I don’t need to tell you that our planet is in distress and so are all who inhabit it. I mentioned it last week. I also don’t have to tell you that living with stress is not living fully or authentically. It is like we walk around with an invisible fence around us, yet one that can be punctured and can collapse at any moment.
We feel unsafe.
Safety was identified by psychologist Abraham Maslow as being the second most important need we must have fulfilled in order to thrive. According to his pyramidal Hierarchy of Needs, when our physiological necessities are taken care of, these form the basis for our ability to perceive ourselves unlikely to be at risk.
When we can get food, water and can breathe and sleep; we feel safe.
When we feel under attack from other people and circumstances, we contract. When we are unsure about our employment, our health insurance, our property and the availability of resources, we live in fear.
This provides a very weak base for the next hierarchy of needs: Love and the sense of Belonging.
Such layer now becomes filled with suspicion and tensions we cannot even see. Total honesty is difficult and our relationships contract. We become needy. We huddle around others we perceive as kindred and hold on to life situations constricting us even more. We unhealthily attach to life, jobs, marriages, friendships, neighborhoods, beliefs and so on.
Thus, the next layer provides a creaky foundation for what Maslow called Esteem, or our ability to feel truly confident about our achievements and happy about other people’s milestones. We cease respecting ourselves, become weary of others and feel powerless. Anger swells and turns into disrespect for those with whom we disagree.
It is easy to see that the top layer, which according to Maslow provides the ground for self-actualization, cannot sustain our desire to live an authentic life. Our moral compass is badly tattered; our creativity suffers, stumped by our lack spontaneity. We have trouble solving simple problems and refuse to accept things as they are.
Prejudice pervades our lives; we lose faith in ourselves and blame others for our lot in life.
I started to create Door Protectors, when I looked at the world we share and saw how many people near and far were unable to fulfill even their basic physiological needs. Flint, Michigan’s cost-cutting measures resulting in lead contaminated drinking water is a perfect example of this.
Frustrated and pondering on being effectively helpful, I looked at a paper placed above my front door containing the Wish Granting Jewel Mantra I received from a beloved Buddhist monk. I noticed that since the Tibetan syllables flanked my entry, I felt more grounded, productive and happier. I also successfully changed my career.
Coincidentally, an out-of-town client requested what she termed “big Feng Shui help” for her new business. Unable to travel to the site, I proposed to create a special art to be placed above the front door. I meditated, chanted the mantra and was guided to write the ancient syllables and surround them with pictorial symbols, like in the art shown above.
The results were to our surprise, outstanding. Within a month, the turnaround in finances, interpersonal relationships and customer feedback were so dramatic that she ordered one for a relative. That was the beginning of the mixed media art I call Door Protectors, which seem to help people create strong layers of fulfilled needs flowing toward self-actualization.
Created in an atmosphere of sacredness, aided by the mantra and guided by an intense focus on the needs and desires of those who commission it, the art affects people in profound ways. The world around them has not changed, but how these art owners perceive it, has indeed changed and from within.
The energy of the paintings also affects those who see it and pass under it, and are strengthened by the owners’ deep connection to the art. As where attention goes, energy follows, it is a win/win exchange. I found a beautiful way to be helpful and blissful. Passing the bliss on to others, we each generate more bliss enabling us to build the strong base under which our authentic selves become fully actualized and…
We can beam bliss to our centers of influence.