saw that turning to interior design as a business, helped me stay within the field of visual creativity. Yet, I came to agree with Julia Cameron in labeling this activity, being a “shadow artist”. I admit that I looked around, caught the image of the “brilliant and starving artist” and recoiled. What I did not see is that I was starving to speak that 19-year-old lost voice. I did not even know I had a voice anymore. I did not believe I could paint again what was in my heart. I could not even hear my heart!
Fortunately, I had found the grace of meditation and the teachings of Buddhism a few years back, and the practice eventually led me back to paint once more. I knew I had the skill to do anything, but I had to reconnect with that young girl who spoke truth through the creation of art. Many wonderful friends, teachers and colleagues helped me to come to paint this young woman last week. I am in touch now with my true voice and I have created a great body of work that has graced many spaces, helped many people heal and broadcast peace, joy and acceptance wherever they are. Last week, I decided to meditate on seeing what blocks were still standing on my way to a total breakthrough in bringing my work to more of those who needed it. From the meditation cushion, I surrendered to the blessings of the art studio. I went in to look for my shadow and found that there is none. Instead, I found clear skies and sunrises. I saw grace and ease. In utter astonishment, I saw that I still have wings, and that they grow from my heart. I feel them now. They sprang out, if shakily at first and are the wings of no bird I know.
The post contemplation before I write, also helped me to see that my root chakra is balanced and active, and open to receive abundance at all levels. I see that my second chakra, the seat of creative energy, fuels the will chakra and aligns it directly with the will of Source. I see that there is a carefree attitude that implies trust in my connection to the divine, and I realize that having recovered that part of my life is also helpful to those around me. The little beings on the ground are teaching me that only ephemeral thoughts were the blocks, and that upon reconnecting with the foolish child of long ago, I was newly enriched. There is now joy, laughter and love in the land. Moreover, as it is spring, it is the right time to have rejoined my 19-year-old self and thus continue to be a content and foolish girl, no matter the chronological age. I heard that Martin Luther said that “the Lord commonly gives riches to foolish people, to whom he gives nothing else.” I AM very rich!
The corollary is; heed the call of your heart and manifest your dreams by speaking your voice. It is the sure way to live a life of joy, love, happiness and abundance. Epictetus said, “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid”.
This watercolor on paper with collage, that I call I AM, is 14” x 17”. It is not on my website and I am not sure yet if she will ever be for sale 🙂
Have a great week everyone and…I LOVE to hear your thoughts!!!